I thought this already existed; I know of a few people that ended up on a PCAT but stayed in uniform at a terminal rank and finished out their careers.
It does but because it is pesky admin many folks do not understand it or how it applies to their people.
I know many know this but to recap, broadly speaking there are trade and U of S medical standards. If someone breaches those standards it is first dealt with within the medical system through TCATs. If it is an ongoing condition that won't be resolved it goes to D Med Pol for their determination. Note there is a bunch of stuff in the middle before it gets there but until it gets there it almost means nothing careerwise.
DMEDPOL will make a determination if the limitations will be permanent and assign MELs. The file then goes to DMCA 3 who will make a determination if the MELs are high or low risk. Both trigger an Administrative Review – Medical Employment Limitations (AR-MEL) with the difference between them is who actually conducts the AR-MEL
High Risk is DMCA 3 and almost always involve breach of UofS. I won’t detail the process but the outcomes can be retained w/o restriction, Compulsory Medical Occupational Transfer or release. With release depending on the severity of the condition and the mbr’s wishes retention up to 3 years is an option. My experience is that many/most DMCA 3 high risk AR-MELs result in release with lots of those mbr’s being retained for 3 years.
Low Risk AR-MELs are usually breach of trade standards and are conducted by a unit with the CO making the determination to either, retain w/o restriction (most common), retain with restriction, CMOT or release. The latter three determinations just escalate the file back to DMCA 3 who will then conduct their own AR-MEL on the file to ensure standardization across the CAF. So in essence the only thing a CO can do is retain w/o restriction.
This is where people get confused and often equate it to retention from a high risk and act accordingly. It just means the member carries on with their career essentially and probably the ones with PCATs you saw finish out their careers!
Part of the problem with CO’s AR-MELs is that sometimes things slip through the cracks and people’s MELs are so restrictive they actually can’t operate in that trade. A unit should have probably sent that file back to DMCA 3 for them to run the AR-MEL but didn’t. So, we get folks that sit in spots for years occupying something that might have been a break for someone else. In many cases a unit thinks they have no recourse, but it can be reviewed by DMCA