CVN-71

Maintain Copies Of Your Medical Records

Medical Conditions Normally Waiverable

Part two of the what will and what won’t keep you out of the United States Navy medically (provided in the cases listed a waiver is granted). Part one discussed conditions that normally would not qualify for a waiver – this installment discusses the conditions in which a waiver may be granted.

If you appear to be, in all other respects, qualified for enlistment but reveal a history of one or more of the following common conditions you must be advised that the treatment records or a written summary from your private or attending physician will be of value to the examining Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) physician during the pre-enlistment physical examination and may reduce the possibility of temporary medical disqualification.

If you are considering a future in the armed forces there is no time like the present to start gathering the records of your medical past. The medical records will be sent to the MEPS in advance for a medical review so having them ready will save you a ton of time. Having the records may also preclude you from having to attend outsourced consultations which could ultimately delay even further your enlistment.

Please keep in mind this list is not all-inclusive.

Medical conditions which are normally considered waiverable (information consolidated from MEPCOM and COMNAVCRUITCOM Instructions);

If you have hypothyroidism that is controlled by medication, and you have two normal thyroid stimulating hormone tests within the preceding 6 months, you do not require a waiver for the condition because it is NOT disqualifying. You will be able to continue your medication for the condition during boot-camp.

A note to everyone: The advice and prognostications I deliver in the comments and via email are based on my experiences, and only take into account the information you provide. I do not have the benefit of the “whole person.” So, please see a Recruiter, no matter what, and have your documentation sent to MEPS for a definitive review. I am not answering for the Navy!
Although rare, I have been known to be wrrree, wrea, wrong


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1,748 Responses to “Medical Conditions Normally Waiverable”


  1. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Rick,

    The recruiter should submit his medical records for review to see if there is a possibility for a waiver. The “one year off medication” stipulation is outdated, and the following is what current DoD guidance dictates:

    a. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (314) UNLESS the following criteria are met:

    1. The applicant has not required an Individualized Education Program or work accommodations since the age of 14.
    2. There is no history of comorbid mental disorders.
    3. The applicant has never taken more than a single daily dosage of medication or has not been prescribed medication for this condition for more than 24 cumulative months after the age of 14.
    4. During periods off of medication after the age of 14, the applicant has been able to maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average without accommodations.
    5. Documentation from the applicant’s prescribing provider that continued medication is not required for acceptable occupational or work performance.
    6. Applicant is required to enter service and pass Service-specific training periods with no prescribed medication for ADHD.
  2. Matt says:

    @Rick,

    I recently got a waiver for ADHD. Here is what I needed:

    Current DMV Axis V evaluation (pricey)
    All medical records pertaining to ADHD treatment
    Letter from physician stating when treatment concluded
    Sworn statement indicating X date was the end of my treatment
    Academic Transcripts
    And for the Navy at least, they will have your son write a personal statement.

    What they are looking for:

    Multiple mental health diagnosis, think aspergers + ADHD, or depression etc
    Trend in your grades, if he got off of medication and plunged to barely above a 2.0..

    At least with my MEPS and Liaison office, it would take 2-3 weeks to hear anything back about what else they needed… and back…. and forth. Its understandable to a certain extent given how many people they process on a given day, but I had no idea/concept of the timing so it was horrible. Basically get it ALL lined up and submit at once otherwise it can take months. Mine took 6 months, just to get my waiver packet submitted to N3M for review. From there about 10 days. My recruiter stated that on average it takes about 6 months from when someone with ADHD walks through his door before they have a waiver in hand, most of which is just hustling to get all requested documentation.

    Navydoc has the inside scoop. I hope my experience helps.

    Good luck!

  3. Croom says:

    Daughter got disqualified from the navy because she had gall stones at 16 yrs old they didnt need to be removed they were to small. Can she try other branches?

  4. Jessica says:

    Can endometriosis still keep you from joining if you are in perfect health condition and it’s not bothered you in years.

  5. Bret says:

    Navy Doc, went to MEPS gave them the ER report from my concussion that I was treated & released with clear CT scan and they said this was sufficient. MEPS wants a letter from my PCM saying I’m cleared of any issues. What should go in this letter to address my concussion that happened 5 years ago? I want to make sure the letter meets the medical requirement? Thanks!!

  6. Trent says:

    Hello,

    I am interested in joining the Navy as a corpsman. I have a few things that would br considered dq’d. First off, I had heart surgery when I was 2 years old. The paperwork shows I’m good to go for military. Secondly, I was diagnosed with migraines at 12 which are very infrequent. In fact I haven’t had one in 5 years and have not taken medication for said ailment.
    I can still function with them. With the proper paperwork would this be in any way waiverable?

  7. Neal says:

    Navydoc,

    I apologize in advance for the length of my post, but my process has been long and frustrating and I have not been successful in finding anyone who can help me get past it or convince me that it is not worth pursuing. I think everything I will mention is relevant.

    I applied for the Navy Civil Engineer Corps with the Navy Reserves. I am in my mid-30s so I have a long health history. I am also a licensed professional engineer, which means I am detailed, so when I got to the health history section of the application I listed everything I have ever seen a doctor for, including sore throats, jammed fingers, sprained ankles, etc. I did not want to risk getting accused of trying to hide anything. I have lived in many different places, so I have seen quite a few different providers. Instead of requesting medical records from all of them, which could end up being quite expensive, I told the recruiter to let me know anything that may pose a problem and I would get the records for that. I had a long list but he said he didn’t see anything that he thought would be a problem, so he sent it to MEPS to look at before scheduling my MEPS meeting.

    They agreed to see me, and when I consulted with the MEPS doctor he asked a lot of questions, but there was only one problem. I had marked on my application that I had once had eczema. He asked if it was actually diagnosed as that; I said that I thought so but I didn’t have all of my records. He asked me more about it, and after our discussion he said that it was an automatic disqualification but that he would recommend a waiver. After a month and not hearing anything, I called my recruiter, who told me the waiver was not approved by the navy doctor and I was disqualified for history of eczema.

    This issue occurred when I had a rash over 10 years ago during the time I was in college. I went to the nurse practitioner at student health services. She diagnosed it as an “unknown rash” and referred me to a dermatologist. I saw the dermatologist, and he diagnosed it as dermatitis and gave me some rather inexpensive ointment which I used, which eventually cleared it up. My medical records from him say that he is hopeful that once it heals, it will not return. I had some ointment left over, and so I would use it later whenever I had a scab or small patch of dry skin, and it would heal right up. Two years later, before I left college, I figured it would be cheaper to try to just get a refill of the ointment before I left than to have to schedule an appointment to see a new doctor in a new city after I move. I went back to the student health services and saw the same nurse practitioner to see if she could prescribe a refill, which she did. But on the records from that visit, she stated “patient presents stating that he has a history of eczema.” I may or may not have said this, I cannot remember. I am not a medical expert and I didn’t know or care if it was called a rash, dermatitis, or eczema, I just know the ointment was cheap and worked well. Years later, after starting a new job in a different state with good health insurance, I had a small patch of dry skin and had run out of the ointment so I scheduled an appointment with a different dermatologist. She also diagnosed it as dermatitis and prescribed an ointment which worked quickly.

    My problem was that when I filled out the medical history form, the only records I had were from the nurse practitioner who had first called it an unknown rash, then eczema. I did not have the records from the two dermatologists that diagnosed it as dermatitis, so I listed it as eczema. I called the recruiter to see what I could do to appeal the disqualification. He said get all the medical records and he would submit them. I ordered the records from the two dermatologists and that’s when I realized they both had diagnosed it as dermatitis, not eczema. I submitted the records from all three providers and wrote a long letter explaining my position and how I have never been prevented or hindered from any activity (multiple sports, traveling, outdoor activities) because of any issue with dermatitis. A few days later my recruiter called and told me that they said I need to go to any doctor (dermatologist, primary care, it didn’t matter), get checked out, and have the doctor write a letter saying I don’t have eczema, never had eczema, and there is no reason to think I should get it in the future. A few days later, I saw my primary care physician who checked me out, reviewed my records, and then wrote a letter saying exactly that. He told me that often the terms eczema and dermatitis are used interchangeably, but eczema is something that never goes away so it is not what I had. I sent that letter to the recruiter. After patiently waiting over two months and not hearing anything, I called my recruiter. He didn’t return my initial call, so I called him again. He finally called back and told me I was still disqualified because of a history of eczema; even though I did exactly what I was told was needed. Since I have never received any written documentation of the disqualification, I asked the recruiter to send me something – a copy of the letter from the navy doctor, an e-mail from him, anything to document the reason for the disqualification – and he agreed to send something. It has again been over two months and I have received nothing. I stopped by his office this past week and he was not there, but someone said they would tell him I was there and that I wanted him to contact me. The recruiter has not contacted me back yet.

    I think I am a highly qualified candidate. I am a licensed professional engineer and worked as a structural designer of bridges for six years. I graduated college with a 3.88 GPA and was a member of multiple honor societies. I have been active in sports and feel I am in great shape – I just competed in the Duathlon World Championships and have recently bench-pressed 300 pounds. I don’t have a criminal record (other than a few traffic violations), and I was an Eagle Scout (which should be an indication of my integrity) and a homecoming king (which should be an indication of my likeable personality).

    I had trouble deciding whether to apply for an officer position with the Civil Engineer Corps to take advantage of my engineering skills or for an enlisted position with the Seabees because I like to be physically active. I spoke with a different recruiter for enlisted personnel – he said he would sign me on the spot after I took a practice ASVAB and only got one question incorrect. If the problem is that there is not a position available for me in the Civil Engineer Corps right now, I would like to apply to be with the Seabees, but with the medical disqualification I cannot do that.

    I don’t understand how one of a nurse practitioner’s two different diagnoses (unknown rash, eczema) is being taken over the same diagnosis (dermatitis) shared by two different dermatologists and a third doctor. I also don’t understand why the recruiter refuses to provide me any documentation about the disqualification or contact me to let me know of any negative decisions. If you can explain either of these problems to me or give me advice on how to get through them, I would be most grateful. Thank you.

  8. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Neal,

    I recommend that you contact the Officer Programs Officer (OPO) for the district that you are processing for. Use this link for the NRD Websites — each site has a “Contact Us” link that contains phone numbers for the various departments — talk to the OPO or the Operations Officer and explain the circumstances, and make sure he/she is made aware of the lack of follow-up; that should not be happening.

  9. Jake says:

    Navydoc,

    I hear that Navy waivers for a SLAP shoulder repair are common, but do you know if they are less common for SEAL contracts?

    Thanks

  10. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Jake,

    All waivers are less common for the Navy Challenge programs — especially ones that involve the joints because those issues are a leading cause for program attrition.

  11. Kevin says:

    Is costocondriis a dq? My pre-screen was sent in and it came back but with no reason why and costocondritis is the only thing that my recruiter and I can think of. I’ve talked to a pulmonologist about it and he said there’s no way of “officially” clearing me from it.

  12. smooter says:

    My son is currently trying to get into the Navy. He, like so many others, was diagnosed with ADD when he was much younger, but hasn’t been on medication for at least 3 years.

    We are thoroughly confused as to the process thus far. We have had him re-evaluated, and provided all of the medical records that we can (his original diagnosing doctor is no longer available/in practice).

    We were told that it is rare to get a waiver for ADD/ADHD nowadays, and that the process is long and stressful.

    Does the Navy review his medical information prior to MEPS, and then he will go to MEPS following?

    Any information you can provide would be much appreciated!

    Thanks,

    Smooter

  13. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Smooter,

    The medical records are submitted to MEPS, and if the applicant meets the requirements, then he would be granted permission to process. If the MEPS does not grant permission to process based on the medical records, then the service he is processing for can request from their medical waiver authority that they send a request to the MEPS to allow the applicant to process because they will consider the waiver. In those cases when the physical is completed, normally, the physical will result in a permanent disqualification due to the original medical issue contained in the documents (occasionally additional issues are found). When the physical’s lab results are returned, the medical waiver is then sent to the service for consideration.

    For ADD/ADHD the following criteria must be met, or the process I described must occur:

    1. The applicant has not required an Individualized Education Program or work accommodations since the age of 14.
    2. There is no history of comorbid mental disorders.
    3. The applicant has never taken more than a single daily dosage of medication or has not been prescribed medication for this condition for more than 24 cumulative months after the age of 14.
    4. During periods off of medication after the age of 14, the applicant has been able to maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average without accommodations.
    5. Documentation from the applicant’s prescribing provider that continued medication is not required for acceptable occupational or work performance.
  14. Neal says:

    Thank you for the advice. I was told the recruiter I have been working with is an Officer Programs Officer, but I will try to get in touch with the Operations Officer.

  15. Kelley [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    Hello,
    My son was so excited to join the Navy and follow in the footsteps of his active duty brothers, one of which is a Chief and the other a PO1. He definitely had other options as he just graduated from high school with honors, earned his Eagle Scout, and has a long history of service with his JROTC unit (Air Force) where he’s won numerous awards. He played football in high school, was in wrestling for a few years, track, hiked the New Mexico mountains for two weeks with his scout troop, and has been to the MD maybe three times as a child for mild illnesses. He scored 85 on his ASVAB and qualified for the nuclear program or intelligence, both of which really interests him. That being said, he was born without one of his testes. It’s not undescended. It’s just not there. There has never been a time it has been brought up as an issue my his MD, or anyone else for that matter. In fact, he started the process to apply for the Coast Guard Academy and the MD who did that physical never even mentioned it. Because I knew this might be questioned I got his medical records. The recruiter sent them to MEPS and that MD disqualified him based on the missing testes.
    All of that being said, we are getting conflicting information about the possibility of a waiver. I read the standards and I see where two missing testes disqualify someone, or one missing that can’t be explained, however this was congenital, which is the explanation.
    In your opinion, what would the chances be of him getting a waiver? He does have an appointment this next week with his MD to get a statement from him regarding this and the fact that this is congenital and in no way has ever affected him.
    Do you have any suggestions as to what else he can do, or should he forget about the Navy all together?
    Thank you in advance!

  16. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Kelley,

    NavyDoc wrote the following when answering a similar question concerning this condition:

    DoDI 6130.03 Section 15(a) reads “Absence of one or both testicles, congenital (752.89) or undescended (752.52).” It then goes on to say “SMPG: A missing testicle from any cause does not meet the standard. Undescended testicle surgically placed into the scrotum meets the standard.”

    As I stated when you first asked the question, most of the services will consider a waiver for a missing testicle unrelated to cancer, as long as there is a surgical report that shows that the missing testicle is indeed absent, and not up in the abdominal cavity. Submit your records to MEPS for review.

  17. Beth says:

    Hi NavyDoc, this isn’t exactly a waiver related question (I am currently in DEP), but here goes; I am currently taking birth control pills and I want to switch to an IUD (Mirena, to be specific) before I go to boot camp to avoid any menstrual issues (I’ve heard they will give you one there if you request it, but I’d rather have my doctor do it). If I did get an IUD, would this be something I would have to tell my recruiter about before leaving for boot camp? They keep saying that we must tell them of any major medical issues/changes, but I’m not sure if this qualifies and would be kind of awkward to mention… Anyway, thank you for your help!

  18. navydoc says:

    Beth,
    The issue will need to be disclosed to the CMO when you go for your medical inspect prior to shipping to basic training. It is not an issue that will have any effect on your processing. Whether or not you tell your recruite is up to you, but adults should not feel awkward about discussing birth control.

  19. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Beth,

    Amazingly, with just about 20 years as a recruiter, I have never had this question asked. I don’t know the answer (I am not NavyDoc), but based on my experience, MEPS will want you to have a couple normal cycles to ensure the device is tolerated. I understand that you may be uncomfortable asking your recruiter (I assume he is male), so I suggest telling him you want to speak to a female recruiter in the area (either by phone or face-to-face), but ultimately, MEPS needs to be made aware.

  20. Matt says:

    repost:

    I have a question about medical records, I’ve gone through MEPS and received a waiver from N3M. I have been reading online that you get your wisdom teeth pulled at boot camp, I already have had mine pulled. When I went through MEPS and we were filling out their forms they told us that wisdom teeth removal does not need to be marked down.

    I’ve read through your posts on this site and you stated that you also don’t require applicants to have documentation for a routine procedure like wisdom teeth removal. That being said, I don’t want there to be any problems at boot camp, because I actually can’t get a copy of my medical records. I got them removed several years ago when I was visiting my mother out of state, our insurance wasn’t going to cover it and they gave us a discount for paying in cash. For the life of me I cannot remember the doctors name or contact information.

    I asked my recruiter and his chief about this and they told me not to worry about it, I just need to tell them before they take my X-Rays. Am I missing anything? Is there paperwork (isn’t there always?) to fill out? I just want everything to go smoothly.

    Your guidance would be appreciated.

  21. navydoc says:

    Matt,
    They will take x-rays at RTC and know that you have no wisdom teeth to remove. It is a non-issue.

    Normally we ask you to document wisdom teeth extraction (which is an oral surgery procedure) under #22 on the 2807-1 at MEPS. However, it is not a deal breaker.

  22. Jessica says:

    Hello Navy Doc,
    Repost also…
    Quick question. I was discharged from Marines basic with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. I was told they would not send me to an off base doctor to be treated for it and they could not do the treatment on base. I was treated/cured 4 years ago and no symptoms since 2010. Is it possible to get a waiver?
    Thank you,
    Jessy

  23. thomas [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    My son is in 5th week of bootcamp.They said he has kidney stones and is being let go. He is very upset is there any other options. Thanks

  24. navydoc says:

    Jessica,
    You will need a waiver to join after a medical discharge. Waivers are hard, but not impossible, to get these days.

  25. navydoc says:

    Thomas,
    Kidney stones within the past 12 months are DQ; no waivers are given due to the high chances of recurrence. In addition, stones greater than 4 mm, stones that require medical intervention beyond pain medication (lithotripsy, surgical treatment, cystoscopy, etc) or that are bilateral, are permanently disqualifying and unlikely to receive waiver until no recurrence has been demonstrated for at least 5 years.

  26. Jessica says:

    Thank you.

  27. Neal says:

    Hello,

    Please see my original post at http://www.navycs.com/blogs/2008/08/14/medical-waiver-authorized/comment-page-35#comment-95994.

    I read on a different message board that instead of requesting a waiver, an applicant can file a rebuttal, which is a direct denial that the condition exists or ever existed and is much more common and easier to obtain than a waiver. This is exactly my scenario, but no one I have dealt with directly has ever said anything about a rebuttal. Is this an option? If so, how do I file one or who do I contact?

    Thank you.

  28. navydoc says:

    Neal,
    Eczema is an imprecise term, used most often when describing atopic or contact dermatitis. All of those conditions are PDQ if they occur after the 9th birthday.

    I don’t know what kind of websites you are reading, but I have never heard of a rebuttal, beyond submitting your request for review by the waiver authority. Certainly a letter written by an applicant carries little to no weight against a diagnosis contained in the medical records, which are legal documents.

    Once a CMO has DQ’d an applicant, the only person who can theoretically “override” a disqualification is one of the USMEPCOM physicians, but I have never seen or heard of that happening. CMOs are the experts in accessions medicine; we know the regulations and medical fitness standards inside out. Even a waiver does not override a DQ; it is only an exception to policy allowing a person to enlist/commission in that particular service in spite of the DQ. The waiver authorities can waive anything they choose to, as long as they are willing to defend their decisions to the recruit training commands.

  29. Neal says:

    Navydoc,

    Thank you for the information; I appreciate your insight.

    I understand that eczema and atopic dermatitis are PDQ because they are both listed on DD Form 2807-2 and eczema is listed on DD Form 2807-1. I did not realize that contact dermatitis was PDQ because it is not listed on either form. However, I was not diagnosed with any of those three conditions by the three doctors I have seen over the years. The two dermatologists diagnosed it simply as dermatitis – neither one categorized it as atopic or contact. The third doctor I saw was at the suggestion of the Navy after I had submitted my waiver request with the records from the two dermatologists that I had obtained after the DQ. That doctor reviewed all of my records, examined me, and simply said that I do not and have never had eczema and there’s no reason to believe I will have it in the future, which is exactly what I was told was needed from the Navy. The only diagnosis of eczema came from a nurse practitioner, who also diagnosed it as an unknown rash. I have recently tracked down the bio of the nurse practitioner and learned that her special interests are mental health conditions and women’s health issues, not skin problems. The position I am trying to make with them is that the diagnosis of eczema is inaccurate because the medical records (legal documents) from the two dermatologists and the primary care physician I saw should carry much more weight that the diagnosis from the nurse practitioner who does not specialize in skin problems since they outnumber her 3-1, they all “out rank” her, and she provided 2 different diagnoses. I did not expect my letter to outweigh a diagnosis, but I was under the impression that it was my only chance to reverse the decision, and I wanted to provide complete, accurate, honest account in order to give a better understanding of my condition (or lack thereof) than a few sentences from a doctor who looked at it for a couple minutes. If a simple diagnosis of dermatitis was PDQ, I would have no argument. But I have learned from sources such as the American Academy of Dermatology, the Mayo Clinic, and WedMD.com that there are many different types of dermatitis. One type is seborrheic dermatitis, also known as dandruff. I wouldn’t think that dandruff is PDQ, and if not all forms of dermatitis are PDQ, than a general diagnosis of dermatitis should not be PDQ because it could refer to one of the non-PDQ forms, such as dandruff.

    Since you mentioned it, the website where I learned of a rebuttal is http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/archive/index.php/t-22580.html, which is a thread on a message board about the Naval Academy. I don’t believe this is an official military website, but a place that those who can’t find the answers to their questions can go to seek information from the experiences of others. I read comments such as “unlike a rebuttal (where the candidate disputes that the DQ condition exists), the waiver denial is a judgment call by the individual service branch,” “a waiver acknowledges the disqualifying condition exists (or a history of the condition) and seeks the academy to grant an exception, in spite of the condition… a rebuttal is a direct denial that the condition exists or ever existed,” and “DQ rebuttals are very common, usually due to a misunderstanding of the question or answer, or something unclear in the medical records. Having a DQ removed by rebutting the incorrect DQ is not that hard, in fact, I was told by DODMERB that it is pretty straightforward process to reverse an incorrect DQ.” I didn’t know if these were accurate statements, and if so, if they only pertained to the military academies or if a rebuttal or something similar was possible for my situation.

    Even though it has probably never happened before, I will try to contact the USMEPCOM physician who I saw initially and see if he will “override” the disqualification. He seemed skeptical of the diagnosis of eczema after I explained the rash to him. It seemed he didn’t want to disqualify me but was forced to when he asked me if it was actually diagnosed as eczema, to which I replied that I thought so but didn’t have all my medical records. Hopefully now that I do have them all, I can get through to him and he will agree to take another look at it. There is a first time for everything.

  30. navydoc says:

    Neal,

    Seborrheic dermatitis actually is DQ if it is severe enough. I have disqualified several people for that very issue. Keep in mind that the DD 2807-1, 2807-1 and 2808 are VERY brief. The instruction on disqualifying conditions is the DoDI 6130.03 and is about 100 pages long.

    The problem with seeing a physician years after the fact is that it’s not useful in telling what you had AT THE TIME OF THE ORIGINAL DIAGNOSIS. 47 years ago I was diagnosed with contact dermatitis by a corpsman. If I go to a dermatologist today, he can’t say that the corpsman was wrong, because the rash is long gone. And the only thing the dermatologist today will have to go on is what I tell him. The fact that the nurse practitioner’s (who are often better clinicians that doctors, by the way) interests are mental health and women’s health don’t make her unable to diagnose skin disorders. I am an orthopedic surgeon, but I can diagnose appendicitis, depression and cystic acne.

    Right now, there is only one USMEPCOM physician (normally there are 3, but 2 billets are currently empty), and she is female. It is highly unlikely that you saw a USMEPCOM physician as they are in Chicago, and not associated with any single MEPS. I suspect you saw a MEPS physician, either the CMO or contracted fee basis physician.

    I am not impressed with the website you posted. There are many such forums where people are more than happy to say what posters want to hear. In addition, that link was to a conversation that is 3 years old. Recruiting has changed dramatically in the past 3 years, due to the military downsizing that is occurring.

    You are right that there is a first time for everything, and there is almost always someone who knows someone who outranks someone. So potentially, if you get to the person who has enough “pull” you might get in. I just sincerely doubt it be by way of a “rebuttal.” I suspect that if you are successful in accessing into the military, it will be through getting a waiver.

    Nothing you have posted changes my original thoughts. However, I wish you luck, and hope you let us know what the answer is. Also, keep in mind that you can try another service if you are denied by the Navy. The Army is much more likely to waive skin issues.

  31. Neal says:

    Navydoc,

    Your thoughts about seeing a doctor years after the fact are exactly the same as mine were when the Navy suggested that I do so. I didn’t expect that a doctor would comment on a diagnosis that happened that long ago when there was nothing to see now, but he did. I don’t know why the Navy asked me to see him if they were going to disregard what he said. Perhaps it is because they assumed I wouldn’t go through with it or because the doctor would not support my position, but I did and he did. If they were going to deny the waiver request no matter what the doctor said, it seems unethical that they should encourage me to waste my time and expense to see him anyway.

    At the time of the original diagnosis, I did see a dermatologist. I initially went to the student health service of the university I was attending. When I saw the nurse practitioner at that initial appointment, she diagnosed it as a “rash of unknown origin” and prescribed some medicine. The medicine helped but I was not completely healed, so at my follow-up she again diagnosed it as a “rash of unknown origin” and referred me to a dermatologist. That is when the first dermatologist diagnosed it as dermatitis. The ointment/cream he prescribed healed it. I returned to the nurse practitioner 18 months later to see if she would renew the prescription because I was almost finished with college and I did not have much left. I figured that if I had a recurrence later after I had moved (which I did not), there would be much expense with seeing a new dermatologist in another city that I could avoid by going to the much cheaper university student health service and the nurse practitioner I had already seen. Her notes on these records are very short and say “He presents stating that he has a history of eczema,” the diagnosis simply says “Eczema,” and she prescribed a refill. As I mentioned before, I can’t remember if I stated that or not, but I wasn’t a medical expert so I didn’t know or care if the proper terminology was a rash, dermatitis, or eczema. But nowhere in my medical records from either the nurse practitioner or the dermatologist does it state that I had eczema before that note that says I stated that I had it, so it seems to me that it is likely that my comment may influenced the nurse practitioner’s diagnosis.

    I’m sure you are correct in that I did not see a USMEPCOM physician because it was at the local MEPS and not in Chicago. I’m not familiar with the proper designation of the physician I saw at MEPS; hopefully he was the CMO. He seemed hesitant to disqualify me, so if I can get through to him and he takes my side, hopefully he will have some influence since you stated that CMOs are the experts in accessions medicine.

    I would gladly try another branch of service rather than attempt to get this resolved. But my problem there is that I am 36 years old so I am past the age limit for the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps Reserves, so I would need an age waiver. I suspect that would be even harder to obtain, and I don’t have an argument to support that one.

    Thanks again for the time you have spent to read and respond to my issue. You’ve given me valuable information and helped me prepare for the resistance I’m sure I will get when I pursue it further.

  32. Christine. says:

    Navydoc,

    After reading through the posts/responses I would like to submit my question to you, especially since I see that the DoDI 6130.03 has been updated from other sources I have referenced online. I am pursuing the Army (aviation) and I am concerned about a previous LEEP procedure (due to HPV) I had done in 2009. According to my medical records they were moderate cells that were removed. Since then I have had no history of abnormal paps. Would I need to request a waiver, and if so, would it still fall under the “normally waiverable” category?

    Please forgive my question as it relates to the Army and not the Navy – it is my understanding that MEPS processes for all branches and your insight would still be most helpful as I prepare for this process.

    Thank you again.

    Respectfully,

    Christine

  33. Brittany M. says:

    Hello. My name is Brittany and I am trying to join the military, particularly the Army National Guard. If the branch of service I am trying to enlist into is irrelevant on this forum, I apologize. I have been working on trying to get an eye waiver approved for my vision in right eye and I am having a frustrating and hard time with trying to prove that my eyes won’t hinder me from military duties (sigh). But my recruiter tells me not to easily become discouraged and give up on it. This is my forth attempt at fighting for this waiver. My right eye is amblyopic but I have vision in it; it is just blurry without glasses on. I also have peripheral and central vision in that eye. With glasses I am correctable to 20/20 near and 20/40 distance in right eye and it does not go inward or outward or anything according to my eye doctor’s findings. In left eye, I am correctable to 20/20 at distance and near. With both eyes open (OU vision), I am correctable to 20/20. My eye health is normal. My prescription is -1.75 diopters left eye and -8.50 diopters and -1.75 cylinder diopters of astigmatism in right eye and all of this is documented in the documentation I provided in the paperwork for the eye waiver. I know this is an uneven prescription but I am used to it so it doesn’t bother me at all. My depth perception has improved slightly, too. My eye doctor finds my vision to be stable and I am not worried about my astigmatism because it’s minor. I also wrote a letter stating how my eyes won’t limit me from doing tasks that require hand-eye coordination and depth perception to go with the new documentation I submitted with the waiver this time. The question I am trying to ask is, Will this new documentation stand a chance on the waiver this time? Or do I have any hope of ever enlisting into the military at all?:( Are you now required to have perfect depth perception in both eyes to join since the military has gotten more selective on prospective applicants and are having no problems meeting their quotas? Are waivers non-existent now? The idea of my eyes still preventing me from joining the military despite normal eye health really frustrates me. I have been saddened by this outcome for a while now. I understand that military service is a privilege and not a right. I am just fighting hard for this waiver honestly to earn this privilege. I am not joining to “milk” the military for “benefits and money.” All I want is the opportunity for personal growth and healthy, productive, and safe work rapports with potential fellow military personnel by keeping my glasses on at all times so I wouldn’t seem like a liability or a danger to fellow comrades.

  34. navydoc says:

    Christine,
    If your LEEP was not for CIN III or above, and your last two paps are normal, you will not require a waiver.

  35. navydoc says:

    Brittany,
    If the waiver authority for the National Guard has denied your waiver, you can try another service. Based on the info you give, I suspect there’s something else going on, because the National Guard will usually waive your level of refractive error.

  36. Brittany M. says:

    Hell again NavyDoc. My right eye is amblyopic with decreased depth perception. This just simply means my eye is lazy. The significant difference in refractive errors between my two eyes is called Anisometropia. The excessive refractive error is only in the right eye. In that right eye is also compound myopic astigmatism but it is only -1.75 cylinder diopters. And the -8.50 diopters is myopia or high nearsightedness in my right eye. At first, my eye doctor was concerned about me wearing full prescription eyeglasses back in November 2013 because of the Anisiekona (difference in image size) with this prescription was, according to him, may usually cause headaches, eyestrain, and double vision in many patients. The National Guard is informed about all of this because it was documented in the last medical records I submitted the last time. Now, since I am currently wearing full prescription eyeglasses with no problems, I went back to the eye doctor in June 2014 to check my depth perception and vision acuity after patching my good eye to make my right eye stronger for a month. I wore glasses most of my life so the Aniseikonia doesn’t give me any visual problems at all when I wear the glasses daily full time. In my doctor’s new findings, he found a slight improvement in my depth perception and found my vision to be stable and that I do not experience symptoms like headaches from wearing full prescription eyeglasses. Fortunately, he still found no pathology or disease associated with the refractive error in right eye, Thank God. Documentation of this is at the National Guard now. So no worries, NavyDoc. Thank You very much. Sorry I did not provide enough information by the way. I needed to clear this up after reading your post. Thanks again.

  37. Dawn [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    NavyDoc,
    My son is currently at Ft.Benning boot camp, and has had problems with a bunion, and is getting medically discharged. He was 2/3 finished with his training. He is clearly disappointed, and wants to continue his training. The question he has is this: if he has surgery to correct the bunion, will he be able to get back in the military, if so, would there be a long waiting period to re join,and are there restrictions to how the surgery is completed. I have read about spacers,and definitely needing waivers for that, or sometimes you don’t need spacers. Are there specific questions to discuss with a civilian doctors so they have an understanding of my sons goals, and the military requirements, and restrictions. The other question, is if he chooses not to have surgery, and only physical therapy,would he be able to pass a physical at MEPS, or still need a waiver. I feel I already know the answer to the second half of that question. Thank you in advance for your advice, and THANK YOU for your service!!

  38. Christine. says:

    Navydoc,

    That is correct, my LEEP was for CIN 2. I was concerned that CIN2 and above would be disqualifying – glad to know that I will not require a waiver. Also, my last two paps have been normal.

    Thank you for the assistance – it is most appreciated!

    Respectfully,

    Christine

  39. navydoc says:

    Dawn,

    The chances of getting back into the Army after being discharged for a medical reason are slim. No one should have a medical procedure in the hopes of one day passing a physical at MEPS. He should do what is best for him in regards to his career as a civilian. If he does try to re-join the Army, he will need both a medical and an RE code waiver–both will be difficult to get.

  40. Dawn [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    Navy Doc,
    Thank you for the reply.One other thought we had, was if my sons scores, being ASVAB,college credits etc, might have any bearing on decisions for waivers. His Captain has emailed the Army doc, to see about being able to keep him, because he and his DS, see promise with him. If he were to get a recommendation from his Captain in his records, do you think that might help as well? The doc told him it sucks that someone who wants to stay and serve gets sent home, and there are those that try to looks for reasons to get out. Thank you again.

  41. navydoc says:

    Dawn,
    Things like ASVAB scores, college degrees, desire to remain in the Army, etc, do not have bearing on medical waivers. While not impossible, there are very few waivers once a person has already shipped to boot camp and they are not able to meet the fitness requirements to graduate.

    In general, you must have the waiver in hand before you arrive, and even then, you can still be discharged for the reason for which you have a waiver if you cannot meet the physical demands of recruit training. Plenty of people with bunions make it through 30 year careers in the military without any foot issues, so the fact that basic training is causing your son’s feet so much trouble that he needs to be discharged is concerning.

  42. Dawn [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    Thank you Navy Doc,
    The fact that he was issued a 10.5 boot when he wears a 12 might have been part of the problem! I appreciate your information and help for sure :)

  43. navydoc says:

    Dawn,

    Bunions take years to develop, so while too tight boots may exacerbate an underlying problem, it is unlikely that wearing too small boots for 5 weeks (and I don’t even know where to begin about not requesting the proper size footwear once he became aware that they were the wrong size. Recruits are given many, many lectures on the importance of foot care) would cause bunions to appear.

    Hopefully your son will get the treatment he needs to be pain free, and can try again in the future. The state of recruiting is always in flux. While waiver are rare now, that can always change, dependent on the needs of the service.

  44. Dawn [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    Thank you once again, he did request a new size, and he was told his were fine. I am thinking that he needed wider width. I didn’t want you to think he didn’t follow the steps he was told. We understand the needs of the military, and appreciate all you do. Thank you so much for your help. Even if we don’t like the answers ;)

  45. jaired says:

    I have a question I used to suffer from childhood epilepsy but I have been free of seizures since 2004 or 2005 I have also been off meds since 2008 I am aware that MEPS has a standard on any form of epilepsy however, I know that
    I meet those requirements recently I got a doctors note and medical records stating all this and its still taking so long so I can’t help wonder whats going on help??

  46. djami_c says:

    I am trying to join the navy, but I had an accident back in 2012. The chiropractor wants to make some money from my insurance he said I had 7% disability. I went to meps. They ask for the record. I gave all the papers to them. Now they want my recruiter to get a waiver from Tennessee. Do I have a chance to join? I never had back pain since I left the chiropractor office

  47. Angel says:

    My Son is currently on Ship 5 awaiting release. When he joined he informed his recruiter that he use to be on Adderral for ADHD but has been off for a few years. The recruiter told him do not put it on his form. Well now my son is being sent home because that recruiter did not do a waiver. They told him once he gets that waiver he can reenlist to return. So my question is how long is the process of leaving ship 5 and how long does the process take to get a waiver ?

    Thank you Worried Mom.

  48. Bill says:

    Angel,
    Your son needs to get with Navy Legal while there and make sure he get a re enlistment code that will allow him the chance to get back in.
    That being said, with the draw down of forces, I wouldn’t count on being able to reenlist for some time.
    My son went through the exact same thing. And with the current mind set of the military when it comes to ADD/ADHD, the rules are very strict :(

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