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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 32811
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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I am being chaptered with a 5-17 (Separation for Convenience

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I am being chaptered with a 5-17 (Separation for Convenience of the Government, for "other designated physical or mental conditions) I have anxiety, panic attacks, as well as insomnia. It was started when i got a profile restricting me from use of weapons. I had been talking with my doctors for a while before this chapter about a med board, trying to get things figured out. Now that i am being chaptered, i am trying to figure out if i can med board still or if im SOL and have to deal with the chapter. Some additional information, i hit my 36 month mark next month. Could you help me out?
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

The criteria for a Medical Board is if the underlying condition was caused by the military.


1. A soldier injures his arm in training and it will not heal properly. THat is a classic case for a medical board since the injury was caused by training

2. A soldier enlists and after enlistment they find that the soldier has an anxiety disorder that was not caused by the military. Such a case would not be a case that should go to a medical board, since the condition was not caused by the military.

What you describe does not sound like it is the basis for a medical board. Unless it is clear that the anxiety disorder was caused by service (for example, a soldier who develops PTSD due to combat), the military should not send the soldier to a med board.

If you feel that your condition was caused by the military, you would want to present medical evidence to support. For example, have your doctor write a letter stating as much. This could be grounds to change the chapter to a med board. But short of medical evidence to support such a change, you are not going to be able to stop the chapter.

All that said, if there is evidence that the service aggravated your condition, or even caused it? You can apply to the Veterans Administration for compensation.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Just to give/get some clarification, The anxiety and panic attacks started happening while i was overseas. Though not due to deployment, it was caused by my prior 1SG during deployment (He is going through a court martial due to this among many other incidents). This was not a prior existing condition before joining the military. Even though this was caused by another service member, even worse a senior NCO, this would be grounds for mental illness caused by the military correct?

Yes. If this was caused by the military then it would be grounds for a MEB. You will need to get medical evidence to support...a letter from your doctor can help get them to change the chapter to a MEB.
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