Voluntary Resignation

ASL

Registered Member
#1
Bottom line up front: About a year ago, I submitted a voluntary resignation after starting treatment for mental health issues, but before starting LIMDU. I have since been referred to a MEB/PEB, but already have separation orders for my resignation (received orders last November, to separate NLT 31MAY2018). I wanted to go into the reserves (before my psychologist and I agreed it would be a really bad idea if I ever deployed again) and stated as much on my request to resign from active duty (so if I were found fit to separate, I would be qualified to go into the reserves). I am aware that I can be referred to a PEB by instruction because my separation is not in lieu of a CM or due to any kind of misconduct for failure to select, but it's not clear to me what happens if I'm still somewhere between "referred to MEB for evaluation" and "accepted for processing by the PEB" when 31MAY roles around. At what point, and via what mechanism, would my separation orders be put on hold? Or am I just SOL?

Apparently this almost never happens, since no one from my psychologist to my PEBLO to the legal counsel I have been assigned as part of the MEB/PEB proceedings has an answer (though my counsel is still looking into it: I only met them yesterday).

You may just want to stop reading here with a reader beware: much rambling follows.

I am an active duty officer (Navy) with over 12 years of service. LCDR SWO nuke to be exact. I have been diagnosed with PTSD (it went from Major Depressive Order with Other Trauma/Stress-related Symptoms to Adjustment Disorder w/ Depressed Mood to PTSD over the course of about a year).

I initially sought treatment in March of 2017 because I was, among other things, suicidal, constantly having chest pains (psychosomatic) several times an hour, and being distracted by various past incidents (a deployment to Iraq which was, oddly enough, not technically traumatic and a shipboard accident before which actually was traumatic). It got to the point where I was not functioning well in my job and I was having a hard time being in charge of people (also, I'm a nuke, so I was responsible for overseeing operation of nuclear reactors too). Point being, I could not do my job and by May my psychologist decided to start me down the path towards LIMDU to get me off the ship. About this same time, I decided to resign my commission because I had decided I need to get out of the Navy or kill myself, one or the other (it was a promise I made to myself in Iraq: if I ever felt so bad again, I'd get the hell out of the Navy before putting a gun to my head, so I went with getting the hell out, wasn't aware of the whole PEB process and medical separation/retirement avenues).

No one in my chain of command, not even my psychologist, counseled me against this. They just took my resignation (while I was undergoing treatment for a known mental health condition, with that mental health condition probably continuing to my decision) and forwarded it for consideration without comment.

Anyways, fast forward to February 2018, my 1st LIMDU period is done and my psychologist decided I was "Fit for Full" (but not really: I still had the underlying condition of Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood listed as an unresolved condition requiring further treatment) and it was really just to let me be marked fit for separation so I could go into the reserves. Because I still had a diagnosed condition and was putting together my VA claim for disability, I continued regular sessions with my psych in February and March. By March, my psych decided I really did have PTSD and, based on what I told him and some things I told him about "sort of kind of dissociative episodes" I had in Iraq, that it would be a really bad idea of I ever deployed again. I explained that if that was the case, if I could never deploy in the reserves, I would probably get worse because all I ever wanted was to deploy again, it was the only reason I wanted to go into the reserves at all and in fact I would have chosen to deploy in March of 2017 rather than see a psych if the option had been available, I actually waited for my slate to come out before going to the psych (I saw/see deployment as a great way to either feel like I'm doing something worth while or, heck, maybe die and be out of my misery, and since my friend killed himself in Afghanistan, I decided if I was gonna off myself, I might as well do it in a combat zone too).

One of the reasons the diagnosis took so long is because there were a lot of things wrong with me when I sought treatment back in March of 2017 and the particular event in question was just one thing (on top of suicidal ideation, guilt over friend's suicide, some non-traumatic stuff related to Iraq, and career setbacks--that's where the "adjustment disorder" diagnosis comes from). I also didn't know how to describe/articulate my symptoms fully, in part because I had been living with some of them for so long that I didn't even think of them as unusual/potentially connected to the traumatic event (I had gotten so used to avoiding things, to being alone, to being a generally unpleasant person, and thinking about this event every day and experiencing somatic symptoms for many years to the point I didn't think it was even worth mentioning on top of all the other stuff, it was just business as usual to go through various PTSD symptoms in a usual day--the kicker is they got more intense about a year and a half ago and contributed to my career foundering). Also, I really didn't want to talk about this particular traumatic event in detail because I still get a pretty severe reaction when i go into detail on what happened. So I mentioned it happened and that it bothered me, but mostly therapy focused on everything else from March of 2017 until very recently.

Anyways, to sum it up, am I screwed? Because I really don't trust the Navy to do right by me and have this nagging suspicion that if they can boot me based off my already approved resignation then they will, even those I have bee referred for IDES processing with two months to go.
 
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