Can I Join The Military With A Conditional Green Card – REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (News Service, March 5, 2008) – Soldiers who may be stuck in their careers due to busy schedules or limited training can turn to the Basic Skills Education Program to help them improve their testing skills and get promoted.
With test results outside the required ranges, a soldier may find that he cannot take his career in the direction he wants. The BSEP, which dates back to the Korean War, is for soldiers with adult basic education scores below 10.2 and who have an overall technical score below 110.
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“The BSEP is part of the Functional Academic Skills Training program. It supports professional and personal goals,” said Charles Williams, Education Services Specialist. “FAST also supports the NCO training system and the ‘s goal of retaining quality personnel.”
Sergeant. Chris Payne had his sights set on becoming a warrant officer. However, his GT score was not high enough to make this dream a reality.
“It would help me improve my career to see things from both the officer side and the enlisted side,” Payne said. “I’m ready to take the next step.”
He knew the BSEP. In fact, he had walked through a version of it at his first duty station in Korea. At the time, however, Payne said he lacked the maturity to really get any real benefit out of it.
“I was new to the military and didn’t think about the future,” Payne said. “I didn’t have the mindset to complete the mission.”
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After eight years, Payne decided to take responsibility for the direction his career was taking. He knew that if he wanted to achieve his goals, he would have to try the program again.
“I thought it was time to devote more time to my studies and to preparing for the future,” he said.
The program is at your own pace. The soldier attends in two-hour increments for a total of about 60 hours, Williams said. It uses a combination of instructor-led and computer-based studies to give each soldier as much or as little help as he needs. At any one time, there are usually four soldiers enrolled in each course, Williams said. The maximum enrollment is eight soldiers.
“It takes about 30 days of uninterrupted training to complete the course,” Williams said. “The student is given a variety of modules, including pencil and paper, and computer-assisted with instructor assistance.”
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Payne spends his mornings as an instructor for the 94 Yankee Integrated Test Equipment and his afternoons as a crew chief. Due to her busy schedule, it took her about six weeks to complete the course. Finding a two-hour time block wasn’t always easy, he says, but the instructors at the education center kept him motivated.
“With my teaching, I didn’t always have the dedicated time,” he said. “But their dedication to me got me through what I needed to do. They took the time to help me and I appreciate that. The one-on-one interaction was the best part.”
It was hard work that paid off for Payne. After completing the BSEP in December, he saw a 20 point jump in his GT score. Having exceeded the requirement, he works on the paperwork that accompanies his quest for warrant officer.
If he hadn’t increased his score enough, Williams said Payne could have started the program again. Although a soldier’s improvement varies from individual to individual, Williams said every soldier that passes sees an improvement.
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Payne’s success in the program motivated him to continue his civilian education. He plans to use the training center to find a local graduate engineering program. He urges all soldiers to make good use of the programs available to them, such as BSEP.
“Anyone with low GT should do it,” he said. “Everyone (at the education center) is dedicated to teaching soldiers to be productive and in better shape for their future.”
“Soldiers only need to speak to a counselor to take advantage of the training,” Williams said. “Commanders and Advisors can refer soldiers to participate in the FAST program. Additionally, soldiers can refer themselves to participate in the FAST program. Advisors assess referred soldiers to see if they need further training BSEP before enrolling in other FAST components.” The Army will now allow recruits with a history of certain mental health issues to apply for waivers to join the service. Here’s why it’s happening now.
WASHINGTON — People with a history of “self-harm,” bipolar disorder, depression, and drug and alcohol abuse can now apply for waivers to join the military under an unannounced policy enacted in August , according to documents obtained by USA TODAY.
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The decision to open up Army recruiting to those with mental health issues comes as the service faces an ambitious goal of recruiting 80,000 new soldiers through September 2018. To meet the goal of 69,000 last year, the Army accepted more recruits who did poorly on aptitude tests, increased the number of waivers granted for marijuana use and offered hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses.
Expanding mental health waivers is possible in part because the Army now has access to more medical information about every potential recruit, Army spokesman Lt. Col. Randy Taylor said in a statement. a statement. The military issued the ban on waivers in 2009 amid an epidemic of suicides among troops.
“The decision was primarily due to the increased availability of medical records and other data that is now more readily available,” Taylor told USA TODAY. “These records allow Army officials to better document applicants’ medical histories.”
But accepting recruits with such mental health issues in their past comes with risks, according to Elspeth Ritchie, a psychiatrist who retired from the military as a colonel in 2010 and is an expert on waivers for military service. People with a history of mental health problems are more likely to have those problems resurface than those without, she said.
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“It’s a red flag,” she said. “The question is, how much of a red flag is that?”
While bipolar disorder can be controlled with medication, self-harm — where people cut their skin with sharp instruments — can signal deeper mental health issues, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, which is published by the American Psychiatric Association. .
If the self-harm occurs in a military setting, Ritchie said, it could be disruptive to a unit. A soldier cutting his skin could lead to blood on the ground, the assumption of a suicide attempt, and the potential need for medical evacuation from a war zone or other austere location.
Accepting low-skilled recruits can cause problems. In 2006, for example, an Iraqi girl was raped and her family killed by American soldiers, one of whom demanded waivers for minor criminal activity and low education to join the army.
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Memos and documents obtained by USA TODAY outline the hurdles a potential recruit must go through to join the military.
Guidelines for screening potential recruits whose history includes self-harm clearly state that the applicant must provide “appropriate documentation” to obtain the waiver, according to a September memo to commanders. These requirements include a detailed statement from the candidate, medical records, evidence from an employer if the injury was work-related, photos submitted by the recruiter, and a psychiatric evaluation and “clearance.”
Slides for military officials who screen recruits show examples of people whose arms, legs and torsos have been scarred by self-harm.
“For all waivers,” a memo states, “the burden of proof is on the claimant to provide a clear and meritorious argument as to why a waiver should be considered.”
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Taylor said many “meritorious cases” were found of highly qualified applicants who were disqualified due to events that occurred when they were young children.
“With the additional data available, Army officials can now view applicants as a whole person, allowing a range of Army leaders and medical professionals to fully review the case to assess the candidate’s physical limitations or medical conditions and their possible impact on the candidate’s ability to complete training and complete a career in the military,” Taylor said. “These waivers are not considered lightly.
“I can see justification that it shouldn’t be an absolute but could be a waiver,” she said.
The Army did not respond to questions about how many waivers, if any, have been issued since the policy was changed.
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Data reported by USA TODAY in October shows how the Army has met recruiting goals by accepting more marginally qualified recruits.
In fiscal year 2017, the active-duty army recruited nearly 69,000 soldiers, and only 1.9 percent were in what is known as category four. This refers to troops that score in the lowest category on military aptitude tests. In 2016, 0.6% of army recruits came from category four. The Pentagon requires that the services accept no more than 4% of category four recruiting classes. Additionally, waivers for marijuana use, illegal in uniform, increased from 191 in 2016 to 506 in 2017. Eight states have legalized recreational marijuana use.
Recruitment is generally more difficult for services when the economy is strong. The military responded by offering more bonuses
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