Advice on medical appeal please.

Ladies and Gentlemen I would like some help.

Yesterday I received a letter from “Medical Examination Centre The Army Officer Selection Board” stating that due to an old injury (2007) I am “not eligible for military service” citing a reference from Joint Service Publication 346.

As most of you can appreciate having your dreams dashed like this is both gutting and infuriating. I don not intend to give up on my application and as such I will be challenging the decision.

To take my own argument from JSP 346 I easily exceed “activity comparable with military service” JSP 346 3.1.3. In addition it states “Although this chapter provides general guidelines, each case must be assessed on merit.” JSP 346 3.1.5. Using these arguments and others I believe I have grounds for an appeal, though I accept it will more than likely be unsuccessful.

Where I would appreciate your advice is the best course of action with regard to appealing the decision. The options I have narrowed it down to are:

1.Write to the Senior Medical Officer at the Army Selection Board with all my case information. This is referred to as a level 1 appeal in my letter and as far as I am aware is the SOP for appeals. My fear with this option is that my case will be dismissed quickly without a thorough investigation resulting in the appeal being rejected.

2.As suggested by my Uncle, a serving Captain, Contact the Officer Careers Officer who is “sponsoring” me through this stage in the application. Apparently he may be able to organise a meeting between myself and the medical Officer making the decisions. If I was to then turn up with all relevant case information I would also be able to argue on my behalf and stand a better chance. I had also thought of contacting the Medical Examination Centre directly. I have been advised against this however as the Careers Officer may not appreciate me going over his head without informing him.

Any suggestions regarding my options, or any others you may be able to think of would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance


P.S. Sorry about the essay.
As a layman, I'd say option two. Either way you get in touch with the Senior Medical Officer, but you may as well have a full colonel behind youre case.
Sorry to hear about the problem, hope it works out mate.
Rinaldi said:
Out of interest what is the old injury that has been an automatic show-stopper?
That could help us guide you. If it transpires that your "injury" is a missing leg and your "activity compatible with military service" is skydiving then you may be out of luck.
Remnant said:
I believe I have grounds for an appeal, though I accept it will more than likely be unsuccessful.
Option 3: Join the ACF as an adult instructor.

'Morning Remnant.

You say that you easily exceed JSP 346 requirements, so far so good. In any future debate that you have with the SMO, certainly get your sponsor on side if possible, but from recent experience, it seems to me that you'd be better placed if you had a second opinion in support of your case. At present, from the army's perspective, you're simply a disappointed young (I assume) civvy whose opinion is not entirely impartial, he's expressed his view on strictly medical grounds and is unlikely to be swayed simply by an impassioned plea on its own.

You're not the first aspiring rupert who's had to challenge the medics. Use the search function here for "second opinion" for others' experiences. Crack on , but keep at the back of your mind that sometimes "no" does mean "no".

Pm me if you think it's useful.

Best of Luck
Old Rat
Talk to your ACA, and get him on side. He can guide you through the process and having someone senior within the system in your corner is always a bonus.

I intentionally didn't specify what injury I had for two reasons. Firstly if the medical Officers from Westbury visit this site they could figure out who I am (it's a bit of a rare injury). Secondly It was a bit of a serious injury at the time and I wanted people to give me their thoughts rather than just dismissing my situation.

As it happens they can probably figure out who I am from the information already provided so here goes:

I broke my neck.

I had what is affectionately referred to as a hangman's fracture. It's the spinal fracture that the hangman's noose is designed to create. Don't worry it was not self inflicted, just an unfortunate accident.

The army just see spinal fracture and, rightly so, reject it without investigating properly citing JSP 346 3.12.30.

On the upside I made a full recovery without an surgery. In addition there is no spinal deformation and no compression whatsoever. It was a solid bone before and it is again now and has been since '07. I would simply like an assessment on merit (JSP 346 3.1.5) where I can present all information, instead of a dismissal.

For exceeding "activity comparable to military service" JSP 346 3.1.3. I kayak tough white water regularly (ie. Not the Nene), the gouges in my boat and pits in my lid should demonstrate that if I bring them along. I run five days a week in boots, over uneven ground carrying weight. I do training circuits 10 times a week. I ski and snowboard, I'm attempting to learn freestyle at the moment which as you can imagine results in wipe outs. I swim long distances, I cycle, I dive, I sail. I've even bungee jumped since the incident. None of these activities has caused even a slight problem.

As for second opinions I have four. The two doctors who treated the incident, both orthopaedic specialists, my GP and a gynaecologist (yeah I know this one is a bit random, but he's an old uni buddy of mine and any medical opinion helps). All four of them have said that I have made a full recovery, that my spine stronger than before, and that there are no repercussions. Neither they nor I can understand how this is any different to any other fractured bone that has made a full recovery, e.g. arm or leg.

That's the situation. At the time there was no way I could have served but now I'm back to 100% and in the best shape I've ever been in. If you would like any further information PM me.

I can't help but feel I've already used up all my luck, but this is all I've ever wanted to do and I'm not one to give up that easily.


Good luck in your efforts and persist as much as you can. Hopefully if it comes down to a review they will be able to see you are more than fit and able to serve.
I had an injury that on paper made me a no no (numerous rounds of knee surgery for various injuries) and I got through the medical process - just had to persevere and fight my corner. I would take advice from your ACA - mine told me right at the beginning of my process that sometimes no really means no, but a lot of the time it's a bit more springy than that.

Good luck and stick with it.
Best of luck with your appeal. With any luck it's just a case of a knee-jerk reaction, given that the injury is on the list of automatic refusals. A well-grounded appeal will hopefully put matters straight.

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