Friday, October 14, 2016

Army using Chapter 14 to kick out disabled soldiers

Disabled in Iraq or Afghanistan? Good luck finishing your active duty military career. The military needs to jettison 80,000 troops by 2017 -- and guess who they are getting rid of? Medical discharges take a long time, and require paying medicals benefits for the veteran's lifetime. Kicking them out under Chapter 14 (Pattern of Misconduct) is a lot faster and cheaper.
 

Colorado Springs Gazette
"Staff Sgt. Coulter, another decorated three-tour soldier at Fort Carson, had a spotless record until he transferred to the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment. The regiment began writing him up for minor infractions, sometimes several times a day, including showing up without gloves and being late to formation. 
The unit used the list of infractions to charge Coulter with "a pattern of misconduct" and moved to kick him out of the Army.
                
Coulter walks with a limp from injuries related to three combat tours, and has been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and has PTSD flashbacks that can make it hard for him to drive. But this spring when his battalion announced it would kick him out for his list of misconduct write-ups, medical records show that doctors said his injuries were not longer an issue and he did not have PTSD. 
"It's a miracle. They say I have all these problems," Coulter said. "Then as soon as they want me out, there is nothing wrong." 
When the battalion slated Coulter for discharge, it stopped him from seeing his civilian psychologist, then said it was not the Army but the civilian psychologist who canceled his treatment. 
Contacted by The Gazette, the civilian psychologist, Judith Ray, said the statement was "absolutely untrue."  
"I would never do such a thing," she said. "It goes against the ethics of our profession." 
Asked why she thought Fort Carson officials stopped Coulter's treatment, she said, "Everybody knows they don't like to diagnose PTSD." 
In May, after meeting with Coulter once for less than an hour, his Army psychologist, Kelly Moss, said the sergeant did not have PTSD or a TBI, he had "adjustment disorder,"a diagnosis with symptoms similar to PSTD that does not require the Army to provide benefits upon discharge — and he was cleared for discharge. 
"It's just crazy, man," Coulter said. "But if they want you out, they're gonna get you out."



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