Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Soldiers who enlist on moral waivers — more trouble in peace, but better at war?

I was struck reading an article by retired Army Col. Charles Allen in the November issue of Armed Forces Journal that a 2007 Army study found that: . . . soldiers who enlisted with moral waivers were more likely to have disciplinary action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and to be discharged. But ...

Flickr
Flickr
Flickr

I was struck reading an article by retired Army Col. Charles Allen in the November issue of Armed Forces Journal that a 2007 Army study found that:

. . . soldiers who enlisted with moral waivers were more likely to have disciplinary action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and to be discharged. But . . . such soldiers were also promoted faster in the infantry branch to noncommissioned officer (sergeant), more likely to re-enlist and received more commendations for valor than non-waivered enlistees.   

I was struck reading an article by retired Army Col. Charles Allen in the November issue of Armed Forces Journal that a 2007 Army study found that:

. . . soldiers who enlisted with moral waivers were more likely to have disciplinary action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and to be discharged. But . . . such soldiers were also promoted faster in the infantry branch to noncommissioned officer (sergeant), more likely to re-enlist and received more commendations for valor than non-waivered enlistees.   

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.