To former and current military personnel: Can NCOs send a person down range despite doctors' orders?

My husband was diagnosed with epilepsy last year, about a month before his unit was sent down range. Yesterday he found out (for the dozenth time) that he’s supposed to be deploying soon. They gave him an exact date this time.
There is a neurologist he sees, and the division surgeon who both have said, and put in writing, that he is NOT to be deployed, unless it’s as a noncombatant, and voluntary on his part. After all, he can’t hold or fire a military weapon, or drive a military vehicle, or even drive his POV until at least October.
He did not volunteer. I’m trying to reach the division surgeon and the neurologist to find out if his profile has changed, and if so, why? He still has the condition, even though it’s being controlled by meds.
Who else can I go to? I’m worried about my husband’s health. If he has another seizure, he’s getting med-boarded, and that’s the last thing we need or want.
Thanks in advance for your help!
Thanks everyone! His nondeployable status is not permanent. He’s currently on a "trial of duty"…basically to make sure that his medication works. There is one update: His neurologist, who is usually booked solid for at least six weeks, made time to set my husband a special appointment to update his profile. He (the neurologist) is pretty angry about the whole thing, because my husband’s commanders have already tried this a dozen times. I have some words for them, but I don’t want my hubby to lose rank over ‘em, LOL.


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11 Responses to “To former and current military personnel: Can NCOs send a person down range despite doctors' orders?”

  1. docjim says on :

    Great answers so far, all of them are correct. Bottom line, first talk with Company commander, he should know better. Next contact the Division Surgeon, If no joy, see the IG. That will stop it right their.

  2. Saadi says on :

    your husband should ask for the interview of his Officer Commanding and tell all the details.
    In case the medical advice is in his favour and his commander feels that NCO’s orders need to be reversed, I am sure he will do so.

  3. m1a1mikegolf says on :

    If he is on this sort of profile then he is nondeployable until his medial issues are resolved.

  4. sarinphosgene says on :

    Awesome answers so far but would like to add a situation I ran into with a soldier who had undergone cancer treatment, as I know this is no where near the same thing, what happend to this soldier was they where deployed and every six months they had to go to germany for check ups. On the new profile DD Form 3349 feb 2004 it states wether or not a soldier is deployable block 5f

  5. mpltmiller says on :

    NCOs definitely can NOT deploy someone but the unit Commander CAN (If the commander thinks he can gainfully employ your husband and he will not be harmed farther by deploying he probably will, I would). Military Doctors do not "Order" soldiers not to deploy (that I know of) I have not ran in to the situation where a military Doctor said someone can not deploy (I have been advised by the doctor on what limitations the soldier would have and how deploying may effect his recovery. (I don’t think that the Div Surgeon as the authority to make someone non-deployable, but he may for a temporary basis).

    From the sound of the situation, if your husbands recovery will be hindered or he may incur permanent damage from a lack of treatment while deployed, you should push this issue. If you can not convince the military of one of those things he is going to go.

    If you want to push this issue you should first go to the legal office to check the legality of all of this and not take my word for it, then go to the chain of command to see If you can get resolution with your new information from legal. If there is not resolution at this point you should go to IG or the next higher level of command (make sure to tell your chain of command what you plan to do if their is no resolution, they can’t stop you and they will be more unhappy if they don’t know and find out from the IG)

  6. Alli1-21 says on :

    Technically no, he shouldnt be deployed if he has been flagged as non-deployable in his medical profile. Also, you usage of "NCO" is kinda broad. His squad leader or team leader certainly couldnt force him to violate a medical profile. But at the same time, if his Batt SGM or 1st sgt says he has to go, than theres a good chance he will. I know when I was in northern Iraq with my infantry unit, I saw guys who had "conditions", although most were faking it because they were scared. Im sure this is not your husbands case as it would be pretty fuckin’ hard to fake an epilectic seizure.

    Sorry, I’m rambling here. The bottom line is this. He has a serious medical condition which would endanger his fellow soldiers lives. I wouldnt have wanted him in my squad. If he is having trouble with a particular NCO, no matter who, tell him to usehis chain of command, and go to the next senior NCO or officer. And, if he does have to go with the rest of his unit to Iraq, dont worry, he’ll be fine. He’ll get a cushy job like armorer or brigade TOC RTO. He’ll never see a day of combat. He’s defintely not gonna make any friends but at least he wont have any freak outs when the shooting starts and get someone killed.

  7. jvdqayum says on :

    In case the exigencies of the service demand his going to the range well I am afraid he goes.The commander on the spot though is the right man to give a judgement.

  8. chiefof nothing says on :

    Go to the base Inspector General..they will get answers and results fastest….Tell your husband to request to see the I.G…they can’t refuse him the chance to see the I.G. and if possible go with him if he doesn’t communicate clearly…

    When I tried to drop from OCS my battery commander cussed me and told me he wasn’t letting me quit like the other guys from Ca.. I requested permission to see the I.G., I went right after eating breakfast. Told I.G. my story and before evening chow I was moved to casual company awaiting orders to my new duty station…

  9. dickalicious65 says on :

    I am not former military personnel, but as a retired attorney, I would love to a case like this on and I am sure others would too. Look into getting one if nothing else works out for you.

  10. bostonianinmo says on :

    Every military member has a physical profile generated every time they see a medical care professional. This is known by the acronym PULHEES. Each letter stands for an area of the body or assessed ability. I believe that the letters stand for:

    P – Physical stamina
    U – Upper extremeties
    L – Lower extremeties
    H – Head
    E – Ears
    E – Eyes
    S – Phychiatric

    Each area is assigned a number, I believe from 1 to 3. 1 meaning no problem, 2 indicating restricted ability, and 3 meaning non-capable. A healthy member would therefore have a PULHEES of 1111111 and would be eligible for world-wide duty without restriction.

    Every location, i.e. deployment theater, installation, etc. has a minimum PULHEES flagged in the system indicating the military’s ability to treat personnel and the level needed for mission accomplishment. Typically this is 2222221 but can vary. During mobilization processing the member’s PULHEES is compared to the requirement and if their profile meets the minimum standard they are eligible for deployment. If it does not, they are not eligible and are pulled from the processing line.

    It should be a simple matter for your husband to check his medical records. His current PULHEES should be listed on the top treatment record. It may be a little more difficult to determine the PULHEES requirement for the area of operations. This information is frequently not publicized as it is considered "unclassified information of possible intelligence value."

    Rest assured that if your husband’s physical profile doesn’t meet the minimum standards he won’t be deploying.

    Just a side note: NCOs don’t issue deployment orders. I can’t speak for the Army’s command structure but in the Air Force that’s at least Wing Commander or above and typically Major Air Commander.

    Here’s some more current information on the physical profile system. I had some of the details wrong, but it’s been a while and the system has matured a bit. It’s an Air Force site, but the basic system is the same for all services.

    http://www.hanscom.af.mil/mss/MilitaryPhysicalProfileSerialSystem.doc

  11. sgt_k says on :

    bostonianinmo has the answer I was going to post. He is absolutely, 100% correct. If your husband’s medical profile does not meet the PULHES deployment criteria, he will not be deploying. If someone is trying to cook up his paperwork to make him deployable (not unheard of), he needs to see the IG.

    Keep in mind, though. There is a push in the military to get rid of non-deployable personnel. With the military moving to a smaller, more mobile force, every asset needs to be deployable. While his contract will still be valid until it runs out, he DOES run the risk of being barred to re-enlistment if his non-deployability status is a permanent one.

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