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Army Med Board Phases From Start to Finish: MRDP to MEB

What exactly is the Military Retention Determination Point?

Bottom Line Upfront

The Military Retention Determination Point is a critical juncture in your military journey. It determines whether your injuries are of a nature that warrants referral to the Medboard for further evaluation and potential medical discharge or retirement. This process is not within your direct control, but understanding it can help you prepare for your future. If you find yourself approaching this point, reach out to your chain of command and medical professionals, for guidance. Remember that you are not alone, and many have traversed similar paths. Stay informed, stay resilient, and know that there is hope and support available as you navigate the challenges of the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB). Sign up for my free course MEB: The Common Mistakes to Avoid

Military Retention Determination Point: The Pre-Game

Think of the Military Retention Determination Point as the pre-game before the main event. If you’ve sustained an injury, the military is committed to ensuring you receive the care and attention necessary for your recovery. They grant you a profile for up to 90 days to heal and assess the progress of your recovery. After the initial 90 days, a straightforward question arises: Have you shown improvement? If the answer shows no improvement, your doctor may extend your profile an additional 90 days and continue to monitor your condition.

In some cases, you may be referred to a specialist during this period for a more in-depth evaluation. This is all part of the process to determine whether you are fit for duty or if further evaluation is warranted.

The Crucial 12-Month Milestone

Army Med Board Phases From Start to Finish: MRDP to MEB

Upon reaching approximately 12 months of being on profiles, you reach a significant milestone – the Military Retention Determination Point. This marks the moment when a decision is made regarding your referral to the Medboard (Medical Evaluation Board). It’s important to grasp the specific steps involved in reaching this point:

  • Profile Evaluation: Your profile, which documents your medical condition and limitations, undergoes review.
  • Signatures: Two signatures are required on your profile – one from the profiling authority and one from a physician, audiologist, podiatrist, etc.
  • For your reference, this process is detailed in DA PAM 40-502, specifically section 4-4, which covers temporary profiles and Military Retention Determination Points.

You Can’t Will Yourself into a Medical Board

It’s essential to understand that you cannot simply will yourself into a medical board. This process is beyond your direct control. Your company commander or the overseeing physician initiates the referral based on their evaluation of your injuries and whether they anticipate your recovery within a reasonable timeframe. It’s a decision that you cannot directly influence.

The Impact of Military Retention Determination Points

Comprehending the significance of Military Retention Determination Points is crucial, as it can have a profound impact on your military career and life beyond your service. If the decision is made to refer you to the Medboard, it signifies that your injuries are substantial enough to affect your military responsibilities. This outcome may lead to a medical discharge or retirement, depending on your unique circumstances. Facing a medical board evaluation can be emotionally challenging. It is essential to prepare for this possibility and have a support system in place to guide you through the process.


The Military Retention Determination Point (MRDP) is a critical phase to understand. It is vital that you continue to seek treatment if your symptoms have not resolved. During this phase, begin to learn and prepare for the Medical Evaluation Board by reading regulations, and learning more about the MEB process. To continue learning and prepare for any potential challenges related to Military Retention Determination Points, I invite you to enroll in my free course, “The Common MEB Mistakes.” This course is designed to provide you with in-depth knowledge and guidance to navigate this complex phase successfully. Enroll in the course today and take control of your journey: The Common MEB Mistakes Course.