Today, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced a positive step in the continuing effort to reduce the stigma often associated with seeking professional mental health assistance. The Army requested and the Secretary of Defense won approval for revision of Question 21 on the National Security Positions Questionnaire (Standard Form 86). The revision now excludes counseling related to marital, family and grief issues. (The DOD policy is located at:

This decision should lessen concerns that psychological or behavioral health counseling may jeopardize security clearance or adversely impact careers. This change allows issues to be identified and addressed earlier - before psychological stress escalates to a more serious condition that may further impact the individual, the unit, Families and the Army's overall readiness.

Helping to maintain physical and mental well-being of Soldiers and Army Civilians will ensure we remain Army Strong!


George W. Casey, Jr.
General, United States Army