Help - Disagreement w/ Commander's Impact Statement

MyNeckAndMyBack

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Good morning, and thanks to whoever reads.

Air Force here. I was just informed that my unit commander, after asking me to draft my CC impact letter, intends to disagree with what I wrote and revise it to recommend a "retain" determination. I did meet with him some weeks ago and informed him of my intent to be found unfit and medically separate (or retire).

However, during this meeting and to my flight leadership since then, he's stated repeatedly that my duty performance is exceptional and that he doesn't "see" the problems I describe. This is based on feedback from my duty center and flight leadership. This is also after I told him that I've been struggling for 2-3 years now and with that "exceptional" duty performance comes crippling anxiety and ineffectiveness as an NCO. Yet, he still intends to write a strongly worded retain letter.

I guess my questions are:

1) How much weight do you think his statement will hold when compared to my statements and medical records?
2) Will the Medical Standards Directory have any impact?
3) What is my best path forward? To write comments on the 1185 and cite the MSD, run the reg through my chain and push for him to change his comments, or is there something else I can do?

Thanks in advance.
 

Russ35057

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I've been in your boat... the commander's impact statement Carries a lot of weight whether you are found fit or unfit... had it happen to me and then 6 months later same commander removed me from my Active Duty (AGR Air National Guard) Job due to unsuitability... since 2018 I've had to build my case and fight the impact statements with medical records and get the wing commander and IG involved in my cases... don't roll over and play dead... work with medical if you can to fight the impact statement. anso in comments you might want to rebut with your statements before you sign the document.
 

RGZWS6

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A lot depends on what it is you've been referred to the MEB for.
 

MyNeckAndMyBack

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work with medical if you can to fight the impact statement. anso in comments you might want to rebut with your statements before you sign the document.
Thanks Russ. I'm also seeing an off-base MH provider; do you think it would be beneficial for me to ask her for a letter to send to my PEBLO?

I've also already prepared my rebuttal comments for the 1185.
 

Russ35057

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Any and all supporting documents you can get... I've heard of things where people are unfit for duty but the commander impact statement said retain and they were found fit (some for heart attacks and more issues).
 

MyNeckAndMyBack

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A lot depends on what it is you've been referred to the MEB for.
I was prescribed lamotrigine (Lamictal), an anti-seizure medication that I was prescribed as a mood stabilizer and which is incompatible with military service, according to DOD and AF regs. Taking any anti-convulsant automatically triggers a medical review. In addition, I require continuous/ongoing psychiatric care and psychotherapy for MDD, GAD, and PTSD.
 

redkel

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It sounds like you've put huge effort into shielding your command and work center from the downside of what is happening with you, so they don't think it is really anything. It seems like you are almost required to be a discipline case in order for leadership to want to agree that you are unfit. Your commander should try to understand that you don't want to be a discipline case, but that you are out of energy to keep trying to "fake it 'til you make it", so you are trying to do it the right way by following the process. It would be great if someone would tell him or show him somehow what it would be like if you just let it all show and stopped trying so hard to be a good worker...I mean, like, if you acted like what you are really feeling. I would say maybe you could tell him that somehow, but they seem to be unable to hear logic during these things.
 

RGZWS6

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Your case sounds very complex. I'd gather that if your PCM and MH Providers contribute to the NARSUM in a way that reflects the true nature and severity of your condition, the CC's letter will more or less prove to be less of an influence. The PEB process will look at your ability to deploy as well as your ability to do the day-to-day duties. Although you may be functioning "well" at home, a deployed environment would more than likely show otherwise. Be sure you request copies of ALL of your off-base treatment notes for inclusion into your service treatment record/HAIMS. If those somehow get missed, your case won't be reviewed accurately.
 

USN_1997

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I was prescribed lamotrigine (Lamictal), an anti-seizure medication that I was prescribed as a mood stabilizer and which is incompatible with military service, according to DOD and AF regs. Taking any anti-convulsant automatically triggers a medical review. In addition, I require continuous/ongoing psychiatric care and psychotherapy for MDD, GAD, and PTSD.
I just got prescribed this medication yesterday (25mg to start). Where is the information your referenced stating that it is incompatible with military service?
 

USN_1997

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The impact of the NARSUM or the non-medical assessment submitted by your Commander can not be understated. You really need to try to get this individual on the same sheet of music, because it he writes it to recommend a fit finding, then more than likely you will be fit. Remember, the PEB’s only focus is can you do your job. Take the advise above and fight for the finding that you believe is in your best interest.
 

MyNeckAndMyBack

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
It sounds like you've put huge effort into shielding your command and work center from the downside of what is happening with you, so they don't think it is really anything. It seems like you are almost required to be a discipline case in order for leadership to want to agree that you are unfit. Your commander should try to understand that you don't want to be a discipline case, but that you are out of energy to keep trying to "fake it 'til you make it", so you are trying to do it the right way by following the process. It would be great if someone would tell him or show him somehow what it would be like if you just let it all show and stopped trying so hard to be a good worker...I mean, like, if you acted like what you are really feeling. I would say maybe you could tell him that somehow, but they seem to be unable to hear logic during these things.
That's exactly what I mean. I think I'll call my therapist tomorrow and see if she'd be willing to quickly whip up a letter for me to give to the NARSUM doc, or contact my PEBLO. Thanks.

I just got prescribed this medication yesterday (25mg to start). Where is the information your referenced stating that it is incompatible with military service?
DODI 6490.07 lists anti-convulsants as one of the medications precluding contingency deployment, and the USAF Medical Standards Directory lists it as a trigger for DAWG/IRILO. I'm not sure if the Navy has it listed, though.

The impact of the NARSUM or the non-medical assessment submitted by your Commander can not be understated. You really need to try to get this individual on the same sheet of music, because it he writes it to recommend a fit finding, then more than likely you will be fit. Remember, the PEB’s only focus is can you do your job. Take the advise above and fight for the finding that you believe is in your best interest.
You're right. I guess my only recourse at this point is to talk to the First Sergeant and spill everything, no matter the risk. Hopefully they don't send me to a facility.
 

MyNeckAndMyBack

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Registered Member
Update: spoke with my First Sergeant and got the command's POV, which is exactly what @redkel said. I explained my perspective as suggested and, though the commander most likely won't budge on his recommendation, I'm calling my counselor to request a letter and am getting another from my ex-wife. Thanks everyone for your help; I'll update as things happen.
 

Russ35057

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PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Great directions to go in. If some of it is for mental health then tell your ex be truthful and don't sugarcoat anything....
 
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