Long time coming retiring Chief Petty Officer

BIGBLUE

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Well, I wanted to post my story for all to see. It's not to say that the entire military is bad but let's just say our Ethos and Sailor's Creed isn't followed at all. This will be a little long winded however, it's important to see a broad scope of the situation. I will start back to when my injuries first begun. Note in no way am i complaining I just think people need to hear this!

1998- While in the national guard as a Combat Engineer. Out on a FTX we were working with field artillery. An accident happened where a howizer fired without notification. I was standing about 10-15 feet from it with single hearing protection on. We had relaxed dual hearing protection before hand. Which ending up causing a TBI and subsequent right hearing loss.
1999- Switched over to active duty Navy.
2003- While onboard a Minesweeper during the Initial Iraqi invasion, exposed to constant gun fire/ explosives operations. Had an incident during a engineering fire where i was apart of the responding firefighting team where i slipped and fell down a deck in full FFE, and hurt my back. All documented.
2007- On a forward deployed ship had constant piercing back pain and bi-lateral foot pain. None of switch could be handled on a Minesweeper. had to "suck it up" until i recieved orders back stateside.
2010- Stationed with EOD as a underwater demo instructor. Also selected to CPO. Exposed to constant explosives operations/at sea small boat diver training. Had my first foot surgery in 2012. Took two years before podiatry had an opening. At this point with the rigorous physical training was taking a heavy toll on my body, by i tried to drive on. Contacted by my detailer that i needed to fill a critical at-sea billet in the 5th fleet asap. Medical cleared me even though i had a second surgury pending.
2013- Detach EOD and head to Bahrain with a stop first in San Diego for a month. I arrive in Bahrain to a crew getting ready for operations...let's get it! I'm feeling a little bit of a rush to train sailors who've never seen an actual mine go off, and doing their actual mission. The command notice me hobbling around and I let them know my body is jacked up. That i still needed a surgery to hopefully help me out. Little did i know they (CO, XO, CMC) could care less. Six months later we arrived back in San Diego for a six month off-ship training evolution.

Spoke with the chain of command again about conducting the second sugery while we were off-hull. They said no. Well, roger that, back to work! The six months have come and gone and back to the 5th fleet on-hull. My body really degraded within the first two months there. The Doc sent myself to the local hospital via Tricare for a second opinion. That doctor also concurred that surgery was needed. The CO did not like that. Plus, as a senior combat advisor to the CO i had to give him bad news about some navigation equipment on the ship. That would CASREP us at the highest level. He couldn't go to sea. What i recieved was a "roger that Chief, go fix it because i'm getting underway anyways!" The fix was completely out of my hands. We got underway anyways. I had to report this at a higher level and a investigation ensued. Here's where it became career ending....
 

BIGBLUE

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
2014- The command became very hostile from then on. It was the majority of the officers and all CPO's against me. Within a month they had me removed under the guise of I'm heading back to SD for "surgery." And which i did have the surgery and placed at a holding command. Three weeks into being in holding, i recieve orders to go to a "maintence command" across the street. All gloves were off from the start of checking in. Complete hostility from the CMC. About two months later the CMC was stupid enough to mistakenly CC me in an email from my prior CMC stating to "get rid of him!" And thats what this "maintence command" attempted to do. Using the PRT system as a catalyst.

2015- Placed on first limited duty. While on crutches and a cast made to do a weigh in. Of course I'm over weight and didn't make tape. Around the same time a had to complain to podiatry that something wasn't right about the surgical area. I was in stifiling pain and the area had developed what looked like a huge cyst next to it. Podiatry told me that this wasn't unual. BS! I kept complaining that this wasn't right. So, i was scheduled for an MRI of the area. Which found that the area was full of metal shavings from the previous work.
It was at that point that other medical reps emailed podiatry to let them know they couldn't just operate without placing me on medical board because i was two LIMDU's in. Podiatry reluctantly did another surgery to correct the problem against written policy. Oh, it was another round of PRT cycle where i failed weigh-ins again.

2016- Now hostility has risen to the CO level of said "maintenance command." He wanted me gone using the ADSEP process for failing three PRT's in a row. I'd never failed a PRT until showing up to this erronious command. And they proceeded with an ADSEP board. Using a network of people i knew, come to find out this was a whole operation to kick me out because i had to file an investigation on my previour at-sea command in the 5th fleet. A had a whole network of individuals who worked together. My podiatrist, the prior chain of command, the new chain of command, and others at Navy medical were working to get me out. This was brought to light during a Navy IG report i filed. My E-8 board recommendation was removed in 2015. It was at this time that i was assigned a medical case manager. She helped me out tremendously! She also got a taste of the backdooring that goes on in the military. Because she was helping me, she started getting slack from higher ups. I was placed on MEB for the first time. The attending physician was not onboard with even submitting a board recommendation. He stated that in his opinion, "I should just be ADSEP'd!" YES, HIS MEDICAL RECOMMENDATION WAS TO BE ADSEP'D! Of course i submitted a rebuttle. The VA came back with 90% overall and 60% (in total) for the unfitting condition. Navy board then said "20% and separate." The Navy took a combined 60% rating and came up with 20%. I filed a petition for a formal board in DC. However, this was in December and DC was having a snow storm. So, my lawyer recommended a phone formal board. He tried to understand how the board took a number, and broke it down to 20%. We couldn't get a straight answer from them and they still recommended i be medically separated. In March of 2017 i recieved offical word to separate at 18 years in. I contacted my congressional rep. Within two weeks, I recieved a phone call from Millington that they have seen the hostility going on and I was to be retained on Permanent Limited Duty and be removed from this "maintenance command."

Summer 2017- Arrive at new command with open arms. And they were briefed on what was going on. While offically on PLD the message states that you must conduct another MEB prior to retirement. So here's were I have my new MEB timeline;

  • Start the process in October 2018.
  • The very same podiatrist wrote the the NARSUM, however quite different this time. He wrote that he cuncurred with the VA previous assessment of my unfitting condition. Weird. No recommendation to be kicked out...Althought he wrote that the unfitting condition was "Bilateral foot pain." It was more than that!
  • December 2018 found unfit.
  • January 28th, 2019 PLD says unfit and again issues 20% when the VA.
Rated for the following; (ALL GULF WAR INCURRED)
  • Bilatteral plantar fasciitis with degenerative arthritis 50%
  • Sleep apnea 50%
  • Traumatic Brain Injury 30%
  • Right elbow strain 10%
  • Lumbosacral strain 10%
  • Bilateral patellofemoral strain w/ shin splints 20%
  • Bilateral foot halux Valgus 20% (THIS IS WHERE THE BOARD KEEPS PULLING THE 20% NUMBER FROM!)
  • Bilateral dry eye syndrome w/ bilateral pinguecula and pterygium 10%
  • Tinnitus 10%
  • With about ten other conditions rated at 0%.

So an overall 100% I signed my paperwork on February 8th, 2019. And recieved my offical message placing me on the Permanent Disability Retirement List for 20 years of service. If you add up the unfitting condition (foot pain...very vague) that's 70%. However, since the NARSUM was vague and not specific, it allows anyone to interpret it anyway they want. And i didn't fight their 20% because I've fought and won against a machine that eats people.

I'll leave with concurrent reciept of a twenty year Chief and $3352. 41 per month for teh rest of my life. It goes without saying that #1 the military doesn't care for you. #2 advocate for yourself. #3 do not be a sea lawyer but it pays to understand regulations and it's good to seek out people that's willing to help you! I'm not dogging anyone or fudging the truth, everything is well documented and i keep multiple copies of everything.
 
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