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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the U.S. Army: Recruiting and Readiness Implications

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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An all-volunteer force, the U.S. military faces a decreasing eligible recruitment population due to declining health, declining education, and increasing criminal history. This thesis examines one aspect that currently affects sufficient force capacity for the Army the increasing number of individuals with an ADHD diagnosis. Currently, in the United States under DoD policy, individuals with an ADHD diagnosis can, in some cases, serve their country, but just as long as they have not leveraged any of the evidence-based core treatments for ADHD. Increasingly, scholarship points to the benefits rather than the stigma of the neurodivergent population at large, including those with ADHD. Both other militaries and the private sector specifically recruit neurodiverse individuals, including the Israeli Defense Forces, which has created unit 9900, where neurodivergent individuals can and do benefit their country. This thesis suggests alternative insights that individuals with ADHD offer unique abilities that are best suited for military service and can be leveraged in emerging jobs, and further diversify the Army. The thesis presents a detailed literature review, subjective narratives from two current soldiers, and a comprehensive analysis that includes a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats S.W.O.T. analysis, as well as recommendations for future research.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Psychology
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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