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Quick off the heels of Veterans Day, the Army is now allowing people with a history of drug and alcohol abuse, self-mutilation, depression and bipolar disorder to use waivers to join ranks.

This policy was put into motion in August of 2017 but wasn’t advertised until news outlets began picking up the story recently.

Why are they allowing people with a history of these conditions to join? The Miami Herald reports that the Army is under stress to reach a goal of recruiting 80,000 new soldiers by September of 2018.

69,000 recruits was the goal for last year and the Army did that by accepting people who didn’t do very well on aptitude tests. In addition to that, the Army, “increased the number of waivers granted for marijuana use and offered hundreds of millions of dollars in financial bonuses.”

Lt. Col. Randy Taylor, an Army spokesperson told the Miami Herald that the army was able to use the waiver expansion policy because they were given more access to medical records from applicants.

“The decision was primarily due to the increased availability of medical records and other data which is not more readily available,” explained Taylor. “These records allow Army officials to better document applicant medical histories.”

The Army has not given out any information about the number of waivers that have been issued since the policy change.

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(Source: The Miami Herald

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)