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Awarding of the Purple Heart for Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (MTBI)

Purple Heart Requirements

The Department of Defense (DOD) is clarifying its guidance for awarding the Purple Heart for concussion injuries. Veterans who believe they’re eligible for the Purple Heart may contact the State of Maine, Bureau of Veteran Services. DOD allows the award of the Purple Heart even if a service member was not treated by a medical officer, as long as a medical officer certifies that the injury would have required treatment by a medical officer had one been available.

Peter W. Ogden, Director
Bureau of Veterans' Services
117 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0117
Telephone: 207-430-6035
Fax: 207-626-4471
Email: mainebvs@maine.gov

Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Click for BVS Office Locations

If you are a Maine veteran or current member of the Maine National Guard and believe that you are eligible for a Purple Heart due to a concussion injury, please contact SFC Akoa at jennifer.k.akoa.mil@mail.mil, 207-430-6069.

This does not change the criteria or standard for the award of the Purple Heart. The clarifying guidance is designed to assist the Chain of Command, Soldiers and Veterans in understanding the specific requirements for consideration and reconsideration retroactive to Sept. 11, 2001.

Clarification

1. More accurately outlines the signs and symptoms of a concussion injury following a hostile event and clearly outlines what constitutes treatment. This clarification includes requirements for commanders and medical professionals to use in reviewing award submissions/resubmissions. It clarifies what constitutes qualification for the Purple Heart for concussion injuries (including mild traumatic brain and concussive injuries that do not result in a loss of consciousness).

2. Outlines procedures to be used to reconsider previously disapproved Purple Hearts for concussion injuries. As part of this review, the first general officer in a Soldier’s peacetime chain of command is the disapproval authority for these resubmissions. The military is encouraging Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Sailors and Veterans who were previously denied a Purple Heart for concussion injuries to resubmit documentation for reconsideration.

If you have any questions, please contact the Bureau of Veterans' Services at 207-430-6035, mainebvs@maine.gov

US Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard sample documenation requirements can be found here.