I have never posted to this site before but I’m in need of some serious help with an erroneous and potentially career ending NCOER. I am Army National Guard and since there are very few “active duty” national guardsmen, it is difficult for me to get in touch with my chain of command and JAG unless it’s a drill weekend so this is why I am seeking alternative venues for advice.
I want to be honest and must first clarify that I really, REALLY effed up recently. I was not with this particular company for very long (5 months total) and during that period I was going through a really tough time in my personal life and had become very depressed. My chain of command was aware of this (I am in no way using this as a way to excuse my actions). I had just been promoted to SSG and was put in charge of my section and was trying my hardest to put my personal issues aside and do my job to the best of my ability. I had been doing an OK job considering I’ve never had to run an entire section by myself. I had 1 run in with my CO but she later apologized to me for the way she treated me, I never received a counseling statement for the incident so I figured it was water under the bridge. By my 3rd drill, I was still having a really hard time trying to cope with my personal issues, was working 60 hrs/week at my civilian job, and had a ton of stuff to get done for drill. I FOOLISHLY began abusing Adderall (which is prescribed to me) but I was overusing it and snorting it in an attempt to just stay awake and get all my work done (I know, stupid decision). Anyway, long story short, I was caught at drill with “drug paraphernalia” and admitted to abusing my medication. I was absolutely devastated. I hit rock bottom, was pissed off at myself for screwing up so bad, was interrogated for 3 hours, degraded by my chain of command, and threatened with jail time (later I found out that the way my chain of command handled the situation was borderline criminal). In a state of utter hopelessness, I swallowed an entire bottle of pills while still at drill (everyone else had already been released for the day except for chain of command). It was a HUGE mistake, I was rushed to the ER, ended up in the ICU, spent 10 days in a psych hospital, got help for my issues, attended substance abuse group counseling, and have since continued to see counselors and psychiatrists regularly and am compliant with my medications and treatment. No charges were ever filed. I had a sit down with my CSM and BC and they both decided not to pursue any UCMJ action but decided it was in everyone’s best interest for me to be moved out of the company and placed in BN HQ. I was told that as long as I continued to progress and deal with my personal issues then no action would be taken.
So, back to the NCOER, given my average performance as section leader and the embarrassing admission of drug abuse followed shortly by a suicide attempt, obviously I didn’t expect a stellar NCOER. However, the NCOER I received was, in my opinion, harsh, a bit unfounded, and littered with errors. Under reason for submission, it states that this is a change of rater NCOER which makes no sense to me because I was relieved for cause. Under Army Values section, I got 4 “no” and 3 “yes” and my overall performance were 5’s. I worked my butt off for these people and I did do SOME positive things during my time there but of course none of that was mentioned. To start, the rater (my PLT SGT) has never counseled me, not even initially. The NCOER appears to be written by my senior rater (my PL who also is the CO XO). He is the one who gave me my initial counseling, but he never established himself as my rater or part of my rating scheme. There are 2 counseling dates listed however, neither of them are correct. On one of the dates I was out of the country on vacation and then the second date is completely false because I never received another counseling statement and the date listed was not even on a drill weekend. As for the bullet points, they are all harsh (yes, some of them are warranted). But there is no mention of anything positive I did while I was section sgt. One bullet statement mentions the suicide attempt, but isn’t that considered protected health information under HIPPA? And then there are 2 more bullet statements that specify “felonious acts” but I was never actually charged under civilian law or UCMJ and officially was only investigated under “suspected drug abuse”. The senior rater suggested separation from the Army and bar to re-enlistment. I know I don’t deserve a great NCOER and it is only by the grace of my BC that no UCMJ action was pursued, but this seems really shady to me. It is almost entirely based off of 1 drill and not my performance as a whole. My military career is hanging on by a thread as it is and I believe that this will end up with a med board but as of right now, I haven’t heard anything. I really want to make every attempt to learn from my mistakes and just move past this, but this NCOER looks like a career ender to me. I refused to sign because of the "administrative" errors and it hasn't showed up on IPERMS yet so I can't even go through the appeals process YET. Any thoughts, suggestions, advice on what to do as far as the NCOER is concerned?