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Deployment Regs for Cancer Survivors?

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2011

I'm 27, just finished chemo for stage 2 Hodgkin's lymphoma this past December. I am an E-6 in the Army Reserves and although I haven't deployed yet, I've just transferred to a kind of unit that deploys frequently. According to AR 40-501 (Medical Fitness Standards), p. 62, soldiers on a six-month follow-up schedule "should not deploy." Once I get my strength back, I would like to do a 2-4 month deployment next year on a volunteer basis.

Does the army allow soldiers to deploy if they have a six-month follow-up schedule? Is there a waiver for this? I'm guessing that if the army wanted to deploy me now for a year, they could do so, because the reg says "should not" rather than "will not." And the army will do what it wants anyway . . . I'd just rather not deploy a few months out of intensive chemo, since I haven't recovered yet.

Posts: 507
Joined: Apr 2010

I’m navy but...

And I am also active duty

a should not deploy is probably waver able if you want it BUT it probably will interfere with your six month follow-up.

You need to weigh the desire to deploy VS your health and wellbeing.

The people you should talk to about this is your doctor, He/She will probably have to sign the waver as well.

I have also heard that alot of people who get any cancer normaly have to go to a medical review board and have the posibility of being force medicaly retired.

HAWVET's picture
Posts: 318
Joined: Apr 2006

My comments are somewhat biased based on your remarks. I wish you had left out being transferred from another unit. That is what brings out the negative in me for those who serve in the guard. They are some who are comfortable in their zone until the time comes for deployment. In your case, illness may prevent deployment so it is a different situation.

I believe this is the wrong forum to be asking your question, but I will give you my opinion. Should the time come and you are ordered to move, there are several factors which would be considered. An important factor is your occupational skill. Would it be an individual or unit type activation? How critical is your skill?

The reason the regulations say “should not” is based on many factors. Units of our battalion used to deploy to support readiness exercises, three of four times a year or go on a real time deployment. Frequently, not all personnel are needed. In a case like yours and if known by the leadership in your platoon/company, they may send other personnel if readily available.

Another scenario is that you are needed with no other individual qualified for the deployment. The decision on whether you should deploy rests with the Commander. He does not arbitrarily send you. For medical conditions, a military physician does the evaluation and provides a recommendation.

I believe upon activation for deployment of the guard or reserves, they are given a military physical. I do not know how the guard or reserves handle personnel who are determined to be medically unfit for duty, but I would think it is similar to that of the active military forces.

Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2012

I am a SSG in the RA, I went through 1 year of chemo for stage III melinoma. I am about to finish my deployment after 3 years of recovering. I dont know where you are in the process but take it easy. It is possable but the command has to agree and then medical waivers must be obtained. I really must stress though that you need to take time to recover after treatment. The amount of time will depend on the time on chemo, how your body took it, and the sitaution with your cancer. I also had to sign an agreement with my chain of command stating I would go in for my check up during mid tour leave. Best of luck to you, whatever you want can happen; it just might take some work on your part.

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