Did you know that candidates separated from the Marine Corps are never given a DD 214 or any other kind of discharge papers? According to my disenrollment letter:
You are separated as a Officer Candidate Disenrollment, Code JFW1. Your description of service is “entry level separation.” Members in this status do not receive a discharge certificate or characterization of service at separation.
So things are at a stand-still until I receive official orders to TDRL. It turns out because I don’t have (and won’t be getting) a DD 214, nobody is able to register me. All they can tell me at the national VA headquarters and at the local level here in Boston, is that cases like mine are handled at a regional level. Try calling your regional VA office and the call will go straight to the national headquarters.
A Marine Officer who graduated OCS in 1967 found my site and offered some excellent advice to getting things worked out. He recommended I get in touch with my local Disabled American Veterans. Let’s hope they will be able to assist me with the VA.
Last week I got a call from my contact at Newport Naval Hospital, she received the findings of my physical evaluation board. I have been found unfit for duty, received a 30% disability rating, and starting November 9th will be on the TDRL (Temporary Disability Retired List).
I was placed on the TDRL because my condition was not deemed “stable” by the PEB. While on the TDRL, I’ll be reevaluated every 18 months and limited to 5 years max on the TDRL. At the 5 year point, if not sooner during a reevaluation, I will be removed from the TDRL and either found fit for duty or permanently retired.
I am going to register with the VA tomorrow, and begin the next chapter of my life.
I have some pretty big news to those of you that have been reading my journal for the past couple years. It seems the higher-ups in the Navy have decided that I am unfit for duty, and should be discharged. They have recommended my case be submitted to the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB). The PEB basically reviews the medical evidence and makes determinations of fitness or unfitness to continue service. If the service member is found unfit, the PEB then determines the percentage of the service member’s disability compensation using the Veterans Administration Schedule for Rating Disability (VASRD). Depending on the severity of the injury, the service member either receives medical retirement or severance pay. Read more…
Categories: Marines, Medical disability, disabled, injury, marine corps, marines, navy, Newport, orthopedics, PEB, tdrl, usmc, va, VASRD
The time has finally come: I have been cleared by my orthopedic doctors at Boston Medical Center to return to full duty! They don’t need to see me anymore and as far as they’re concerned I can return to OCS whenever I am physically qualified to. I can finally start jogging and begin building my strength back up. I celebrated with a 20-minute jog around Fenway.
This doesn’t mean I’ll be back in the Marines anytime soon. I still need to get off disability, be cleared by the Navy, and finally have my waivers approved by the Marines and NOMI (Naval Operational Medicine Institute).
I have been looking forward to this for quite a long time. First step: get off disability.
I had my follow up appointment today. A doctor removed the staples from my leg; I was glad to see them go. Orthopedic specialist Dr. C. said the x-ray from the surgery looks great and that my hip is definitely 100% healed. There is a good-sized hole where the screws were so it is important that I keep off the leg for 4 more weeks.
Once I’m walking unassisted and given an OK by the ortho docs, I’m going to finally attempt to get off disability and be cleared “fit for duty.” As I’ve explained, this doesn’t mean that I’ll be immediately returning to active duty. What it does mean is that I can reapply for OCS (assuming the higher-ups approve of it) and start the lengthy waiver process.
At this time, I can apply for OCC-197 or PLC 2nd Increment 2008. OCC-197 starts in January of 2008, which will give me a little over 6 months of training (if all goes well). If that doesn’t happen, I’ll just wait for PLC 2nd Increment 2008, which begins in just over a year.