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Drug Testing Essay

1653 words - 7 pages

The company I will be writing about is an Infantry Brigade Combat Team. I am currently serving in the United States Army and this is the unit I am assigned to. Just to give you a little insight of what our company does, I will explain how it is broken down by Battalions and then Company’s. A brigade combat team consists of two combat arms branch maneuver battalions, and its attached support and fire units. A brigade combat team is generally commanded by a colonel (O-6), but in rare instances it is commanded by a brigadier general. A brigade combat team carries with it support units necessary to sustain its operations separate from its parent division.
The maneuver battalions are made up ...view middle of the document...

You have the Headquarters Company, four forward support companies that get attached to the infantry battalions, fires battalion and cavalry battalion. You have a distribution company, a maintenance company and a medical company. All these battalions make up in Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
The unit that I am assigned to is the 3rd Brigade Combat Infantry team, 1st Armored Division. We are currently serving in Afghanistan but we are originally stationed at Ft Bliss, Texas. We are stationed in El Paso which is right on the border to Juarez Mexico. Drugs are a big issue in this small community. We all know that young people can get influenced easily so it is our job as leaders in the United States Army to prevent soldiers from doing any type of drugs. That is why we have set regulations in place that talk about drug testing in the Army. Any type of illegal drugs used by soldiers and they will have actions taken upon them.

Drug Testing in the Military
By regulation, each military member must be tested at least once per year. Reserve members must be tested at least once every two years. This is done by means of "random testing." Basically, a commander can order that either all or a random-selected sample of his/her unit be tested, at any time. Results of random testing can be used court martial (Under Article 1128a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice non judicial punishment article 15, and involuntary discharges. This includes using the results to determine service characterization (honorable, general, or other-than-honorable). Soldiers do not have the right to refuse random testing. However, commanders cannot order specific individuals to take a "random" test. Those selected must be truly "random." Below is an explanation of how soldiers are drug tested and how the command and leadership determines who gets tested and when.
Medical Testing: This is testing which is accomplished in compliance with any medical requirements. Urinalysis tests are given to new recruits and falls under this category. As with Random Testing, results can be used in court-martials, article 15s, and involuntary discharges, to include service characterization. Members do not have a right to refuse medical testing in the military.
Probable Cause: If a commander has probable cause that a person is under the influence of drugs, the commander can request a search authorization from the Installation Commander, who is authorized to issue "military search warrants" after consultation with the JAG. Again, results of urinalysis tests obtained through search authorizations can be used in court-martials, article 15s, and involuntary discharges, including service characterization. Members cannot refuse to provide a urine sample which has been authorized by a military search warrant.
Consent: If a commander does not have probable cause, the commander can ask the member for "consent to search." If the member grants consent, the results of the urinalysis may be used in...

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