From the Reassignment Request:
www.johnkerry.com/pdf/jkmilservice/Thrice_Wounded_Reassignment.pdfClarification on procedure:
R 170730Z Mar 69
FM COMCOSRON ONE
A. BUPERSINST 1300.39
1. LTJG John Forbes Kerry USNR has been thrice wounded in action while on duty incountry Vietnam. Reassignment is requested IAW Ref A.
2. LTJG Kerry req duty as personal aide in Boston, New Yor or Wash, D.C. area. If aide, assignment not avail then any assignment considered qualified for.
3. LTJG Kerry presently on full duty status and available for reassignment.
The Campaign Desk
Critique and analysis of 2004 campaign coverage from Columbia Journalism Review
The policy in question, the impenetrably-named BUPERS Instruction 1300.39, is no longer in place. During Vietnam, it mandated that any soldier "wounded three times, regardless of the nature of the wound or treatment required" should be "reassigned as having completed a full Vietnam tour with the hospital release date considered the tour completion date. They will not be ordered to Vietnam ..."
Furthermore, the official U.S. Navy document states that, "The commanding officer of an officer who is hospitalized and/or wounded under the above criteria will advise the Chief of Naval Personnel (Pers-B1) of the officer's location, duty status, and expected duration of hospitalization. Reassignment of the officer will be determined after consideration of his physical classification and on an individual basis."
An additional, virtually unreported section of the Navy code, notes that any soldier wishing to "waive reassignment under the purview of this Instruction must forward a written request to that effect to the Chief of Naval personnel (Pers-B) for final determination."
Kerry, of course, chose not to waive this order, and his commanding officers request for re-assignment can be viewed (PDF file) on the candidate's Web site.
Ping - FYI