AR20150010053

IN THE CASE OF:

BOARD DATE: 25 August 2016

DOCKET NUMBER: AR20150010053

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

IN THE CASE OF:

BOARD DATE: 25 August 2016

DOCKET NUMBER: AR20150010053

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.

IN THE CASE OF:

BOARD DATE: 25 August 2016

DOCKET NUMBER: AR20150010053

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 correction of his military service records to show that he sustained an injury to his left leg/knee.

2. The applicant states that he participated in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) for three years during high school and four years while attending Georgia Technology School. Upon graduation, he was ordered to attend basic training at Fort Lee, VA, and he was detailed to the Quartermaster Corps.

a. He was assigned to Research and Development and sent to Mount Washington Test Site, NH. In March 1954, he participated in the testing of insulated boots to be used by Soldiers in cold weather. The first training session involved cross country and downhill skiing. He did not know how to ski and he took a bad fall in the snow injuring both of his knees.

b. His right knee was injured much worse than his left knee. Liquid developed and pooled inside his right knee cap and ran down to the top of his boot. The commanding officer, Major (MAJ) P____, sent him to a local (civilian) doctor for medical treatment. The right knee injury was documented in medical records; however, the left knee injury was not. He questions why he was not sent to an Army medical treatment facility because the injury was worse than the civilian doctor recognized.

c. He states that approximately two and one-half years ago his left knee gave out and he fell forward on a concrete floor. He did not sustain a major injury. However, within a short period of time, the cartilage in his right knee came out leaving the knee “bone-on-bone,” which causes pain.

d. On 7 April 2016, the Director, Case Management Division, Army Review Boards Agency, informed the applicant that a copy of the medical documents that support his medical conditions was required to consider his application.

e. On 27 May 2016, the applicant wrote that he has been seen by Doctor (Dr.) R__ B____, Jr., Kenai, AK, for knee pain. The doctor advised the applicant to inform him when he is ready to have a knee replacement. Then, Dr. I____, Central Peninsula Hospital, Kenai, AK, examined and x-rayed his left knee. However, he is unable to provide documentation pertaining to these visits from his civilian medical records. On 2 June 2015, Dr. T____, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Atlanta Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital, administered a “Gel-One” shot in both of his knees because x-rays were showing “bone-on-bone.” On
23 May 2016, he returned to the VA hospital and received similar treatment because there was a narrowing in the cartilage of the knees and signs of arthritis. Dr. T____ stated, “the x-rays were only a picture and [she] couldn’t tell the moment that [the] injury occurred, however, with the knowledge of the fall at Mount Washington, it would certainly seem to be reasonable that both knees were included in the fall.”

g. He respectfully requests correction of his military medical records to show the injury to his left leg.

3. The applicant provided two self-authored statements (summarized above), a civilian medical record, and VA rating decision.

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 was appointed as a Reserve commissioned officer of the Army on 1 August 1952 in the Quartermaster Corps. He was ordered to active duty on 13 October 1953.

3. The applicant’s DA Form 66 (Officer Qualification Record) shows:

* item 10 (Assignment Limitations), is blank (no entries)
* item 18 (Record of Assignments), he was assigned (temporary duty) as Supply Officer, Mount Washington, Test Detachment, Gorham, NH, effective 12 March 1954

4. A DA Form 67-3 (Officer Efficiency Report (OER)) covering the period
28 February 1954 to 24 May 1954 shows the applicant was serving as Supply Officer, 9111 Test Support Unit, Detachment 2, Fort Lee, VA.

a. Item 10 (Duties Actually Performed on Present Job Assignment): “Supply Officer of Testing Detachment operating a separate camp. In this capacity he is responsible for real and installed property, Testing Detachment property, and Memorandum Receipt property. His is the responsibility to determine and secure that property required to conduct successful Quartermaster Field Testing Activities. Additional duties are those of an Adjutant and a Test Officer.”

b. The rater, MAJ V__ P____, Commanding Officer and Chief Test Officer, in pertinent part, offered the comment, “This officer possesses a good military appearance and is in excellent physical condition.”

5. Two OERs, spanning the period 25 May 1954 to 25 October 1955, show the applicant possessed the physical qualities expected for his grade.

6. The applicant’s DDForm214 shows he entered active duty on 13 October 1953 and he was honorably separated on 31 October 1955 based on his request for release from active duty. He had completed 2 years and 19 days of net service this period; 1 year, 2 months, and 12 days of other service; and 3 years, 3 months, and 1 day of total net service for pay purposes.

7. In support of his application the applicant provides the following documents.

a. Central Peninsula Hospital Soldotna, AK, Diagnostic Imaging, dated
18 October 2013, that shows Dr. J__ J. K____ noted impressions of mild osteoarthritic degenerative changes were seen involving the applicant’s left knee and that the osteoarthritic degenerative changes are more prominent involving the contralateral right knee.

b. VA Anchorage Regional Office, Anchorage, AK, Rating Decision, dated
3 January 2014, that shows the VA evaluated the applicant’s right knee chondromalacia, rated at 20 percent (%), and continued the rating. It also shows that the previous denial of service connection for left knee chondromalacia patella was confirmed and continued.

8. In the processing of this case, an advisory opinion was obtained from the Clinical Director, Integrated Disability Evaluation System (DES), U.S. Army Medical Command, Fort Knox, KY.

a. The official stated that no medical treatment records from the period of the claimed knee injury were provided for review.

b. The advisory official determined there is no evidence the applicant had a potentially unfitting condition at the time of his discharge from military service.
Therefore, there was no reason he should have been referred to the Army’s DES at that time. Thus, he would not have been eligible for medical discharge or medical retirement.

9. On 8 July 2016, the applicant was provided a copy of the advisory opinion to allow him the opportunity to submit comments or a rebuttal.

10. On 22 July 2016, the applicant provided a response. He restated his comments regarding his participation in the ROTC program, and military service, and offered additional information concerning his injury. He stated that he was taken to the summit of the mountain for a 6-mile downhill trip. He described using a tow rope to train and, as the tow rope went over a hump, the force pushed him downward and he injured both knees. The local (civilian) doctor advised him to keep the injured leg raised and to put a heat lamp on it for a period of three days. The doctor made no mention/record of the injury to his left leg. He adds the VA recently granted him service-connection for his left knee rated at 10% with a total disability rating of 50%. He concludes by stating that he did injure both knees, regardless of the fact that military medical records are not available.

REFERENCES:

Army Regulation 40-66 (Medical Record Administration and Healthcare Documentation) prescribes policies for preparing and using medical reports and records. Chapter 3 (Preparation of Medical Records), Section II (Medical Record Entries), paragraph 3-4, shows that entries will be made in all inpatient, outpatient, service treatment, dental, Army Substance Abuse Program, and occupational health records by the health care provider who observes, treats, or cares for the patient at the time of observation, treatment, or care. An individual’s request for amendment/correction of a medical record may be denied, if it is determined that the protected health information that is subject to the request is accurate and complete, or it was not created by a covered entity.

DISCUSSION:

1. The applicant contends that his military service records should be corrected to show he injured in his left leg/knee in March 1954.

2. The applicant’s military medical records are not available for review.

a. A review of his military personnel records failed to show any physical limitations during the period of service under review. In fact, during the period February to May 1954, his rater indicated that the applicant was in excellent physical condition.

b. The applicant was honorably separated from active duty on 31 October 1955. There is no evidence of any unfitting condition(s) at the time.

3. The sincerity of the applicant’s comments regarding injuries sustained in March 1954 is not in dispute. However, he provides no contemporaneous documentary evidence to substantiate an injury to his left leg/knee.

4. The fact that the VA granted service connection for a disabling condition is insufficient to create a military record pertaining to the date, cause, or specific nature of an injury to his left leg/knee.

//NOTHING FOLLOWS//
ABCMR Record of Proceedings AR20150000953

Enclosure 1

ARMY BOARD FOR CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS

RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

ABCMR Record of Proceedings (cont) AR20150010053

2

ARMY BOARD FOR CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS

RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

Enclosure 1

ABCMR Record of Proceedings (cont) AR20150010053

5

ARMY BOARD FOR CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS

RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

Enclosure 2