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AP Exclusive: Misconduct forces more soldiers out

AP Exclusive: Misconduct forces more soldiers out

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By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of U.S. soldiers forced out of the Army because of crimes or misconduct has soared in the past several years.

That’s as the military emerges from a decade of war that put a greater focus on battle competence than on character.

Data obtained by The Associated Press shows that the number of officers who left the Army due to misconduct more than tripled in the past three years.

The number of enlisted soldiers forced out for drugs, alcohol, crimes and other misconduct jumped from about 5,600 in 2007 as the Iraq war peaked, to more than 11,000 last year.

The data reveals stark differences between the military services, and shows the strains that long, repeated deployments to the front lines have had on soldiers and their leaders.

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