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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 33308
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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My husband and I are getting ready to PCS. He is a 16.5 year

Customer Question

My husband and I are getting ready to PCS. He is a 16.5 year SSgt. He hurt his foot and got a letter from his PCM advising that he not run for 7 days and to take Motrin. He felt like his foot was feeling better so he decided to try to take the PFT in its entirety since he needed one for his outgoing fit rep. 8 pullups, 85 crunches was what he did. He started running and got a little less than half way before it hurt and weakened so bad that he had to stop. There were no safety vehicles around at that time, so he limped back to the starting point. When he got back he spoke with his S-3 MSGT who was the monitor and informed him of the chit, retrieved it and the MSgt stated that the chit would suffice and it would be ran as a partial. My husband would have 30-90 days to complete a new one. He was planning on doing that once he checked in at our new duty station (we PCS 9 July). He went back to his PCM who ordered an xray (nothing broken or anything) and extended his light duty chit to 14 days. This all transpired on 16 June. Today he was informed that the PFT was entered into MCTFS as a FAILURE instead of a partial. This most assuredly would result in an adverse fit rep. He went over to talk to the S-3 OIC and cited MCO 6100.13. He was told that he should have presented the PFT monitors with the light duty chit PRIOR to attempting the PFT. He also stated that the Battalion Commander said that he (and anyone else who had a similar situation as my husband) was not permitted to re-take and that it would remain a failure. He is preparing to request mast to the CG vs his CO. This is because the Battalion CO is the issue. My question is: Is my husband doing the right thing by requesting mast to the CG in order to have the failed PFT removed and replaced with a partial because he has a document from medical stating that he has/had an injury?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I should probably also note that in addition to the extended light duty chit (14 days) my husband also received a referral to Orthopedics. He is literally in the middle of checking out. We do know that this will not have any impact on executing PCS orders, but we also know that it is MUCH more difficult to have a fit rep pulled than it is to request mast.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Hi, My name is Philip. I am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.
I am sorry for this dilemma; however, I am not sure I understand....why is he requesting mast to the cg? Has he already spoken to the battalion commander?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is requesting mast to the CG because the Bn Commander is the part of the problem and (even though reprisal is a no no) my husband fears he will. My husband is confidant (and rightfully so) that the CO will do nothing. Because it's crunch time and he sees this scenario happening with his CO, he decided to go to the CG. If my husband isn't satisfied with his answer, he would be going to the CG anyway and there isn't enough time to go through that whole process again. Under any other circumstances he would go through the proper chain, however with the CO being part of the problem and since this is time sensitive, he is circumventing the process.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thank you
I think this is a mistake.
I understand that he believes the battalion commander will not help. But jumping the chain of command...from battalion straight to the general? I suspect the general will not take kindly to this.
He can certainly make the request...if you are asking my opinion it is a mistake.
Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am in agreement with not jumping the chain, however it would appear that the CO is completely ignoring Marine Corps policy by not allowing him the opportunity to re-take it. He has never failed a PFT before and has always had 1st class PFT's. I should probably also note that my husband is not the only person this happened to. From what I understand, my husband was told that ANYONE who failed to run the full PFT, regardless of medical chits, were to receive a failure. This blatant disregard of MCO is what makes my husband think that he would receive reprisal. Also, his MSgt is the one who convinced him to take it to the CG as well.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Mistake. He has not spoken to his commander directly. The first question I would expect the general (if the commander even agrees to grant the request...he can refuse since he is jumping the chain) to ask is "did you address this with your commander"? And when he answers no the next will be "why"?
Nothing you have said so far is a valid reason to skip this step.
Again, he can make the request...but I believe it would be a mistake.
Better to follow the protocol. Particularly in a case like you are describing.
Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Alright. I will speak to him about this. In the event that he does have to take it to the CG, and based on what I've told you thus far, is it likely that he would be successful in having the failure removed based on MCO?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
No. If you read the order it provides, in part
. Medical Considerations. When a Marine is unable to complete a PFT/CFT
due to an underlying physical or medical condition an evaluation by an
Appropriately Privileged Health Care Provider (APHCP) must be conducted in
accordance with references (o) and (p). The APHCP will make a medical status
determination regarding the Marine's ability to complete the PFT/CFT,
PPFT/PCFT or if referral to a Medical Evaluation Board (MEB)/Physical
Evaluation Board (PEB) is warranted. A medical determination is required to
excuse a Marine from participating in a particular event or an entire test,
but a PEB finding is required for an exemption. Marines assigned to a
light/limited duty status are not exempt from the PFT/CFT requirement and are
still required to perform those events not affected by the condition, unless
otherwise specified by the APHCP.
So the commander can absolutely consider this a failure. This is why I think he's making mistake bypassing the commander.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
"Marines assigned to a
light/limited duty status are not exempt from the PFT/CFT requirement and are
still required to perform those events not affected by the condition, unless
otherwise specified by the APHCP."He DID perform those events not affected by the condition. He did 8 pull ups and 85 crunches. The APHCP did indeed make a medical status determination regarding the his ability to complete the PFT. So he had the necessary medical documentation, AND completed 2 of the 3 required portions of the PFT. This should translate into a PPFT to which he should have 30-90 days to complete. Am I correct in understanding that even with all of this, he STILL doesn't have the proverbial 'leg to stand on'? If he goes to his Battalion Commander with the above information, and/or (only if necessary) the CG, there is STILL no way that he could get it removed as a failure? I only ask because the order also clearly states:The APHCP will document the medical condition, expiration date, exercise limitations, and PPFT/PCFT events a Marine can perform during the light/limited duty period. For Marines who are incapable of performing any portion of a PFT or CFT, their inability will not be considered a failure and an appropriate fitness report Section I Directed Comment will be made, in accordance with reference (g).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do apologize for the back and forth and appreciate your candid responses very much. If my husband screwed up, he screwed up, but I refuse to let him go down because of something he couldn't help. This could be career ending for him.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Sorry for the delay. I am a volunteer firefighter and we had a call last night that ran very late.
Again, he can request mast. But in my opinion that will not help,him. Not if he is jumping the chain of command. Start with battalion if you want a chance of resolving this favorably. I understand fighting. But it is also good to understand when the rules are not in your favor and you are better served not fighting but asking for help.
This is the time to ask for help...not fight a loosing battle.
Again, sorry for the delay.