Back injuries not classified as Combat-Related

1steditionman

Member
Registered Member
Greetings.
I just went through my IDES process and got my Army and VA Ratings. I am mostly OK with the Ratings, but I feel I was not treated fairly by the Army, when defining the origin of my back injuries. The Army says these are not Combat-Related. When I went through the Medical Board/Physical Board process, I explained my back injuries (old injuries from Regular Army Service in the 1980's), were aggravated permanently on my 2010-2011 last Tour to Iraq. I was in my mid 40's, and the continuous use of the Armor (SAPI) plates, LCE, Kevlar, water and rifle on 12-hour shifts in an RPAT Yard, pretty much destroyed my back. The gear had to be worn. It was post policy and we were subjected to rocket and mortar attacks on Thursdays-Saturdays or whenever some important iraqi got killed. Sadly, and it is partly my fault for being old-school, tough-it-out, don't complain-kind of person, just took pain pills, laid down on the ground occasionally and toughed-it out. I don't have sick slips or a letter from a doctor from 2011 that I busted my back in Iraq. I only have a Post-PHA Assessment that states it. But the Army wants a Doctor's letter. This situation is slowing down my exit process, after >30 years serving and 3 deployments, I want to move on, now I have to begin a fight to get my injuries recognized as Combat-Related. Is it worth pursuing, or should I count my graces?
Ceasar
 

RonG

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Lifetime Supporter
Registered Member
Hello,

1. Do you have 20 good years for a RC retirement once you meet the age requirement?
OR
2. Are the more than 30 years service active duty?

As you probably know,
Number 1 = CRDP once the age requirement is met and you have a VA rating of 50% or more
Number 2 = CRDP immediately if you have a VA rating of 50% or more

CRDP restores waives retired pay not to exceed the longevity portion of retired pay.

Ron
 

1steditionman

Member
Registered Member
Hello,
I have 30 years combined (USAR, NG, RA, AGR), 17.5 Active Duty. I don't qualify for CRDP because of that. I could qualify for CRSC if I had my back conditions defined as Combat-Related. Yes, it is about the additional benefits, but it is also about the fairness for me. That's how I got injured and I live with it every day.
If I take the COAD option, CRSC/CRPD becomes unneccesary, so it's not about the money. It's about securing a fair status for me of a Vet wounded as a result of combat.
MEB/PEB LEgal has a plan for me but it will extend my exit past February 2021, and I'll have to physically present to a Board off-state (Texas). I am wondering if this is worth pursuing. I also don't want to p** o*** anyone there. I'm just thinking about the future, as far as defining my injuries and strengthening current ones.
Thanks for your reply.
Ceasar
 

RonG

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Lifetime Supporter
Registered Member
Hello Ceasar,

You said, "I have 30 years combined (USAR, NG, RA, AGR), 17.5 Active Duty. I don't qualify for CRDP because of that."

As I mentioned in my first reply:
1. Do you have 20 good years for a RC retirement once you meet the age requirement?
As you probably know,
Number 1 = CRDP once the age requirement is met and you have a VA rating of 50% or more

A reserve/NG individual will qualify for CRDP when,
--They have "20 good years"
and
--They have a VA rating of 50% or more
and
--Have met the age requirement for RC retirement

*Defining a Good Year in the Guard/Reserves: A “Good Year” in the Guard or Reserves means the servicemember earned a minimum of 50 Points. Service that results in fewer than 50 Points in a given year will not count as a Good Year. The Points still count toward retirement, but the servicemember doesn’t get credit for a Good Year.

A member is generally not eligible for Reserve (non-regular) retired pay until they reach age 60. However, any member of the Ready Reserve who is recalled to active duty or, in response to a national emergency, is called to certain active service after January 28, 2008, shall have the age 60 requirement reduced by 3 months for each cumulative period of 90 days so performed in any fiscal year after that date.

The other matters of which you are interested would best be addressed by:
@Guardguy11
@SFC H
@chaplaincharlie
@oddpedestrian

Ron
 

chaplaincharlie

Super Moderator
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Lifetime Supporter
Registered Member
I think CRSC is a long shot.

6306 DETERMINATIONS OF COMBAT-RELATEDNESS The following criteria, terms, definitions, and explanations will apply to making combat related determinations in the CRSC Program. 630601. Direct Result of Armed Conflict A. The disability is a disease or injury incurred in the line of duty as a direct result of armed conflict. To support a combat-related determination, it is not sufficient to only state the fact that a member incurred the disability during a period of war, in an area of armed conflict, or while participating in combat operations. There must be a definite causal relationship between the armed conflict and the resulting disability. B. Armed conflict includes a war, expedition, occupation of an area or territory, battle, skirmish, raid, invasion, rebellion, insurrection, guerilla action, riot, or any other action in which Service members are engaged with a hostile or belligerent nation, faction, force, or with terrorists. C. Armed conflict may also include incidents involving a member while interned as a prisoner of war, while detained against his or her will in the custody of a hostile or belligerent force, or while escaping or attempting to escape from such confinement, prisoner of war, or detained status. 630602. While Engaged in Hazardous Service Hazardous service is service that includes, but is not limited to, aerial flight, parachute duty, demolition duty, experimental stress duty, and diving duty. A finding that a disability is the result of hazardous service requires that the injury or disease be the direct result of actions taken in the performance of such service. Travel to and from such service, or actions incidental to a normal duty status not considered hazardous, are not included. 630603. In the Performance of Duty Under Conditions Simulating War In general, performance of duty under conditions simulating war covers disabilities resulting from military training, such as war games, practice alerts, tactical exercises, airborne operations, leadership reaction courses, grenade and live fire weapon practice, bayonet training, hand-to-hand combat training, repelling, and negotiation of combat confidence and obstacle courses. It does not include physical training activities such as calisthenics, jogging, formation running, or supervised sport activities. 630604. Instrumentality of War A. There must be a direct causal relationship between the instrumentality of war and the disability. It is not required that a member’s disability be incurred during an actual period of war. The disability must be incurred incident to a hazard or risk of the service. 2BDoD 7000.14-R Financial Management Regulation Volume 7B, Chapter 63 * November 2019 63-11 B. An instrumentality of war is a vehicle, vessel, or device designed primarily for Military Service and intended for use in such Service at the time of the occurrence or injury. It may also include such instrumentality not designed primarily for Military Service if use of or occurrence involving such instrumentality subjects the individual to a hazard peculiar to Military Service. Such use or occurrence differs from the use or occurrence under similar circumstances in civilian pursuits. C. A determination that a disability is the result of an instrumentality of war may be made if the disability was incurred in any period of service as a result of such diverse causes as wounds caused by a military weapon, accidents involving a military combat vehicle, injury or sickness caused by fumes, gases, or explosion of military ordnance, vehicles, or materiel. D. For example, if a member is engaging in a sporting activity while on a field exercise and falls and strikes an armored vehicle, the injury would not be considered the result of an instrumentality of war (armored vehicle) because it was the sporting activity that was the cause of the injury, not the vehicle. On the other hand, if the individual was engaged in the same sporting activity and the armored vehicle struck the member, then the injury would be considered the result of an instrumentality of war.
 

1steditionman

Member
Registered Member
Hello Ceasar,

You said, "I have 30 years combined (USAR, NG, RA, AGR), 17.5 Active Duty. I don't qualify for CRDP because of that."

As I mentioned in my first reply:
1. Do you have 20 good years for a RC retirement once you meet the age requirement?
As you probably know,
Number 1 = CRDP once the age requirement is met and you have a VA rating of 50% or more

A reserve/NG individual will qualify for CRDP when,
--They have "20 good years"
and
--They have a VA rating of 50% or more
and
--Have met the age requirement for RC retirement

*Defining a Good Year in the Guard/Reserves: A “Good Year” in the Guard or Reserves means the servicemember earned a minimum of 50 Points. Service that results in fewer than 50 Points in a given year will not count as a Good Year. The Points still count toward retirement, but the servicemember doesn’t get credit for a Good Year.

A member is generally not eligible for Reserve (non-regular) retired pay until they reach age 60. However, any member of the Ready Reserve who is recalled to active duty or, in response to a national emergency, is called to certain active service after January 28, 2008, shall have the age 60 requirement reduced by 3 months for each cumulative period of 90 days so performed in any fiscal year after that date.

The other matters of which you are interested would best be addressed by:
@Guardguy11
@SFC H
@chaplaincharlie
@oddpedestrian

Ron

I got my Reserves 20-Year Letter years ago. I got a VA Rating of over 50%. I'm not 60 yet. I'm allright with working until 60 and beyond if I am able. I'll get CRDP when I'm 60. My ratings are what they are and I accept them. But denying me recognition for the nature of my injuries is my issue here. The back injuries are recognized and diagnosed. I've had a permanent profile for years because of it. I've said it was from my last Tour, but the Army says it was not from combat. Claiming this involves a process where I'd have to move out of State and be present with an attorney, next year, and no warranties. Should I go through that or just forget it?
 

SFC H

Well-Known Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
“Sadly, and it is partly my fault for being old-school, tough-it-out, don't complain-kind of person, just took pain pills, laid down on the ground occasionally and toughed-it out.”
Most service members can relate. You may have to secure lay statements and along with your Post-PHA, seek legal representation.

First things first, the injury needs to be acknowledged as combat related before CRSC can be considered.
 

1steditionman

Member
Registered Member
Thank you all for the comments, guidance and advise.
Question: do 1-year long deployments lower the age when you qualify for Retirement (as per the 20-Year Reserves Letter)?
 

SFC H

Well-Known Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Thank you all for the comments, guidance and advise.
Question: do 1-year long deployments lower the age when you qualify for Retirement (as per the 20-Year Reserves Letter)?
Yes as long as the time served was title 10 and after January 28, 2008.
“A member is generally not eligible for Reserve (non-regular) retired pay until they reach age 60. However, any member of the Ready Reserve who is recalled to active duty or, in response to a national emergency, is called to certain active service after January 28, 2008, shall have the age 60 requirement reduced by 3 months for each cumulative period of 90 days so performed in any fiscal year after that date.

Ron”
 

Guardguy11

Super Moderator
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Thank you all for the comments, guidance and advise.
Question: do 1-year long deployments lower the age when you qualify for Retirement (as per the 20-Year Reserves Letter)?
Yes. Per the NDAA of 2008, for every 3-months of service on title 10 orders over a 24 month period, your retirement age is reduced by three months.

For example;
Title 10 deployment = Nov 10th 2015 - June 27th 2016 - 231 days

To calculate the 3 month period (365 / 4 = 91.25)

With the data I gave above, that would mean I hit two 90 day periods (182.50) so my retirement date would reduce by 6 months.

With the 231 days - 182.50 = 48.5 days remaining before I can further reduce another 3 months. I have 24 months from 27 June 2016 to perform 48.5 days of title 10 service to further reduce my retirement by 3 months.

Does this make sense? You can also go to the MyPers website and find the "Reduced Retirement Age Application" and see what days they show for qualifying reduction. If you have a copy of orders that are not showing, you can upload them here as well.

Hope this helps,
Brad
 
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