Sub Disqualified. Options to Cross Rate?

seaexplorer

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#1
Hello,
My son was recently found to be disqualified for submarine duty and was then transferred off his boat to a limited/temporary division, and he has been given a choice of separating or return to sub service on condition of taking psychiatric medication. He doesn't want to take any mind altering drugs and he also doesn't want to separate. I told him to use his chain of command to ask about doing a cross rate to go to the surface fleet but he was told flatly those are his only two choices and it seems there is a weak C.O.C with the temp division he's in. He's been in for 2 years and it just seems like a raw deal because he got pressured into subs when he went to take his oath and he was doing so well until developing problems. He also says he never got screened psychologically for sub service. Does anyone happen to know if he has any options besides getting kicked to the curb?
Thanks
 

scoutCC

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#2
MILPERSMAN 1306-416 covers the process for not being in the sub service. Its difficult to say how serious his decision to decline treatment is, its quite possible it would disqualify him for the surface fleet as well. Without knowing the specifics its hard to say if its just a bluff to take the pills or get kicked out, but regardless, it should be regarded as a medical disqualification which should result in a MEB which should answer if he can go to the surface fleet (a fit finding). His decision to decline treatment will be considered for reasonableness when deciding if it effects his ability to be compensated.

I'd think the best solution is to go back to the doc and get into a real discussion about treatment options. I don't think just taking pills thrown at you is how it should be done. They talked about side effects, how long I would expect them, what the benefits are, what would trigger a worry and when a followup would be. I would be very cautious about turning down a trial run of meds. If they don't work or have bad side effects and you stop them and ask for different amounts or a different med, that's different.

I have a general dislike of psychiatry, but I think the mind altering argument is pretty slim. If your body is producing or not producing chemicals that cause you to feel anxious, sad, manic, etc., both things are altering the mind: The pill you take to change the chemical makeup and the body producing the chemicals. The important question is which is a reflection of your choice, the taking of the pill or the passive acceptance of your moods and emotions? He wants to stay the way he is, that's his choice, but they'll obviously evaluate his ability to continue in the service based on his current state.
 

seaexplorer

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#3
Thanks for the reply and for referring that document! I'm impressed you knew of such a document. I'm reading it now. One extra detail I didn't mention was my son had an accident while off duty and fractured several vertebrae, and by some miracle he recovered within 3 months and he says his issues started shortly after his accident. I just don't like that the Drs didn't even get into discuss finding the root problem and if he gets separated like this it might impact his career choices later in life. He has to give his decision tomorrow and I told him request a med board. I don't know if it will do any good. We'll know soon enough. Things are very different in the Navy today compared to when I was in during the early 80s, and not necessarily in a good way.