My son is in separations from boot camp. He was doing very well but was feeling upset and homesick because mail and phone calls were taken away due to another recruit's behavior. They asked him if he wanted to speak to someone in medical which he said he did. He just wanted to talk it out. After a two minute conversation he was told, he had depression. He told them he was not depressed that he was homesick and that he never had a history of depression. They said well, it must have just shown up and we are sending you home. He is devastated.He was trying to do the right thing in talking it out and it was turned against him. he wants to stay in, it has been his dream. To appeal this he understands that it could take months. If he is sent home he has this bogus diagnosis on his record. All he wanted to do is serve his country. He just wants to get back into training.What can he/we do? This is outrageous!
Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I have nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines, including JAG.I won't tell you that this is fair or that it is not outrageous. I won't try to make you believe that what is happening is appropriate or that your son really deserves to be separated in this fashion. I will, however, remain completely honest with you, even if that means giving you bad news. That is my promise.Unfortunately, doctors are entitled to state their opinion on these sorts of matters. It is exceedingly difficult for me, as an attorney, or you, as a parent, to successfully challenge the diagnosis of a physician. To have any success of doing so, you have to have another physician challenge the diagnosis, but that leads us into the real issue here.Your son has not been in the service long enough to be entitled to a board hearing before separation. Because he has less than six years of service, they can literally separate him without his every having an opportunity to defend himself prior to the separation. He would only legally be entitled to submit a written appeal to the next level commander, which traditionally is read and then placed in the approved separation packet.He will not have any true legal method to challenge a separation until he can file a DD Form 149 with the military records corrections board. It is there that he can present evidence against the bogus diagnosis, but it is only then. There simply isn't a forum for entering that sort of evidence now, in any meaningful way.
So what you are saying is that there is no way he can appeal this decision and stay in training? When can he file a DD form 149? Would this remove a depression diagnosis? We don't want this on his permanent record.
If they are separating him, the only true appeal from an administrative separation is a written letter to the next level commander. There is no legal oversight. No judge or panel reviews the decision of command. It is, essentially, automatic.He would not have the power to truly appeal until he can file DD Form 149, 6 months following his separation (to allow records to be completely sent to the archives).I understand you not wanting this on his permanent record. I've given you the method of trying to remove it. DD Form 149 is the ONLY way to do so.
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