Posted on Jul 29, 2021
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Hi, I'm currently a 25U SPC at JBLM. My contract ends in 02/2023 and I don't know what I should really do when my contract ends. I have back injury which put me on profile for about a year now and it's not getting better. I'm wondering if I choose to re-enlist, I will not be able to pass my PT tests and might get kicked out for being on profile for too long.
My other option is to reclass to a MOS that don't do PT, I'm thinking maybe 27D MOS or 35P maybe? Cause if that's the case, I can stay in and not get my back injury worse. But that also comes with the risk that I might get stationed randomly. I'm pretty happy with where I am at right now, JBLM because my family is here.
Or should I go choose to go reserve to be able to both reclass and choose to get stationed in South Korea for the monthly training? Then I can go do full time college by using the GI bills to get BAH and maybe only work in the weekend. I'm currently having 80 credits, 40 away from a BA. I'm thinking about getting BA or Master in IT major, but this option might put me in financial difficulty due to my income will be solely based on the GI Bill BAH.
Any advices would help me a lot to determine my path for the future.
Edited 1 mo ago
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Responses: 16
SFC Retention Operations Nco
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Man..... You are seriously misinformed about a lot of things

Everyone does PT. EVERY MOS does PT. I work at a Division level staff and we do PT. Even though the APFT is out it's still a significant source of promotion points. Believe me, the 27Ds and 35Ps are out there doing PT like everyone else.

You don't get stationed somewhere in the Reserves. You live somewhere and join a local Reserves unit. They can reclass you if they have an opening for an MOS you are willing to fill. It can take a year or two to go to Reclass school.

There is no monthly training in Korea. If you join the Reserves you will drill one weekend a month, two weeks a year. Your drill will pay you just about enough money to cover your Tricare medical insurance premiums. Your two weeks will be half a month of base pay in the whole year.

You can't survive on just BAH. 75% of people who use the GI Bill report that they encountered unexpected financial difficulty. Almost a quarter will drop out of school for a period because of that. Many never return to finish. Your housing allowance in Korea is about $1700 a month and $1000 for books in a year. Out of that you have to pay your food, rent, transportation, additional school expenses, medical expenses, fuel, utilities, etc. BAH alone is not a significant source of income for a long period of time.

You can easily finish your degree on active duty with Army paying for everything. JBLM has an incentive policy that if you reenlist for stabilization you can go to college for a semester, up to six months, full time as your primary place of duty.

Army TA will even pay for part of your Masters, up to $250 per semester hour, and pay for the IT/Cyber certifications you will want if you pursue an IT degree.

If you are so broken that you can no longer to PT then you should stay long enough to med board, not just ETS. There is a lot of future money, education benefits, and resources available to people who are medically separated that are much harder to qualify for if you just ETS.
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SFC Intelligence Analyst
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1 mo
SFC (Join to see) - This was back in 2010 - and I was like well yeah I probably do have a weak core but that can't be the sole reason. I'm not sure what caused it. It started between my first and second deployment. A few months before the second.
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PFC Mark Jorges
PFC Mark Jorges
1 mo
SFC (Join to see) - I went through the MEB process, all the way to fighting my case at a hearing at Fort Sam Houston with a lawyer. Also, what I'm relaying is that both the IDES and VA rating may be lower than what a service-member may receive if they ETS and submit their claim at that time. How do I know this? Because I won my Med Board and ETS, then received a SCD% much higher than anything on the IDES or VA during the Med board process. Each case is different. I am proof that taking a medboard may not be the best option long-term.
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SFC Retention Operations Nco
SFC (Join to see)
1 mo
PFC Mark Jorges actually my wife was a PEBLO up until recently, I'm very familiar with the MEB process. Anyone who applies can receive an increase in their disability rating at any point in their life. But if they ETS instead of MEB they lose their one chance at medical retirement and medical separation pay.

Soldiers have everything to lose and nothing to gain by foregoing a MEB
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PFC Mark Jorges
PFC Mark Jorges
1 mo
You can be intimately familiar with the process. I'm not disputing that. What I'm saying is that the IDES/VA ratings may be lower than what a service-member may receive by filing when they ETS, especially if they file through the VFW (BDD) program that I had at Fort Hood. When I was in the IDES process, most of the people I spoke with were not receiving a Medical retirement. Most were receiving maybe 10% or 20%, which they could easily do on their own without the Medboard. The Medboard was a way for the Army (in my case) to purge their units of people who were on profile too long or couldn't deploy. That's what I saw in my unit. Some of them had conditions which were not appropriate for a Medboard. Others were waiting for ETS. Very few had severe conditions that warranted a medboard, IMO.
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SSgt Christophe Murphy
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Being in the military means you are expected to meet or exceed a level of fitness that will deem you deployment ready. Don't try to find the mythical MOS that doesn't deploy or PT. Even in the reserves and Guard you are expected to PT and be deployment ready. That is giving yourself a false sense of security. If you have limitations due to injury or illness you need to go to medical and get it addressed and get it documented. Either it can be fixed or not but go to medical and get it sorted so you know the answer. If it's an issue you will be med boarded which in the end isn't the worse thing to happen if you are experiencing issues that can't be repaired/reversed. Works towards using TA to get as much college done as possible before you leave the Army because you will still have the GI bill when you get out
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SFC Observer   Controller/Trainer (Oc/T)
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Looking thru the post responses and seeing that you have seen a Chiro, a PA and a Pain Management Specialist..I have to ask: Have you seen an Orthopedic Specialist/Surgeon yet?

You could receive a permanent profile. But, if you get a Perm Profile with a 3 in any category of PULHES, then an MEB is automatically. If you get a 2, then you're not going to face an MEB. Unless your Primary Care Provider(s) determine you need an MEB.

All MOS's do PT.

As for the Reserves, depending on where your HOR is, and what Reserve units are nearest to you with your MOS, that is where you get assigned. If you choose to live in South Korea and travel to/from a Reserve unit....say in California....you will have to fly to/from Weekend Battle Training Assembly every month. You're probably looking at 2 days of travel on each side of Training weekends. And let me tell you, the Army Reserves want you to be home before midnight of the last day of Battle Training Assembly weekend. If you do not make it home before midnight, you would have to be on Orders. Hell, you could decide to live in California and be assigned to a unit in Arkansas if that is where the nearest open slot is at. Also, the plane ticket is paid for by you but will be reimbursed by the Army Reserves BUT only up to $500.00. What I am trying to get at is that the Reserves slots/assigns Soldiers differently than they do for AD.

You need to have some conversation with folks. These should/need to be your Retention NCO/Career Counselor, an Ortho doctor, and your Primary Care Provider.
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SFC Intelligence Analyst
SFC (Join to see)
1 mo
You don't automatically get med boarded on a permanent profile. If you have anything that's a 3/4 on a perm profile that starts a medboard. I've had a P2 for my knees for 5 years now. Never had a medboard initiated or talked about.
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SFC Observer   Controller/Trainer (Oc/T)
SFC (Join to see)
1 mo
SFC (Join to see) - That's why I threw in that bit in my response. I always make sure I add the 2 wont and the 3/4 will.
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SFC Intelligence Analyst
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SFC (Join to see) - I should have hit reply to his comment - that's what i was replying to.
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SFC Observer   Controller/Trainer (Oc/T)
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