I joined the National Guard and have almost completed my six years of service and was supposed to be placed into the IRR, However, they just placed a Stop-Loss on our unit until 2031. I also have a 7month old daughter. I was told by a Warrant Officer that when a soldier is pregnant, she should be counseled by her commander and asked if she wants to complete the remainder of her time with the army, or get a discharge. I never got that counselling.
I have also been having back problems that I am seeing a doctor and physical therapist for. I was told from my commander that I will have to go to the military doctor and have them check to see if I am deployable or if I can get out on medical discharge.
My question is- Is it a breech of contract when the army didn't counsel me and give me the option to get out of the army? can I still get out on that hardship. I am an unmarried mother with no family to care for my child in case of deployment.
I also want to know if I could go to my doctor and have them release the information of my medical records and put in a referral of non- deployment?
Last edited by kkttrill; 07-16-2005 at 07:17 PM.
Reason: forgot a word
You should have definitely been counseled. AR 135-91 ch.4 explicitly mandates that a commissioned officer shall conduct pregnancy counseling and also mandates the use of a "pregnancy counseling checklist" that helps explain the various options to the service member. If you were indeed never counseled it is not just some minor administrative goof - it is a major discrepancy that should be reported to the proper authorities (being very careful to not get yourself into trouble in the process).
I doubt that any "breach of contract" argument will fly. However, it is quite possible they would allow you to leave anyway. ( the military will be careful to maintain that they are *allowing* you leave and are not required to do so, simply as a matter of policy). Generally a person can always apply for a "hardhship" discharge under the applicable regulations, kids or not.
Do I go through my chain of command? Speak to a Chaplain?
Or should I write a letter to a congressman? I don't want to step on anyones toes, but I wouldn't feel comfortable speaking to my direct chain of command.
You have a 7-month old kid... Who is listed on your Family Care Plan?
If you don't have one, be prepared... You can, and probably WILL be discharged for it. Not Honorable, but a GENERAL Discharge. You can also be punished under the UCMJ for disobeying a lawful order (failure to submit family care plan).
I do also have another question. Today I recived an Family Care packet. I was wondering is this supposed to be my pregnancy counseling? I have listed the father as a guardian if I am deployed, however, if I was to be deployed, he would not be able to care for her- he doesn't make enough money to put her in day care and work. There is no other family
That is why YOU are required to pay him child support while deployed... You will get BAH at the with dependents rate, and that is the MINIMUM you will be requierd to send. He will be able to pay for daycare, since (depending on his ZIP code) you should get between $800-1200/month BAH.
You are actively seeking a way out of the Guard... This is the wrong approach. You need to devote this time and energy into seeking out all the benefits and entitlements due you and your child for the deployment.
Situations like this kind of make a person wonder about the National Guard. Seriously.
First off, you apparently should have received pregnancy counseling in accordance with the regulation I cited above. If you didn't get it, that is a major problem. The pregnancy counseling is different from the "family care plan counseling" though the regulations say that ideally you should get both counseling/checklists at the same time. But better yet, for family care counseling, according to AR 600-20 para 5-5(f)4 you were to be counseled "Using DA Form 5304-R as soon as pregnancy is identified but not later than 90 days prior to the expected date of the birth of the child."
If you have a child, and do not have a completed "family care plan" in place, you are in violation of army regs. The fact that your chain-of-command hasn't complied either is a big mitigating circumstance, but still....
If you wish to stay in the military you need to complete "DA form 5305-R(Family Care Plan)", using "DA Form 5304-R (Family Care Plan Counseling Checklist)" as a guide. You can find copies of the required forms and regulations on the Minnesota NG website:
The whole idea of a "family care plan" is to make arrangements for someone to take care of your child (in this case) if you are deployed. If the other parent can't do it, for whatever reason, then they will not suffice. (You can sign up to have an allotment automatically taken from your pay to help pay for child care if you are deployed -- that is part of the package).
So, apparently, your unit is 10 months behind in counseling you on the family care plan (and mailing you a package is not "counseling") and this is after they completely *skipped* pregnancy counseling that is also mandated by regulation. Better yet, if this paperwork is not done, then you are probably listed on your unit rolls as "deployable" -- meaning that the military thinks that you are instantly available for worldwide deployment. Unless there is some major piece of missing information here this is totally SNAFU. Did you have this child in complete secrecy?
They knew that I was pregnant since April 2004. I am concerned about this because my six year obligation is up in October, 2005. I am currently non-deployable because of a surgery that I had earlier this year, making me non-deployable until at least March of 2006. However, they just told us that we are on stop-loss, so I can't ETS in October like I am supposed to. Iam concerned because had I been given the option to get out early, I would have taken it, had they given me the proper counseling. I would like to get out in October. Had I not had my child, I would be more than eager to go overseas, but I feel that it is more important that I raise my daughter and take care of my health.
If I don't want to stay in the army, do I still turn in the family care? If I turn that in, does that mean that I want to stay in? I plan on turning it in, because I know that I am required to do so, but what is this telling them?
At this point I'd have to suggest contacting an attorney. A member of the JAG corps should be able to light a fire under this situation if a fire is warranted, and it appears so.
If you simply fail to turn in a "family care plan" then you will probably, eventually, be processed for discharge -- though perhaps no one will notice! But you could suffer adverse consequences, be charged with noncompliance with regulations, etc. etc. and that would not be good at all.
The problem here is that apparently your unit fouled up by not giving you the counseling/options required by regulation. To "fix" it, however (for example, by giving you your discharge now) higher powers will probably have to be involved (i.e. Washington). Thus, your command can only fix the problem by admitting to its bosses that it goofed. Now, a lot of times a command will admit an honest mistake. However, sometimes they will do everything in their power to shift the blame onto you.
So, I'd contact an attorney familiar with these things and tell him what has happened, citing the regulations I gave above. If they agree that you have not been treated in accordance with regulations then they can advise you on what you need to do to fix the situation. They can also advise you about keeping from becoming a scapegoat.
If you trust your chain-of-command (they may be bad at paperwork but good folks at heart) then you can simply submit a letter/special request to your chain-of-command simply advising them that you *believe* that you were supposed to receive counseling and didn't get it. Be tactful, make clear you *believe* there is a problem (we are not lawyers), etc. Don't blame anyone, just address it as an oversight. That should spur the command into doing something -- the first usually being to ask "What the hell is this regulation she is citing?" which lead to them reading it, and then hopefully to corrective action.
I see this checklist, it looks like they did give it to me. But when I was "counseled" on this, it was never discussed that I would have the option of getting out. The only thing they talked about, is who will watch your child and how I should get prepared.
I see one statement
K. "I understand that there is a voluntary and involuntary procedures for my seperation from military service when my parental responsiblities interfere with the performance of my military service"
Is this where I am supposed to say that I want out?This seems like a very general statement. Or is this just part of it? Or is this something else?
The form 5304-R is the "family care plan" counseling. What you apparently never received was the "pregnancy counseling". It appears that the Army *thinks* that you received pregnancy counseling and chose to remain on active duty. Thus they want you to prepare a family care plan (even if a bit late).
If you think you were denied your opportunity to take a discharge, and you want to take it now, you should take action IMHO. This problem will not be corrected without you taking a proactive role.
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