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  • This is a great question about the potential barriers faced by reserve component soldiers. If a reserve component soldier has been treated in an inpatient psychiatric facility at a Military Treatment Facility, and the discharge disposition indicates that permanent duty limitations are required that do not meet medical retention standards, then the soldier would be referred to the Military Occupational Specialty Administrative Retention Review (MAR2) and ultimately the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) for a Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) and related medical discharge. This will include all of the evaluations that an active component soldier would receive during IDES. The soldier’s command would work with appropriate medical channels to ensure that these processes are initiated.

    Related to follow-up care, Reserve component soldiers retain the same eligibility for care that they had prior to the admission. If they are still on active duty (Title 10) orders, then they would be seen at the Military Treatment Facility for follow-up. If they are eligible for care through the Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA), then they could be seen at VHA facilities, and this treatment would be accounted for during IDES. Reserve component soldiers also can request to be put on Active Duty Medical Extension orders that would cover care eligibility at Military Treatment Facilities while the MAR2, MEB, and IDES determinations are finalized. 

    If there is a unique circumstance, the reserve component service member can call the inTransition program at 800-424-7877. This program exists to provide specialized coaching and referral assistance for any service members who need access to mental health care.

    The interested reader is also referred to Army Regulation 635-40, which lays out the requirements for reserve component soldiers during Disability Evaluation for Retention, Retirement, or Separation.

    -- Dr. Tim Hoyt

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