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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 35009
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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Hello, and thank you for taking the time to read my question.

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Hello, and thank you for taking the time to read my question. My son is currently in Tech School, following graduation from Linguist School. He had some mental issues surface in langauge school which he sought help for and was referred to counseling. Leadership never followed up with this to ensure he actually received proper counseling. He went to, I think, 6 sessions. The problems have gotten worse, ie, anxiety, panic attacks, depression with thoughts of suicide. He just went to his security clearance interview and he told the interviewer he didn't feel competent in his mental state to handle sensitive information. She flagged his case. His leadership pulled him from classes and sent him to civilian counseling. My son feels like they sent him to a civilian to avoid the mental health advisors on base. My question is, if his security clearance is denied due to his mental health (and he doesn't improve), what actions can the military take against him?
Hi, My name is Philip. I am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

Can you tell me, how long has your son been in the military? Is this his first enlistment? Or has he already served under an enlistment contract?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It is his first. He has been through BMT and Language institute. So actively since mid Oct of 2012.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX tell me, did he receive a bonus for his enlistment? If so has he received any of this money yet?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I know he qualified for a bonus, but I am unsure if he has received any of it yet. He is married, and I know they have struggled this past year on his pay just to pay two bills that they have. I forgot to mention that he is in the Air Force. Do they normally lump sum the bonus? If so, I don't think he has received it yet.

Thank you

On more please

Can you tell me, if you know, did he have any mental health issues PRIOR to enlistment? If so did he disclose them at the time he applied for enlistment?

ALSO, let me know if you want to discuss this via phone...I can make that option available if you desire.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No mental issues before. No treatments, no diagnosis. Nothing. He did find out during basic training that his wife had been raped 6 months prior to him leaving for basic. She was semi-unconscious when it happened and was unsure of what had happened until she started getting flash backs months later. She reported the rape to SARC. Since so much time had passed they told her there wasn't too much she could do. She sought therapy. My son was afraid to say anything in basic. He was afraid or doing anything wrong. I have to say that since he hasn't even technically started Tech School yet, I don't think he has received any of his enlistment bonus.

Thank you

The short answer to the question

if his security clearance is denied due to his mental health (and he doesn't improve), what actions can the military take against him?

Is that the military will have several options.

What you describe, it sounds like your son is experiencing mental health issues. One of the key questions will be "was this caused by his service or did it predate his service"

If this problem continues, and makes it so he can not perform his duties (and his not being able to obtain a clearance would effectively render him unable to perform his duties) I would expect the commander to order a MEB (Medical Evaluation Board).

The MEB is designed to answer two questions

1. Does the member have a physical or mental problem that limits their ability to perform their duties?


2. Is it expected that the problem will last one year or more.

IF the answer to both of the questions is yes, then a third question is presented

"is the problem caused by or aggravated by their military service"...the answer to this question would determine if the individual is separated with a military disability severance or simply separated.

What you describe, if your son is not able to obtain his clearance or maintain a clearance? I would expect the military to separate him. There is no good reason to keep him if he has mental health issues that limit his ability to serve.

SO the real issue will be

"how long will this last"


"what caused this"

If this is a temporary issue...if they expect him to clear up in the next year? It may be they place him in a different job that does not require a high level clearance

But in most cases, mental health issues that are diagnosed as mental health issues? They are not typically considered temporary.

So if your son has a mental health condition, most likely it will lead to separation.

So the main issue, I expect, will be "was this caused by or aggravated by his service"

If there is evidence that his military service was the cause of this, or even that it aggravated a preexisting condition? I would expect a medical discharge with a severance payment commensurate with the level of disability.

BotXXXXX XXXXXne: they will discharge him if this condition prevents his service...but if this condition was caused by or aggravated by his service? He will be entitled to a medical discharge and compensation.

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.

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