AP: More troops forced out for misbehaving

| February 15, 2014

Chief Tango sends us a link from the Associated Press that reports more troops are being forced out of military service for misbehaving than they were at the height of the War Against Terror;

Data obtained by The Associated Press shows that the number of officers who left the Army due to misconduct more than tripled in the past three years. The number of enlisted soldiers forced out for drugs, alcohol, crimes and other misconduct shot up from about 5,600 in 2007, as the Iraq war peaked, to more than 11,000 last year.

The data reveals stark differences between the military services and underscores the strains that long, repeated deployments to the front lines have had on the Army’s soldiers and their leaders.

I’m not so sure about that. The media said for the longest time that military suicides were on the rise because of long and repeated deployments until they found out that most of the suicides hadn’t even deployed. So, I’m not so quick to believe this analysis. I’m thinking that the military, while it’s trying to obey it’s political masters by drawing down the numbers are less tolerant of bad behavior than they were during the height of the wars. I wonder how many of those 11,000 deployed even once.

They admit that bad behavior was the reason fewer sailors left the Navy than during the height of the wars;

When the decision was made to cut the size of the 370,000-strong naval force in 2004, the number of sailors who left due to misconduct and other behavior issues grew. In 2006, more than 8,400 sailors left due to conduct issues.

As the size of the Navy began to stabilize — it’s now at about 323,000 — the number of problem sailors leaving also began to decline steadily, dropping each successive year to a new low of about 3,700 in 2013.

So, it’s just bad guesses on the part of AP. There’s a couple of hundred thousand more troops who deployed and didn’t commit crimes, by the way. But, we should focus on the 1%, I guess.

Category: Military issues

Comments (9)

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  1. Sparks says:

    Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that the AP didn’t do better research. It is an old problem issue with numbers and stats. The ones they used are suspect to me because they can be viewed from two points. One, they are as reported or two, the number of problem children being let go went down in proportion to the reduction of force size overall. I don’t know but maybe someone better at stat analysis can see it clearer than I.

  2. Grimmy says:


    The problem isn’t just about numbers and stats. It’s about attempting to cherry pick numbers within the stats to prove The Narrative.

    It’s about liars lying.

  3. Sparks says:

    @2 Grimmy well said. I read somewhere, “statistics don’t lie but liars use statistics”.

  4. Richard says:

    I love surveys, you can prove ANYTHING!

    If you have an agenda and a survey and your survey doesn’t prove your agenda, you choose numbers from the extremes — the outliers. In the extremes the survey no longer applies, the sample size is too small to have statistical significance so the survey results don’t mean anything for those cases.

    If I survey 100,000 people about lunar composition, more than 100 of them will believe that the moon is made of green cheese. That proves that 1 person in 1,000 either (a) is ignorant or (b) likes to have fun with people who give surveys or (c) that Neil Armstrong has a wicked sense of humor. If you don’t discover which one, you can draw any conclusion that you want and then print it.

    Math is wonderful!

  5. Sparks says:

    @4 Richard thank you. Well said and very helpful.

  6. streetsweeper says:

    I like that little bit about “Data obtained”…Where do they get the data? FOIA the branches for information on UCMJ punishments or pull the number out of their ass and call it love story.

  7. Just An Old Dog says:

    Bah, No news here. Age old story, wars wind down, budgets get cut military has to draw down.
    When I was in Bootcamp one of our DIs were telling us that in the mid70s they had a time where they were offering and giving general under honorable discharges to guys that wanted an early out or had a few run ins.
    In the words of the immortal Sgt Richard H Taylor “Whole fucking formations disapeared”

  8. Green Thumb says:

    On the fence; numbers aside.

    If you act like a fucking idiot and cannot follow rules (as silly and asinine as they may be), your out.

    Its called discipline.

  9. A Proud Infidel says:

    I’m still in the NG, and lately it’s gotten MUCH easier for our Unit to get rid of slugs, PT Failures. Etc.