The Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) is a process designed to determine whether a Service member’s long-term medical condition enables him/her to continue to meet medical retention standards, in accordance with military service regulations. It also provides an opportunity for military physicians to clearly document all care and treatments received prior to MEB referral and any duty limitations their condition may cause.
The MEB is considered an informal board because, by itself, it does not drive any personnel actions. The findings of the MEB are referred to the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB), which formally determines fitness for continued service and eligibility for disability compensation. The MEB is convened once the medical retention decision point is reached or when the Service member’s physician thinks the Service member will not be able to return to duty for medical reasons. The board evaluates a Service member’s medical history and condition, documents the extent of the injury or illness, and decides whether the Service member’s medical condition is severe enough to impede his/her ability to continue serving in a full duty capacity.
Entering into the MEB process does not mean the Service member will be automatically discharged from military service. The MEB will refer a Service member to the PEB when the findings and recommendations stipulate that either:
- the Service member does not meet retention standards; or
- the Service member should return to duty in a different military occupation specialty (MOS)/military occupational classification (MOC).
MEB decisions can affect the Service member and family, so it is necessary for all to understand the entire board process. Having all the documents and necessary medical information completed before the board meets is vital to achieving the best outcome.