Medical Dis-enrollement Process?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by georgiejack1227, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. georgiejack1227

    georgiejack1227 New Member

    Apr 8, 2018
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    I am a 4th year cadet (3 yr scholarship). I injured my hip at a voluntary weekend ROTC obstacle in my 1st year but recovered fine after 8 weeks. But then re-injured in my 3rd year (right before school began, so really right before my 3rd year.) I did not go to camp between my 3rd/4th year because I required surgery to fix the re-injury. I am now nearing summer to go to camp but I am still unable to do a lot (run, ruck, jump, etc) without pain and taking pain meds. The surgeon wrote a note to ROTC that says I am 'able to do all activity that doesn't cause me pain' but unfortunately as stated, a lot causes pain still. Not unbearable in the moment (for example, if I had to run to catch my dog who got off leash I could do it physically) but not tolerable long term (in the dog scenario, I would be in pain all day from that small amount of running and need to ice/take medication asap or else be sore for days.)

    My problem is that no one will really inform me of what the medical dis enrollment looks like. I have been in close contact with my PMS and other cadre about my problems as well as my frustration that the doctor did not write a very useful note. Also I have been on profile since my re-injury (in late summer/early fall of my 3rd year. it is now spring of my 4th year.)

    I don't know how to ask about more information for the medical process. My cadre (especially PMS) have been uncooperative and if I ask questions, I feel that they believe I want to get out. It is not that I want to leave, but that I feel very stuck and un-informed. Another problem is that I am having trouble maintaining BMI (just barely) because I can not really even walk let alone run/do other cardio work to lose weight. PMS says I am overeating and being unhealthy but it's just un-true. I am just unfortunately and involuntarily sedentary due to my injury /pain and I worry that PMS will boot me for weight standards but they are caused by injury. I am afraid to ask questions and get booted out for in-genuine desire to serve. This is what I have wanted to do for a long time but I am not getting better and I need to know the next steps.

    I am also wondering if the doctors tell me I will be OK for duty after another surgery, Can ROTC force me to either get the surgery or else claim I did not do everything to get better? Does any one know what I would look at paying back financially? and if the cadre recommends I am dis enrolled for example for weight, Is the appeal process straight forward or not?
  2. AROTC Parent

    AROTC Parent 5-Year Member

    Nov 3, 2009
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    Don't get overweight - Work with your doctor or other medical provider and determine other exercise alternatives (swimming perhaps) and nutrition (limit intake in line with limited exercise). Even on active duty soldiers are held accountable to maintain their weight despite medical issues that prevent exercise. It's best to make the weight and not even have to be measured for BMI.

    Stay positive with your cadre regarding your willingness to serve - you don't want to be dis-enrolled for a 'suitability' or weight issue. Have you been going to PT despite not being able to participate? Hopefully you have shown this minimal amount of effort.

    Was your original surgery through Federal Workers Compensation and was a Line of Duty Investigation/Report Completed? - probably not based on your description. Did the 're-injury' third year actually occur during an ROTC activity? It could be costly if the original injury (MS1 year) is determined to be a preexisting condition.

    Paying this back financially could be very costly - search this forum for examples. Check your contract - I believe it lists what is required for payback. Appeal processes are rarely straight forward and if the payback costs are high (50K+ tuition ...) you should consider reaching out to an attorney with ROTC payback experience for guidance.

    You can't commission until you pass a PT test, attend Advanced Camp, and meet accession medical standards. How long did your doctor indicate it would take to be fully recovered?

    Edit: You also asked if ROTC can force you to have another surgery that would fix your injury - No, but they can dis-enroll you and make you pay it all back. As you haven't been released to full activity and possibly have another surgery required this could take a long time for resolution. A year from now, don't think this is resolved because you haven't heard back from the military. They will find you with a bill two or three years from now. Stay positive with your cadre if you truly want to serve - Pay it back if you don't want to serve.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
    kaylar and Oldsalt like this.
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

    Oct 21, 2010
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    Who raised the topic of medical dis-enrollment? Did you or the cadre? If you I can understand some (I can't find the right word) on their part. If you're forced out for a medical reason you can probably beat the payback (JMPO). If you['re forced out for BMI then that's on you and you'll be required to repay. As AROTCparent said, find other ways to exercise. Swimming might be a good alternative. I also don't see why you couldn't participate in upper body work at PT. Have you gone to physical therapy? Perhaps that's what's needed? I only suggest it as you didn't mention it. I think if you put in the effort you can, perhaps, survive this.

    Finally, don't treat this as a personal thing. It's business. If you're truly that injured and beyond repair, then should you really be in the Army? Is it good for the Army? Would it be good for you?
    StPaulDad and Oldsalt like this.
  4. Oldsalt

    Oldsalt 5-Year Member

    Sep 26, 2012
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    Search this board. You will see examples of people that waited to get legal advice and gave up some of their rights.
    Find a lawyer that specializes in this area. Learn what options you have and go from there.
    I would recommend not mentioning you have retained legal services until you have to. Knowing a lawyer is involved can be seen as a threat.
    Most units will work with you and some aren't aware of all of the options.
    Sign nothing until you have gotten professional advice.
    Side note: just because you saw that someone in a similar situation got treated one way, doesn't mean you will get the same treatment.
    Every issue in the military is handled on a case by case basis. The command structure has wide latitude to handle as they see fit within the regulations.

    Remember all the advice on this board is worth what you are paying for it. Get professional legal advice.