17 issues that will shape the service this year
New grooming standards, the long awaited and much anticipated new PT test, changes to the qualitative service plan and the return of 15-year retirements.
Drug testing myths: knowing the facts could save your career
In 2008, two Navy air traffic controllers based in Mayport, Fla., tested positive for cocaine use during military urinalysis. Turns out both had been drinking the same herbal tea made from coca leaves. Both fought the findings in separate courts-martial.
One was exonerated, the other found guilty by a military jury.
It just goes to show how tricky — and dangerous for your career — urinalysis can be.
Drug testing is a good tool but not a perfect one, says Naresh Jain, director of National Toxicology Laboratories Inc. in Bakersfield, Calif., and professor emeritus of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Southern California’s School of Medicine. Jain helped set up some of the military’s first drug labs.
“Even in the military, when you’re talking about any drug — marijuana, methamphetamine, PCP, LSD, anything — just because someone tested negative doesn’t mean they didn’t use it.”
Female troops speak out on combat exclusion court battle
Army Staff Sgt. Jennifer Hunt has spent many months at the tip of the spear.
During deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan as a civil affairs expert, she routinely accompanied small infantry units on foot patrols, helping to conduct security searches of women, gather intelligence and organize local economic development projects.
Hunt was awarded a Purple Heart in 2007 after a roadside bomb in Baghdad blew through her up-armored Humvee and peppered her face and arms with shrapnel.
The Pentagon policy that bars women from formal assignment to ground combat units did not keep Hunt out of harm’s way. Instead, she says, at times it made her feel especially vulnerable because she was not completely familiar with her unit.
Read all of these stories and more in this week’s Army Times, on sale now.