Tell me what you think...


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Hi all!

I have my formal PEB at the end of July, informal board found me UNFIT at 10% so med sep w/ severance pay (not combat related/combat zone) and VA has me at 90%

I am navy O2 surface warfare officer (SWO) with over 13 years active duty, prior enlisted Hospital Corpsman.

i was referred to PEB for optic nerve atrophy(ONA), causing me not to be correctable to 20/20 (best vision is 20/40) and visual field deficits. i never knew i had any eye issues until i started standing bridge watch i.e. binoculars increasing the visual blurriness, decreased night vision and balance issues.

my neuro ophthalmologist has declared that my ONA is a direct result of the head injury i had on 2009 deployment to Jordan (slipped off HUMVEE during training exercise and slammed head on hood on the way down)

Back to present, i am appealing because i want to be found FIT!! i agree i am unfit to continue as a SWO but i disagree that i am unfit for continued naval service! i know i would excel in a shore based capacity i.e. Human resources, supply, recruiting, joint command, etc.

Ok, here is my dilemma, the IPEB stated my condition was not combat related/combat zone (CR/CZ) because "thought to be from birth and well compensated" which is wrong and IMO easily refuted with my MEPS extrance physical showing zero issues with my eyes and at 20/20.

Lawyer said i have to either go appeal in hopes of being found FIT and not address the (CR/CZ) for a better chance of staying in. If they deny and i have to get medically sep, then appeal the CR/CZ after separating because the severance pay would be tax free and VA will not recoup the severance pay if found injury is CR/CZ. this appeal will most likely be thru BCNR and that usually takes 6-9 months!

OR accept the med sep w/ severance and just appeal that it is combat related and in combat zone.

OR add migraines as a referred condition, which my neurologist stated he would write the NARSUM/ADDENDUM to get migraines added since they came back at 30%, it would change my finding to a med retirement.

i just feel like i have a slim chance of staying in especially with the DOD memo on deployability, i am not sure if my ONA makes me non deploy able. i have no problem deploying again, i just can not do it as a SWO.

1) appeal to be found FIT with slim chance of it happening, then appeal process of 6-9 months to get classified as combat related
2) accept med sep w/ severance but appeal that condition is CR/CZ
3) add migraines and switch med sep to med retirement

sorry for the long post, i just am so stressed over this because this is a life altering decision, what happens at the end of this month with have life long effects. my wife is stressed, i am especially because i do not have a clear vision on what i will do in civilian secotr if i end up separating that will be able to support our 3 kids. we dont know where we gonna move to, and i hear this separation is like 45 -60 days after FPEB, that puts me potentially getting out in september.

thanks for listening,


PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
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Navydoc, a lot of unknowns. The legal advice you've received sounds pretty poor, i would pay out of pocket and seek legal advise Now. I would pursue a med board over separation and pay out of pocket for a second medical opinion to refute the IPEB. The Neuro ophthalmologist’s should have already provided a letter on your behalf to refute the IPEB claim. Make sure you get that completed Now....Just my thoughts, but i hope others can jump in and offer some guidance as well. Try and reach out to Jason Perry for legal advice/consultation, it may be money well spent....


PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Sorry, noted you are in the med board, at the appeal stage. If you take the BCMR route you are currently looking at 2-3 years maybe more, just to get through the board. If the board rules in your favor, you will wait another 1-2 years for corrections of paper work and pay adjustments.
Anyway, if you can gather evidence now regarding your migraines, with the letter from your neuro ophthalmologist to refute the IPEB on the ONA that should hopefully sway the board in your favor re:ratings. But also, acquire an updated memo from your commander detailing how your migraines and perhaps ONA impact duty performance (stating that they seriously impact your duties along with a recommendation that you be found unfit for this conditions), that would be very helpful. Or perhaps drop a COAD packet even if the board finds you unfit...but these are just thoughts...
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