Currently in MEB process, CoC is threatening reduction in rank for height/weight failure

StarMedic

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I just started the MEB process about 3 weeks ago and had my initial meeting with my PEBLO last week. My 1SG informed me today that there has been discussion of administratively reducing my rank to SPC (I'm a SGT) because my overweight appearance reflects poorly upon the NCO corps. I am extremely overweight and have been enrolled in ABCP for about 8 months, but my problems with my weight are due to my medical issues which I'm now being boarded for. Is a rank reduction authorized? Is this something I should discuss with my PEBLO? Should I go to JAG?
 

Strumy

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As a former company commander I would give you this advice.
The bottom part is not what you are likely going to want to hear, but im going to give you some perspective.

1. Your first sergeant works for you as well as your commander. Ask him to help provide you and interpret the full regulations regarding administrative reduction in rank. Also ask him / your PEBLO for any regulations regarding PEB and prohibitions that may be established by the service. It is quite possible the one order does not mention anything while the other prohibits.

2. Speaking from the Marine Corps side - Just because you are overweight, and you claim that is due to your condition, does not mean that the medical officer will agree with you or that the regulations are on your side. Without knowing the army policies and specifics about your conditions I cant really speak to your situation. Ill clarify it with this.
2.a. Your knee is having issues. You cant run because of it. You claim this is the reason you are overweight. - In this case I personally would board you for reduction
2.b. Your having unexplained weight issues. Medical has run tests and there is a specific condition that is directly causing the weight gain. Medical officer confirms that your situation is caused by medical issue and makes you ineligible for boarding. - In this case it would be highly unlikely I would board you.

I have personally boarded Marines where a medical officer has claimed the condition is causing the weight loss (in every case it was the same doctor who in my opinion had medically unreasonable opinions)

I say all of this not to make you feel bad, especially if your condition is causing your weight issues, but I can tell you 100% of every Marine I have worked with that had weight issues claimed that medical issues were the cause. Knowing this is important either way in your situation so you know how to speak to your commander/1stSgt and medical staff.
 

AGR Kopasus 18

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As a former company commander I would give you this advice.
The bottom part is not what you are likely going to want to hear, but im going to give you some perspective.

1. Your first sergeant works for you as well as your commander. Ask him to help provide you and interpret the full regulations regarding administrative reduction in rank. Also ask him / your PEBLO for any regulations regarding PEB and prohibitions that may be established by the service. It is quite possible the one order does not mention anything while the other prohibits.

2. Speaking from the Marine Corps side - Just because you are overweight, and you claim that is due to your condition, does not mean that the medical officer will agree with you or that the regulations are on your side. Without knowing the army policies and specifics about your conditions I cant really speak to your situation. Ill clarify it with this.
2.a. Your knee is having issues. You cant run because of it. You claim this is the reason you are overweight. - In this case I personally would board you for reduction
2.b. Your having unexplained weight issues. Medical has run tests and there is a specific condition that is directly causing the weight gain. Medical officer confirms that your situation is caused by medical issue and makes you ineligible for boarding. - In this case it would be highly unlikely I would board you.

I have personally boarded Marines where a medical officer has claimed the condition is causing the weight loss (in every case it was the same doctor who in my opinion had medically unreasonable opinions)

I say all of this not to make you feel bad, especially if your condition is causing your weight issues, but I can tell you 100% of every Marine I have worked with that had weight issues claimed that medical issues were the cause. Knowing this is important either way in your situation so you know how to speak to your commander/1stSgt and medical staff.
That was an accidental like
As a former company commander I would give you this advice.
The bottom part is not what you are likely going to want to hear, but im going to give you some perspective.

1. Your first sergeant works for you as well as your commander. Ask him to help provide you and interpret the full regulations regarding administrative reduction in rank. Also ask him / your PEBLO for any regulations regarding PEB and prohibitions that may be established by the service. It is quite possible the one order does not mention anything while the other prohibits.

2. Speaking from the Marine Corps side - Just because you are overweight, and you claim that is due to your condition, does not mean that the medical officer will agree with you or that the regulations are on your side. Without knowing the army policies and specifics about your conditions I cant really speak to your situation. Ill clarify it with this.
2.a. Your knee is having issues. You cant run because of it. You claim this is the reason you are overweight. - In this case I personally would board you for reduction
2.b. Your having unexplained weight issues. Medical has run tests and there is a specific condition that is directly causing the weight gain. Medical officer confirms that your situation is caused by medical issue and makes you ineligible for boarding. - In this case it would be highly unlikely I would board you.

I have personally boarded Marines where a medical officer has claimed the condition is causing the weight loss (in every case it was the same doctor who in my opinion had medically unreasonable opinions)

I say all of this not to make you feel bad, especially if your condition is causing your weight issues, but I can tell you 100% of every Marine I have worked with that had weight issues claimed that medical issues were the cause. Knowing this is important either way in your situation so you know how to speak to your commander/1stSgt and medical staff.
Strumy, that like was an accident, I am sorry you are in a tough position
 

Strumy

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AGR - Based on your previous posting. you said you have been through the Army SgtMaj academy. I would think you would be in the perfect position to provide something constructive other than you liked my post by accident?
 

chaplaincharlie

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Very few conditions directly lead to weight gain. Ask your doctor if there is direct link between your weight gain and your health condition. If so, get a note to your command from your doc.
 

AGR Kopasus 18

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AGR - Based on your previous posting. you said you have been through the Army SgtMaj academy. I would think you would be in the perfect position to provide something constructive other than you liked my post by accident?
Strung,
My intent was to ensure you knew that I was not trivializing your situation by accidentally liking your post when scrolling through the forum.
I can give you knowledge from my background as an Army 1SG. It is the 1SG’s job to monitor the height weight program and ensure that you are counseled timely and monitored until you lose the weight And removed from the program, then follow up to ensure flag is lifted that is put in place to stop all favorable administrative actions whether it be schools or promotion. During this time in the Army you are required to be counseled by a nutritionist. Once The regulatory timeline to come within H/W standards has passed or you’re not showing continual improvement .... whether it be the Army or the USMC leaders by regulation have to take action at that point. I am definitely not a doctor, But if it is deemed that you could have kept the weight off by alternate exercises and modification of diet most of the time and not being medically removed for other conditions reduction is often the result. But hang in there.

One of my favorite Soldieks in my career I had to reduce inrank. Good news is that he was able to heal up get back within standards and I promoted him as quickly as humanly possible.

My recommendations keep your chin up and keep fighting, stay motivated, and I hope you have a happy holidays whatever that may be for you

Very Respectfully,
 

ljk1968

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I just started the MEB process about 3 weeks ago and had my initial meeting with my PEBLO last week. My 1SG informed me today that there has been discussion of administratively reducing my rank to SPC (I'm a SGT) because my overweight appearance reflects poorly upon the NCO corps. I am extremely overweight and have been enrolled in ABCP for about 8 months, but my problems with my weight are due to my medical issues which I'm now being boarded for. Is a rank reduction authorized? Is this something I should discuss with my PEBLO? Should I go to JAG?
Sorry to hear, I’ve been there. The unfortunate truth is they do not care about what medication you are on or what kind of profile you have, you are expected to maintain ht/wt. I was on several drugs that cause weight gain in addition to a strict(walking only) profile and had uncontrolled hypothyroid. I still was told it was not an excuse and they did a chapter for this. Thankfully HRC reversed it and I was able to medically retire. From my understanding, this is how these things usually play out. I would try to work with your command as best as you are able. Try to show some effort if you can. Maybe they will back off if they see you are truly trying but unable to meet their goals.
 

ArcticWarrior907

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IAW AR 600-8-19 para 10-4 a Soldier can be reduced in rank by a administrative board for either misconduct OR inefficiency.
You do not fall under either category because of your appearance. This is why AR 600-8 known as the ABCP program is in place. Again. your command can not and should not try to reduce you, unless you showed a pattern of misconduct or not qualified to perform your MOS in your skill level, i.e. skill level 20. Your inefficiency should be well documented and should show extensive counseling on you not being proficient in your MOS....not meeting height and weight is being dealt with in ABCP, not in Promotion and Reduction!!
Have a nice day..
 

ArcticWarrior907

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My recommended course of action would be to ask for a counseling by your CDR notifying you on the recommendation of a administrative reduction with the supporting documents attached to it. The administrative authority will have 30 days after notification to have the board convened, in the meantime consult with legal and get yourself on CSM calendar to talk to him utilizing the open door policy.
 

Strumy

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Arctic,

Im not a JAG nor an Army officer, so cannot speak to the legal interpretations that are prevalent within the Army.

I would submit the following though - Not maintaining weight standards seems to fit in the definitions of AR 600-8-19 inefficiency.
"inefficiency must be predicated on a pattern of acts, conduct or negligence that clearly shows the Soldier lacks the abilities and qualities normally required and expected of the Soldier’s rank and experience"
This does not limit reductions to proficiency within the MOS. One specifically mentioned in the manual is for the failure to

One possible very important part of this order for the OP (para 10-5)-
"administrative reduction for inefficiency is limited to sergeant and above and to one rank"

Thanks for bringing the reference in to this conversation. I think the second bullet is the OPs best solid argument if they qualify for that.
 

ArcticWarrior907

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I agree with you Strumy. However, he said that he has been enrolled in the ABCP for the past 8 months and assume that he is meeting the standard outlined in AR 600-8 during his monthly weigh in. I would see it as a stretch to try to reduce a service member when he is making progress. The reduction as you pointed out would be based on the inefficiency showing a pattern of acts, conduct or negligence that clearly shows the Soldier lacks the abilities and qualities normally required and expected of the Soldier’s rank and experience".
The reduction would not fix any problem and we can both agree that a overweight SPC also shows the lack of ability and quality expected of a Soldier.
 

RaiderX

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AR 600-9 Par 3-10 and 3-11 cover the medical requirements.

@StarMedic I highly recommend you look at these and take some initiative if this truly is the problem.

To me as a former NCO knowing the regulations was key to acting on command guidance and guiding my juniors.
 

heathro1281

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As a USAF Senior NCO, who is going through his own weight issues. My medical conditions impact my weight, but I could still have a better diet and personal management. My conditions contribute to but are not the CAUSE of my weight gain. There is a difference and I maintain standards, on the low end but still maintain standards even though it is made difficult by my medical problems.

To add the Air Force uniform wear and fitness regulations also add a bit of a catch all, they both state that the intent is to present a proper military image: cleanliness, orderliness and fitness. Both regulations also stipulate the commander has the duty to correct issues, even if the Airman is within fitness standards, to maintain a professional military image. This means that even if an Airman passes all portions of their fit test, if the Airman is still too large to portray a professional image (has to unbutton the blouse, to big to fit in untailored uniforms etc) the commander has a duty to help the Airman correct their image.

That being said, the power is usually in the unit commander's hands to maintain his units fit form and function
(rarely the commander over exerts their power of command)
. If the commander is over exerting power, then it should be evident in multiple cases.

Sorry this is another strong worded post, but it is the truth. In order to maintain discipline we have to adhere to our command until proven otherwise. If this is the case than I hope you find others who can strengthen your case that you are being unduly singled out, if not than I hope you can accomplish your goals you have set for yourself!
 

RonG

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I cannot resist.

Ref: "(rarely the commander over exerts their power of command) "

While I was stationed in Germany on one of my five tours, a local Army battalion commander (LTC) ordered that three soldiers be chained to pipes in the basement of a barrack built during WWII.

He was relieved in less than 24 hours.

Ron
 

heathro1281

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I cannot resist.

Ref: "(rarely the commander over exerts their power of command) "

While I was stationed in Germany on one of my five tours, a local Army battalion commander (LTC) ordered that three soldiers be chained to pipes in the basement of a barrack built during WWII.

He was relieved in less than 24 hours.

Ron
I try to use the word "rarely" because "sometimes" seems still a little too "often". There are many good to great commanders, but man the bad ones seem to be HORRIBLE. And a legit tip of the "holy crap" hat to your example. I was just meaning the cases of restricting leave or assigning extra hard labor for personal reasons.... I didn't know someone would bust out an example of near torture!
 

RonG

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I try to use the word "rarely" because "sometimes" seems still a little too "often". There are many good to great commanders, but man the bad ones seem to be HORRIBLE. And a legit tip of the "holy crap" hat to your example. I was just meaning the cases of restricting leave or assigning extra hard labor for personal reasons.... I didn't know someone would bust out an example of near torture!
I understood your intent and meaning. The comment just reminded me of a bizarre incident from circa 1982. In retrospect, I should not have mentioned it since it was off topic. I just remembered that the LTC was a U.S. Military Academy (West Point) graduate. I was the first sergeant (E8) of a unit just a few buildings down from the makeshift stockade.

My apologies,

Ron
 

heathro1281

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I understood your intent and meaning. The comment just reminded me of a bizarre incident from circa 1982. In retrospect, I should not have mentioned it since it was off topic. I just remembered that the LTC was a U.S. Military Academy (West Point) graduate. I was the first sergeant (E8) of a unit just a few buildings down from the makeshift stockade.

My apologies,

Ron
Don't apologize to me, I like old stories from grandpa in his rocking chair.
 
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