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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 118649
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I was Chapter 61, forced medical retirement with 19 years, 4

Customer Question

I was Chapter 61, forced medical retirement with 19 years, 4 months and 26 days active in 2000. My prior PEB in 1991, classified me, "fit for military service" iaw AR 635-40. My doctor, initiated an MEB that followed to a PEB and the military retirement. I did not want this action to take place.
Looking for criminal activity on the doctor, who initiated the MEB, I discovered the doctor was born in Scotland, got his medical degree from London, England and had a civilian contract with the Army to provide medical care for the Army.
AR 40-400 hints (chapters 5 and 7) the physician requirements for MEB initiation must be from a physician in the military. The forms signed in the MEB process, includes the grade of the physician. My doctor also never listed his grade when signing any forms.
Can a civilian doctor initiate an MEB? Can I sue the service for wrongful discharge 16 years later for back-pay and hardships of losing career and retirement due to Concurrent Receipt laws (I am 100% disabled now)? If I cannot sue, can my spouse sue as a dependent?
The ABCMR is currently looking at my case, but I have little trust they will help my case by changing my retirement date.
Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If the physician is contracted to the military as a civilian contractor, they ARE a military doctor as they are working for the military under contract. They do not have to be an actual soldier in the Army to be a Civilian contractor and able to conduct these examinations I am sorry to tell you.
Also, you cannot sue the doctor for malpractice or the military 16 years later. As you were active duty at the time, you nor your spouse can sue over this under the Feres Doctrine, which says a military member or ex military or their family cannot sue the military over something that occurred when member was active duty. The DRB will change your discharge classification only if you prove to them the medical discharge was not valid based on you not having a condition warranting such discharge, but not based on it being done by a contract doctor I am afraid.