Rebuttal - Please Help!

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by DakotaBorn, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. DakotaBorn

    DakotaBorn New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can anybody supply more information about a rebuttal? Are they for the service academies only, or also available for enlisted and/or direct commissions? If so, who do I contact about one?

    I am attempting to direct commission or enlist and I know this message board is for the service academies, but it is the only place I have heard anything about a rebuttal. Those who I have been dealing with and have asked either don't know anything about them or won't answer any question I ask about them.

    I was disqualified at MEPS for something a nurse practitioner had diagnosed years ago. Her specialty is something totally unrelated and she diagnosed what I had as two different things - only one of which is disqualifying - so I think that would support the fact that her diagnosis was questionable. I requested the medical records from the specialist doctor that she referred me to at the same time for the same issue, which I did not have when I filled out my medical history, and realized at that time he had diagnosed it as something which is not an automatic disqualification. I would think they would take the specialist doctor's diagnosis over one of the two from the nurse practitioner, but they have not. They asked me to see a current doctor and get a letter saying I never had the issue, don't have it currently, and there's no reason to believe I should get it in the future, and the doctor did just that, but they did not acknowledge it. It sounds like that's what a rebuttal is, but all my paperwork has been submitted to my recruiter, and I usually get a quick phone call from him that just says the DQ stands. It took over two months to get a copy of the original waiver denial letter so I could see what it actually said, and they still based the DQ on one of the nurse practitioner's diagnoses and didn't acknowledge the new health records or the doctor's letter I had sent in at all. I have read on this board that a waiver acknowledges the condition but allows entry anyway, and that a rebuttal disputes the fact that the condition exists or ever existed in the first place, which is my scenario exactly. I have no idea of the actual process that has been going on and have only been told that my waiver has been denied, so I am trying to find out if I can file a rebuttal or something similar.

    Please help - any info is appreciated!
     
  2. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Messages:
    864
    Likes Received:
    176
    I don't know anything about the process for MEPS. Have you looked at DODMERB website? There is a ton of information there.
     
  3. DakotaBorn

    DakotaBorn New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, I have looked at the website, but I did not see anything that mentioned rebuttals, only waivers. I sent them a long e-mail with more details about my situation hoping for some kind of information, and I was contacted back by the DoDMERB Deputy Director. He told me he would get the waiver authorities to look at it again, and I was told the waiver was still denied. He didn't address to my question about rebuttals, and I was told the reason the waiver was denied is still the same and they still didn't comment to me on why they are not acknowledging the additional health records or doctor's letter.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    DoDMERB quals or Disquals. Branches waive. Have you talked person to person with the recruiters Commander?

    I don't know which branch you are applying to, but be realistic, Army, AF, and Marines are all cutting personnel. They have more applicants than slots, and because of this aspect, waivers are being given at a lower rate than previous years.

    Approving waivers are not only a PCS, deployment issue, but also by agreeing that they accept you with a pre-existing health issue that can be life long. You do 20, and you will be 38 when you retire. Life expectancy could be 88 in 60 years from now, and currently you get VA medical coverage for the rest of your life. Nothing I would brag about, and most smart retirees avoid the VA like the plague. However, that is a cost to the DoD.
    ~ Think of ACA aka ObamaCare and pre-existing health issues. DoD can still deny for pre-existing regarding candidates/applicants/recruits if they do not meet the standards.

    I think you are probably better off now at least stating which branch you intend to enlist. This will allow you more direct guidance.
    ~ I.E.
    kp2007 is a flight surgeon...CG if I am correct
    Mabry is a doc in the Army.

    If you want to share publicly the medical aspect that can help too.

    Posting only broad base information equals broad base answes.

    Best wishes. Thank you for wanting to serve.
     
  5. JMS

    JMS Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    11
    I've not heard of anything called a 'rebuttal.' Did you mean 'remedial'?
     
  6. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,952
    Likes Received:
    4
    Direct commission? :confused:
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    JMS,

    There is such a thing called a rebuttal. It is done after the waiver is denied. I just have never heard of anyone having the decision reversed when they have yet to even spend one day in a uniform. It is a hard process even for those that are AD. It is also known as exception to policy in the AD world.

    Zaph,

    I had the same :confused: with the direct commissioned, but assumed it meant that they would come in as an NCO.
     
  8. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    444
    Not a big fan of Congressional, but asking your Congressman to help you out might do the trick. Not enough details, but it looks like the recruiter might be just dropping you because he or she doesn't deal with the extra paper work.

    Or go to a different recruiting station with full disclosure - I try to enlist, medically disqualified - but I shouldn't be DQed.
     
  9. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Messages:
    864
    Likes Received:
    176
    Direct Commission Officers are those commissioned without having to go through the typical commissioning process of Academy, ROTC, or OCS. It is reserved for civilians with a special skill set (think Doctor, Lawyer, Chaplain, etc). This program is still out there, but not nearly as utilized as much as it was during times of critical officer manning. Again, as most programs, the needs of the military dictate.
     
  10. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Messages:
    864
    Likes Received:
    176
    Dakota, I'm not sure which service you are trying to get into, but here is a link on how to go about getting around a MEPS DQ for Navy:

    http://www.navycs.com/blogs/2009/09/17/navy-recruiting-medical-waiver-process/comment-page-15

    From reading this, it sounds like you need to go directly to your service of choice to rebut/waive your DQ.

    Also, were you turned away from MEPS before a physical? If so, you could have your recruiter set you up with another document screening with MEPS with the new CORRECTED medical records and see if that will get you thru to the physical portion. Explain that your medical records were incorrect but you have had the incorrect diagnosis removed from your records.

    Next question, if you are trying to go direct commission due to a special skill, are you sure you go thru MEPS?. MEPS is an enlisted screening process. DODMERB is the commissioning medical screening process. For DCO follow the guidelines by the service you are attempting to direct commission in to. ( I am not familiar with DCO programs, so you might have to go thru MEPS, but check on this)
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    Falcon,

    I get what you are saying about special skill set, but I doubt they are either a doc or an attorney since they wouldn't be asking those questions here, and would not even consider enlisting as an option. I know there was that option years ago for even NCOs. I can't recall what it was called. I think it was called the Step Up program.

    Hence, the reason I think they are young, but have enough college credits to slide in as an NCO when they enlist and confused the term direct commissioning.Taking the C in the acronym as a direct commission.

    I also think the branch matters too. Currently, the AF, Army and Marines are cutting numbers. They have more demand than supply.

    Sorry Dakota, but again this comes down to a big picture perspective.

    If it was me, I would find a DoDMERB qualified Doc for the rebuttal. Or maybe contact a DoDMERB consultant and see if they can give you guidance. I say this option because for candidates/cadets the exam is valid for two years. I respect Member, but your records are in the system and just by going to another recruiter, the new recruiter will find out anyways, and most likely talk to the OIC at the old recruiting station for more info. You might want to combine Member's advice and the DoDMERB guidance if you go to a new recruiter.

    Hornet might be able to assist if you are going AF. Currently he is going through the Exception to Policy. He was Q'd for AFA, Q'd for UPT upon graduation. He was offered a Rand Ph.D fellowship, with a UPT follow on. During that time they changed vision requirements and became DQ for UPT. He is now fighting it via the exception policy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  12. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Messages:
    864
    Likes Received:
    176
    PIMA, ITA!

    STEP is Stripes for Exceptional Performers which allows expedited promotions with in the enlisted ranks for exceptional performers. There also used to be a Bootstrap program that allowed NCO's to go to school to finish degree and participate in ROTC and then graduate with a commission. During their time at school they were still being paid as they were before they started school and had all active duty military benefits. Bootstrap was discontinued by AF and replaced with the Educational Leave of Absence program.

    And I'm glad to hear Hornet is fighting his DQ. That really stinks, timing is everything.
     
  13. DakotaBorn

    DakotaBorn New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for all the replies. Sorry for the delay in responding, but it's been a busy week. I originally didn't go into details because I wanted to keep it short, but if they will help, here they are.

    I applied for the Navy Civil Engineer Corps with the Navy Reserves. I am in my mid-30s and I have been very physically active throughout my life, so I have a longer health history than most applicants. I am also a licensed professional engineer, which means I am detailed, so when I got to the health history section of the application I listed everything I have ever seen a doctor for, including sore throats, jammed fingers, sprained ankles, etc. I did not want to risk getting accused of trying to hide anything. I have lived in many different places, so I have seen quite a few different providers. Instead of requesting medical records from all of them, which could end up being quite expensive, I told the recruiter to let me know anything that may pose a problem and I would get the records for that. I had a long list but he said he didn’t see anything that he thought would be a problem, so he sent it to MEPS to look at before scheduling my MEPS visit.

    They agreed to see me, and when I consulted with the MEPS doctor he asked a lot of questions, but there was only one problem. I had marked on my application that I had once had eczema. He asked if it was actually diagnosed as that; I said that I thought so but I didn’t have all of my records. He asked me more about it, and after our discussion he said that it was an automatic disqualification but that he would recommend a waiver. After a month and not hearing anything, I called my recruiter, who told me the waiver was not approved by the Navy doctor and I was disqualified for history of eczema.

    This issue occurred when I had a rash over 10 years ago during the time I was in college. I went to the nurse practitioner at the university student health services. She diagnosed it as an “unknown rash” and referred me to a dermatologist. I saw the dermatologist, and he diagnosed it as dermatitis and gave me some rather inexpensive ointment that I used, which eventually cleared it up. My medical records from him say that he is hopeful that once it heals, it will not return. I had some ointment left over, so I would use it later whenever I had a scab or small patch of dry skin, and it would heal right up. Two years later, before I left college, I figured it would be cheaper to try to just get a refill of the ointment before I left than to have to schedule an appointment to see a new doctor in a new city after I move in the event that a rash like that would reoccur (which didn't happen). I went back to the student health services and saw the same nurse practitioner to see if she could prescribe a refill, which she did. But on the records from that visit, she stated “patient presents stating that he has a history of eczema.” I may or may not have said this, I cannot remember. I am not a medical expert and I didn’t know or care if it was called a rash, dermatitis, or eczema, I just know the ointment was cheap and worked well. Years later, after starting a new job in a different state with good health insurance, I had a small patch of dry skin and had run out of the ointment so I scheduled an appointment with a different dermatologist. She also diagnosed it as dermatitis and prescribed an ointment which worked quickly.

    My problem was that when I filled out the medical history form, the only records I had were from the nurse practitioner who had first called it an unknown rash, then later called it eczema. I did not have the records from the two dermatologists that diagnosed it as dermatitis, so I listed it as eczema. I called the recruiter to see what I could do to appeal the disqualification. He said get all the medical records and he would submit them. I ordered the records from the two dermatologists and that’s when I realized they both had diagnosed it as dermatitis, not eczema. I submitted the records from all three providers and wrote a long letter explaining my position and how I have never been prevented or hindered from any activity (multiple sports, traveling, outdoor activities) because of any issue with dermatitis. A few days later my recruiter called and told me that they said I need to go to any doctor (dermatologist, primary care, it didn’t matter), get checked out, and have the doctor write a letter saying I don’t have eczema, never had eczema, and there is no reason to think I should get it in the future. A few days later, I saw my primary care physician who checked me out, reviewed my records, and then wrote a letter saying exactly that. He told me that often the terms eczema and dermatitis are used interchangeably, but eczema is something that never goes away so it is not what I had. I sent that letter to the recruiter. Two months later, the recruiter told me I was still disqualified because of a history of eczema; even though I provided them with exactly what I was told was needed. Later on, I emailed the DoDMERB about my situation, asking if they could offer any guidance. The Deputy Director responded immediately and said he would get the waiver authorities to reconsider it. A few days later, I got another call from my recruiter and I found out the answer was still "no."

    I think I am a highly qualified candidate. I am a licensed professional engineer and worked as a structural designer of bridges for six years. I graduated college with a 3.88 GPA and was a member of multiple honor societies. I have been active in sports and feel I am in great shape – I just competed in the Duathlon World Championships and have recently bench-pressed 300 pounds. I was slightly over the maximum weight limit at my MEPS physical but I was measured and told my body fat percentage was very low so that wasn't an issue. I don’t have a criminal record (other than a few traffic violations), and I was an Eagle Scout (which should be an indication of my integrity) and a homecoming king (which should be an indication of my likeable personality).

    I had trouble deciding whether to apply for an officer position with the Civil Engineer Corps to take advantage of my engineering skills or for an enlisted position with the Seabees because I like to be physically active. I spoke with a different recruiter for enlisted personnel – he said he would sign me on the spot after I took a practice ASVAB and only got one question incorrect. If the problem is that there is not a position available for me in the Civil Engineer Corps right now and that is the reason I was not granted a waiver, I would like to apply to be with the Seabees, but with the medical disqualification I cannot do that.

    I don’t understand how one of a nurse practitioner’s two different diagnoses (unknown rash, eczema) is being taken over the same diagnosis (dermatitis) shared by two different dermatologists and a direct rebuttal from a third doctor. I have recently tracked down the bio of the nurse practitioner and learned that her special interests are mental health conditions and women’s health issues, not skin problems, which gives even more credence to the questionability of her diagnosis. I have contacted the university's student health services to see if they would review all of my records, including those from the dermatologist, and amend the records, but it happened so long ago that they no longer have any records of me.

    The only documentation I have been seen during this entire process are the application materials I initially submitted, the health records and letter from the doctor I submitted later, and the letter from the initial waiver denial, which wasn't given to me until four months after it was issued and I had asked for it twice. I don't know exactly what was submitted to the waiver authorities because my recruiter has done all that. I assume it is everything I gave him, but I don't know if it has been submitted under a waiver request or a rebuttal, or even if there are separate procedures for them or if they are the same. If my information has always been submitted for a waiver, I see little hope of success in continuing to pursue that. The only place I have read about or heard of a rebuttal has been on threads on this message board, such as on this post (serviceacademyforums.com/archive/index.php/t-22580.html). From what I have read (if that information is correct), a rebuttal is exactly what is needed in my situation and is much easier to obtain, but I have no idea how to pursue that.

    I hope that addresses some of the questions and hopefully will elicit more insight. I will reread some of the comments posted and address any of those I haven't already alluded to in this post.
     
  14. DakotaBorn

    DakotaBorn New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for your response and allowing me to clarify my situation by responding to your comments.

    I have not talked person-to-person with the recruiter's commander.

    I realize the military is cutting personnel, but if that is the reason for my denial, then I would prefer that they tell me that they have more qualified candidates, if that is true, rather than continue to base my DQ on a waiver denial that I feel I have unquestionably proven is without basis.

    I won't be 38 when I retire, as I am not far from there now. I am not looking to do 20 and retire, or to just take advantage of the benefits, I am just looking for the opportunity to feel that I have done my part. I will have good medical coverage through any engineering job I take, and I'm not looking to get my college paid for as I have already done that and paid/am paying for that myself.
     
  15. DakotaBorn

    DakotaBorn New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have read about the Congress-person option before, but I've also read it has little chance of succeeding. I may try it as a last ditch effort, but I wouldn't put much hope in it.

    Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  16. DakotaBorn

    DakotaBorn New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is the Navy, and I have already checked out that site, but thanks for mentioning it. I went back and forth with the CMO (I think that's what he is) who responded to my posts, and the only point of his that I didn't have an argument for was that seborrheic dermatitis, aka dandruff, can be disqualifying.

    I was not turned away from MEPS before my physical. The MEPS doctor who I talked with at the physical was also the one who looked at my medical history in advance and OK'd the physical. He said he didn't see anything in the prescreen that he thought we couldn't get past. He seemed skeptical of the eczema diagnosis and didn't seem to want to DQ me, but he said that based on the fact I told him it was diagnosed as such, he had to. The then recommended the waiver, which was turned down by the Navy. I cannot have the incorrect diagnosis removed from my records as the provider of the records has destroyed them because they were old and they have no more record of me. I may try to get in contact with MEPS and see if that doctor will see me with the records that I did not have when I first saw him and see if he can reverse his DQ. My recruiter has told me a few times that he doesn't see any more options or "try agains," so I don't know if I will get any help from him on getting another visit to MEPS.

    I am not sure if I was supposed to go to MEPS, but my recruiter is an officer programs recruiter and sent me there, so I assume that was correct. I was the only one of the 25-35 there that day who was not going the enlistment route. I did contact DoDMERB searching for assistance, and the Deputy Director responded. I assume he would have said something if I should have gone through them instead of MEPS, or if I could go back to MEPS to get the DQ reversed so a waiver was not needed, but he did not.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  17. DakotaBorn

    DakotaBorn New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am not an attorney or a doctor, but I am a licensed professional engineer. I am attempting to become a civil engineer in the Navy Reserves - civil engineers serve as officers and, having no prior service, I would attend Direct Commission Officer School. This is what I have been told and what is found on navyreserve.com/careers/engineering-applied-science/civil-engineering.html, so I assume the term "direct commission" is correct.

    I am asking the questions here because I can't seem to get answers anywhere else, and am hoping someone may have been in a similar situation and can provide me with some guidance. Enlisting is an option for me because at my structural engineering job, I spent 8 hours/day doing structural design on a computer, and often times I missed the days when I used to do physical work on a landscaping crew in the sunshine and fresh air, when the visual of my accomplishment was more than a computer file or a stack of paper. Engineering is my career, and to have a part-time reserve job where I can be outside and physically active is definitely an option.
     

Share This Page