Flagged for Overweight after 3 weeks in MEB process?

Discussion in 'Army Info' started by scoutwarrior, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. scoutwarrior

    scoutwarrior PEB Forum Regular Member

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    Hello All,

    I have a question. Can an enlisted Soldier be flagged for "failure to meet Body Fat Standard" 7 month post surgery (2 level lumbar fusion) and 3 weeks into the MEB process?

    I am in the MEB process, attending appointments ect. Got called by my SGM to get weighed and taped. never been overweight or flagged in my 16 years on active duty or 5 years reserve time.

    Popped tape, over some, SGM says he is flagging me for it.

    Seems odd, please help.

    Thanks,
  2. carnelli53

    carnelli53 PEB Forum Veteran

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    scoutwarrior,

    Welcome to the forum. Unfortunately, this situation is common. There are two ways to approach this in my opinion.

    1) Ignore it. The SGM can flag you all he wants, but while pending a MEB/PEB you are flagged for a bar to re-enlistment anyway. I assume your profile would limit any 'corrective physical training' that would usually be implemented on Soldiers who are flagged for weight control. Also, your MEB/PEB takes precedence over any attempted administrative discharge. If my assumptions are correct, this 'flag' is an exercise in futility. The one bad thing that comes of this is you are now on the list of people who are "no-gos," the same list your company or battalion commander receives. I can see some needless irritation coming out of that.

    2) Inform your chain of command that while you are pending a MEB/PEB it is impossible for you to meet the standards of the weight control program (a profile limiting PT and AFPT completely invalidates their flag, see AR 600-8-2). Inform them that per your profile and AR 635-40 you cannot perform PT/AFPT and cannot be subject to administrative discharge, respectively. This may be a wise option if you are pending promotion or other types of favorable action, otherwise I would weigh the risk vs. reward in this situation.

    As you can see, what you should do depends on the substance of your profile. If it limits PT/AFPT participation I think option 2 would be the way to go. Either way, the end that a flag for weight control means to achieve is administrative discharge or return to favorable action status. As stated prior, you cannot be administratively discharged while pending a MEB/PEB (per AR 635-40) and if you can get back to a good weight without further injuring yourself, that's great! Only you know how your unit operates and how they would handle either approach, so it is up to you on how best to handle the situation. Good luck and please feel free to ask anymore questions.
  3. scoutwarrior

    scoutwarrior PEB Forum Regular Member

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    Carnelli53,

    I appreciate your response.

    I am in fact under a P3 profile, no lifting more than 5 lbs, essentially a (breath at own pace) lol.

    Body Fat% 1% over.

    I was counseled, ordered to make an appt with Nutrition Clinic, Submit a Physical Fitness Plan and advised that I am now enrolled in the (Army Weight Control program).

    My MEB doc recieved the mandatory memo, in turn he annotated; that I was "not medically cleared to participate in a weight control or exercise program" and " Soldier has a permanent medical condition that requires referral to a medical evaluation /physical evaluation board".

    As a Senior NCO myself, I posed the question to my SGM, " why are you going to flag me? you are aware that my NCOER and Master Aviator Badge are due this month"

    His response was, " the flag does not affect your MEB or retirement award " and " I am required to flag you, otherwise I would violate my integrity "

    He was not concerned with the APFT, only the fact that I gained a few pounds since my surgery. (not much at all really)

    I asked about the statement on the form " If medically cleared, Soldier will be enrolled / continued in the AWCP and administratively handled in accordance with AR 600-9" (I was not medically cleared)

    His response was; "That doesnt affect the flag, only if you were to be admin processed out of the army for weight control"

    I really dont know what to think, every regulation seems vague on the flag or doesnt mention it.

    Rather frustrating, concidering I have nearly 3 years combat time, decorated, am a E-7 up for E-8 in primary next year and have always been on his side of the desk for admin situations, hell I had to search for the soldier signature block, lol. I almost signed his block.

    Thanks again for your insight, even if he is in fact correct, its nice to have an impartial party take a look and recieve an honest answer.
  4. 42Adam

    42Adam PEB Forum Veteran

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    I recently found myself in this same situation. I've been in the Army for over four years without ever being flagged for anything. My unit knew I was going through the MEB, I popped tape a couple times, and now all of the sudden I was flagged and counseled last month. I jumped through the hoops, and went to the dietary appointments (you can never be informed enough about he poison the FDA allows people to consume), I'm trying to find out who does my medical exam, but I'm more or less just holding out until I go see my MEB doctor next week and have her personally fill it out, checking the boxes indicating I'm going through the MEB.

    I was never concerned with any of this, since I'm not worried about an award or a promotion. I could care less if my name shows up on the BN hit list, I'm not a bad soldier and they know that. Anyway, this all mattered to me this week when my SGM told me the unit was trying to push for a chapter. I respectively said, I don't think they can while I'm going through the MEB, he said he thinks they can, said thanks for the information and left his office. I've been scrambling with my VA Nurse, WTU reps, and even a guy on here to figure out how much truth is in the chapter. WTU says they can, it will have my MEB packet, and my overweight chapter, and the CG picks one. VA says, the CG will have a congressional on his desk if he approves my overweight chapter. And the regulation is vague, as always, but seems to state that they can't do that. A.R. 635-200 para 1-33; A.R. 635-40 para 4-3; A.R. 600-9 para 3-2 (the very reg cited on my counseling that states I will be separated under, well read toward the end of j. you'll see that an MEB might be considered "a good justified cause to stay on the overweight program").

    Hope this helps anyone, and if you have any comments or additional insight please share it.
  5. Jason Perry

    Jason Perry Site Founder Staff Member PEB Forum Veteran

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    They cannot separate you for non-misconduct/chapters that would result in honorable characterization. They can "flag" "counsel" or whatever, the real teeth in the law is always where money is involved. Improper separation will give rise to wrongful discharge claim and/or claim for retirement benefits.

    You cannot legally be separated for weight control issues while going through an MEB/PEB (or having conditions that warrant an MEB under AR 40-501 chapter 3) until final disposition of your case.
  6. 42Adam

    42Adam PEB Forum Veteran

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    Jason, I cannot thank you enough for the reply!

    From what I understand both the chapter and the MEB will ride somewhat together until I'm found fit or unfit and which ever chapter applies to me, will be applied. I.E.; If I'm found unfit, I will be medically separated; or if I'm found fit then I will receive an administrative separation. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's how I'm understanding it.

    It really burns me that they would even push this. I've got three diagnosed MEB sufficient conditions. Maybe they're just covering their back. But, either way they're giving me a sour taste in my mouth before I leave.
  7. 42Adam

    42Adam PEB Forum Veteran

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    UPDATE: I went to trial defense, they said I cannot be chaptered for weight while going through a MEB. But he also said units try all the time, so don't be alarmed, it's common ignorance.
    mike762414 likes this.
  8. David Nielson

    David Nielson New Member

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    Flagged for Overweight after 10+ months

    I have been told by my commander that i am looking at a being seperated for overweight if my meb doesn't speed up and beet my 90 day bar frome reenlistment what should I do to help with my situation?
  9. C_K

    C_K PEB Forum Regular Member

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    Can you tell me where exactly I would be able to find where is says in AR 600-8- (a profile limiting PT and AFPT completely invalidates their flag) or that per your profile and AR 635-40 you cannot perform PT/AFPT and cannot be subject to administrative discharge please
  10. carnelli53

    carnelli53 PEB Forum Veteran

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    See AR 635-200, 1-22.

    Also see AR 600-8-2, 1-15 regarding FLAGS.
  11. mustang33

    mustang33 PEB Forum Veteran

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    Today my CSM informed me that if a Soldier is enrolled in the overweight program and flagged for overweight that they (whoever is in charge of the MEB process) are now putting your MEB on hold until you come within ht/wt standards. She also told me that the peblo is calling DA to one of our Soldier's MEB packets and placing it on hold until she comes off the over weight program. And to top it off, that you can now be chaptered out for overweight even if you are under going an MEB. She said this became effective today.

    Has anyone else heard of this?
  12. Jason Perry

    Jason Perry Site Founder Staff Member PEB Forum Veteran

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    No, and if this happens, I would like to know about it. Ask for a reference/authority for this bogus statement.
  13. mustang33

    mustang33 PEB Forum Veteran

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    I will find out more on Monday. As this will affect two more of my soldiers. I'll post on here what I find out.
  14. MandaJo111

    MandaJo111 PEB Forum Regular Member

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    Mustang33, have you found out any more information? My husband has been going through the MEB process for over a year now and just busted tape today. He has been on a "P3 dead man's profile" this whole time. He broke his back in Iraq, walks with the assistance of a cane after a failed ALIF/PLIF at Walter Reed and has 12 diagnosed conditions on the MEB.

    While he hasn't been flagged yet we are afraid that it may come to that and are seeking any information on this matter. This MEB process has been dragging on as it is. We would hate to have anything else mess it up especially when he cannot do any PT/AFPT to include alternate events in order to correct the issue.
  15. lstrazza

    lstrazza New Member

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    So here is my question? Were specificly does it state that a Soldier can not be flagged for overweight while pending and MEB even more so, Im currently unfit for duty waiting my ratings. Do I have to take the height weight and can they legally flag me if I fail?
  16. Jason Perry

    Jason Perry Site Founder Staff Member PEB Forum Veteran

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    Read the thread from the beginning.
  17. unknown

    unknown New Member

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    I'm currently having a problem with my unit. My 1SG wants to flag me for being 2% over on body fat yet i'm 5 lbs under weight. He's making me lose 3-5% in 2 days or I get flagged and get "embarrassed" in front of the whole company. Can he do this?
  18. mearner

    mearner New Member

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    Flagged for Overweight after 10+ months

    Yes, your Commander can flag you for being overweight andover tape per (AR 600-9, even if you are under your screening weight); however, if you busted you should have been flagged immediately not in a few days.

    If you remain on the overweight program, you will beexpected to lose 3-8 pounds per month until you meet the BF standards and no matter what, if you tape on to the program, you have to tape off.

    That said, they cannot kick you out for being overweight if you are in the MEB process. See AR 635-200, 1–33.a: Except in separation actions under chapter 10 and as provided in para 1–33b, disposition through medical channels takes precedence over administrative separation processing.

    Being overweight is an administrative, Chapter 18, Dischargeand the medical processing takes precedent over it.

    My recommendation is to just cut some carbohydrates and drink only water or coffee for a few weeks. You can drop a few pounds even without exercising. I lost my leg and spent almost a year at Walter Reed. I got flagged for being overweight six months into the process. There is no way around the H/W standards, unless you have an underlying medical condition (notinjury). I was able to drop 21 pounds over four and a half months by cutting out bread, pasta, pizza, milk, and some other carbohydrate rich food I like. I ate eggs, meats, vegetables and cheeses mostly. When I got hungry I snacked on peperoni and cheese sticks. They have some calories but no carbs.

    If you cannot exercise, you do not need as many calories or carbohydrates as you did before. I know it is easier to say than do but try to get and stay motivated to beat the tape. It is just one less thing to worry about during the process.

  19. GI Joe

    GI Joe PEB Forum Regular Member

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    I don't understand why they would tape you if you were under your table screening weight. Something does not sound right here. His expectation to loose 3-5% body fat in two days is absurd and medically dangerous for you. The Army says a 3 to 8 lbs per month loss shows acceptable progress in the weight control program, but being 5 lbs underweight you should not even be considered for the weight control program.

    Your comments about getting "embarrassed" leads me to believe that you have what the Army is calling "toxic leadership" which the Army is trying to stamp out. I suggest you bring these actions/comments to the attention of your leadership by using your chain of command's open door policy. Let your immediate supervisor know that you will be using the open-door policy so they can't try to say you have an unauthorized absence from duty.

    By the way, he can't flag you until you have been counseled and have completed your medical screening. There are steps he must take or will have to explain why he imposed an erroneous flag on you. I know it is frustrating to deal with unreasonable people but stay professional so as to not provide them ammunition to use against you. Good luck.
  20. Robert Kopczyk

    Robert Kopczyk PEB Forum Regular Member

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    According to AR 600-9, Chapter 3-2d, A soldier cannot be entered into the AWCP if a medical condition exists. You need to have your Primary care Doc use the memo in AR 600-9, especially if you are going through an MEB. AR 600-8-2 States that you can only be chapterd or flagged if you fail or placed into the AWCP. So, If you are not entered into the AWCP then there can be no flag or chapter.

    MEB/PEB is a chapter 61. It does take precedence. The regulations do not spell every situation out and therefore are left to interrpretation, usually not in your favor. Use JAG and also use the MEB/PEB legal experts. I received my initial briefing yesterday and the first person to speak was the paralegal.

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