Authorization for the Expansion of Pilot Program


PEB Forum Veteran

Thanks for the link.
This is an interesting document but after having spent five years trying to understand what planet Secretary David Chu came from, I am highly skeptical that this program will have a good outcome. David Chu has spent his entire career trying to short change soldiers in any way possible. I have seen this in his treatment of Reserve Component members called to active duty, especially the handling of their pay, allowances, benefits and orders. This guy supported 179 day active duty orders in order to deny soldiers VA educational benefits. The implementation manual is typical DOD double talk. If anyone has been through the VA claims process and has had a Compensation and Pension Exam then they will know that the "trained and qualified VA examiners" most likely are nurse practitioners and on occasion a general practitioner physician under contract to the VA. I guess the only good thing is that the exams will require the use of the VASRD and VA C&P exam worksheets, hopefully bringing the MEB/PEB in line with Congressional mandates. I believe this will be a real struggle in terms of execution and interpretation. I would not want to be a PEBLO trying to follow this manual. You could wallpaper the Pentagon with the flowchart alone. It is difficult not to be cynical in the face of what you have actually witnessed. I hope this program will provide the intended results for our military. Time will tell.



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PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I do not agree with most of Dr. Chu’s viewpoints and believe he’s a pretty mean SoB overall, but having worked in military healthcare financing for a good portion of my career, I also believe he’s probably one of the smartest people in DoD.

If he had not championed some very significant changes to budgeting, appropriations, and financial execution in the 90’s the cost of medical care would have seriously broken each service by now. Before those changes the medical branches of each service ran into the red every year (basically bankrupt every year). This forced each service to pull funding from mission programs (planes, ships, bullets, …) to cover the deficits which would have an impact on readiness. I know the medical system we have now is seriously flawed, but I guarantee that if Dr. Chu had not forced some totally new ways of business back then, we would not have a military health service today.

I know he’s still a mean SoB that rubs people the wrong way, but I see a man whose still trying to keep different parts of the overall DoD machine from financially breaking other parts (usually ends up being the war fighting part).

I took about a half hour to read over the new DES Pilot guide. I guess I have a different view, but this is actually a usable product. I could take this guidance and fly my PEBLOs in the right direction. I agree the flow chart is kind of crazy (hurt my neck trying to read it sideways). Also, believe it or not, but this is actually a vast improvement from the version that was published for the DC area med centers that started the test last year.

I do not envy whoever had to sit down and hammer this out. Remember it is a joint product between all the services and the VA. While you may think its double speak, to me it’s a pretty good attempt to bridge some extremely different ways of communicating.

Sometimes I get a little wrapped up in my thoughts that we as healthcare services can improve things, but I see a lot of hope in this program.


PEB Forum Veteran

I am glad to know that you feel this is an improvement and that you can see it working. If it will make your job easier then that is surely a good thing. And Dr Chu is certainly well educated and long serving but for a man who was schooled in Army Logistics he certainly made it difficult for me and my staff to fund, field and deploy Army Reserve and Guard units OIF/OEF. I truly hope this helps the system to deliver the healthcare services needed. The best thing to hope for is that no soldier has to enter the DES, but when they do perhaps this will ease the process. Keep up yr good work as a PEBLO.
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