Report: Majority of military misconduct dismissals linked to brain injury, mental health

The U.S. Government Accountability Office, or GAO, reported on Tuesday that the majority of military misconduct dismissals in recent years were linked to brain injuries, mental health issues, or certain other causes.

GAO's analysis of data gathered from the Department of Defense (DoD) shows, "62 percent [of] servicemembers separated for misconduct from...2011 through 2015 had been diagnosed within the 2 years prior to separation with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), or certain other conditions that could be associated with misconduct. Specifically, 16 percent had been diagnosed with PTSD orTBI, while the other conditions, such as adjustment and alcohol-related disorders, were more common."

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A cadet from the United States Military Academy holds a hat before the start of the Army versus Navy NCAA football game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 8, 2012. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL MILITARY EDUCATION)
Midshipmen look to the sky as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels perform a fly-over to begin the graduation and commencement ceremony for the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2015 in Annapolis, Maryland May 22, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
The graduating class of second lieutenants arrive at the Air Force Academy's Class of 2012 graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado May 23, 2012. REUTERS/Rick Wilking (UNITED STATES - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS)
WEST POINT, NY - MAY 25: 2013 graduating cadets celebrate after graduation at the United States Military Academy at West Point (USMA) during the 215 commencement ceremony May 25, 2013 in West Point, New York. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered the commencement speech for the class of 2013. Most USMA graduates are commissioned as second lieutenants in the US Army. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)
Female midshipmen, required to wear trousers instead of skirts for the first time, process onto the field for their graduation and commissioning ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland U.S. May 27, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy stand at attention during formation before the start of the Army versus Navy NCAA football game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 8, 2012. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL MILITARY EDUCATION)
WEST POINT, NY - JUNE 27: New cadets march in a courtyard on campus during Reception Day at the United States Military Academy at West Point, June 27, 2016 in West Point, New York. Reception Day is the day when new cadets report to West Point to begin the process of becoming West Point cadets and future U.S. Army officers. Upwards of 1,300 cadet candidates for the class of 2020 will report to West Point on Monday. The new cadets will begin six weeks of basic training before Acceptance Day in early August. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
United States Naval Academy midshipmen salute prior to the Army versus Navy football game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 12, 2009. This is the 110th annual meeting between the two teams. REUTERS/Molly Riley (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
WEST POINT, NY - JUNE 27: New cadets take the Oath of Allegiance during Reception Day at the United States Military Academy at West Point, June 27, 2016 in West Point, New York. Reception Day is the day when new cadets report to West Point to begin the process of becoming West Point cadets and future U.S. Army officers. Upwards of 1,300 cadet candidates for the class of 2020 will report to West Point on Monday. The new cadets will begin six weeks of basic training before Acceptance Day in early August. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
U.S. Marines take a pledge for their commissioning as officers at the 2009 U.S. Naval Academy graduation in Annapolis, Maryland, May 22, 2009. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES POLITICS MILITARY)
A second lieutenant bows his head at his Air Force Academy's Class of 2012 graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado May 23, 2012. REUTERS/Rick Wilking (UNITED STATES - Tags: MILITARY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY POLITICS)
Graduated midshipmen toss their caps in the air upon the conclusion of the graduation and commissioning ceremonies at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis May 22, 2009. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES POLITICS MILITARY IMAGES OF THE DAY)
WEST POINT, NY - JUNE 27: Hair is swept up at the barber shop on campus during Reception Day at the United States Military Academy at West Point, June 27, 2016 in West Point, New York. Reception Day is the day when new cadets report to West Point to begin the process of becoming West Point cadets and future U.S. Army officers. Upwards of 1,300 cadet candidates for the class of 2020 will report to West Point on Monday. The new cadets will begin six weeks of basic training before Acceptance Day in early August. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Midshipmen look to the sky as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels perform a fly-over to begin the graduation and commencement ceremony for the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2015 in Annapolis, Maryland May 22, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Cadets from the United States Military Academy at West Point pack the stands as they attend the Army vs Navy college football game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, December 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
WEST POINT, NY - JUNE 27: New cadets stand in formation during the Oath of Allegiance ceremony during Reception Day at the United States Military Academy at West Point, June 27, 2016 in West Point, New York. Reception Day is the day when new cadets report to West Point to begin the process of becoming West Point cadets and future U.S. Army officers. Upwards of 1,300 cadet candidates for the class of 2020 will report to West Point on Monday. The new cadets will begin six weeks of basic training before Acceptance Day in early August. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Cadet candidates for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point class of 2018 take the oath officially making them cadets during Reception Day in West Point, New York July 2, 2014. During Reception Day, the new cadets begin the process of becoming West Point cadets and future U.S. Army officers. They undergo administrative processing, fittings for their initial issue of military clothing, receive haircuts, medical and physical evaluations and begin their first lessons in marching, military courtesy and discipline. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: EDUCATION MILITARY SOCIETY)
WEST POINT, NY - MAY 25: 2013 graduating cadets toss their hats after graduation at the United States Military Academy at West Point (USMA) during the 215 commencement ceremony May 25, 2013 in West Point, New York. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered the commencement speech for the class of 2013. Most USMA graduates are commissioned as second lieutenants in the US Army. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)
WEST POINT, NY - MAY 25: 2013 graduating cadets celebrate after graduation at the United States Military Academy at West Point (USMA) during the 215 commencement ceremony May 25, 2013 in West Point, New York. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered the commencement speech for the class of 2013. Most USMA graduates are commissioned as second lieutenants in the US Army. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)
The Thunderbirds perform a fly-over as graduates from the Air Force Academy toss their hats in the air at the conclusion of their commencement ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S., June 2, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Graduates celebrate after shaking hands with U.S. President Barack Obama during the Air Force Academy commencement ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado May 23, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY)
Members of the graduating class listen to proceedings during commencement ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, May 28, 2014. U.S. President Barack Obama's commencement address was the first in a series of speeches that he and top advisers will use to explain U.S. foreign policy in the aftermath of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and lay out a broad vision for the rest of his presidency. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY)
Underclassmen listen from the back of the stadium as U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a commencement ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, May 28, 2014. Obama's commencement address here is the first in a series of speeches that he and top advisers will use to explain U.S. foreign policy in the aftermath of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and lay out a broad vision for the rest of his presidency. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
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It further reports, "Of the 57,141 servicemembers, 23 percent, or 13,283, received an 'other than honorable' characterization of service, making them potentially ineligible for health benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs."

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USA Today notes that "the GAO study also found that the Air Force and Navy failed to comply with Defense Department policies on screening troops for PTSD and TBI before discharging them."

According to the media outlet, in response to the report, the DoD challenged the accuracy of the statistics and asserted the figures put forward by the GOA are exaggerated. However, it did agree to ensure all branches are in compliance with protocols regarding PTSD and TBIscreenings and training in how to identify 'mild TBI' cases.

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