Medical Disenrollment

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by cja, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. cja

    cja New Member

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    Hello,

    Several years ago (2006) I came to this forum on DODMERB advice, specifically the waiver process for Asthma that hadn't bothered me since I was a child. The waiver worked, thanks in part to the great advice I got from so many of you! I'm very glad to see that this forum is still up and running and thriving!

    After two years of Army ROTC, in which I was a leader and very active participant (I was a member of the Ranger Challenge Team and commander of the Battalion Color Guard) I began to have trouble passing height/weight and the BMI test. However, I was passing my APFT. No matter how hard I trained and dieted, I still couldn't lose the weight. Finally, I sought answers from my doctor who performed a thyroid test. He gave me a statement indicating that I had been diagnosed with my hypothyroidism and was now in his care. I brought the documentation with me to my Battalion XO who proceeded to inform me that I would be disenrolled. This broke me emotionally, my entire life I'd wanted to be an Infantry Officer and made no back up plans. Several weeks later I received my disenrollment papers which merely stated that I was disenrolled for continually failing to meet the Army's standards for Height/Weight & BMI and made no mention of my Thyroid condition. YEARS have gone by since this happened (2009) and finally Friday, I received a bill from DFAS for close to $14,000.

    I called DFAS and they informed me that I can appeal the decision by submitting a personal statement and supporting evidence and they would make their decision. I just finished my personal statement and will be getting a letter from my doctor indicating that prior to the date of the first test, neither he nor I had any indication of a thyroid condition and that because of the condition it would have been nearly impossible to pass the BMI test as well as a copy of the test results showing the date of first testing that coincides with my disenrollment date (ironically, the meeting was the afternoon after I went to get the results).

    I'm also going to be CCing my Representative and Senator on all communications.

    I was wondering if anyone had any experience/suggestions with this?

    Have a great day!
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I would contact an attorney with military experience to see if this is legal. It may cost a few hundred dollars, but that is better than several thousand.
     
  3. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Sorry to hear that. Then you were improperly disenrolled, and if I were you I'd work to get that detail corrected. You need to be shown as disenrolled for a medical condition, not for failing the BMI test. Your point of contact on that is the Commanding General, ROTC Cadet Command. He was also the authority for disenrolling you. Then the bill will go away, if I am to believe several posters on this site who swear that you don't have a repayment obligation if disenrollment is due to medical reasons.

    At the time did you want or ask to receive medication for your hypothyroid condition so that you could continue in ROTC? Would that have been waiverable do you think?
     
  4. AROTC Parent

    AROTC Parent Member

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    It's unlikely still in Cadet Command's hands once the disenrollment has occurred. CJA may have made a mistake in accepting the disenrollment for something other than a medical cause. If the paperwork you signed when disenrolled as a cadet indicates something other than failing to meet Height/Weight and BMI provide it to your attorney.

    Appeal the disenrollment/recoupment with the assistance of an attorney. If hypothyroidism does not meet accession standards per AR40-501----fight it, though hypothyroidism controlled with meds is likely waiverable. Good Luck
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  5. cja

    cja New Member

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    Thank you everyone for the advice. I'm going tomorrow on lunch to meet with my doctor so he can dictate a letter to be transcribed on his letter head explaining that hypothyroidism would indeed explain the weight gain as well as the continued failure to pass the BMI test. I can't see any situation where the Army would allow a thyroid condition such as mine to be waived, especially when 4 years later I'm still working to get back to the weight I was and to control my thyroid.

    The disenrollment is infact out of the hands of Cadet Command, and now in the hands of DFAS. They're the organization that informed me about how to go about appealing it. I'm going to be sending them the information to get the ball rolling on this process. I was also told to CC my district's Senators and Congressmen. Does anyone have any thoughts on why this is?

    CJA
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Because they can go to bat with the bureaucracy for you behind the scenes.
     
  7. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Comments from the cheap seats...

    Every citizen has the right to ask their elected representation for assistance. In the case of issues within the military bureaucracy - and particularly when the chain of command is not working - citizens can seek help from their representatives.

    As an active duty member this approach can get very dicey. That is another subject all together. But in the case of a private citizen who feels mistreated by the military, this may be an appropriate approach along with the others recommended.

    I have no personal experience with this except as an active duty officer. When we received a "congressional inquiry" we had to drop everything, investigate thoroughly and report back within 24 hours.
     
  8. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Yeah congressionals are no joke and involve a mountain of paperwork...
     

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