Army's top NCO: PTSD treatment "made me a better person"


Chandler (US Army photo)

The Army’s top noncommissioned officer on Tuesday told Fort Bragg soldiers he suffered from post-combat stress, sought help and benefited, the Fayetteville Observer reports.

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III told soldiers on the 18th Airborne Corps he internalized the blame for the death and injury of his soldiers and struggled with his ability to be a leader.

Chandler, 49, said his symptoms included crying, mood swings, angry outbursts and “flying off at the drop of a hat.” He ultimately¬†received¬†counseling through the Army at the suggestion of his wife, Jeanne.

“It’s made me a better person,” he said. “It’s made me a better father, a better husband and ultimately a better soldier.”

He said he hoped his admission would encourage other soldiers to do the same.

“I had some experiences in Iraq that I didn’t really deal with very well – kind of suppressed my feelings,” Chandler said. “It paid an impact on my family. It took awhile for me to come to terms with that. About three years after I got back is when my wife said, ‘You need to get some help.’ “


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  1. It’s a good thing he had combat trauma counseling, which he is not forced to report on security clearance forms. If his PTSD was from somthing like a sexual assault, he would have had the experience of having to report the counseling on his SF 86, talking with an OPM investigator, and waiting an additional period of time for his clearance while he wondered if his career had been deep-sixed. Why do we treat combat trauma victims one way, and CRIME victims another way?

  2. I commend SMA Chandler for recognizing the fact that he needed help and getting it. Sometimes that is a very hard thing to do, especially when you’re a senior leader and feel like you need to set the example for all those around you. I also thank ArmyTimes for running the story, as it can only contribute to others making the decision to get help. I would advise any one out there struggling with post-deployment issues to go and get help. Now.

  3. You need to take some of these sick people and try this on them instead of the monkey’s I really think it is very sick for you to be able to hurt any kind of animals I wish the monkey’s can do the same thing to you

  4. It’s honorable that CSM-Army shared his personal experiences with everyone is this forum. I can personally tell you that some places in society after the Army need to have this treatment and network…it makes for a better working place. Imagine working at a organization with multiple retirees with mulitple PTSD personalities all receiving no treatment. Active or not, it’s needed, beneficial, and the honorable thing to do…beginning with your family.

  5. I’m still going through this process and it’s cost me at least two jobs, and I believe it cost me my end to my military career.

    I hope it gets better.

  6. Help?!
    I was diagnosed with PTSD AND TBI yesterday, by a civilian doctor whom I am paying out of my own pocket for. If I could have just one question from behind the curtain answered, it would be: “How is it I have been seeing a military psychiatrist and multiple other counselors out of Ft. Bragg for almost six months, and when I started seeing civilians, whom are more qualified than there military counterparts, I not only had to pay out of pocket and fight the scrutiny at the unit level, but am being ushered at a high velocity through a chapter process and treated like a felon? Maybe this is a isolated event out of 82PIR/3BCT/ 2505, but I am not the only soldier having/ had these troubles, and seems to me, when a soldier needs help, they get the boot.

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