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Soldier files federal lawsuit seeking medical retirement

After ABCMR denial, National Guardsman files federal lawsuit for medical retirement

William Cowles, who served more than 20 years as an Army National Guardsman, has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to have his discharge changed to medical retirement.  The lawsuit asserts that the Army hastily discharged Cowles based on an erroneous diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder when he should have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).   Furthermore, the lawsuit challenges the illegal denial of Cowle’s application for medical retirement.  Last year, the ABCMR, denied Cowle’s petition to correct his discharge to medical retirement.

Recent reports indicate that thousands of Veterans have been wrongfully discharged for alleged personality or adjustment disorders when many of these men and women suffer from PTSD.  The Government Accountability Office, members of Congress, and Vietnam Veterans of America have criticized the Army for discharging more than 30,000 people since September 11, 2001 in violation of DoD procedural protections for service members based on erroneous diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder and Personality Disorder.  Cowles is believed to be the first to seek redress in federal court.

Soldier’s Appeal Rights

Here is a list of the avenues for appeal available to an Army Veteran

  1. U.S. Army Physical Disability Agency (PDA)
  2. U.S. Army Physical Disability Appeal Board (APDAB)
  3. U.S. Army Disability Rating Review Board
  4. U.S. Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR)
  5. U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  6. U.S. District Courts
  7. Secretary of the Army – DOD/Congress/President

* Appeals not require to be in this order

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