Many of the nation’s professional soldiers cheat their way through psychological tests meant to see if they are mentally fit to be sent on missions abroad, according to a new report by the Defence Ministry.
The test was set up to screen out soldiers who should not be on active duty, but many have learned how to avoid raising alarms during the testing.
The report found that there was a strong correlation between test results, which could not be explained without some form of co-ordination between test-takers. The conclusion of the report was that soldiers were in fact more interested in being sent abroad on missions than getting their possible psychological problems unearthed.
Bent Fabricius, the head of the army officers' union, Hovedorganisationen af Officerer i Danmark, told Information newspaper that this poses a problem for the military.
“The worst case scenario is that we will send people on missions who should not be sent,” Fabricius said. “Those individuals might come home suffering more than they should.”
The military is set to initiate a new screening method already by next year, but according to the defence spokesperson for government party Socialdemokraterne, Bjarne Laustsen, steps should be taken sooner to ensure that only fit individuals get sent overseas.
“We should research if there is anything we can do as soon as possible to try to change the procedure,” Laustsen told Berlingske newspaper. “It is positive if a new screening method will be implemented next year, but until then we should look at where we believe the soldiers are cheating on the test and possibly create an extra test to strengthen the system.”
Laustsen believes that it is not just the individual that suffers when unfit soldiers get sent on missions abroad, but also the nation as a whole.
“It is important for society because it weakens our military and hurts its image,” he said. “It is furthermore bad for society if soldiers return home unable to readjust. Worst case scenario, they might end up being dependant on government welfare for the rest of their lives.”