Delphi Website–Personality Disorders

Member Fuzzy Jim posted this on the HCV’s Delphi Forum:

Came across this article today in the VVA newsletter.


Press Release

March 22, 2012

No. 12-07


Mokie Porter, VVA
Rob Cuthbert, Yale VLSC
Zachary Strassburger, Yale VLSC

Newly Disclosed Records Reveal Hundreds More Illegal Personality Disorder Discharges; VVA Finds Navy and Air Force Worst Offenders

(Washington, D.C.)– Since 2008, the Department of Defense (DoD) has illegally discharged hundreds of veterans on the alleged basis of personality disorder (PD), denying them veterans’ benefits, according to a Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) analysis of newly disclosed records released today. The analysis further concludes that since Fiscal Year (FY) 2002, the Navy has discharged the most service members on this basis in absolute terms (7735), and in FY 2006 the Air Force set a military record for the Afghanistan and Iraq era when PD discharges accounted for 3.7 percent of all airmen being discharged (1114 of 29,498 service members).

The VVA report, Casting Troops Aside: The United States Military’s Illegal Personality Disorder Discharge Problem, is based on records obtained by VVA in federal Freedom of Information Act litigation. The report found that, since 2008, internal DoD reviews discovered hundreds of illegal PD discharges, and since FY 2001, the military has discharged over 31,000 service members on the alleged basis of PD.

PD can be used as the illegal basis for incorrectly discharging veterans suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The DoD considers PD a preexisting condition, and a PD diagnosis renders veterans ineligible for several benefits.

“On a veteran’s discharge paperwork it states clearly, ‘discharged for personality disorder,’ and not only does it keep veterans from benefits they may have earned, but it is one of the first things that prospective employers see. Anyone who sees the veteran’s DD-214 can determine the reason for discharge. ” said Paul Barry, President of VVA Chapter 120, Hartford, Connecticut.

“Shame on the Department of Defense,” said Dr. Thomas J. Berger, VVA Executive Director for the Veterans Health Council. “It acknowledged the widespread illegality of these discharges and changed its rules going forward but has left 31,000 wounded warriors alone to fend for themselves, denied even basic medical care for their injuries.”

In 2008, Congress directed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate illegal personality discharges. The Congressional pressure prompted new DoD regulations, but VVA has found that illegal personality disorders continued through FY 2010, and that since 2007, the total number of PD discharges has increased at least 20 percent, according to documents released under one of two pending VVA Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits.

In a document obtained by the FOIA lawsuit, a Navy report on 2008-2009 PD discharges noted that only “8.9 percent [of PD discharges] were processed properly. …This does not paint a pretty picture.”

Additionally, VVA analysis of DoD documents uncovered a two-fold rise in Adjustment Disorder (AD) discharges in the United States Air Force from FY 2008 to FY 2010 that may signal that AD discharges have now become a surrogate for PD discharges.

“Everyone agrees that illegal personality disorder discharges occurred,” said Robert Cuthbert, Jr., a student intern with the Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale Law School representing VVA in the FOIA litigation. “Some of these veterans may suffer from undiagnosed PSTD or TBI. The Department of Defense must act justly, responsibly, and promptly to help them heal.”

The report is available online at:

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation’s only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA’s founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.” The report was prepared for VVA by Melissa Ader, Robert Cuthbert Jr., Kendall Hoechst, Eliza H. Simon, Zachary Strassburger, and Prof. Michael Wishnie of the Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale Law School.

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation’s only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA’s founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”


Don’t let the Bastards wear you down.



About asknod

VA claims blogger
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4 Responses to Delphi Website–Personality Disorders

  1. peter says:

    The main thing is the turn over in VSO people, you may get someone real good or real bad. I had both through the V V A……They were a help with a lot of the paper work and typing. The main thing is stay in charge of your own case and double check everything…peter

  2. Kiedove says:

    31K PD discharges? Incredible. Even if it were true, what would that say about military recruiting tests and boot camp culling?

    Question: If you get help from a service organization (in addition to AskNod Academy online course), should Vietnam vets go with VVA, DVA, or does it matter?

    • asknod says:

      That’s a tough one. If you feel the need to use a VSO, as Peter said, make sure he/she knows their stuff. Query them on their prowess and familiarity with the requirements of the job. My DAV guy in 89 never even told me I could appeal to the CAVC. The AMVETS rep. left me in the middle. My MOPH rep.said tattoos were willful misconduct. He even tried to get me to file for TDIU when all I had was a pair of 0% ratings. You want the best. Do auditions if there are multiple opportunities. Don’t just take the first one available. Some are officious and won’t even talk until you sign a POA. Forget them. If you lose and begin your assault on D.C. with them, you are stuck until the bus stops at the CAVC.

      • Kiedove says:

        We have several choices in Minneapolis/St. Paul region. In 2010, We started an empty case with the DAV in Sept 2010. The VA sent a form 21-526 which we never sent in–too overwhelmed. (My daughter,,40years old,,died of a brain tumor that month leaving a husband and 5-year old daughter. We’re just now able to think about us and our needs in a meaningful way.) So we missed the year deadline and have to start anew. Back to my choices. In MN, the DAV and VVA help people with claims. Locally, I’ve discovered a a county service officer.
        I will ask him how long he’s been doing this work and how long he intends to stay on the job etc..
        Apparently, each county in MN has a mandated service officer.
        St. Paul is about 45 miles away. The local officer is only 15 miles away so that makes sense. I know that we’re going to need support through this process. (I guess that’s obvious since I’m hanging out at AskNod daily looking for information, advice and encourage and hopefully sharing some in return.) As AskNod said, used the word “uncleaniness” when dealing with the VA–I felt that when we got the non-service co-pay denial last week. But I will file a NOD with additional info.
        Back to the local SO. He was a Marine who served in Vietnam, I learned in a recent email.
        He has a lot of Marine Vietnam history records and told me that unfortunately, Combined Action Groups (CAGS) didn’t keep daily records because they worked in small groups in the villages. I have found monthly chronologies. We’re still waiting for records to prove combat action for HCV. But I’ve got to get something in soon.

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