MEB/ETS Concerns

Kota

Registered Member
#1
Hello everyone, I have just joined this site, though I have been searching on here for a while now.

Here is my scenario that I am needing help with:

Last year I was on emergency leave, a family member passed away. A day after the funeral I was driving down the highway in my hometown (SC) with my girlfriend, before I had to come back to Knox. We were T-boned at a high rate of speed by a drunk driver. We rolled 4-5 times at least and the impact was around 70+ mph according to the officers on scene. It was a hit and run of course, I am a medic so my first reaction was to make sure she was ok, then I chased after the drunk on foot as he drove away. I got a good ID on him and a tag number. He was found moments later. My issue is, before this happened I was going to get every Army school possible and go to college. Obviously I can't do the Army schools now that I have compression fractures in my T-Spine (T2-T7 I believe) also, of course with most of us soldiers, DDD, bulging discs...etc. As well as, sleep apnea (my sleep study showed 171 events per night, average of 21 per hour). I have deployed so I do still struggle with some of the events that happened while I was in Afghanistan but I have greatly improved. I am still very upset with the accident situation, as you can imagine. Most recently I had an MRI of my knee that showed: "...mild partial thickness articular cartiledge loss lateral patellar facet." Basically just wear and tear from me working in the hospital -hospitals suck- (And walking more than I should be!!!) I know this isn't major compared to what most of you folks have, but it is very demoralizing to be a 22 year old with 2 broken hands (2 Left hand surgeries), compression fractures with chronic pain in mid/lower back, sleep apnea, some behavioral health issues (nothing major, just depression and PTSD), chronic headaches (atleast 1 per day)..etc. The list goes on, this is just to give you pro's some insight on what I am dealing with to help me make an informed decision.

I have already fought the MEB I am currently undergoing as hard as I could. I went so far as to offer my PCM the opportunity to do a physical assessment every so often after my P3 was initiated to see if I could just get a P2....that obviously didn't fly.

So my current situation is this: I have fought tooth and nail with this command, it has covered everything from not being able to watch my family member die because I was required to do "AWT" training, instead of go on emergency leave. As well as including the changing of my profile without my knowledge through a provider I do not know, accusing me of abusing narcotics in front of my family who visited me while I was admitted shortly after my accident, etc...also this list can go on. I have used every resource I could before I just gave up, JAG, IG, Ombudsman, 2 congressionals, not so open "open door policies", everything made my life worse...so I stopped. I am in no way bashing leadership on here at all. I just know what good leadership looks like and I have not seen it here. I applaud you leaders who take your jobs and your authority seriously..I wish others could do the same.

My ETS is in June of this year (2013), terminal leave will put me out in late May. My last MEB appointment was today (16 April 2013), at the IDES center here. Now according to my PEBLO we wait...

What will I be giving up if I ETS? Will I lose any of my VA benefits? I know, I know...100 of you are going to say "TAKE THE MEB! FREE HEALTHCARE!"...well that may be true. Yes taking the MEB if I am found unfit and over 30% would be beneficial for myself and future family. I am just trying to sort all of this out with a poisoned mind and the NEED for success through a great education (mechanical engineering). If I elect to just ETS, I don't want to miss out on the benefits we would normally have under regular discharge scenarios. I think the most debilitating part about this process is infact the time, which my MEB was initiated early Jan, of 2013. I don't want to waste another year of my life, sitting around doing nothing....I joined the Army specifically to deploy multiple times, a drunk driver didn't allow me to do that. So I feel it's time for me to get out and make big $$$ and ENJOY a life worry free...and yes I do know life will be stressful in college having to deal with all of the douche bag frat kids....but I think I will survive...I think...
 

ranger2992

PEB Forum Veteran
#2
If you are officially in the MEB process, you will not have a choice to ETS. Your time will be extended to complete the IDES process. There is really now way around that unless you want to get thrown out for committing a criminal offense, or stringing together a bunch of smaller things to get kicked out. Not a good idea in my opinion, as you then would lose benefits.

At this point you need to ride this out. Let them process your case and keep your nose clean. It sucks yes, but it is also a good time to really focus on your plan after the Army. Work on your resume. Work on a school plan. Just work on whatever is going to make you more successful. Don't focus on how much you hate it and spend your energy working a plan.

Just hang in there and read a lot. Understand the process, as nobody will care more than you do.

Good Luck,

Joe
 

Kota

Registered Member
#3
If you are officially in the MEB process, you will not have a choice to ETS. Your time will be extended to complete the IDES process. There is really now way around that unless you want to get thrown out for committing a criminal offense, or stringing together a bunch of smaller things to get kicked out. Not a good idea in my opinion, as you then would lose benefits.

At this point you need to ride this out. Let them process your case and keep your nose clean. It sucks yes, but it is also a good time to really focus on your plan after the Army. Work on your resume. Work on a school plan. Just work on whatever is going to make you more successful. Don't focus on how much you hate it and spend your energy working a plan.

Just hang in there and read a lot. Understand the process, as nobody will care more than you do.

Good Luck,

Joe
Joe,
I appreciate the reply, I left out some things because I was rushing to get out of work when I typed this. I am actually able to ETS normally. I haven't encountered any resistance if I should choose to do so. In fact, soldiers ETS frequently even during the MEB process. I have spoken with many people at the IDES building here and some of them choose to do so, and then occasionally soldiers will forget their ETS is coming up and never extend (at least not until the last minute).

I am currently at the point now, where my terminal (transitional) leave packet is done. I have already completed my ACAP requirements. I have done everything necessary outside of actually out processing to depart from the Army. Just in order to prepare for my decision.

Also I think a lot of the Army folks over think school requirements and job seeking. I currently have 2 available jobs that I don't have to have a degree for that will get me over $20/hour. I agree working on a plan would benefit me greatly, but as I said earlier, trying to think with a clear head is difficult to do when all you can think about is taking care of your family and getting started on a life. I will have to talk to the counselor I see frequently to see if there is any guidance she can give me. I just want to cover all my bases before I decide to go out on my own and file with the VA myself.

Thanks!
Matt
 

AmyGallay

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#4
If a MEB is in process, your PEBLO will get your Commander to sign an extention for you to stay in until it is complete. I have never heard of a member given an option.
 

ranger2992

PEB Forum Veteran
#5
He is correct that he can't be kept past his ETS without consent. Reading in chapter 1 of AR 600-35 also states they must get his approval. Not much I can say beyond that, and of course that I wish you the best of luck

AR 635-40, 3–7. Retaining Soldiers on active duty after scheduled nondisability retirement or discharge date
A Soldier whose normal scheduled date of nondisability retirement or separation occurs during the course of hospitalization or disability evaluation may, with his or her consent, be retained in the service until he or she has attained maximum hospital benefits and completion of disability evaluation if otherwise eligible for referral into the disability system.
a. Officers and warrant officers on extended active duty may be retained on active duty according to the provision
of AR 600–8–24, chapter 1.
b. Enlisted Soldiers on extended active duty may be retained on active duty according to the provisions of AR
635–200, chapter 1.
c. Soldiers in the reserve components (RC) (other than active guard reserve (AGR)) may be retained according to
the provisions of AR 135–381.
d. Reserve component Soldiers serving on AGR status will be retained on active duty as prescribed in AR 635–20






AR 635-200, 1–24. Medical/dental care required or sick in hospital when period of service expires
a. A Soldier may only be considered for retention past the set release date when one or both of the following apply:
(1) Continued health care is required (must be in-hospital status but not necessarily occupying a bed).
(2) Physical disability processing is required or has been initiated. The request for retention will be submitted per
b and c , below. Soldiers determined medically fit for retention or separation will not be retained past the set release date.
b. A Soldier being retired for maximum length of service or maximum age will not be retained on active duty unless
his/her medical condition indicates referral of the case to a physical evaluation board. When retention is required, the
command request the Soldier’s retirement orders be rescinded. The request will include the medical diagnosis and expected date of case referral to the physical evaluation board for processing.
c. No Soldier will be retained beyond his/her scheduled release date without written consent signed by the Soldier.
(See fig 1–1.)
 

ceilingfan

PEB Forum Veteran
#6
Good luck, man. Just hang in there. And, as Ranger said, stay out of trouble...regardless of what you decide to do.

It sounds like you have a fairly good grasp of what you will be sacrificing if you do decide to ETS....so, ultimately, you have to decide what is best for you and your family. Everyone has a breaking point, and if your can't stay in the military beyond June, you can't stay in the military beyond June. You've served your country. Nothing to be ashamed of at this point. Yeah, will you possibly regret not going through with med board if you decide not to?...yeah. You may regret not just ETS-ing if you go through with the med board. :)

Either way, thrive to be the best you can be and always keep your head up.
 

Warrior644

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#7
Welcome to the PEB Forum! :)

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer."

Best Wishes!
 

gsfowler

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
#8
Some quick calculations based upon the original post lead me to believe that your contact is 4 years active duty and 4 years inactive. Your active duty contract may be coming to end, however you still belong to Uncle Sam for 4 years after June 2013.

The MEB will continue, even if you do ETS.

In my opinion you should do a medical extension, request to be transfered to a WTU and use the time to set up a proper transition plan to secure a better future for you and your family.

With the list of unresolved medical conditions you have given us, I think you are throwing your self into the fire and will not be sucessful if you ETS.
 

AmyGallay

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#10
And also, they find a way around all that by not signing your medical clearance to retire/seperate, which puts a hold on your retirement or seperation orders. That is what I have seen gets done when an MED is in progress. Then the member does not have a say...
 

Kota

Registered Member
#11
Some quick calculations based upon the original post lead me to believe that your contact is 4 years active duty and 4 years inactive. Your active duty contract may be coming to end, however you still belong to Uncle Sam for 4 years after June 2013.

The MEB will continue, even if you do ETS.

In my opinion you should do a medical extension, request to be transfered to a WTU and use the time to set up a proper transition plan to secure a better future for you and your family.

With the list of unresolved medical conditions you have given us, I think you are throwing your self into the fire and will not be sucessful if you ETS.
My contract was set up as "Active First Program" Ex: 2 years National Guard and 4 active. I have already served 1 NG and the 4 active obviously. So all I am missing is the last year of NG, I wish I could have at least finished it.

In regards to your comment on my success. You are wrong, and so is every other service member who holds on to the perception that being medically retired is a gift from God or something. I have a CAREER lined up already, should I choose to pursue it. FULL medical benefits including pre existing conditions. I have family who are EDUCATED and have been through the school I plan on attending. So my success is certain, I just need to work for it.

Too many folks get used to the military holding their hands and guiding them through life. Education through the military is poor (at least with online and local classes here), no support from leadership who most of which have yet to deploy...and garbage for pay. That being said I did initially join so I could deploy multiple times, however I did get injured so that will not happen. With all of that in consideration, who wouldn't want to go out and get a job that pays $60-$80k a year STARTING...you get your basic freedoms back, (which being able to carry concealed weapons is a big one, especially with recent shootings on Fort Knox)...the only downside is I have to TRANSITION, and complete SCHOOL (I think that's how it's spelled haha), which my units haven't allowed me to do much during my time in the Army.

Long story short; I love the real Army, the tactical - deployment aspect. However, the Army seems to be transition to more of a garrison Army, which was, and will always be pathetic. Too many lazy folks walking around complaining about dust on soldiers boots. Leadership positions should start requiring combat experience. Not promotion pads.

Anyways I know a lot of folks will probably be complain about this post, but that only solidifies it's truth. You can't base success off of having the military hold your hand. I would rather be truly successful and have benefits that ACTUALLY take care of myself and my family.
 

ceilingfan

PEB Forum Veteran
#12
Hey, man, you came on here asking questions. No one is attacking your stance or view on things--just trying to help and answer your questions from initial post.

Many members of this site do see medical retirement as a blessing...and in many cases a necessity. Many members on here are severely limited and disabled because of injuries sustained in war and/or training for war--and if you want to come on here and degrade those individuals (as a whole), you came to the wrong place. This is a site devoted to helping SM's and vets. Period.

As I stated in my original post, it sounds like you have everything worked out and the choice is yours on which way you want to go with things. Stop belittling those who are simply trying to help and give you perspective.

Good luck and I hope all works out for you and your family like you expect.
 

Jason Perry

Benevolent Leader
Site Founder
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#13
Bottom line, it sounds like you have a grasp of the situation. If you are not interested in the benefits you may be entitled to, then I hope you do great in your post-service life.
 

AmyGallay

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#14
My contract was set up as "Active First Program" Ex: 2 years National Guard and 4 active. I have already served 1 NG and the 4 active obviously. So all I am missing is the last year of NG, I wish I could have at least finished it.

In regards to your comment on my success. You are wrong, and so is every other service member who holds on to the perception that being medically retired is a gift from God or something. I have a CAREER lined up already, should I choose to pursue it. FULL medical benefits including pre existing conditions. I have family who are EDUCATED and have been through the school I plan on attending. So my success is certain, I just need to work for it.

Too many folks get used to the military holding their hands and guiding them through life. Education through the military is poor (at least with online and local classes here), no support from leadership who most of which have yet to deploy...and garbage for pay. That being said I did initially join so I could deploy multiple times, however I did get injured so that will not happen. With all of that in consideration, who wouldn't want to go out and get a job that pays $60-$80k a year STARTING...you get your basic freedoms back, (which being able to carry concealed weapons is a big one, especially with recent shootings on Fort Knox)...the only downside is I have to TRANSITION, and complete SCHOOL (I think that's how it's spelled haha), which my units haven't allowed me to do much during my time in the Army.


Long story short; I love the real Army, the tactical - deployment aspect. However, the Army seems to be transition to more of a garrison Army, which was, and will always be pathetic. Too many lazy folks walking around complaining about dust on soldiers boots. Leadership positions should start requiring combat experience. Not promotion pads.

Anyways I know a lot of folks will probably be complain about this post, but that only solidifies it's truth. You can't base success off of having the military hold your hand. I would rather be truly successful and have benefits that ACTUALLY take care of myself and my family.
Who the hell do you think you are? :mad:

First off I am educated. Apparently more so than you. You were guard for a year and still didn't use your education benefits. I was going to school full time, working full time, and living overseas. What were you doing for the 298 days you weren't drilling? Nothing, sitting on the couch, that's what.

Secondly, the Air Force was my career and I was getting commissioned. It was not "holding my hand". And that was me gettinging educated, not using my family's education like you.

Third, I do not have my medical benefits "given" to me like some welfare case. I earned them with 3 deployments, short tour, long tour, 3 medals, and 15 ribbons.

Seriously, who do you think you are making these awful statements you made. "Actually" Go find the "true success" and benefits elsewhere then. And get off this site.

Maybe your higher ups didn't support you because you have no filter for your mouth, no respect for those who have more exerience and more education than you.

Long story short: We do not need people like you on this site that make generalized comments about how "WE" are holding the militarys and goverments hands and that our benefits are like getting welfare. And we definitly don't need a dolt like you coming here and putting us down. We have enough to deal with.

Go "ACTUALLY" take care of your family and get off of here. Goodbye.
 

TSgt Twitch

PEB Forum Veteran
#15
Calm down folks he has his opinion, it sounds like the same delusional thinking that made my job as a recruiter easy. The sad thing is he talks about having a career lined up, a future, a plan- yet doesn't realize he had that coming in and a single event changed everything, it was not even a military related event but an everyday accident that could happen to any one any time. The difference being is that in the "civilian" job paying "60-80K a year" in reality will be dollar for dollar about what a 5-6yr service member makes and if an accident/attitude problems etc. forces him to be fired/terminated/laid off/ or he quits that insurance etc. goes away, the pay goes away and he has to come up with a new "plan".

Look Kota- rather any one here likes/agrees/disagrees with you, or you with any of us, and rather you hate what you have become and are facing the depression of disability or your an arrogant prick that feels the way you do, the process of the MEB/IDES etc. is there to help you in the future due to disabilities/injuries occurred while serving your country in an honorable status. To throw away a security blanket you earned because you feel unfullfilled and your supervision has thrown you out with the bath water and daddy doesnt hug you anymore, is at best a risky/stupid decision, and at worse potentially life ending.
 

ranger2992

PEB Forum Veteran
#16
Ok folks everybody has fired their first volley and expressed their opinion. At this point and time, wish him your best and move on. Nothing else will be gained by battling in this thread. One of the best parts about moderating on this board is the fact everybody tries to help each other out and outbursts are far and few between, and there is not much need to do anything but remove spam.

Point is, please don't make me moderate :)
 

Warrior644

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#17
Ok folks everybody has fired their first volley and expressed their opinion. At this point and time, wish him your best and move on. Nothing else will be gained by battling in this thread. One of the best parts about moderating on this board is the fact everybody tries to help each other out and outbursts are far and few between, and there is not much need to do anything but remove spam.

Point is, please don't make me moderate :)
Very well stated...;)

Best Wishes!
 
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