Welcome to the board, GettingClose.
Originally Posted by Texican
When you hit 18 years you enter into a "Sanctuary" period which pretty much guarantees you will make your 20 years and be able to retire. One way or another you should be able to get your 20 and retire.
Title X of the federal code guarantees a military retirement to veterans making it past 18 years of service, so you're gonna get a retirement. The only remaining questions are (1) how long it's gonna take to work through the process, (2) what type of retirement it's gonna be, and (3) how much money you're going to get between a retirement check and a disability check. Even if you "only" end up with 45% of base pay, you'll probably also be collecting disability. Best case would be you make it to 20 and eligibility for a regular retirement. "Worst" case would be some time in the TDRL holding pen followed by a 20-year retirement.
Miracle cures notwithstanding, the MEB process will essentially defer your PCS until you hit retirement eligibility.
Time is on your side, and this process is essentially impossible to fix later if it's not done right the first time. Make sure that the medical people are doing everything possible to get you fixed (since you're going to have to live with it for the rest of your life) and don't rush for a "solution" just because it seems promising. You don't want to be able to PCS-- you want to be able to maintain full mobility for the rest of your life and not just end up with a 100% disability.
Read through the link that REWahoo! gave you, spend some time on the other discussion boards recommended there, make sure you read the references and consult the legal people to understand how the process works, and don't let anyone rush you into a decision.
I'd appreciate it if you'd keep us posted on what works and what doesn't. We're starting to get a few MEB veterans on this board who can provide valuable advice to the next group of people struggling through the process. Whatever you pass on can be added to the archives.