AR20150009761

BOARD DATE: 3 November 2016

DOCKET NUMBER: AR20150009761

BOARD VOTE:

_________ _______ ________ GRANT FULL RELIEF

________ ________ ________ GRANT PARTIAL RELIEF

________ ________ ________ GRANT FORMAL HEARING

__x______ __x______ __x____ DENY APPLICATION

2Enclosures
1. Board Determination/Recommendation
2. Evidence and Consideration

BOARD DATE: 3 November 2016

DOCKET NUMBER: AR20150009761

BOARD DETERMINATION/RECOMMENDATION:

The evidence presented does not demonstrate the existence of a probable error or injustice. Therefore, the Board determined the overall merits of this case are insufficient as a basis for correction of the records of the individual concerned.

___________x______________
CHAIRPERSON

I certify that herein is recorded the true and complete record of the proceedings of the Army Board for Correction of Military Records in this case.

BOARD DATE: 3 November 2016

DOCKET NUMBER: AR20150009761

THE BOARD CONSIDERED THE FOLLOWING EVIDENCE:

1. Application for correction of military records (with supporting documents provided, if any).

2. Military Personnel Records and advisory opinions (if any).

THE APPLICANT’S REQUEST, STATEMENT, AND EVIDENCE:

1. The applicant requests, in effect, a medical retirement.

2. He states his injury was aggravated in 1979 while assigned in Germany. While a member of the 3rd Battalion, 11th Artillery Calvary Regiment (ACR), he and his unit went on a covert operation to the northern tip of Czechoslovakia. He and several members of his unit were captured and he was interrogated for 3 days. One morning they were placed in front of a firing squad when the East German commander instructed his men to “free their weapons.” He states he had a nervous breakdown and the next thing he remembers is waking up at the 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany, in the psychiatric ward. He remained in the hospital for 14 days and was medically evacuated to Letterman Army Medical Center (LAMC), San Francisco, CA.

3. He provides a self-authored statement and his DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.

CONSIDERATION OF EVIDENCE:

1. Title10, U.S.Code, section1552(b), provides that applications for correction of military records must be filed within 3years after discovery of the alleged error or injustice. This provision of law also allows the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) to excuse an applicant’s failure to timely file within the 3-year statute of limitations if the ABCMR determines it would be in the interest of justice to do so. While it appears the applicant did not file within the time frame provided in the statute of limitations, the ABCMR has elected to conduct a substantive review of this case and, only to the extent relief, if any, is granted, has determined it is in the interest of justice to excuse the applicant’s failure to timely file. In all other respects, there are insufficient bases to waive the statute of limitations for timely filing.

2. The applicant enlisted in the Regular Army on 13 April 1979. He was trained in and awarded military occupational specialty 19D (Cavalry Scout).

3. His DA Form 2-1 (Personnel Qualification Record) shows he served in Germany from 2 September 1979 to 21 February 1980. He was assigned to ITroop, 3rd Battalion, 11th ACR.

4. The applicant’s record is void of any evidence that indicates he was captured while stationed in Germany.

5. A medical evaluation board (MEB) narrative summary, dictated on 6March1980, states on 21 February 1980, the applicant was admitted to the LAMC from Frankfurt Army Medical Center (FARMC) with a diagnosis of chronic undifferentiated schizophrenia. The document further states, in pertinent part:

a. The applicant was admitted to the FARMC Psychiatric Unit after an alleged unsuccessful suicide attempt with an M-16 Rifle; he pulled the trigger, but his rifle did not fire. According to his sergeant, he had been involved in drug business and had been acting nervous and tense for a few weeks prior to admission. The applicant stated he felt pressure concerning threats from peers that he was a drug informer, which he denied; “he would rather commit suicide than be beaten up.” At FARMC he exhibited paranoid trends, thought disorder, and depressed affect. He was also agitated and received “medication” which depressed his agitation. He was transferred for further evaluation and disposition with a diagnosis of chronic undifferentiated schizophrenia.

b. The applicant had a history of being hospitalized at the Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk, CA, in August 1978. He was transferred there from the Los Angeles County Jail where he had been incarcerated for car theft charges, which were later dropped. Upon admission at the metropolitan State Hospital, he was considered gravely disabled, but at discharge time, his outcome was considered good. He was given neuroleptics and group therapy while at the hospital, but no post-hospitalization medications were recommended. His discharge diagnosis was that of schizophrenia, other (Ganser syndrome).

c. His mental status examination revealed a neat, cooperative 19-year old, in no acute distress with good eye contact. His speech was normal. His motor behavior was calm. His mood revealed mild depression. His affect revealed mild blunting with occasional inappropriate laughing. His thought processes revealed ideas of reference with some paranoid ideations, for example, the applicant stated that for the first 3 days of hospitalization at FARMC, he believed the hospital personnel were Russians who were out to get him. He also stated his peers were playing records with special warning messages for him only. His thinking was concrete, especially with respect to proverbs. His thought was goal directed and did not reveal circumstantiality or tangentially. He denied hallucinations, delusions or homicidal or suicidal ideations. He was oriented and his recall was adequate, his concentration was poor, and his calculations were poor. His intellect appeared to be average or better and his judgment and insight were poor.

d. Psychological testing revealed the applicant was suffering from a pronounced thought disorder; he did not appear paranoid from this testing. It was felt that he was undergoing an acute episode that would probably remit and respond positively to phenothiazine.

e. The applicant was evacuated from Germany with a transfer diagnosis of chronic undifferentiated schizophrenia. The medical doctor felt the applicant was correctly diagnosed and said the applicant experienced an acute exacerbation, similar in nature to the episode requiring his hospitalization in 1978. His condition was treated with Haldol and the resulting effect was a decrease in paranoid ideations and improvement in concentration. However, inappropriate affect was still apparent at times. Progress for the applicant was contingent upon a stable living situation as well as continued treatment with neuroleptics and outpatient follow-up by a psychiatrist.

f. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia, chronic undifferentiated type with acute exacerbation, moderate treated and improved, manifested by alleged suicide attempt, paranoid ideation and ideas of reference, concrete thinking and inappropriate affect. His stress was listed as minimal, routine military duty and his predisposition was determined as severe, previous psychiatric hospitalization.

g. The psychiatrist recommended the applicant be separated from the service, be discharged from the hospital having received maximum benefits from the military hospitalization, and he continue the use of neuroleptics as well as outpatient follow-up by a psychiatrist.

6. On 22 February 1980, he underwent a medical examination and he was found not qualified for retention on active duty due to chronic undifferentiated schizophrenia.

7. A DA Form 3947 (Medical Board Proceedings), dated 11 March 1980, shows an MEB convened at LAMC and determined the applicant was medically unfit for further military service. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia, chronic undifferentiated type with acute exacerbation, moderate treated and improved, manifested by alleged suicide attempt, paranoid ideation and ideas of reference, concrete thinking, and inappropriate affect. His stress was determined as minimal, routine military duty, and his predisposition was determined as severe, previous psychiatric hospitalization. This form further shows the entry, “Line of Duty (LOD) NO, existed prior to entry into active service (EPTS).”

8. The board recommended the applicant be considered mentally competent for pay purposes. He had the capacity to understand and cooperate in board proceedings. He was not a danger to himself or others and he could be discharged to his own care. The findings of the MEB were approved on 26March 1980.

9. On 27 March 1980, the applicant initialed and signed the form indicating he agreed with the findings and recommendations of the board.

10. On 27 March 1980, he requested an expeditious discharge for physical disability. He stated his request for discharge for physical disability was based upon the findings and recommendations of the MEB. He said the MEB considered him unqualified for retention in the military service because of physical disability that was found to have EPTS. The MEB found the disability neither incident to, nor aggravated by his military service. He was fully informed and understood he was entitled to the same consideration and processing as any other member of the Army separated for physical disability. He understood the Veteran’s Administration (VA) would determine entitlements to VA benefits. Additionally, he understood if his application was approved, he would be separated by reason of EPTS physical disability.

11. On 1 April 1980, he was honorably discharged. His DD Form 214 shows he completed 11months and 28 days of active duty service of which 3 months and 19 days was listed as foreign service. The separation authority is listed as Army Regulation 635-40 (Physical Evaluation for Retention, Retirement, or Separation), chapter 5, physical disability, EPTS-Medical Board.

12. On 19 September 2016, the ABCMR obtained an advisory opinion from the senior medical advisor, a medical doctor with the Army Review Board Agency (ARBA). He states:

a. The applicant’s DD Form 1966/4 (Application for Enlistment), dated 10April 1979, shows a positive response for the use of drugs, but a negative response to the question, “Have you ever been a patient (whether or not formally committed) in any institution primarily devoted to the treatment of mental, nervous, emotional, psychological, or personality disorders,”

b. His report of Medical Examination, dated 22 February 1980, diagnosed him with chronic undifferentiated schizophrenia.

c. The MEB narrative summary, dictated on 6 March 1980, admitted him to LAMC from FAMC on 21 February 1980 with a diagnosis of chronic undifferentiated schizophrenia. Psychological testing revealed a pronounced thought disorder. There was a prior history of an August 1978 hospitalization at the Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk, CA, after transfer from the Los Angeles County Jail. Diagnosis on discharge in 1978 was schizophrenia, other (Ganser syndrome).

d. The Medical Board Proceedings, dated 11 March 1980, diagnosed the applicant with schizophrenia, chronic undifferentiated type with acute exacerbation, moderate treated and improved, manifested by alleged suicide attempt, paranoid ideation and ideas of reference, concrete thinking, and inappropriate affect. Further is shows, “LOD No; EPTS with date of origin prior to April 1979.”

e. He submitted a request for expeditious discharge for physical disability on 27March 1980.

f. A limited review of VA records through the Joint Legacy Viewers [an integrated read-only view of electronic health record data from the Department of Defense and the VA] shows the following diagnoses:

* Schizophrenia entered on 24 August 2000
* Cognitive disorder, not otherwise specified (NOS), psychotic disorder NOS recorded on 12 September 2002
* Residual schizophrenia in remission recorded on 20August 2008; updated 19 October 2015
* Sub chronic schizoaffective schizophrenia recorded on 13January 2016
g. The applicant did not meet medical accession standards in accordance with Army Regulation 40-501, chapter 2 nor the provisions set forth in Army Regulation 635-40, in effect at the time. His medical conditions were duly considered during his medical separation processing. The applicant’s EPTS condition of schizophrenia preceded his enlistment.

h. A review of the available documentation found no evidence of a medical disability or condition which would support a change to the character or reason for the discharge in this case.

13. On 20 September 2016, the advisory opinion was forwarded to the applicant for his acknowledgement and/or response. No response was received.

REFERENCES:

Army Regulation 635-40, in effect at the time, established the Army Physical Disability Evaluation System and set forth policies, responsibilities, and procedures that apply in determining whether a Soldier is unfit because of physical disability to reasonably perform the duties of his office, grade, rank, or rating.

a. Chapter 5-3 states a commander may believe a member of his command is unable to perform the duties of his office, grade, rank, or rating because of physical disability neither incurred nor aggravated during any period in which the member was entitled to basic pay. If so, the commander will refer the member for medical evaluation to the medical treatment facility providing primary medical care to his command.

b. An MEB will be conducted. If the board determines he is not medically qualified for retention on active duty and his condition is considered the result of a disability having no connection with his military service, and he agrees with the findings of the MEB that his physical disability existed before military service and was not aggravated by his military service, he may apply for expeditious discharge.

DISCUSSION:

1. The evidence of record shows an MEB narrative summary confirmed the applicant was admitted to the FARMC Psychiatric Unit on 21 February 1980 after an alleged unsuccessful suicide attempt. The summary indicated the applicant had a history of being hospitalized at a Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk, CA, in August 1978.
2. On 22 February 1980, he underwent a medical examination and he was found not qualified for retention on active duty due to chronic undifferentiated schizophrenia.

3. The evidence further shows on 11 March 1980, an MEB convened and determined the applicant was medically unfit for further military service due to a diagnosis of schizophrenia, chronic undifferentiated type with acute exacerbation, moderate treated and improved, manifested by alleged suicide attempt, paranoid ideation and ideas of reference, concrete thinking, and inappropriate affect. Additionally, the board found his condition EPTS.

4. On 27 March 1980, he agreed with the findings and recommendations of the board and he requested an expeditious discharge for physical disability. He said the MEB considered him unqualified for retention in the military service because of a physical disability that EPTS. The MEB found the disability neither incident to, nor aggravated by his military service. He stated he understood if his application was approved, he would be separated by reason of EPTS physical disability.

5. The senior medical advisor, ARBA, states a review of the available documentation found no evidence of a medical disability or condition, which would support a change to the character or reason for the applicant’s discharge in this case. The applicant’s medical conditions were duly considered during his medical separation processing and it was determined that the applicant’s EPTS condition of schizophrenia preceded his enlistment.

6. There is no evidence and the applicant has not provided any to show that his condition of undifferentiated schizophrenia was incurred during or aggravated by his military service.

//NOTHING FOLLOWS//
ABCMR Record of Proceedings AR20150000953

Enclosure 1

ARMY BOARD FOR CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS

RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

ABCMR Record of Proceedings (cont) AR20150009761

2

ARMY BOARD FOR CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS

RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

Enclosure 1

ABCMR Record of Proceedings (cont) AR20150009761

7

ARMY BOARD FOR CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS

RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

Enclosure 2