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What Is a Military Urinalysis?

By Misty Amber Brighton
Updated Jan 27, 2024
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A military urinalysis is a urine test performed on members of the Armed Forces. This test is primarily given to detect illegal drug use, but may sometimes be used to make a medical diagnosis. Service members are typically held in a controlled area until they are able to provide an adequate urine sample. The specimen is then placed into a capsule labeled with the soldier's identification number and then sealed before being transported to the laboratory.

In many countries, members of the Armed Forces are subject to random military urinalysis testing. These are often given without any advance warning to the soldier. A substance abuse officer may receive a computer-generated list of personnel to be tested. These individuals are then notified of their selection by the commanding officer.

Once a service member has been advised to undergo military urinalysis, he will likely be escorted to a waiting area along with other soldiers who were selected. In this location, water will be provided for the service members to drink. Once a soldier feels he is able to provide a urine sample, he will notify the testing officer that he is ready to complete the test.

Before completing the next step in the military urinalysis process, the service member will provide his military identification card to testing officials. He will then receive a vial to urinate in. Some countries require a soldier to be escorted during this portion of the exam in order to make sure he provides his own sample and does not solicit another person to provide one for him.

Once the sample is given, the service member will verify his name, service number, and rank. The information is then printed on a label and placed on the bottle, which is then sealed shut with tape. This is done in the presence of the service member in order for him to make sure the sample is not tampered with once it has been submitted.

After all samples have been taken, they are transported to a laboratory for testing. Technicians at the laboratory may check urine samples for evidence of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, or other illegal substances. If a sample reveals traces of these drugs, it is typically re-tested in order to make sure the data is accurate. In addition to checking urine for illegal drugs, samples may also be tested for commonly misused prescriptions. Soldiers who are found to have these medications in their system may be asked to provide a valid prescription or face court martial proceedings.

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