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AF | BCMR | CY2005 | BC-2004-02179
Original file (BC-2004-02179.doc) Auto-classification: Denied

                            RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

            INDEX CODE: 108.01, 110.02, 131.00
            COUNSEL:  None

            HEARING DESIRED:  No




She be promoted to the grade of staff sergeant (SSgt)  with  all  back
pay and allowances, and her 1989 discharge for pregnancy be changed to
a medical discharge for multiple service-connected medical conditions.



She was subjected to extreme pressure, sexual harassment, misdiagnosis
of her pregnancy, unjust treatment from her superiors, and was  forced
to separate under false pretenses despite multiple medical  conditions
incurred in and  aggravated  by  military  service  [temporomandibular
joint  pain  (TJP),   bilateral   pes   planus,   anemia,   sinusitis,
dysmenorrheal, chronic fatigue, chest pain, depression, anxiety, post-
traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), “spasms . . .  directly  related  to
scoliosis”].  Earlier in her career  she  was  the  victim  of  sexual
harassment in her job and the dormitory.  She feared  retaliation  and
did not bring formal complaints of sexual advances/assaults.   Despite
symptoms and her assertions of pregnancy,  her  tests  were  negative.
She became very ill because of the depression, anxiety and PTSD caused
by the harassment,  and  the  misdiagnosis  of  her  pregnancy.   This
impacted  her  ability  to  do  her  job  and  cut  short  her  career
progression.  Her cry for help was ignored and she was on the verge of
a mental breakdown.  She requested to be discharged from the  military
for  pregnancy  in  order  to  remove  herself  from  this   stressful
environment and maintain her sanity.  However, she was not informed of
her rights to have a complete discharge physical/dental exam  and  she
was not given a proper separation out-processing briefing.

The applicant’s complete submission, with attachments, is  at  Exhibit



The applicant underwent an enlistment physical on 28 Feb 85,  and  she
indicated she had frequent headaches that were helped by aspirin.  She
enlisted in the Air Force Reserves under the Delayed  Entry/Enlistment
Program (DEP) on 12 Mar 85.  She enlisted in the Regular Air Force for
a  period  of  four  years  on  15 Apr  85.   The  applicant’s   first
performance report had an overall rating  of  8;  the  remaining  four
reports had overall ratings of 9.  During the period in question,  the
applicant was assigned to the 487th Combat Support Group (487 CSG)  at
Comiso Air Station, Italy, as an accounting and finance administrative

She was diagnosed with and treated for bilateral pes planus (flat feet-
-a  congenital/developmental  condition)  in  Jun  86.   Around   this
timeframe, she also sought  care  for  bilateral  anterior  knee  pain
consistent with patellofemoral pain syndrome.  There  are  no  further
entries for knee pain.

On 19 Aug 86, the applicant was evaluated and  conservatively  treated
in the dental clinic for left TJP.  She was instructed  to  return  to
the  dental  clinic  if  her  symptoms  did  not  resolve.   Available
dental/medical records show no subsequent entries for this complaint.

In Oct 87, the applicant was evaluated for back discomfort,  at  which
time a mild scoliosis  (a  developmental  condition)  was  noted.   On
29 Oct 87, she reported feeling “pretty good” and X-rays showed a  15-
degree curvature. She was referred to physical  therapy  for  postural
exercises.  There are no further entries for back  problems  while  on
active duty.

On  17 Nov  87,  the  applicant  was  treated  for  menstrual  cramps,
reporting a history of menstrual  cramps/dysmenorrheal  since  age  14
without relief from multiple medications.   There are no other entries
for severe menstrual cramps while on active duty.

On 22 Dec 87, she was evaluated for left foot pain  for  the  previous
two weeks without  a  history  of  trauma.   Examination  revealed  no
evidence of swelling or tenderness to palpation and she was  diagnosed
as having soft tissue pain, left foot.  There  are  no  other  service
medical record entries for foot pain while the applicant was on active

Medical entries show treatment  for  occasional  bouts  of  sinusitis,
including periods in Mar 87 and Oct 88.

On 17 Apr 89, the applicant’s request to change her name from G-- to M-
- due to marriage to another active duty member was approved.

On 26 May 89, when she was approximately eight weeks pregnant with  an
estimated delivery date of 1 Jan 90, the applicant requested voluntary
separation, effective 30 Jun 89,  due  to  pregnancy.   The  applicant
indicated her pregnancy was interfering with her military duties.   At
the time  of  her  separation,  she  was  processed  expeditiously  to
accommodate her requested date of separation.  She did not  receive  a
final dental exam and there is  no  separation  medical  exam  in  the
available records.

On 30 Jun 89, after 4 years, 2 months, and 16 days of active  service,
the applicant was honorably discharged for pregnancy in the  grade  of

Following her discharge, the applicant continued  to  receive  medical
care as a dependent wife of her active duty husband.   Also  following
discharge, she experienced problems with back pain and  spasms  during
her pregnancy that persisted following  the  delivery  of  her  child.
Evaluation confirmed the presence of mild scoliosis and an  orthopedic
evaluation on 5 Mar 90 doubted her mild scoliosis was related  to  her
occasional  pains.   Her  orthopedic  exam   was   otherwise   normal.
Approximately two years after her separation, she  was  provided  with
arch supports for discomfort related to her flat feet.  In Sep 94, she
was evaluated for heavy, painful  menses.   Military  medical  records
following her discharge do show care for recurrent back pain and  back
spasms, mild  scoliosis,  recurrent  chest  pain,  anxiety,  pregnancy
(twice), bilateral pes planus, mild anemia, sinusitis,  dysmenorrheal,
and fatigue. They do not show entries  following  her  separation  for
care of TJP, depression, or PSTD.  The  applicant’s  military  medical
records end in Nov 96.

In Oct 02, the applicant filed a claim with the Department of Veterans
Affairs (DVA) using her  maiden  name.   DVA  Rating  Decision,  dated
14 Feb 03, denied service connection for TJP,  joint  pain,  bilateral
pes planus, anemia, sinusitis, and dysmenorrheal.



HQ AFPC/DPPPWB points out the  application  is  untimely  because  the
applicant waited approximately 15 years after separation  to  petition
the AFBCMR.  There is no provision for an automatic promotion to  SSgt
as she  requests.   She  made  a  conscious  decision  to  voluntarily
separate from the Air Force before  being  considered  for  promotion.
She is therefore not entitled to be promoted to SSgt, a grade to which
she was never selected.  They recommend the  case  be  time-barred  or

A complete copy of the evaluation is at Exhibit C.

The AFBCMR  Medical  Consultant  advises  review  of  the  applicant’s
service medical records finds no evidence for anemia, chronic fatigue,
chest pain, “spasms . . . directly related to scoliosis,”  depression,
anxiety, and PTSD.  Her service medical records do show evaluation  or
treatment for TJP, bilateral pes planus, sinusitis, dysmenorrheal, and
scoliosis.  There is no evidence these conditions interfered with  her
military duty or warranted referral for  a  Medical  Evaluation  Board
(MEB).  There is no evidence in  her  military  medical  or  personnel
records to support her contention of in-service traumas that might  be
linked to her post-service problems of anxiety, depression,  or  PTSD.
A separation medical exam in not required by law; however, as a matter
of policy, the Air Force provides a separation exam which a member may
decline.  There is no evidence in the medical  records  prior  to  the
applicant’s separation that medical conditions present while on active
duty warranted placement on medical  hold  for  purposes  of  an  MEB.
According to AFR 160-43, in force  at  the  time,  the  fact  that  an
individual’s service is soon to be terminated for reasons  other  than
physical disability, e.g.,  expiration  of  enlistment,  voluntary  or
mandatory retirement, gives rise to a presumption that he/she has been
and remains medically qualified  to  perform  the  duties  of  his/her
office, grade, or rank in such a manner as to reasonably  fulfill  the
purpose of employment on active duty.  There is no evidence any of her
medical conditions in service interfered with the performance  of  her
duty, as further exemplified by her last superior performance  report.
The  Consultant  explains  the  differences   between   the   military
Disability Evaluation System (DES), which operates under Title 10, and
the  DVA’s  system,  which  operates  under  Title  38.    Denial   is
recommended as action and disposition in  this  case  was  proper  and
equitable, reflecting compliance Air Force directives.

A complete copy of the evaluation is at Exhibit D.



SAF/MRBR inadvertently sent a copy of only one of the two  evaluations
to the applicant on 14 Jul 05.  Complete copies  of  both  evaluations
were forwarded to the applicant by the AFBCMR Staff on 20 Jul  05  for
review and comment within 30 days.

The applicant provided a rebuttal indicating she was forced out of the
military due to the constant and intense pressure of not  knowing  why
she was sick.  Her illness eventually affected her mental  well-being,
causing her to spend time away from work.  She  was  highly  motivated
and career-minded and should have been promoted to the next  grade  of
SSgt.  She was not afforded separation  counseling.   Information  was
withheld from her and she did not know about her rights to appeal.

The applicant’s complete rebuttal is at Exhibit G.



1.    The applicant has exhausted all remedies  provided  by  existing
law or regulations.

2.    The application was not timely filed;  however,  it  is  in  the
interest of justice to excuse the failure to timely file.

3.    Insufficient relevant evidence has been presented to demonstrate
the existence of error or injustice.  After a thorough review  of  the
evidence  of  record  and  the  applicant’s  submission,  we  are  not
persuaded she should be promoted to the grade of SSgt  and  discharged
for multiple service-connected medical  conditions.   The  applicant’s
contentions  are  duly  noted;  however,  we   do   not   find   these
uncorroborated  assertions,  in  and   by   themselves,   sufficiently
persuasive to override  the  evidence  of  record  and  the  rationale
provided by the AFBCMR Medical Consultant  and  the  Air  Force.   The
applicant has not shown she was forced to leave the  Air  Force  under
false pretenses because of sexual harassment,  extreme  pressure,  and
medical problems, as she alleges.  She has not shown she suffered from
an unfitting condition at the time of her separation  or  should  have
been promoted to the grade of SSgt.   We therefore adopt the rationale
expressed by the Medical Consultant and the Air Force as the basis for
our decision that the applicant has not sustained her burden of having
suffered either an error or an injustice.  In view of  the  above  and
absent persuasive evidence to the  contrary,  we  find  no  compelling
basis to recommend granting the relief sought.



The  applicant  be  notified  that  the  evidence  presented  did  not
demonstrate the existence of material error  or  injustice;  that  the
application was denied without a personal  appearance;  and  that  the
application will only be reconsidered upon  the  submission  of  newly
discovered relevant evidence not considered with this application.


The following members of the  Board  considered  this  application  in
Executive Session on 14 September 2005 under the provisions of AFI 36-

                 Ms. Kathleen F. Graham, Panel Chair
                 Ms. Kathy L. Boockholdt, Member
                 Mr. Wallace F. Beard, Jr., Member

The following documentary evidence relating to AFBCMR Docket Number BC-
2004-02179 was considered:

   Exhibit A.  DD Form 149, dated 8 Jul 04, w/atchs.
   Exhibit B.  Applicant's Master Personnel Records.
   Exhibit C.  Letter, HQ AFPC/DPPPWB, dated 22 Sep 04.
   Exhibit D.  Letter, AFBCMRF Medical Consultant,
                       dated 12 Jul 05.
   Exhibit E.  Letter, SAF/MRBR, dated 14 Jul 05.
   Exhibit F.  Letter, AFBCMR, dated 20 Jul 05.
   Exhibit G.  Letter, Applicant, dated 18 Aug 05.

                                   KATHLEEN F. GRAHAM
                                   Panel Chair

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