Pilot PTSD MEB

afarcryfromsane

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Hello all,

I am new to this site and the MEB process, and despite all the research I have done, I have found very little about what could happen to me as an Army Aviator being recommended for MEB with PTSD.

Long story short, I am permanently grounded, just awaiting the permanent profile and permanent downslide within the next week or so. The only dq condition will be PTSD, it was a direct result from an aircraft crash and a portion of my symptoms go back to my 11B combat deployment as well.

From what I have been able to tell, the MAR2 process will kick it all off and see if I can serve the remainder of my commitment (about 2 years) in another MOS/branch. The tricky part here is that my prior enlisted MOS (11B) and rank (SPC) does not qualify me for other Warrant Officer MOS, so it would require a waiver for a branch transfer, approved by that branch chief. I will be honest, I do not desire to continue with the Army past my ADSO, regardless of MOS, and I would not request an MOS transfer myself. If i were re-classified it would only be needs of the army and I would not accept an additional ADSO.

My question(s) to this community are pretty basic

1) Will the army attempt to retain me in another branch/MOS, or will my lack of availability/time for re-training/PTSD diagnosis essentially ensure a recommendation for medical retirement on the TRDL?

2) What is the verdict on the permanent profiles limiting/restricting PCS/TDY/extended training away from installation? We are a busy unit with a dramatic shortage of pilots. The company is doing its best to protect me from off installation taskings, including one that is coming up very soon (possibly before the permanent profile is approved by Div). If I can tell the company commander that the profile will prohibit sending me away, it will make it easier for him to tell BN i am unavailable. I will say that they are at least reasonable enough that if we tell them the permanent profile will restrict certain things

I am sure I will think of others later, but these are the main two. I just kind of want to know what to expect as a pilot, and what type of limitations I and my command have while I am in the process.
 

LeoS

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This is off your subject but still on it per se. Hopefully, you are receiving regular counseling and have all of your treatment records.
Treat the MAR2/MEB/PEB process as a judicial process. Have all of your documents in hand, on a thumb drive and in a cloud for ease of access.
If you have not started going to a local Vet Center, do so. A Licenced Clinal Social Worker(LCSW) will assist you through cognitive behavior therapy. The Vet Center serves combat veterans with issues like PTSD and anxiety.
 

afarcryfromsane

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This is off your subject but still on it per se. Hopefully, you are receiving regular counseling and have all of your treatment records.
Treat the MAR2/MEB/PEB process as a judicial process. Have all of your documents in hand, on a thumb drive and in a cloud for ease of access.
If you have not started going to a local Vet Center, do so. A Licenced Clinal Social Worker(LCSW) will assist you through cognitive behavior therapy. The Vet Center serves combat veterans with issues like PTSD and anxiety.

Thanks for the tips!
 

oddpedestrian

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Anything with MH and flying just know there are a lot more long term consequences that can affect your flight career for life just keep that in mind I know it may not be a big deal to you now but it can be down the road.

Most likely an MEB/unfit/TDRL is what I would prep for.
 

afarcryfromsane

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Anything with MH and flying just know there are a lot more long term consequences that can affect your flight career for life just keep that in mind I know it may not be a big deal to you now but it can be down the road.

Most likely an MEB/unfit/TDRL is what I would prep for.

Yeah, I've been familiar with those ramifications before I even went to my first appointment. Its why I put it off as long as I did. I even considered going outside the army system. I just had to be at peace with what happened so I could make sure I was safe in the aircraft. It didn't work out exactly the way I wanted, now Im here.

Thanks, I kinda expect that, just making sure I wasn't seeing it through my own straw
 

Warrior644

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Welcome to the PEB Forum! :)

Indeed, you are your best advocate with the assistance of your assigned PEBLO while navigating throughout the DoD IDES MEB/PEB process for sure! Take care!

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer!"

Best Wishes!
 

afarcryfromsane

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Just a short update.

The Permanent profile initiated the MEB without the MAR2 process, as I was dq'd from 2 of the soldier tasks.

The permanent profile also answered the question of TDY eligibility, by stating the unit could not send me TDY until a fit for duty determination was made.

Within a week of receiving the permanent profile, I had been formally removed from flight status and flight pay status.

PEBLO has contacted me and the first bout of appointments have been scheduled.

My case is pretty simple, well documented in my records, and definitely linked to combat. Now it is just a question of timeline. We will see.

If i get any information relevant to fellow aviators, I will post it here. So far, the only part in the process where that has seemed to matter was the quick turnaround on the Permanent Profile. I suspect it will play a huge part in the fit for duty determination, but not much else beyond that.
 

afarcryfromsane

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Final update. My case moved very fast and im awaiting orders.

Here's the relevant update to this thread:

My duty status of a pilot made a big impact on my unfit decision. The physician who compiled the NARSUM repeatedly mentioned it, and so did the commander's form.

What was tricky, is that my duty status is not what they used to justify the unfit decision. While that is clearly the reason behind all this, they had to use the "cannot carry a weapon" and "cannot deploy to austere environment" justifications to move the case along. These phrases were used sparingly, and the reviewer was careful to explicitly state i am not a danger to myself or others.

My guess is that there is no device within the MEB/PEB process to capture the odd intricacies of the Warrant Officer Aviation branch. It is not very easy, or often possible, to just re-class to another WO MOS, as most have enlisted pre-requisite experience and rank.

I did learn that once removed from flight status medically, you are re-classified as a 153A which is am aviation warrant officer with no aircraft specific MOS. It allows HRC to use you in different roles in the army, but essentially guarantees you will not make your next rank. For those who are medically DQd but not found unfit, you would likely serve to the end of your ADSO in this MOS, teaching at Fort Rucker or working at Brigade as a planner, or as an LNO with another ground brigade. Since you don't fill a cockpit, it is also possible that your branch manager would be willing to find a way to get you out of your ADSO if you so desired.

Any pilots going through a medical DQ or possible med board, please feel free to contact me with questions. I had no resources when I went through this and kinda had to make it up as i went along.
 

NN33

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I’m currently going through this process right now and extremely stressed about it. It’s been about 6 months. I was diagnosed with PTSD, severe sleep insomnia, anxiety, etc. I’ve also been going to physical therapy for my back and shoulder but no xrays or anything to prove that I’m hurt besides the my flight PA sending me to the PT.

As you talked about they would possibly send me to a non flying job but at that point I would rather shoot myself than do that. I was in the infantry before and it’s just been non stop. If you have any other input it would be great input.

Thanks
 

afarcryfromsane

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PEB Forum Veteran
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I’m currently going through this process right now and extremely stressed about it. It’s been about 6 months. I was diagnosed with PTSD, severe sleep insomnia, anxiety, etc. I’ve also been going to physical therapy for my back and shoulder but no xrays or anything to prove that I’m hurt besides the my flight PA sending me to the PT.

As you talked about they would possibly send me to a non flying job but at that point I would rather shoot myself than do that. I was in the infantry before and it’s just been non stop. If you have any other input it would be great input.

Thanks

NN33, believe it or not, you are the third person to contact me (other 2 by PM) with almost exactly the same background as mine. Former infantry, pilot, PTSD/anxiety, etc. Additionally, one of my mentors/great friends who I flew hundreds of hours with is also facing the same thing. You are not alone. There is definitely some trending with regards to former combat arms. I digress.

If you would like to PM me, please feel free, but in order to know what to expect, I would need to know whether you are guard/reserve and where you are in your career, and where you are in the MEB Process.

In general though, if you get a permanent profile that prohibits you from carrying a weapon and/or deploying, you will be found unfit and placed on TRDL. You will not even be asked to reclassify if you have a 3 in your Puhles. I was not even offered the chance to re-class due to my PUHLES. I also spent 6 months on a downslip, came back up, regressed, went back down and the process started at that point.

Essentially, if you are already in the MEB process, started your exams, etc, you will not have to reclassify unless they find you fit. If you are a pilot who cannot fly, you will be found unfit. I believe my OMBUDSMAN said 98% of all cases result in unfit. The only ones that come back fit are the dudes with less than a year in the army that are clearly playing the system, or those in the MEB process for random conditions and they can't get their rating up to 30%. Mental health conditions will automatically put you on TDRL if you have a 3 on your puhles in most cases. I can't say with 100% certainty what they will do in your case, but you can likely expect to be found unfit and placed on TDRL.

I know of a few people who decided to take a non-flying job, but remained in Aviation, but they were within a few years of retirement (20 years) and doing your 20 allows you to stack your VA disability on top of your retirement, which you cannot do if you MEB at less than 20 years. Those are the rare exceptions. Like you , most pilots have no interest in the Army if they can't fly.

As far as the shoulder/back goes, you will get rated for it in your C and P process. They will do x rays. IF they don't see anything in the X rays, you will just get the minimum rating (10%) for each joint that is "painful in movement". It is not much, but it gets your VA rating up. It will not affect your DOD rating at all, but having above 60% VA opens the door to state benefits in a lot of states. Definitely claim everything you can reasonably claim. I didn't get out of hand , i only claimed things i had mentioned in my health record, and I didnt claim some things I should have and I ended up with 70%.

Please feel free to contact me directly and maybe I can answer your question a little more precisely.
 
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