Thursday, July 19, 2007

Temporary retirement official for Metzger
By Patrick Winn - Staff writerPosted : Thursday Jul 19, 2007 12:13:36 EDT

Maj. Jill Metzger’s much-debated placement on “Temporary Disability Retirement” status is official, according to the Air Force.

Metzger, whose claims of being kidnapped and beaten in Kyrgyzstan are still under investigation, will receive pay and benefits during her temporary retirement. Though Metzger has not yet spoken to the media, her family said she was professionally diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by physicians at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.

Temporary retirement appointments are somewhat uncommon. Metzger is among roughly 230 granted this year so far. There were 516 last year, 459 in 2005 and 325 in 2004, according to the Air Force.

According to Air Force policy, she’ll be re-examined within 18 months. If she’s found to be fit, she can return to duty. If not, her temporary retirement could continue or she could be recommended for permanent retirement or discharge with severance pay. Airmen cannot stay on temporary retirement for more than five years.

Metzger is now with her husband, Capt. Joshua Mayo, an officer stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. The Air Force Office of Special Investigation — which employs Mayo — continues to investigate Metzger’s account of abduction and torture. The major has said she was kidnapped from a mall in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, near Manas Air Base, where she was stationed.

Metzger resurfaced three days after her September disappearance with her blonde hair cut short and dyed brown. Internet speculation on blogs and message boards has suggested she faked the abduction, though Metzger said she escaped by striking one of her captors and fleeing into the desert.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Major Jill Metzger's Disability Retirement and relevance to Courts-Martail Jurisdiction

The imminent change of Major Jill Metzger’s active duty status to discharged into temporary disability retired status as reported by the Stars & Stripes and Air Force Times in articles published between July 4, 2007 and July 13, 2007 is lacking official press release confirmation.

The discharge decision to place Major Metzger into Temporary Disability Retirement while claims of her missing status resulted from kidnapping is being investigated is a puzzling mystery as this places Major Jill Metzger into further legal risk of criminal offense of fraudulently obtaining her discharge. Simply any administrative discharge to include disability approval prior to completion of investigation places Major Jill Metzger indefinitely under the policing authority jurisdiction of courts-martial as stipulated in U.S. Code Title 10 Chapter 47 § 803. Art. 3. Jurisdiction to try certain personnel and U.S. Code Title 10, Chapter 47 § 843. Art. 43. Statute of limitations.

This creates considerable challenge to any claim the putting of Major Jill Metzger on the Temporary Disabled Retired List (TDRL) serves purpose to keep her available should the investigation find her missing status was not a kidnapping but rather a misadventure resulting from significant misconduct and moral or professional dereliction.

Although Major Jill Metzger became accounted for the moment she called the U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan, her status of involuntary absence or unauthorized absence is still undetermined. The lack of evidence indicating an involuntary absence is making great difficulty in declaring she was captured, detained, or missing for any reason beyond her own choice to become missing. While the apparent outcome is USAF Major Jill Metzger being given a disability retirement for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) without a line of duty determination as required by US Code Title 10, Chapter 61, the same news articles disclosing her imminent disability retirement also disclose she is still running competitively and working on a master’s degree. Having established disability retirement the proportion or degree of disability rating does not seem in agreement with impairment, limitation, or restriction the disability is imposing on her quality of life, ability to participate in recreation, or ability to pursue advanced academic degrees.

A primary reason for the disability retirement seems to be resulting from compassion, sympathy, or perhaps pity that Major Jill Metzger be able to get on with her life, but these emotional feelings are very misplaced considering she is indefinitely under risk of court-martial jurisdiction no matter what administrative or disability discharge she obtained while investigations continue into her missing status. If investigations ever conclude with discovery, findings, or conclusions her absence was voluntary and included significant misconduct and moral or professional dereliction her discharge will have been fraudulently obtained.

If a fraudulent discharge was approved, those authorizing Major Jill Metzger’s fraudulent discharge didn’t do so in ignorance (being incompetent) or out of ignorance (unaware of rules and laws applying to the situation and circumstances). Nor can they claim the punishable offenses were dismissed because they acted before investigation was completed and before charges were preferred. Consequently, what is the relation between the investigation and the medical retirement? Sympathy, compassion, and pity are not the medical condition eligibility qualifiers for disability rating needed for a disability retirement. The qualifiers regardless of medical condition, injury, or disease are the degree in which a medical condition, injury, disease limits the military member from performing military duties. With Major Jill Metzger still participating in competitive running and participating in academic studies needed to get a Masters Degree it leaves me uncomprehending and utterly confused how and why a disability retirement was approved unless command influence had self-protective safeguarding need for it to happen.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Courtmartial juisdiction once Major Jill Metzger gets a discharge certificate

I seriously doubt the intent of giving her a disability retirement separation is to ensure she also gets charged with the offense of fraudulently obtaining her discharge.

Rule 202. Persons subject to the jurisdiction of courts-martial

Courtmartial jurisdiction over active duty personnel ordinarily ends on delivery of a discharge certificate or its equivalent to the person concerned issued pursuant to competent orders. Orders transferring a person to the inactive reserve are the equivalent of a discharge certificate for purposes of jurisdiction.

(B) Termination of jurisdiction over active duty personnel. As indicated above, the delivery of a valid discharge certificate or its equivalent ordinarily serves to terminate court-martial jurisdiction.

( d ) A person discharged from the armed forces who is later charged with having fraudulently obtained that discharge is, subject to the statute of limitations, subject to trial by court-martial on that charge, and is after apprehension subject to the code while in the custody of the armed forces for trial. Upon conviction of that charge such a person is subject to trial by court-martial for any offenses under the code committed before the fraudulent discharge.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Major Jill Metzger is to be put on Temporary Retirement

Father says Metzger is to be put on temporary retirement
By Nancy Montgomery, Stars and StripesMideast edition, Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Maj. Jill Metzger, the Air Force officer who went missing for three days in September in Kyrgyzstan, then said she’d been kidnapped, is to be temporarily retired from the Air Force after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome, her father said Tuesday.
Metzger is to be on the “temporary disability retired list” starting this month, her father, retired Air Force Lt. Col John Metzger, said in a telephone interview Tuesday from his home in North Carolina.

He said his daughter had been diagnosed with PTSD this spring at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, and that two medical doctors and a personnel officer had made the decision to allow her to temporarily retire.

Metzger said his daughter, a former Air Force marathon champion, had gone on leave after her diagnosis and was currently living with her husband, Capt. Joshua Mayo, who’s stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. He said she was still running competitively and was working on a master’s degree.

Neither Mayo nor Jill could be reached for comment.

Metzger’s father said she would be drawing retirement pay, and that she’d be re-evaluated in 18 months to see whether she’d be returned to active duty.

“There’s no reason she wouldn’t be fit to go back into the Air Force,” he said. Air Force spokesman Dewey Mitchell said he could not confirm John Metzger’s account. But he said Air Force regulations do provide for temporary disability retirement.

Metzger said that his daughter’s status was something the family had hoped for in the light of what he believes was the horrific experience she underwent in Kyrgyzstan while serving with the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing.

“It’s what we wanted all along,” John Metzger said. “It gives her a chance to gather her thoughts, recoup a little bit and just get away from the Air Force.”

Metzger disappeared from a Bishkek department store Sept. 5. On Sept. 8, Kyrgyz police were called to a home in a nearby town, where Metzger was found distressed and claiming to have escaped from kidnappers. Her long, blonde hair had been cut short and dyed brown and her hands were stained with dye.

Metzger told authorities that someone had put an object in her pocket in the department store, along with a note saying it was a bomb, and that she had been abducted by three men and a woman after following the note’s instructions. She claimed to escape by striking one of her captors and running miles to safety.

Kyrgyz authorities were skeptical, saying store video and witness accounts conflicted with her statements.

The Air Force and the FBI have been investigating the matter, and Metzger testified before a grand jury last fall. But no arrests have been announced, no conclusions publicly released. Mitchell said the investigation was ongoing.The Air Force has been criticized for releasing no information on the case.

John Metzger said the family, as well, wanted the Air Force to make a statement.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Major Jill Metzger-if no leave-what about Medical Retirement?

Apparently USAF Major Jill Metzger is not going on an 18-month leave as the Associated Press reported on June 13, 2007. Although The Stars and Stripes quickly reported on July 5, 2007 that she is not going on an 18-month leave of absence or any other 18 months of leave, there is a complete absence of disclosure of the possibility or probability of medical separation, medical retirement, or other administrative separation. Lack of this discloser hopefully results from understanding a Board of Inquiry must determine her missing status (10USC1501-Missing Person Act) and another Board of Inquiry must make line of duty determination for any disability that was incurred during her unauthorized absence (10USC1207--Sec. 1207. Disability from intentional misconduct or willful neglect: separation).

It is beyond any question and doubt Major Metzger whereabouts and duty status was not known for three days. It is also certainly true investigators have coworkers, immediate supervisors and leadership, and the military member’s who were in the store shopping at the time Major Jill Metzger mysteriously vanished. The only person’s not known, identified or even subject to question are the persons Major Jill Metzger claims abducted her and held her captive.

If the Board of Inquiry into her missing status determines she was captured and escaped as claimed then a Board of Inquiry for making a line of duty termination into the causes of her disabling medical conditions and injuries is unnecessary.

However, if the unauthorized absence is determined to have resulted from misadventure and misconduct the Air Force will have to confront a serious predicament.

The United States Air Force is committed to maintaining a fit and healthy force because the health of the Air Force community is crucial to force readiness. Specifically, all military noncommissioned and commissioned officer ranks in leadership positions have a duty responsibility to identify, assess and refer those persons that may be deemed imminently dangerous to themselves, others, or have an unexpected change in behavior having negative impact in the doing of military duties before suicide or other misconduct results from loss of mental or emotional fitness.

AFI 44-154 SUICIDE AND VIOLENCE PREVENTION EDUCATION AND TRAINING implements the training requirements so military leaders have the understanding to do these risk management duties as expected. AFI 44-154 directs training in advanced identification, assessment, referral and personnel management approached be included in all formal professional military education programs (Squadron Commander’s Courses, First Sergeant Academy, Airman Leadership School, NCO Academy, Senior NCO Academy, Air and Space Basic Course, Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College and Air War College). More importantly AFI 44-54 directs “Unit commanders will ensure all personnel complete, during the 15-month Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) training cycle, a mandatory suicide prevention and violence awareness education program. Completion of program training will be documented and a tracking mechanism developed to ensure training is accomplished.

The serious predicament pertinent to the misadventures of Major Jill Metzger becomes if the primary disability causing a 30% or higher disability rating is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or other psychiatric condition, the question becomes did the loss of mental or emotion fitness happen before or after she left the store on an unauthorized absence of misadventure. If the loss of mental or emotional fitness occurred before she began her unauthorized absence of misadventure what where the stressors causing the loss of mental and emotional fitness? Why wasn’t her immediate supervisors and leadership doing their duty to refer her to the appropriate mental health care before social or environmental circumstances triggered her into such an acute stress disorder or mental and emotional distraught that she was unable to adapt and deal with being there doing her military duties as expected?

AFI 44-154 SUICIDE AND VIOLENCE PREVENTION EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Training will include advanced identification, assessment, referral, and personnel management approaches that can benefit all persons and particularly those that may be deemed imminently dangerous. AFI 44-109, Mental Health, Confidentiality, and Military Law, DoDD 6490.1, Mental Health Evaluations of Members of the Armed Forces, and DoDI 6490.4 Requirements for Mental Health Evaluations of Members of the Armed Forces, will guide discussion of both emergency and routine referral procedures to mental health. Emphasis on the leader’s responsibility to ensure the airmen understand: (1) that seeking help is encouraged and not a statement that they are somehow incompetent; and (2) that negative career impact for seeking counseling is unlikely when airmen seek help on their own and when it occurs before any misconduct.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Major Jill Metzger's 18 month leave of absence disappears

Air Force: Major not taking leave
Service still investigating woman’s report of kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan

By Nancy Montgomery, Stars and Stripes Mideast edition, Thursday, July 5, 2007

A news report last month was incorrect in saying Maj. Jill Metzger — who made headlines when she went missing in Kyrgyzstan for three days in September and then claimed she had been kidnapped — was to take an 18-month leave of absence from the Air Force, the Air Force has now said.

There is no such thing as an 18-month leave of absence, said Dewey Mitchell, an Air Force spokesman. “That’s just not something people can apply for and do,” he said.

Mitchell said Metzger remained on active duty at Moody Air Force base in Georgia and that a 10-month investigation into Metzger’s mysterious disappearance by the Air Force and the Justice Department was continuing.

“There’s nothing new on that, and hasn’t been for some time,” Mitchell said. “A lot of difficult cases, they last on and on.”

Mitchell said any change in Metzger’s status would likely be announced after the change was made, unless Metzger waived her privacy rights.

The major, a marathon champion, made worldwide news when she disappeared from a department store in Bishkek, near Manas Air Base, just days before her four-month deployment was to end and she was to return to the U.S. and a husband she had married shortly before deploying.

She turned up at a house outside Bishkek and told authorities she had been abducted from the store after someone put an object in her pocket and told her it was a bomb. Then she said she was taken away by minibus and escaped after striking one of the abductors and running away.

She was flown out of Kyrgyzstan shortly after her reappearance, first to Bagram air base hospital in Afghanistan, then to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, and finally to the U.S.

The Associated Press last month reported Metzger was taking a leave of absence to be with her husband and decide her future, quoting Metzger’s mother, Jeannette Metzger, of Henderson, S.C. Jeannette Metzger did not return phone calls for comment left at her home.

Jill Metzger has declined to speak to reporters, public affairs officials at Moody Air Base said this week; they also said they were precluded from discussing her status.

Capt. Gary Arasin, Moody public affairs chief, said Metzger currently works in a mission support squadron doing administrative work.

The case has attracted a great deal of attention but few facts have been available. Kyrgyz police have been quoted saying that Metzger’s story about how she left the department store is not corroborated by store video, which shows her leaving alone.

They also said vendors near the store told police Metzger was alone when she bought brown hair dye from them, and that U.S. authorities have not responded to inquiries from Kyrgyz authorities.

There have been no reported arrests in the case. But a ban on airmen leaving Manas, imposed after the Metzger incident for security reasons, apparently has been lifted.

Last month in the base newsletter, chaplain Lt. Col. J.P. Minh Vu extolled the base’s many benefits — great climate, no mortars and freedom to go off-base. “We are not in the direct line of fire; we can travel to town, go shopping and enjoy the local culture and many other fringe benefits,” he wrote.

A Web site run by a retired Vietnam veteran,, has made the Metzger case one of its main topics.

The Web site recently reported that its anonymous sources tipped them to what they said was Metzger’s upcoming resignation from the Air Force. Glenn MacDonald, the site’s editor-in-chief, said he was told Metzger also is getting a disability pension.

MacDonald’s Web site has excoriated the Air Force for not releasing information on the case, the news media for not publishing more information about the case, and Metzger, whom he believes fabricated the story and is getting preferential treatment.

“If she had been a ‘he’ or someone without ‘celebrity’ or connections, and done what she did, that person would have been court-martialed by now,” MacDonald wrote in an open letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, posted on the Web site.