G-1, Human Resources Policy Directorate
Supporting Soldiers, Families & Civilians – Active, Guard, Reserve and Retired
3 September 2008
Besides talking with this person, what other action should you, as a Chaplain, take? (Confiscate the SSG’s weapon, explaining that you are doing this because you genuinely care about her).
As a Chaplain and because you feel that the SSG is probably not able to fully perform her duties, you recommend that her Command consider a short period of rest and restoration. The Commander asks, “Why?” What information can you or should you release to the Commander? (Hopefully you would have already obtained a release of information from the SSG so you can be frank with the Commander. However, since the SSG’s condition can negatively effect unit performance you may discuss any information available to you about the SSG. You should release only that information which is pertinent to unit functioning).
When confronted with a case of potential suicide, what rules do you, as a Commander, use to decide what your best course of action is, e.g. referral to a Chaplain or mental health provider, versus possible UCMJ action, versus chapter action? (for discussion).
After referring this Soldier for a mental status examination, the examining provider recommends that the individual be placed on unit watch. As the unit Commander, you feel to do so would impair your ability to accomplish your mission, because the unit watch would tie up too many of your Soldiers. What do you do? (There are no right or wrong answers. For discussion.)
Instead of referring this Soldier for a mental status examination, you “strongly recommend” that she seek mental health consultation. A week later you learn that your unit is moving elsewhere in the theater. You call the mental health provider to find out whether or not this SSG can move with you. How do you respond when the mental health provider informs you that all contacts with the SSG were privileged and that, as a consequence, he/she cannot legally or ethically discuss the issue with you. (This is a tough issue. How does one balance confidentiality with a Commander’s need to know? Breaking confidentiality can create a distrust of mental health providers among Soldiers. Failing to break confidentiality could impact the unit’s performance. In an ideal world, the SSG would grant the provider provide to the provider a justification for the release of the information, such as evidence that such information is essential to mission accomplishment.)
Scenario #7 – Deployed Female SSG
TACTICAL QUESTIONS and ANSWERS: