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Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations for the PDES Process

Various abbreviations and terms are seen in the documents included in the MEB/PEB packet. Other abbreviations and terms are important to understand in the context of understanding the Physical Disability Evaluation System (PDES). Except as otherwise indicated, the reference for this material is AR 635-40, glossary.


ABCMR Army Board for Correction of Military Records

ACRB Army Council of Review Boards

ADRRB Army Disability Rating Review Board

ADT Active Duty for Training

AGR Active Guard Reserve

APDAB Army Physical Disability Appeal Board

ARNG Army National Guard

ARNGUS Army National Guard of the United States

ASD(HA) Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs)

AT Annual Training

AW2 Army Wounded Warrior Program

AWOL Absent Without Leave

COAD Continuance (continued) on Active Duty

COAR Continuance (continued) on Reserve Status

DA Department of the Army

DCS G-1 Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1

DMPM Director of Military Personnel Management

DODD Department of Defense Directive

DVA Department of Veteran Affairs

DVOP Disabled Veterans Outreach Program

EPTS Existed Prior To Service

EUR Europe

FTTD Full Time Training Duty

GCMCA General Court Martial Convening Authority

HQ Headquarters

HSC Health Services Command

IDT Inactive Duty Training

JAGC Judge Advocate General's Corps

LES Leave and Earnings Statement

LOD Line of Duty

MEB Medical Evaluation Board

MEDCOM Medical Command

MOS Military Occupational Specialty

MSC Medical Service Corps

MTF Medical Treatment Facility

NARSUM Narrative Summary

NGB National Guard Bureau

NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

OBV Obligated Volunteer

OSA Office of the Secretary of the Army

OSD Office of the Secretary of Defense

OTSG Office of the Surgeon General

NCO Noncommissioned Officer

PEB Physical Evaluation Board

PEBLO Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer

AHRC Army Human Resources Command

RA Regular Army

RC Reserve Component

ROTC Reserve Officers' Training Corps

TDRL Temporary Disability Retired List

TJAG The Judge Advocate General's Corps

TSG The Surgeon General

TTAD Temporary Tour of Active Duty

UCMJ Uniform Code of Military Justice

USAFAC U.S. Army Finance and Accounting Center

USAPDA U.S. Army Physical Disability Agency

USAR U.S. Army Reserve

USARPERCEN U.S. Army Reserve Personnel Center

USC United States Code

USMA United States Military Academy

USPHS U.S. Public Health Service

VA Department of Veterans Affairs

VASRD Department of Veterans Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities


Accepted medical principles
Fundamental deductions consistent with medical facts and based on a large number of cases. To constitute accepted medical principles, the deduction must be based upon the observation of a large number of cases over a significant period of time and be so reasonable and logical as to create a moral certainty that they are correct. AR 40-501, glossary, section II.

Active duty
Full-time duty in the active military service of the United States. This general term applies to all active duty service with the active forces without regard to duration or purpose.

Active service
Service on active duty.

Acute, grave illness
A pathological condition having a sudden onset or sharp rise that is very serious or dangerous to life. It is usually short and relatively severe as opposed to a prolonged chronic condition.

Armed conflict
Any activity in which American military personnel are engaged with a hostile or belligerent nation, faction, or force. The activity may include a war, expedition, occupation, battle, skirmish, raid, invasion, rebellion, insurrection, guerrilla action, or similar situation.

Combat-related injury
A personal injury or sickness that a Soldier incurs under one of the following conditions: as a direct result of armed conflict; while engaged in extra hazardous service; under conditions simulating war; or which is caused by an instrumentality of war.

Conditions simulating war
Those circumstances of training so simulating conditions of war that a special personal risk attends the situation. The mere fact that training (calisthenics) was required, or that training (football) is sponsored by the military, does not equate with "conditions simulating war."

As used is in AR 635-40, the term "counsel" will be construed to include members in good standing of the Federal bar or the bar of any State, accredited representatives of veterans' organizations recognized by the Administrator of Veterans Affairs under section 3402, title 38, United States Code (10 USC 3402), and other persons who, in the opinion of the board, are considered to be competent to present equitably and comprehensively the Soldier's case.

An abnormal condition affecting a person that is not defined or classified as an injury. (A detailed listing of diseases may be found in Volume I, International Classification of Diseases, Adapted for Use in the United States (ICD-9-CM) Eighth Revision, diagnostic codes 000 to 796.9.)

Deleterious-type cases
A case in which disclosure of information on a Soldier's physical condition would be harmful to his physical or mental health.

Deterioration of existing condition
When recurring coincident with non-disability separation, it must be equivalent to acute, grave illness to overcome the presumption of fitness.

Extended active duty
The duty status of a member of the Regular Army. It is also the duty status of a non-Regular member who is called or ordered to active duty for a period of more than 30 days other than for training under Title 10, United States Code, 10148(a) (10 USC 10148(a)).

Impairment of function
The lessening of the capacity of the body or its parts to perform normally because of disease or residual of an injury.

Impairment, manifest
An impairment evidenced by signs or symptoms.

Impairment, physical
Any anatomic, functional, or physiologic abnormality of the body. The term is synonymous with "physical defect."

In loco parentis
In the place of a parent instead of a parent; charged, factitiously, with a parent's rights, duties, and responsibilities.

A condition caused by trauma, such as a fracture, wound, sprain, dislocation, concussion, or compression. Also, an injury includes conditions resulting from extremes of temperature or prolonged exposure. Acute poisonings resulting from exposure to a toxic or poisonous substance are also classed as injuries. Poisoning due to contaminated food is not considered an injury. (A detailed listing of injuries may be found in Volume I, International Classification of Diseases, Adapted for Use in the United States (ICD-9-CM), Eighth Revision, diagnostic codes 800 to 999.9.)

Instrumentality of war
A device designed primarily for military service and intended for use in such service at the time of the occurrence of the injury. It may also be a device not designed primarily for military service if use of or occurrence involving such a device subjects the individual to a hazard peculiar to military service. This use or occurrence differs from the use or occurrence under similar circumstances in civilian pursuits. There must be a direct causal relationship between the use of the instrumentality of war and the disability and the disability must be incurred incident to a hazard or risk of the service.

Maximum hospital benefits
The point during hospitalization when a patient's progress appears to be stabilized. At this point, it can be anticipated if additional hospitalization will contribute to any further substantial recovery. A patient who can be expected to continue to improve over a long period of time without specific therapy or medical supervision, or with only a moderate amount of treatment on an outpatient basis, may be considered as having attained maximum hospital benefits.

An individual's nearest relative. (See AR 600-8-1 for identification as well as the definition of "parent" in AR 635-40, glossary.)

Not on extended active duty
The duty status of a non-Regular member who is ordered to active duty for training under section 270(b), title 10, United States Code (10 USC 270(b)); ordered to active duty or active duty for training for 30 days or less; or performing inactive duty for training.

Office, grade, rank, or rating
For the purpose of this regulation-

  1. Office is a position of duty, trust, or authority to which an individual is appointed.
  2. Grade is a step or degree in a graduated scale of office or military rank that is established and designated as a grade by law or regulation.
  3. Rank is the order of precedence among members of the Armed Forces.
  4. Rating is the name prescribed for members of an Armed Force in an occupational field. The term equates with military occupational specialty.

Optimum hospital improvement
The point during hospitalization when a patient's fitness for further military service can be decided. Also further treatment for a reasonable period in a military medical treatment facility will probably not result in material change in his condition so as to alter his type of disposition or amount of separation benefits.

Father of a legitimate child, mother of a legitimate child, father through adoption, mother through adoption, mother of an illegitimate child, and father of an illegitimate child but only if-

  1. He acknowledged paternity in writing signed by him; or
  2. He had been judicially ordered to contribute to the child's support; or
  3. He had been judicially decreed to be father of such child; or
  4. Proof of paternity is established by a certified copy of the public record of birth or church record of baptism showing that he was the informant and was named as father of the child; or
  5. Proof of paternity is established from service department of other public records, such as school or welfare agencies, which show that with his knowledge he was named as father of the child.

Physical disability
Any manifest impairment due to disease or injury, regardless of degree, that reduces or prevents an individual's actual or presumed ability to engage in gainful or normal activity. The term includes disability due to mental disease.

Physical evaluation board liaison officer (PEBLO)
An experienced, mature officer, NCO, or civilian employee designated by the MTF commander to perform the primary duties of counseling Soldiers who are undergoing physical disability evaluation. The PEBLO provides Soldiers with authoritative and timely answers to their questions about the physical disability system and aids them in understanding their rights and entitlements. The PEBLO is not, and need not be, an attorney.

Physically unfit
Unfitness due to physical disability. The unfitness is of such a degree that a Soldier is unable to perform the duties of his office, grade, rank, or rating in such a way as to reasonably fulfill the purpose of his employment on active duty. "Physically unfit" is synonymous with "unfit because of physical disability."

Preponderance of evidence
Factual information that tends to prove one side of a disputed fact by outweighing the evidence on the other side. Preponderance does not necessarily mean a greater number of witnesses or a greater mass of evidence; rather, the term means a superiority of evidence on one side or the other of a disputed fact. The term requires consideration of the quality rather than the quantity of the evidence.

An interference of the truth of a proposition or fact. It is reached through a process of reasoning and based on the existence of other facts. Presumed matters need no proof to support them. They may be rebutted by evidence to the contrary, however.

Processing for separation from active service
A Soldier is "processing for separation from active service" when he has requested retirement by reason of age or length of service or is being processed for administrative separation to include separation at ETS or ESA date (for officers only).

Proximate result of performing duty
A disability may reasonably be assumed to have been the result of, arising from, or connected with active duty, fulltime training duty, other full-time duty, or inactive duty training. All facts, circumstances, and laws on a particular case must be considered.

Reasonable doubt
Reasonable doubt exists when evidence does not satisfactorily prove or disprove a claim. Reasonable doubt is substantial, not specious. It is within the range of probabilities as distinguished from pure speculation or remote possibility. It is not means of reconciling conflicts or contradictions in evidence.

Reserve Components of the Army
The Army National Guard of the United States and the US Army Reserve.

An all-inclusive term that is applied to personnel actions resulting from release from active duty, discharge, retirement, dismissal, resignation, dropped from the rolls, or death. In this regulation, separation means discharge because of physical disability with or without severance pay.

Service aggravation

  1. Medical treatment facilities frequently list a medical condition as "service aggravated" based on the fact that the condition becomes symptomatic under certain conditions found in the military. Symptoms arising when limits imposed by a condition have been exceeded are poor criteria of service aggravation of the condition, itself.
  2. When an EPTS condition becomes symptomatic under the stress of active duty it may be unfitting but it has not been aggravated by AD unless it has been permanently worsened over and above natural progression.

Unfit because of physical disability
Synonymous with physically unfit.

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