Written by Thomas Goering, NCCM USN(RET)
Published: August 14, 2008
Updated: April 24, 2019
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);
- Corneal refractive surgery performed with an excimer or femtosecond laser, including but not limited to photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK), laser assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), and small incision lenticule extraction, if any of the following
conditions are met is disqualifying:
- Pre-surgical refractive error in either eye exceeded a spherical equivalent of +8.00 or -8.00 diopters.
- Pre-surgical astigmatism exceeded 3.00 diopters.
- Within 180 days of accession medical examination.
- Complications, ongoing medications, ophthalmic solutions, or any other therapeutic interventions required beyond 180 days of procedure.
- Post-surgical refraction in each eye is not stable as demonstrated by at least two separate refractions at least 1 month apart, with initial refraction at least 90 days post-procedure, and the most recent of which demonstrates either more than +/- 0.50 diopters difference for spherical vision or more than +/- 0.50 diopters for cylinder vision.
- History of airway hyper responsiveness including asthma, reactive airway disease, exercise-induced bronchospasm or asthmatic bronchitis, after the 13th birthday is disqualifying, and waiver potential rests with the length of time one is without any symptoms (generally greater than three years) and the results of a current spirometry.
- 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 if:
- A recommended or prescribed Individualized Education Program, 504 Plan, or work accommodations after the 14th birthday;
- A history of comorbid mental disorders;
- Prescribed medication in the previous 24 months; or
- Documentation of adverse academic, occupational, or work performance.
- History of Dermatological disorders such as mild skin disorders (i.e., acne, pilonidal cyst, contact dermatitis, urticaria, and warts).
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).
Notice To All,
With the nearly 20 thousand medical related questions and answers available on this blog pertaining to the MEPS physical, it is very likely the answer to your question already exists within the Navy Cyberspace database. To that, I will be closing the ability to post a comment to this and the other medical pages. Please use the following search box to search the database for your answer.
If unable to find your answer after using the search function, as always, feel free to email me via the “Contact Me” link in the navigation bar, but understand, if it is obvious to me that you didn’t even attempt to use the search, I will ignore the question.
I would like to express my sincerest thank you to NavyDoc. You, Sir, have been amazing in answering over the past decade. If ever we have a chance to meet in person, dinner is on me.