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Discharge Upgrade


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I recently applied to the NDRB and was granted partial relief (OTH upgraded to General); however, the narrative reason remained misconduct. I petitioned in Feb of 2020 and received my decision last week.

While this is an incredible accomplishment, I feel as if reapplying for further relief is warranted. Hopefully yall wouldn't mind to weigh in?

I served in USMC Infantry from 2008-2012 and deployed to Afghanistan twice. I sustained a TBI that is documented in my Admin Sep paperwork. I never received any negative counselings or page 11 entrys. I was discharged due to possession of spice. Nothing else or additional to that. Simple possession of spice. During the required screening (simple yes/no questionnaire performed by a Physician Assistant) for mitigating PTSD/TBI, I only answered yes to having headaches. At the time of my petition, I had been service connected by the VA for Combat PTSD at the 50% rate.

My argument was that the discharge was inequitable because drug seeking behavior is a symptom of PTSD in the DSM-IV under the avoidance category. Additionally, the no answers were actually also evidence of my PTSD because they are also avoidant symptoms. This, in addition to the VA rating, is evidence that I did have a condition that mitigated the misconduct.

The board gave their decision and stated that full relief is not warranted because they do not feel as if the severity of my symptoms completely mitigated the misconduct.

During the time that I was waiting for their decision, I was reevaluated by the VA and my service connected issues now are:
Combat PTSD 70%
Traumatic Brain Injury 40%
Migraine Headaches 50%
Ulcerative Colitis Secondary to PTSD 30%
Degenerative Lumbat Arthritis 20%
Tinnitus 10%
Left ear hearing loss 0%
Bilateral Bunions 0%

Considering all of the above does anyone think that I have a shot at making a compelling argument for full relief? I would think that this qualifies as new evidence that hasn't been previously considered.

I also found that the USMC updated their Admin Sep order to state that those being discharged while having PTSD/TBI are supposed to have a mental health evaluation done by a qualifying provider. I obviously did not have this done. Would this stand to offer any sort of credible argument for upgrade? Perhaps an actual Psychiatrist might have been able to spot the signs of PTSD in me better than a PA who asked a short yes/no questionnaire.

Thank you for your time.


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I concur with your assessment.
Just in case that wasn't clear enough, I think your situation warrants full relief and I would even challenge the narrative separation.

Semper Fidelis


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I think it will be an uphill battle, despite an association between PTSD/TBI and self medication.