Its been awhile since I really posted anything, and I see lots of new guys logging in every day, so I thought I would give a quick update and give some lessons I have learned the hard way.

Well first I spent 6 hours yesterday evening with my division surgeon, trying to draft a memo the PDA read and act on. The issue in my case is that my narrative summary had mistakes and was incomplete. Its my belief and hers that the mistakes in my narrative summary predjudiced the board against me. The DCCS has agreed to withdraw my MEB packet based on this but the PDA is reluctant to give it back, and let me start my medical process over. So I should know in a few days whether one I am out of the army on 7FEB06 or I am starting the medical board over. The good thing is if I start the board over I will hit 8 years before its complete so I win on default. Which is probably why the PDA is not wanting to release my MEB.

For lesons learned.

1) Before you start the MEB process get knowledgable. I made so many stupid mistakes that affected teh outcome of my case because I was stupid, and thougt the system would work things out.

2) Do not sign anything, without taking your alloted time to review, and make sure every word is the way you want it, and everything is 100% factual. Besides the mistake in my NARSUM that I received a waiver in 1995 for lower back pain, there where numerous wordings that could have predjudciced the board in finding against me.

3) Don't relly on the Army lawyers to understand your case and do what is in your best intrest. I realized how bad my lawyer handled my case after talking with division surgeon yesterday. Based off his bad advise I shot myself in the foot on the appeals process.

4) If at anytime after your MEB is complete and you discover errors in it. Your first and probably only step should be to fight for your MEB to be withdrawn. If I had realized this back in OCT/NOV we would have been able to withdraw my MEB without issue, but because I went the established route and lodged several appeals, I have detrimantelly hurt my chances of this happening now.

Well I think thats it for now. I will post any other lessons learned as I think of them, and encourage anyone else that has specific lessons learned to post them here as well, so we have one good thread for new soldiers to read when they come accross the site to help them from making the same mistakes we made.


James Wollman