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Can I receive a Relief for Cause evaluation report for being overweight with a medical condition that inhibits weight loss?

I recently received a Relief for Cause NCOER for failing to meet height and weight. Extenuating circumstances include: pregnancy and a medical issue that was related to the pregnancy which prevented weight loss within the 6 months time frame. Can they do this?

I have never heard of an NCO being Relieved for Cause as a result of the Army Body Composition Program, unless that individual was in a Commander position or a CSM/1SG position. These positions are specifically addressed in the regulation.  It may be possible for the Command to direct a relief for lower level leadership positions, but I believe to do so and be legally sufficient, the Command would need a legal opinion from the local JAG office.  In your case, you state there may be a medical issue involved, and it may be related to a recent pregnancy.  Recent revisions to AR 600-9 specifically address pregnancy and medical conditions. I would recommend you make an appointment with your local JAG to determine if proper procedures were followed and also determine if there was a violation of any protected status under AR 600-9 or federal law.  You can request that the JAG give you a legal opinion concerning your case.

Commanders can direct relief for something as simple as loss of confidence, but typically you must be given at least 30 days to correct the deficiency and must be counseled throughout the process.  The process typically works like this:
1. you receive a written counseling that the Command intends to relieve you,
2. you are given 30 days from that date to show improvement and must be counseled during that period.
Usually the first General Officer in the Chain of Command must approve a Relief for Cause. This is definitely a legal issue, and as such needs the opinion of a JAG officer.  You should also consider taking your case to a civilian attorney that has retired from the military and is still practicing Military law.  These individuals will typically conduct a consultation that can range from free of charge to $150.
In my experience, Relief for Cause reports are typically not handled correctly because they are done so infrequently. It is to your benefit to make sure you understand the process and ensure it was followed correctly. I have provided some regulation extracts below for your review.
 DA PAM 623-3 pg 41

NCOER part IV- HT/WT—

The rater will comment on a “NO” entry, indicating noncompliance with the standards of AR 600–9, in part IV, block c. These comments should indicate the reason for noncompliance; medical conditions may be cited for noncompliance, however, the “NO “entry is still required because medical waivers to weight control standards are not permitted for evaluation report purposes. The progress or lack of progress in a weight control program will be indicated.–For pregnant NCOs, the entire entry is left blank. The rater will enter the following statement: “Exempt from weight control standards of AR 600–9.” Note. When using the Wizard application associated with the electronic form within the “My Forms” Portal on AKO, the APFT and height and weight statement will be combined.

posted on 12/13/2013 under Q&A
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Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training..

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