Asked in Military Law for Wyoming

Q: Can the military ignore doctors notes?

My fiance was prescribed antidepressants for her depression. Since it takes 4-6 weeks for the meds to work the doctor wrote a letter staring I needed to stay within town the next 2 drills for the army national guard, due to me being her only emotional support and when I leave it triggers her depression. So can the military ignore the doctors note and still make me leave town?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Robert Donald Gifford II
Robert Donald Gifford II
  • Military Law Lawyer
  • Oklahoma City, OK

A: The ugly answer is "yes." Just like single-parent servicemembers have to have a childcare plan to take care of kids in the event of mobilization/deployment, the same concept applies here. The best advice is to work this through your chain of command and build support from the bottom up. Come up with a work plan - a way to possibly reschedule or do equivalent drill weekend work (RST). You could file a complaint with the IG or exercise your Commander's "open door policy," but your safer and smarter course of action - and one that has more likelihood of working is by working it up the chain and building support. Be prepared to provide medical documentation. Sometimes a doctor's note is vague.

Also, you need (you must) to come up with a plan to either have family or trusted friends be on stand by in times like this.

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