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Posted: 3/20/2006 11:36:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2006 2:30:19 PM EDT by Tim84K10]
Alright, so I've been working with a recruiter for a while to get back in the Army. This is where I'm at.

I have 3 years of service, during which I hurt my knee and it never got better. I cannot run two miles or even 100 yards anymore, especially on bad days, my knee swells up and is painful. It hasn't been bad in the last 6 months or so, but it seems like it flares up every now and then. One thing is for certain--I'll never be able to take the APFT without alternate events again.

My MOS was/is 14R, Bradley Linebacker Crewmember. I really have a hard time taking a pencil pushing job considering I used to drive tracks and fire live missiles from my shoulder.

They're offering me four options:

1. Take an admin job, and when the time comes, they'll have me do lanes training as an OC. Supposedly guaranteed promotion to E-5 immediately.

2. Take a job in an engineering unit (not a demo unit but a construction unit) and probably get promoted to E-5, and they'll deal with my profile.

3. Take a job in any unit in this area (there is an MP company I've considered) as long as they'll deal with my profile and keep me in the unit. No guarantees of anything there.

4. Do nothing and stay in the IRR until my ETS date which is approximately 4 years away.

Either way I am comitted until 1/22/10.

I'm really on the fence because I love the Army, but I'm just not sure how useful I'll be as a Sergeant who can't run from point A to B without being in pain.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 11:40:42 AM EDT
Which one will benefit you most after you get out of the army?
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 11:43:03 AM EDT
Personally I would stay out, doing paperwork in the Army is the big SUCK!
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 12:40:57 PM EDT
What about getting total knee reconstruction?
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 12:42:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By tripledouble:
What about getting total knee reconstruction?



Yep, then you can go back to blowing shit up
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 1:57:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By tripledouble:
What about getting total knee reconstruction?



I have a muscle problem. Doctors won't cut my knee open to fix it. I already offered in order to get to go with my unit to Iraq last time. No dice.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 2:00:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 1911greg:
Personally I would stay out, doing paperwork in the Army is the big SUCK!



+1 million

If you are used to runnin and gunnin, admin will be the biggest hell for you you have ever known. Stay away from admin, far away
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 2:02:02 PM EDT
Trust me on this. Doing military admin is gayer than anything you ever imagined.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 2:13:17 PM EDT
Did you guys only get to option #1 or what?

There are four options on the table. For option #3, I've considered taking an MP job.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 2:24:14 PM EDT
Option #5 ------> Join the Air Force.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 2:26:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Black_Magic:
Option #5 ------> Join the Air Force.



No thanks.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 2:27:30 PM EDT
How about an MI gig? I assume you are Guard or Reserve, perhaps you could find a unit with an S-2 looking for someone. If you have the ASVAB scores and can get a clearance, probably no reason you can't be a squint or an All-Source weenie. I'm an All-Source weenie, and believe me, there's little strenuous about my job. FYI, there's a lot of females in MI, if that makes a difference to you.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 2:29:22 PM EDT
MI is an option, under option #3.

I'd prefer NOT to work with females if at all possible, but I guess I'm going to have to get used to it if I get out of combat arms. The Army is man's club IMO.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 2:30:53 PM EDT
Yeah. The vast majority of issues, good and bad, mostly bad, are raised by females.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 2:35:55 PM EDT
You have to ask yourself do you want to be a profile soldier? In a pogue unit it seems everyone is profile but do you want to be put in this group. I say stay out and enjoy the time that you put in. My knees are shot as well as my left shoulder but I was never rode the profile game. I should have and gotten some disability money. Stupid road marches
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 2:45:45 PM EDT
You have some of the finest Ortho/Neuro guys in the country. Find the best and have your GP authorize a visit so insurance covers it. Find out what civie docs have to say about your body.

Dave S
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 2:49:30 PM EDT
My platoon sergeant in Iraq had to do the alternate event, walk, and gobbled a billion percosets(?) a day. But it didn't stop him from doing a damn fine job. BTW I hate just about every MP I've ever met.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 2:56:59 PM EDT
I will throw in the asshole comments:

1. The recruiters will put you anywhere and they won't look back.

2. The new unit will be pissed the first day you walk in with a profile especially if you think it is perm. They will view you as a problem from the begining and it won't get easier for you.

3. As a former CO CDR you will show up on my reports. That is never good.

If your injury is that bad. You need to find another way to serve. Perhaps as a civilian.

Just realize that if you do it with a profile, you may catch hell.

advice worth what you paid for it
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 3:10:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2006 3:12:53 PM EDT by simply_green]
Have you researched what the VA will pay you? Do you qualify for any service disibility from them? My advice, stay in until you get fixed. There has to be a way. If not, then make your own way. There has to be an option. Because once you are out . . .well, you're out. Then you're looking for something to do for the rest of your life with a bum knee cursing the Army and caught up in an overwhelmed VA care system.

ETA - whoops, my bad, you're in the IRR? Take what they are offering. Once you get back into a reserve unit you will qualify for Tricare and maybe you can get fixed.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 3:22:15 PM EDT
I appreciate your willingness to continue to serve. I think you need to ask yourself some serious questions, and your answers to these questions will provide you with your ultimate answer.

These days the Guard and Reserve are mobilized on a regular basis to combat zones. Every MOS can and has been placed in direct contact with the enemy. Are you capable of performing your duties as a soldier while under fire? Would you be an asset or a liability to those around you while under fire? Are you willing to place the lives of your fellow soldiers at risk because you cannot run 100 meters?

If you want to go back in, look for a non deployable unit, such as the state training cadre in the Guard. I am sure your desire to serve and your experience would be an asset to such a unit, and the students that would come into contact with you.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 3:59:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Stryker_11A:
These days the Guard and Reserve are mobilized on a regular basis to combat zones. Every MOS can and has been placed in direct contact with the enemy. Are you capable of performing your duties as a soldier while under fire? Would you be an asset or a liability to those around you while under fire? Are you willing to place the lives of your fellow soldiers at risk because you cannot run 100 meters?

If you want to go back in, look for a non deployable unit, such as the state training cadre in the Guard. I am sure your desire to serve and your experience would be an asset to such a unit, and the students that would come into contact with you.

Good luck.



I know that Guard and Reserve are mobilized on a regular basis. My unit was, and I had to stay home. This is after I quit my job, did all my paperwork, packed my shit, made my girlfriend cry, etc., I got a call from my squad leader the day before and was informed that they didn't cut any mob orders for me (we thought that I'd get a waiver).

I have thought long and hard for the last three years about whether I could perform my duties, and whether I'd be a liability to my fellow soldiers. The majority of the time, when my knee isn't acting up, I'm alright. Honestly, I haven't tried running because my doctors told me not to aggravate my knee, but I probably could run if absolutely necessary. I'm not out of shape, either, I'm 5'4", 135 lbs, and the last time I took the APFT, which was February of 2003, I scored 268, even with my bum knee. I think I needed two pushups to max, one more situp to max, and of course my run was about 80% (I never was a GREAT runner, even before my bum knee, about 14:30 is the best I've ever done on the two miles).

The #1 offer, in admin, is a training unit. Their deployment mission is stateside. Career counselor tells because of my combat arms experience, I could be assigned as a trainer of soldiers in lanes training, AFTER I do my ticket punching for a while. That's the only reason I'm considering that. I think it's an awful shame that guys like me are pulling triggers all over the world and I'm stuck at home, but if I can take an NCO position and train soldiers to do the mission, I think it'd make me valuable asset to the Army. That is the only reason I'm considering this admin job in a training bat, because I personally believe that the best service I can currently give to the country would be in that environment.

The other thing I'm considering is the MP bat which is close by. The entire unit is re-classing to a corrections unit where they will basically be prison guards. I have a friend in that unit right now. I am currently going to school in an attempt to become a federal law enforcement officer in the future. The only thing with this is that if I cannot get a "2" on the lower extremity portion of the physical, I will not be able to serve in that unit anymore. I think I likely could, as I think my condition is good enough that a profile allowing me to, "Run at own pace and distance" is more likely to be what I'd get now, compared to the no run/jump/march I had for about two years when my knee was more messed up than it is now. As long as I do not do anything to aggravate it, my knee works 100%. If I do too much strenuous activity and it swells though, I'm out of commission until the swelling goes down....so it must be guarded, but it's not totally useless.

I think about my time in the military every day, and I really miss it. I'm not sure exactly what it is exactly that I missed, certainly not the weeks in the field, not being able to wash my ass for weeks on end, or the other stupid BS. Overall, I loved serving my country, though, and I miss it every day. I just want to convince myself that although I cannot perform in a combat arms unit anymore, that I will be an asset to my fellow soldiers in a combat support role.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 4:03:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2006 4:06:45 PM EDT by Tim84K10]

Originally Posted By simply_green:
Have you researched what the VA will pay you? Do you qualify for any service disibility from them? My advice, stay in until you get fixed. There has to be a way. If not, then make your own way. There has to be an option. Because once you are out . . .well, you're out. Then you're looking for something to do for the rest of your life with a bum knee cursing the Army and caught up in an overwhelmed VA care system.

ETA - whoops, my bad, you're in the IRR? Take what they are offering. Once you get back into a reserve unit you will qualify for Tricare and maybe you can get fixed.



I have never applied for a disability because I want to continue to serve. I'm worried that if they do declare me disabled, they will not allow me to serve anymore.

I stopped going to the doctor in the summer of 2004, when I concluded that in over two years of so called treatment, they weren't doing anything. I've been to about 5 different doctors (military and civilian) and all they ever do is tell me to rest it and take Naproxen. That is great and all, but I feel like I have a job to do for this country, and resting and taking Naproxen isn't it. In AIT, I finally just told the doctor that I needed to be off of profile or I'd never get my MOSQ, and luckily, I didn't have to whine too long before he allowed me to return to full duty.

Part of my problem is related to that, in a way. I was a dumbass and I just wanted to make sure nothing would stop me from graduating AIT on time, and with my class.

Btw, if anyone wants to read about my knee condition, please read here:

www.spinalhealth.net/inj-pat.html
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 6:28:07 PM EDT
If you want to continue serving, admin and training billets aren't bad. They aren't blowing things up but at least you would still be in the green machines

When I was in the Reserve, Reserve and Guard units were graded on their mobilization readiness. And the Unit CO's goal was to get 100% of his unti qualified for mobilization. People that weren't able to mobilize for any reason counted against the ratings and scores. It's improved somewhat because certain reasons now are not counted or scored. Pregnancy, temporary disabilities, etc,

Recruiters are not necessarily your best friend. They get graded on making their quotas.

That said I applaud you on your goal. I don't want you to take this wrong, but cuz it isn't your fault, in the good old days they brought females in to free up men for combat jobs. The military doesn't have that mind set now. There are all kinds of jobs guys with disabilities could perform if allowed to to free up the guys that can pass the physicals. Hell they won't even look at some of us retired fuds for that.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 6:57:15 PM EDT
Look in your heart.

Every one that serves can't be a stone killer knife-in-the-teeth warrior. Every job is worth doing well (just remember all the pogue ass wipes that made your life miserable when they did a half-ass job).
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 9:25:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ODA_564:
Look in your heart.



It's telling me to try as hard as I can to still be a trigger puller. That's what is really in my heart...and I miss it.

The Army's POG club just ain't the same Army.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 5:26:41 AM EDT
You're a Guardsman right?

You are / were an Air Defender. You were never going to do that job (no matter how cool) in combat anyway (the US Army hasn't needed tactical air defense since the Korean War - and not even all of it).

So, to be a 'trigger puller' you were either going to be used as 'infantry without the name' (AKA "dragoons") like the FA guys, etc. are currently, or you'd have to reclassify to 11-series or 19-series (or 13-series, but there isn't much FA going on in the GWOT, rightly or wrongly).

IF you can stay part of something you love and free up someone else for the frontline fight, well, then you are doing your bit for your country too. And who knows, some day you might be fit to fight too.

And its not like you are going to some paper-shuffling daily grind of faceless bureaucratic toil for 120 hours a week. In the average MUTA 5 or AT, you'd spend how many hours making things happen for your fellow Soldiers?

"They also serve, who do the things that make it happen for the trigger-pullers". Where would you have been without the mechanic that kept your HMMV or Bradley running? The second and third echelon electronics repairmen that kept your systems up? The ammo tech that maintained your ammo forecast and filled out the 581 so you could draw Stingers for the annual shoot? The spoons that cooked breakfast? The PAC clerk that updated your ERB? The operations NCO that submitted the range request, went to the Range Control meetings, and made sure you had the range?

There is a difference between being a useless, system-abusing pogue and a support Soldier. The difference is found right under the PCU and behind the "U.S. ARMY" tape. MOS is no excuse for failing to Soldier.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 5:38:49 AM EDT
You will have FAR greater effect training other soldiers, than you will pulling triggers. There is NO substitute for experience in a training NCO. I have done some course development and training as a civilian, and it was one of the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Every once in a while I bump into one of my former trainees, and the training we did years ago has now paid off with a good career, and the bennies that go with it.

Thank you for your service and dedication.

Ops
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 7:30:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/21/2006 7:32:16 AM EDT by Tim84K10]

Originally Posted By ODA_564:
You're a Guardsman right?

You are / were an Air Defender. You were never going to do that job (no matter how cool) in combat anyway (the US Army hasn't needed tactical air defense since the Korean War - and not even all of it).

So, to be a 'trigger puller' you were either going to be used as 'infantry without the name' (AKA "dragoons") like the FA guys, etc. are currently, or you'd have to reclassify to 11-series or 19-series (or 13-series, but there isn't much FA going on in the GWOT, rightly or wrongly).

IF you can stay part of something you love and free up someone else for the frontline fight, well, then you are doing your bit for your country too. And who knows, some day you might be fit to fight too.

And its not like you are going to some paper-shuffling daily grind of faceless bureaucratic toil for 120 hours a week. In the average MUTA 5 or AT, you'd spend how many hours making things happen for your fellow Soldiers?

"They also serve, who do the things that make it happen for the trigger-pullers". Where would you have been without the mechanic that kept your HMMV or Bradley running? The second and third echelon electronics repairmen that kept your systems up? The ammo tech that maintained your ammo forecast and filled out the 581 so you could draw Stingers for the annual shoot? The spoons that cooked breakfast? The PAC clerk that updated your ERB? The operations NCO that submitted the range request, went to the Range Control meetings, and made sure you had the range?

There is a difference between being a useless, system-abusing pogue and a support Soldier. The difference is found right under the PCU and behind the "U.S. ARMY" tape. MOS is no excuse for failing to Soldier.



1. Not anymore. I was transferred to the IRR, long story, it wasn't supposed to happen, but it did.

2. Yes. Despite it being combat support, I've put serious consideration to the MP idea, as you said, infantry without a name. What you said is false, btw. They haven't used SHORAD but the Patriot missile has pretty much proven itself highly effective. That said, I know the Stinger works, I got to fire one.

3. I'm not the person that insulted all the POGs. They're very useful. It just seems that having combat arms experience and going to a POG unit would make no sense.

Please understand that it's hard to tell someone that if they want to stay, it's off to a POG unit for them. I'm just trying to find the slot that will accomodate my physical condition and not irritate me to death.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 7:38:36 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 9:11:33 AM EDT
If you can make it back in the best bet is to go for the admin job, it's gonna suck, but I don't think you would be able to make it as either an MP or any of the engineer MOS's. I'm in the heavy construction MOS 21E, hard on the knees and back, and most likly if you do go for EN they are going to make you a Dumb F**K Chuck, 21C boat and bridge crew memeber. You get your E-5 for breathing.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 10:05:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 50cal:
You should really look into serving as a civilian armorer at a major post somewhere. If it's a service related disability they will accomodate you.
A buddy of mine hurt his back pretty badly and served as an armorer at Ft. Bragg for a long time. You can get a civilian job on post if you look hard enough.



+1

If you wind up a lanes trainer at a MOB site you are going to be humping around the woods with troops, wearing some form of battle rattle. Even some of the training support units are being mobilized to come to Iraq to train Iraqis. So you're looking at getting refradded again.

Any other unit, you will eventually mobilize again, and they will refrad you again, and pop you right back in the IRR again.

All that being said, there are many, many civilians working on every post now, doing a lot of important stuff. I know you want to get back in the fight, and this seems like a pogue type job, but these guys really are important.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 10:52:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/21/2006 10:55:13 AM EDT by ODA_564]
Originally Posted By Tim84K10:
2. Yes. Despite it being combat support, I've put serious consideration to the MP idea, as you said, infantry without a name. What you said is false, btw. They haven't used SHORAD but the Patriot missile has pretty much proven itself highly effective. That said, I know the Stinger works, I got to fire one.


Read again, young Jedi. I said "tactical air defense". Patriot isn't "tactical air defense" - especially when deployed in the EAC missile defense role, as it was in my war, OPERATION DESERT SHIELD / DESERT STORM.

Attention to detail!
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 11:14:15 AM EDT
"Tactical air defense" is not a term that I have heard used before. I'd say that if you were on the receiving end of a scud, it'd be a pretty important "tactic" invoked to make sure it didn't hit your building. Either way, you're partially correct. Regardless, there will be no more of me as an air defender.

This thread has been pretty disapointing. It seems pretty messed up that someone can't serve in the Army, and deploy, despite the fact that they cannot run.
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