Posted on Jan 30, 2015
SSG Facilities Management Nco
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I have a fellow NCO (SSG) in my unit that has been in for 11 1/2 years and does not plan to reenlist. He is currently 8 months from his ETS date. He has failed the last three APFTs (Run event) but is steadily improving, about 1 minute improvement each test. He's never been in trouble for misconduct and has never had any UCMJ against him in all his career thus far. The chain of command has initiated chapter preceedings but haven't followed through with it just yet. The commander has already imposed a bar to reenlistment. He has 98 days of leave which would put him on terminal leave in about 5 months. He's only been counseled for APFT failure once and they will not give him any diagnostic APFTs. All three have been record APFTs back to back. He is wanting to submit a 90 day school drop which would put him out of here (if approved) by April on terminal leave but is afraid there will be push back from the chain.

A little background on the guy, he came to the unit on a compassionate reassignment last April due to his child's medical needs and about 5 months after he got here he was sent over to ACAP to work there on a 6 month rotation. At this point he had already failed the APFT once. There is no organized PT where he is so he is left to do PT on his own time.

What are your thoughts on this? Should his command have sent him to work at ACAP given his situation with his assignment and the APFT? Should he be chaptered or would you just let him ETS?
Posted in these groups: P542 APFTMilitary-discharge-300x201 ETS/EASImages-20 NCOs
Edited 6 y ago
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CSM Brigade Operations (S3) Sergeant Major
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Edited >1 y ago
This is an interesting post and the comments are even better. We have a lot of "strict by the book" comments that this NCO needs to be separated immediately, we have a lot of the reg says this/that comments, we have a lot of judgment comments on a NCO none of us know personally.

It has been stated that the NCO was compassionately reassigned due to his child's medical condition, that is a red flag to me if I was the CSM of that unit. Placing the Soldier at ACAP to work may have benefitted the NCO because of a structured schedule and gave him and his family predictability. Should he have done P.T. on his own, hell yeah he should of but it sounds to me as if he has struggled with P.T. for awhile (just assuming). The NCO is flagged and barred so he can't reenlist anyway and must be separated if he cannot overcome the bar.

I understand the fact that he is a NCO and expected to lead by example but I am also a human being. He is going to get an honorable discharge regardless and I am still tasked to provide an ACAP NCO...

I would let him ETS.

OMG did a Sergeant Major just say that? Yeah I did.
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LTC Stephan Porter
LTC Stephan Porter
11 mo
Dropped from school, flagged, barred from re-enlistment WO1 (Join to see). If he is not a “problem” the tools to do exactly what will happen in a few months are meant to do. It would be a waste of taxpayer money and Soldier’s time to adjudicate it more.
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SFC Donna Bush
SFC Donna Bush
9 mo
I would have let him ETS'd. If they were so hell bent on giving him PT test, then they should have been diagnostic to show if he has improved, but to count them as for record that was to harsh for this NCO who already had alot of things on his mind. I had a sister (god rest her soul) was a hell bent Sr NCO and she was by the book all the way, that's where her and I didn't meet eye to eye, Regs are a guideline to guide us along, but to her, they were set in stone and by god you better abide by them. Maybe I was laxed, but as you say, we are also human. He already knew he was barred from re-enlistment so why make his life miserable just because yours is.
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LTC Stephan Porter
LTC Stephan Porter
2 mo
WO1 (Join to see), I totally understand the sentiment.

In levying adverse actions or UCMJ we must take in all the circumstances in our decisions; it is not black and white by far...much discretion is allowed.

We must initiate the chapter paperwork, and must request/initiate the board.

Further, you must flag the NCO and can put a bat to re-enlistment (another tool to encourage compliance and a form of “punishment”).
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SGT Mustafa Stokely
SGT Mustafa Stokely
1 mo
Whether we believe in something called karma, it would not hurt to be mindful of it, just the same. This human being has had much to be stressed about and seems to be trying to fix things. He is likely clinically depressed and I would expect a senior NCO to take ownership of this situation. There is no harm in allowing him to ETS. Whatever ails him should be carefully documented in his medical files, as he will likely need this documentation in the future, if he decides to apply for disability, etc.
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MAJ Brigade Personnel (S1)
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Goodness!...it's so hard to not be brutally honest on this site. Being that close to his ETS and he has improved, I would let him ETS as a "taking care of Soldiers" gesture and thanking him for his service. If people can get a pass for worse things (not under my command though), I don't see it being wrong to let him ETS. Now if he wanted to stay, he's improving! I allow three months for significant improvement before I process that kind of discharge. Show me you want it and I'll let you stay.
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MAJ Fuops Action Officer
MAJ (Join to see)
6 y
MAJ (Join to see) it hard to hold standards if not supported from higher or if there is a perception that people are "getting away with murder". I hate the red tape that we go through to process out Soldiers who probably should have never been allowed in the service to begin with. I have had support, but the timeline makes it near impossible to show a strong front when it takes almost a year, if not longer, to process their packet and receive a disposition. Same with those who decide for whatever reason to just stop showing up. We can only do so much to try to retain and recover them. I have utilized what I heard others did and I came up with some ideas to help deal with this though. I have policies to take rank so that Soldiers see on the sign-in roster that something in being done. So even if it takes a year to kick them out Soldiers realize I am not taking it lightly and allowing them to just not show up without any consequences.

In this case, taking care of Soldiers is an option for sure. As far as giving him another three months to improve, you still need to pass to reenlist if he wanted to, if not you are 5 months out I highly doubt you can process someone out that fast.
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MAJ Brigade Personnel (S1)
MAJ (Join to see)
6 y
It's a matter of pushing a button and following it all the way until you get to the last person, which I've done before. I physically escort packets from one level to another to see that it's done. There are perks to knowing people at all levels. I'm pretty persistent. I can admit when I'm wrong, but when I have the reg and I know it's possible, "no" isn't an option.
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SFC Mpd Ncoic
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3 y
I agree ma'am. Although he has failed his APFTs, he is showing improvements...and he gave a kidney.
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1LT Engineer Officer
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If i was him and or you i would pop open Enlisted Administrative Seperations and look up Unsatisfactory Performance i think its Chap 13 for active duty (chapter 9 for the reserves) if i recall correctly between that, AR 350-1 and FM 7-22 there is VERY specific guidance on what has to happen to meet that seperation criteria. His leadership not providing ample time in between record APFT's as well as not counseling him enough...straight up that company commander will make himself look stupid if he passes up that packet. JAG will take one look and laugh in his face. On the other hand his bar to reenlist will remain in effect however if he is planning on getting out then he nothing to worry about. Key points: more than 2 consecutive record failure is a no go, there must be at least 90 days in between each and counseling counseling counseling cant harp the counseling enough. I get pissed at my NCO's when they tell me a soldier is a shit bag and we do nothing about it when they consistently fail to provide documentation of how much that soldier may or may not "suck"

I heavily suggest he gets with jag and you guys pop open the Regulations.
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1LT Engineer Officer
1LT (Join to see)
6 y
Wow! I can only say wow. I havent been in long by any means but the audacity to flag you for a legit medical reason is beyond me. Now a commander can force a soldier to break his profile if he sees fit but you have to have a serious reason to do so. If you presented a valid profile at the time of APFT there is no reason why you should have taken it. On the reserve side of the house we have a lot of issues with soldiers bringing docotors notes to the APFT instead of going thru the proper steps to obtain a valid temp or perm profile, it makes things complicated when you determine at a certain point that you have given a soldier enough time to obtain a profile and they have failed to do so, i have forced soldiers to take an APFT under those circumstances. But that is not aa cut and dry as active duty.

As for counseling soldiers via certified mail on active duty??? Thats just shameful.
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CPT Engineer Officer
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>1 y
SSG (Join to see) - Can't flag without a counseling. He can fight that with JAG all day. I'd just let him ETS. He can escort all the ACAP, MEB, and ASAP guys until terminal leave.
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SFC Armor Crew Member
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>1 y
CPT (Join to see) - Actually, you can. It is the command responsibility to counsel with two days of imposing the flag. However, the reg specifically states that failure to counsel the individual does not invalidate the flag. I only know this because I went through the same thing myself.
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SSgt Joseph Baptist
SSgt Joseph Baptist
>1 y
SFC (Join to see) - If you are going to be a "by the book" person and toss the NCO out for non-performance, then you also need to toss out the commander and supervisory chain that failed to counsel and assist him in overcoming what appears to be a medical-related APFT problem.

Sounds like there were multiple failures at multiple levels involved here.

Go "scorched earth", and integrity demands that you toss the whole command structure, so it's probably a much better option to go "soft heart" and let the guy ETS with a little bit of dignity.
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