Active Duty officer with questions

ndiguy5

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#1
Hello All! I am an Active Duty Army O3E with over 16 years. I found out yesterday I will be receiving a COM OER. I am a first time non select to Maj. I expected to be passed over again. I expect that I will be offered TERA. I will then be over 17 Yrs. I have a few medical conditions that I are documented and some that are not. I am afraid to get seen for these because I don't want to be MEB'd with less that what I would get under TERA.
(1) I am currently dealing with a lower back problem it causes
numbness in the legs and has almost caused me to blackout on occasion.
(2) I am also dealing with short term memory loss and mild fogginess (Chemo Brain) Testicular Cancer
There are other things but these are the major issues.

Questions
(1) I have is Should I wait for TERA to be approved then start being seen for the Above mentioned conditions or start now?
(2) Can you receive TERA and disability? VA?
(3) Is it possible to service connect Testicular Cancer?

-NDI
 

pittpan2005

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#2
Hello All! I am an Active Duty Army O3E with over 16 years. I found out yesterday I will be receiving a COM OER. I am a first time non select to Maj. I expected to be passed over again. I expect that I will be offered TERA. I will then be over 17 Yrs. I have a few medical conditions that I are documented and some that are not. I am afraid to get seen for these because I don't want to be MEB'd with less that what I would get under TERA.
(1) I am currently dealing with a lower back problem it causes
numbness in the legs and has almost caused me to blackout on occasion.
(2) I am also dealing with short term memory loss and mild fogginess (Chemo Brain) Testicular Cancer
There are other things but these are the major issues.

Questions
(1) I have is Should I wait for TERA to be approved then start being seen for the Above mentioned conditions or start now?
(2) Can you receive TERA and disability? VA?
(3) Is it possible to service connect Testicular Cancer?

-NDI
(1)...will not address.
(2) Yes, provided you receive a VA rating of 50% or higher.
(3) Yes.
 

tony292

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#3
TERA is by far your best option, spend your last year on active duty awaiting your
2x nonselect getting all of your medical conditions documented.

Watch the MILPER messages regarding TERA though, if they end TERA before you get it, then a MEB and medical retirement are better than severance pay.
 

tony292

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#4
Also carefully calculate all of your years of service and timeline to when your 2x nonselect board results come out. The regulation states that once notified, you have NLT the first day of the 7th month to be out. So that's 17 years and 7 months. If you make it to 18, sanctuary applies and they have to allow you to stay to 20 and retire.
 

ndiguy5

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#5
Pittpan thanks for your input. I think it will be nearly impossible to prove my cancer is service connected. My oncologist said it is usually either hereditary or a result of exterior conditions. No history of Cancer in my family. I have a total of 27yrs military service 16+ of active. I entered active duty at 34. The usual range is 26-34, I got Testicular Cancer at 44. My oncologist will not say it is service connected.
 

ndiguy5

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#6
tony292 Thanks for that information. I was going to wait until after I am excepted into the TERA program, then start documenting the other things. I am worried that the Chemo Brain thing I am going thru may encourage my unit to start the MEB. I also have a secondary condition that worries me. Its is a result of Spondylolisthesis. While I was conducting a brief to the Brigade Commander I began to lose sensation below the waist. I almost collapsed this occurred off and on during my briefing. What we put our selves thru to be successful.
 

ndiguy5

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#7
Another question. If I am offered TERA and take it, but going thru my medical portion I am considered 30% medically disabled can my retirement be changed to medical instead of TERA? Also can I receive a 60% VA or greater rating even if I get below a 30% Medical rating. Thanks
 

tony292

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#8
I believe TERA trumps whatever medical retirement percentage you get. Only caveat is if you took the CSB/REDUX bonus at 15 years, TERA would make you pay it back, Chapter 61 medical retirement would not. At least that's the way it was when I was retired a year and a half ago, policies may have changed since then. Ask your legal counsel.
 

pittpan2005

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#9
Another question. If I am offered TERA and take it, but going thru my medical portion I am considered 30% medically disabled can my retirement be changed to medical instead of TERA? Also can I receive a 60% VA or greater rating even if I get below a 30% Medical rating. Thanks
Regarding the VA and DoD rating, they are separate. Regardless of whether the DoD assigns a 0% rating or higher, your VA entitlement is a separate issue. The DoD assigns a rating based on the VA's rating for your unfitting condition, but that is why most people have a higher VA rating than a DoD (VA rates all and DoD only the unfitting).
 

Jason Perry

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#10
@ndiguy5 ,
Sorry to hear of your health problems. Health problems by themselves suck. Add on pressure about career and that just magnifies the stress. Hope all goes well for you!

All that said, I think you are missing a HUGE and important factor in your possible MEB/PEB

Pittpan thanks for your input. I think it will be nearly impossible to prove my cancer is service connected. My oncologist said it is usually either hereditary or a result of exterior conditions. No history of Cancer in my family. I have a total of 27yrs military service 16+ of active. I entered active duty at 34. The usual range is 26-34, I got Testicular Cancer at 44. My oncologist will not say it is service connected.
See the EIGHT YEAR RULE:
  • (a) In the case of a member described in subsection (b) who would be covered by section 1201, 1202, or 1203 of this title [10 USCS § 1201, 1202, or 1203] but for the fact that the member's disability is determined to have been incurred before the member became entitled to basic pay in the member's current period of active duty, the disability shall be deemed to have been incurred while the member was entitled to basic pay and shall be so considered for purposes of determining whether the disability was incurred in the line of duty.
  • (b) A member described in subsection (a) is a member with at least eight years of active service.

10 U.S.C.S. § 1207a (LexisNexis, Lexis Advance through PL 115-40, approved 6/14/17)

No matter what, your condition should be compensable from the Army and service connected by the VA. We can run through other points (such as the presumptions of sound condition on entrance into the military, presumptions of service aggravation and the fact that it takes "clear and unmistakable evidence to overcome- "
"b. Presumption of Sound Condition for Members on Continuous Orders to Active Duty Specifying a Period of More Than 30 Days
(1) The Secretaries of the Military Departments will presume Service members, including RC members and recalled retirees, on continuous orders to active duty specifying a period of more than 30 days entered their current period of military service in sound condition when the disability was not noted at the time of the Service member’s entrance to the current period of active duty.
(2) The Secretaries of the Military Departments may overcome this presumption if clear and unmistakable evidence demonstrates that the disability existed before the Service member’s entrance on their current period of active duty and was not aggravated by their current period of military service. Absent such clear and unmistakable evidence, the Secretary of the Military Department concerned will conclude that the disability was incurred or aggravated during their current period of military service." DoDI 1332.18). But, doing so comes to the same result- your conditions are compensable and if they deny that, you will ultimately prevail on this issue.

I am worried that the Chemo Brain thing I am going thru may encourage my unit to start the MEB. I also have a secondary condition that worries me. It is a result of Spondylolisthesis. While I was conducting a brief to the Brigade Commander I began to lose sensation below the waist. I almost collapsed this occurred off and on during my briefing.
Your concerns are well placed. Based on what you have written, it would seem highly likely that (if they are on the ball and complying with regulations, particularly AR 40-501, Chapter 3) you will be referred to an MEB and then the PEB.

All of your conditions should be considered.

What we put our selves thru to be successful.
Yes...it is basically the default that members try to "suck it up," to do their best, and put themselves through hell to try to continue to serve. There is a place for strong effort to succeed and to perform duties as best you can. But, there comes a point where this is not feasible.

I hope my comments were helpful and I hope you get a good outcome no matter how your "case" proceeds. Best of luck!
 

ndiguy5

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#11
Just a minor update, my Rater and Sr Rater both screwed on my OER. I am pretty sure I will not hit 20yrs.
I took my frustration right to the DCO (05) and he spoke with my COL. I will be transferred to the WTB on July 7.
I will server as Bn's S4. Really happy about getting out of there who knows maybe I will make a few PEBLO friends.
 

ndiguy5

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#12
Spoke to my Urologist today he is going to put me on testosterone replacement therapy. Apparently my remaining fella isn't cutting the mustard. Hopefully this will help with my claim.
 

chaplaincharlie

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#13
@nidiguy5
It is past time to start getting everything documented! Best wishes for a successful conclusions. Mike
 

ndiguy5

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#14
Thanks Mike. I am starting to get everything looked at again I expect I will separate next July.