Written by Thomas Goering, NCCM USN(RET)
Published: August 13, 2008
Updated: July 25, 2021
Many people who are considering the United States Navy as an option wonder if there may be some mental or physical condition from their past which may preclude them from serving. This post is the first of a two part series which will talk about medical conditions and possibly answer your “would I make it with” questions. Today I will list the medical issues/conditions which will not be considered for a waiver.
For those issues with time conditions they are listed as such – like a severe head injury has a five year waiting period, the waiting period is in place to reduce the possibility there were no long term effects from the injury. Conditions that become aggravated while serving on active duty could in the long run be considered “service connected” which in turn could lead to future disability benefits. By restricting some known medical issues, such as the ones listed below, will ultimately save the taxpayer’s money.
Before posting a question, please take the time to read through the comments because you may already had your specific question answered via someone else’s question.
Generally, the Navy will not waive the following conditions (conditions listed in COMNAVCRUITCOMINST 1130.8L);
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), AIDS Related Complex (ARC), HIV Antibody, or history of any of the above.
- Single kidney – regardless of cause.
- Loss of an arm or leg.
- Seizure disorder with seizure and/or medication within five years.
- History of Cancer with treatment within five years (except basal cell carcinoma).
- Diabetes Mellitus Type I or Type II.
- Loss of one eye.
- History of Cataract surgery.
- History of any Keratoconus (protrusion of the cornea).
- History of Glaucoma.
- History of Aphakia (lens replacement of the eye).
- Severe Allergic reaction (Anaphylaxis) to insects or food.
- Corneal transplant history.
- Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis (Intestinal ulcers).
- Severe deformities of the mouth, throat, or nose that interfere with speech or mastication of ordinary food.
- Severe Scoliosis (spine curvature greater than 30 degrees) or Kyphosis and Lordosis (greater than 50 degrees) when measured by the Cobb Method.
- History of eating disorders: Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia.
- Headaches, recurrent, severe, which require prescription medication or interfere with daily activity.
- Hepatitis, chronic: Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C carrier.
- Malignant Hyperthermia/Hyperpyrexia (adverse reaction to anesthesia).
- Multiple Sclerosis (nerve disease involving muscle weakness and uncoordination) and Muscular Dystrophy (progressive atrophy/wasting of the muscles).
- Severe orthopedic injuries that result in functional limitations secondary to residual muscle weakness, paralysis, or marked decreased range of motion.
- Otitis Media (middle ear infection/inflammation), chronic or currently active.
- Pes Cavus (abnormally high arches of the feet with increased extension of the toes), severe, symptomatic (other than routine orthotic use).
- Pneumonectomy, removal of entire lung.
- Pregnancy (except for prior service processing for affiliation).
- Prosthetic replacement of joints.
- Psychiatric Conditions: Schizophrenia; Major Depression, recurrent; Bipolar Disorder; Panic disorders; Sexual disorders; and Personality disorders, severe.
- History of Retinal disease or detachment.
- Chronic skin disorders. Atopic dermatitis, Eczema, Psoriasis.
- Spinal Fusion, greater than two vertebral spaces, congenital or surgical involving any number of vertebrae, by any method.
- Current drug and/or alcohol abuse or diagnosed substance dependence.
- History of Neurofibromatosis.
- Congenital (birth) heart defects that have not been repaired.
- History of intestinal bypass or stomach stapling.
- Severe head injury within the past five years.
- Anabolic Steroid Use within the previous two months is not enlistment eligible.
- Hearing above the following thresholds: Pure tone at 500, 1000, and 2000 cycles per second for each ear of more than 25 decibels (dB) on the average with any individual level greater than 30 dB at those frequencies. Pure tone level more than 35 dB at 3000 cycles per second or 45 dB at 4000 cycles per second for each ear.
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: NavyDoc is a Chief Medical Officer for a major Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), and only takes into account the information you provide, so please be as thorough as you can with the history and description of your issue.