Published: August 14th, 2008
Updated: April 13, 2015
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);
- History of Ophthalmologic Disorders such as excessive refractive error: +/- 8.00 diopters sphere, +/- 4.00 diopters cylinder. LASIK and PRK surgery to include preoperative refractive measurements. Note: PRK, LASEK, and LASIK are disqualifying if:
- pre-surgery refractive error was greater than +-8 diopters
- less than 6 months have passed since surgery
- you still need medications or treatment stemming from the surgery
- your eyes have not stabilized
- you have not had an eye exam measuring refraction at least 3 months after the surgery
- you have keratitis
- you have corneal vascularization or opacification that puts your vision below enlistment standards
- you have uveitis or iridocyclitis
- History of Respiratory disorders such as childhood Asthma, Reactive Airway Disease or Exercise-Induced Asthma, pneumothorax (traumatic or spontaneous).
- Asthma waivers are generally granted if within the past 3 years ALL of the following criteria are met;
- No use of controller or rescue medications (including, but not limited to inhaled corticosteroids, leukotriene receptor antagonists, or short-acting beta agonists).
- No exacerbations requiring acute medical treatment.
- No use of oral steroids.
- A current normal spirometry (within the past 90 days), performed in accordance with American Thoracic Society (ATS) guidelines and as defined by current National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) standards. (If approved for further processing, the MEPS will schedule and pay for any required testing/consults)
- History of Orthopedic surgery or injury (ORIF, retained hardware, ACL or Arthroscopic, Bankhart repair, bunionectomy).
- History of Gynecological disorders such as Endometriosis, Cervical Dysplasia, or abnormal PAP smear.
- History of Cardiovascular disorders such as repaired congenital heart malformation or conductive disorder (WPW) treatment.
- History of Abdominal/Gastrointestinal disorders such as Hernia repair (must be 60 days postoperative with release from care statement), GERD, hemorrhoids.
- History of Neurological disorders such as back pain, surgery or asymptomatic mild Scoliosis, sleepwalking, childhood epilepsy, concussion.
- History of Urinary disorders such as kidney stones, proteinuria, or childhood enuresis.
- History of Psychiatric disorders such as mood, personality, conduct, or behavior disorder.
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is disqualifying UNLESS the following criteria are met:
- The applicant has not required an Individualized Education Program or work accommodations since the age of 14.
- There is no history of comorbid mental disorders.
- 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.
- 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.
- Documentation from the applicant’s prescribing provider that continued medication is not required for acceptable occupational or work performance.
- Applicant is required to enter service and pass Service-specific training periods with no prescribed medication for ADHD.
- History of Dermatological disorders such as mild skin disorders (i.e., acne, pilonidal cyst, contact dermatitis, urticaria, and warts).
- Hearing. Pure tone hearing loss at 500, 1000, 2000 Hz of not more than 30 db on average with no individual level greater than 35 db at these frequencies in either ear. Pure tone hearing loss at 3000 Hz of not more than 45 db and 4000 Hz not more than 55 db in either 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. If your recruiter thinks otherwise, point him or her to the following Operational Notice:
NAVY RECRUITING COMMAND N3 -OPERATIONS NOTICE #26
MEDICAL GUIDANCE FOR PROCESSING ENLISTED AND OFFICER APPLICANTS
1. Purpose. To provide policy guidance regarding medical counseling for Future Sailors/Officer applicants.
2. Discussion. Information provided by the Navy and Marine Corps Public health Center suggests some female recruits/applicants have been advised to stop taking oral contraceptive (OCPs, sometimes called birth control pills or BCPs) and/or thyroid replacement medications before departing for initial training. Additionally, some female Future Sailors/applicants have been advised to have their IUDs removed and/or their implanted contraceptives (Implanon) would be removed at initial training.
3. Action. Effective immediately, recruiting personnel shall not advise Future Sailors/applicants to discontinue use of OCPs, to have IUDs removed, or to stop thyroid replacement medications.
4. NAVCRUITCOM (N35) will incorporate these policy changes into the COMNAVCRUITCOMINST 1131.2E and 1130.8J (Officer and Enlisted Recruiting Manuals).
A note to everyone: The advice and prognostications delivered in the comments by NavyDoc are based on his years of experience as a MEPS Chief Medical Officer, and he is only able take into account the information you provide, so for a more definitive response, ensure you are thorough with the description of your issue(s).