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Warrior in Transition

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the definition of a “Warrior in Transition”?
  2. Why do WTUs exist?
  3. Who is eligible for assignment to a WTU?
  4. Who is not eligible for assignment to a WTU?
  5. What kind of support can a Soldier and his or her Family member expect when in the medical hold or medical holdover status?
  6. What is MEB or PEB and why does it take so long?  How long should it take?
  7. How long does it take for a medical hold or medical holdover patient to go through the MEB process? The PEB process?
  8. What is a PEBLO?
  9. What is Soldier and Family Assistance Centers (SFACs)?
  10. Why should the Army have SFACs?
  11. What has the Army done to improve services to WTs?  
     

 

What is the definition of a “Warrior in Transition”?
Any wounded, injured, or ill Soldier with complex medical needs requiring greater than six months medical treatment and/or requires a Medical Evaluation Board. This includes Soldiers previously assigned to medical hold and medical hold over units or on Active Duty Medical Extension (ADME). All Warriors in Transition will be assigned to a Warrior Transition Unit at an Army Medical Treatment Facility or Medical Center.

There are four types of patients to consider for re-assignment to the WTU.

1. Active Duty Soldiers in Medical hold status. These are Soldiers who are temporarily unable to perform their normal duties due to a medical condition or injury.

2. Reserve Component Soldiers in Medical holdover status. These are Soldiers called to Active duty (AD) who need medical evaluation, treatment and disposition including definitive health care for medical conditions identified, incurred, or aggravated while in an AD status.

3. Soldier on Active Duty Medical Extension (ADME): Public Laws 105-85 and 106-65, and the National Defense Authorization Acts of 1998 and 2000, authorizes Reserve members who incur an injury or aggravate a previous illness or injury in the line of duty, to submit a written request for extension on active duty.

4. Soldiers with P3/P4 profiles that do not meet AR 40-501 retention standards and have a referral for a MEB. Soldiers that require complex care for greater than 6 months and cannot contribute to the mission of their unit.

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Why do WTUs exist?
The Army stood up WTUs to provide high quality living conditions, prevent unnecessary procedural delays, and establish conditions that facilitate their healing processes physically, mentally, and spiritually. WTUs provide command, control, and medical management while treating all Warriors in Transition with dignity and respect. WTUs, ensure the comprehensive treatment of line of duty medical conditions to the point it can be determined that Warriors in Transition meet or will meet Army retention standards for medical fitness in accordance with AR 40-501. WTUs also assist Warriors with the transition to civilian life with dignity and compassion.

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Who is eligible for assignment to a WTU?
A Commander, in coordination with the Military Treatment Facility Commander, can assign/attach a Soldier to the WTU when they meet the following criteria:
Active Duty Soldiers:
  • Who have complex care issues that require care longer than 6 months duration, and

    (a) whose duty limitations preclude the Soldier from contributing to the unit’s mission,

    (b) Or whose treatment plan requires the Soldier to spend most of his/her time receiving (and/or traveling to and from) medical treatment
  • Who require an MEB (and therefore requires a permanent profile) and whose duty limitations preclude the SM from contributing to the parent unit’s mission.

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Who is not eligible for assignment to a WTU?
Under usual circumstances, the personnel in paragraphs a thru g below are not eligible for attachment / assignment to the WTU. Military Treatment Facility Commanders may make exceptions for valid clinical reasons after consultation with the Soldier’s treating provider and unit commander.

a. Military personnel who are under investigation, courts-martial charges or sentence, non-judicial punishment, or administrative separation proceedings except delineated in AR 635-40. Such personnel will not be reassigned from a local unit without concurrence of the WTU commander. b. Soldiers with normal, uncomplicated pregnancy

c. Soldiers whose permanent profiles require an MMRB. If the MMRB refers the Soldier to the MEB, the Soldier would then be eligible for the WTU.

d. A mobilized Soldier whose condition existed prior to mobilization, was not aggravated by the current mobilization, and was discovered prior to Day 25 of the current mobilization. When identified, such Soldiers are immediately released from Active Duty (REFRAD) and sent back to their parent RC in accordance with current PPG.

e. Soldiers who are in Initial Entry Training, Advanced Individual Training, or One Station Unit Training.

f. Soldiers in TDRL status who are anticipated to stay at the Military Treatment Facility for less than 30 days.

g. General officers will not be relieved from duty assignment and assigned to a WTU without approval of the Army G-1.

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What kind of support can a Soldier and his or her Family member expect when in the medical hold or medical holdover status?
Each Warrior in Transition has an assigned a case manager (inpatient/outpatient) to assist with appointments. The medical hold and medical holdover company commander or 1SG arranges for transport to lodging and to medical appointments and pharmacy pick up. Soldiers who are authorized non-medical attends receive lodging, transportation and per diem for those family members. The Soldier Family Assistance Program provides recreation and social activities for Soldiers and Family members.

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What is MEB or PEB and why does it take so long? How long should it take?
The Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) evaluates the Soldier’s medical condition to determine if they do or do not meet the medical retention standards IAW AR 40-501, Chapter 3. The Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) is the only board in the military that can determine whether a Soldier is considered fit or unfit for continued military service. The PEB determines the disability rating and compensation a Soldier receives. The entire MEB and PEB process should take 4 to 5 months; however, depending on the nature or complexity of the injuries or illnesses there are clinical and administrative issues which can extend the process.

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How long does it take for a medical hold or medical holdover patient to go through the MEB process? The PEB process?
After one year of treatment or rehabilitation, any Soldier (regardless whether they are medical hold/medical holdover or not) must be evaluated for the medical evaluation board (MEB). This does not automatically mean an MEB will begin, only that an evaluation will take place. There is a significant misperception among the medical holdover Soldiers that they will automatically REFRAD (released from active duty) after one year regardless of where they are in their treatment or rehabilitation. Once referred to the MEB by a physician, the MEDCOM goal is to complete the MEB phase within 90-days. The Physical Disability Agency’s goal is to complete the Physical Evaluation Board process in 40 days.

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What is a PEBLO?
The Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer (PEBLO) is an individual responsible for counseling Soldiers referred into the Physical Disability Evaluation System (PDES). There is one PEBLO for up to 24 cases. PEBLOs explain the Medical Evaluation Board
process to Soldiers. They will assist Soldiers with the paperwork, explain what to expect, discuss potential MEB outcomes and answer questions the Soldier may have about the MEB process. PEBLOs receive initial on the job training for 45 to 90 days from their senior PEBLO. It includes mentoring and shadowing senior PEBLOs for six months. They also attend PEBLO training conferences and participate in web-based training. There are plans to develop a more comprehensive orientation and training program.

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What is Soldier and Family Assistance Centers (SFACs)?
Soldier and Family Assistance Centers (SFACs) are user-friendly centers offering critical support services to Warriors in Transition (WTs), following injuries or combat wounds, while defending our nation. This holistic approach to attending to the needs of Warriors in Transition (WTs) and their Families brings their most frequently needed services, to one location, near their medical treatment facility.  

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Why should the Army have SFACs?
  • Cut time—give soldiers quicker access to help
  • One-Stop: employment assistance, social services, legal assistance, military personnel, finance, and education services
  • More Than One-Stop—the SFAC also gives WTs and Family members access to travel claims processing, Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), Army Wounded Warrior (AW2) resources, and a friendly, helping hand
  • Nurturing, morale-building, and convenient place to help WTs heal.

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What has the Army done?
Army Leadership mandated improvement in services for WTs and Families; SFACs are one of many essential responses to that mandate. Many facilities have been set up and new directors have been assigned, throughout the United States and in Europe. Those directors and their Army Community Services (ACS) Directors met early in December to map their plans for the future.

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