Major Flaw in Army Post-FPEB Appeal Process
Under the guidance provided by Section 4.10.d.1 of DODI 1332.18, volume 1 dtd 24 Feb 2023, the SECDEF directed that every armed service should provide service members with the opportunity to submit either a written appeal or to provide them with a post-FPEB hearing. The Air Force and the Navy have established a post-FPEB hearing process and are in fact conducting such hearings as required by regulation. However, for the near future, the Army Physical Disability Agency has taken the position that they are unable to provide such hearings due to staffing issues. This response is in direct conflict with the SECDEF instruction.
For those of you who are appealing adverse Army FPEB findings, I would suggest that you discuss with your OSC or civilian counsel the merits of requesting a post-FPEB hearing in addition to preparing a written appeal. That way, if your request for a hearing is denied and your written appeal is not granted as well, you have preserved this issue to raise on an appeal before the ABCMR or in a federal court proceeding. I have attached a copy of the instruction for your use and review.