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Medically Disqualifed at MEPS, Now What? Pg-113

Navy Recruiting Medical Waiver Process

Written by
Published: September 17, 2009
Updated: April 24, 2019

8,598 Responses to “Navy Recruiting Medical Waiver Process”


  1. Alexandra says:

    It might be useful to add, the issue I’m having is with the civilian doctor. The CO already approved my waiver….

  2. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Alexandra,

    How is your doctor interfering with your conduct waiver? You have made no mention of medical issues in an of your statements until now. Secondly, the commanding officer will not complete a conduct waiver until you have cleared your physical.

    To add to my last, if the Assault 3 is a felony in your state, it must also go to CNRC legal for review.

  3. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Alexandra,

    If this is really a Conduct waiver question, bring it to the Conduct waiver page; otherwise, if it is a medical concern, then fully state your medical issue.

  4. Alexandra says:

    Assault 3 is only the lowest assault charge its a misdemeanor equivalent to a trespassing charge. It is on our physical at meps as “have you been arrested” why it’s a medical question I have no idea. The civilian dr stated that she needed more paperwork to approve it. The CO approved it, I have no health medical issues I passed everything with flying colors now they are sending the waiver to big navy

  5. Rebecca says:

    Hi navy doc.i had asked a few weeks about trying to enlist with hypothyroidism. My recruiter told me it was disqualifying and you told me to look it up for myself to see that it was NOT actually a DQ. I think something has changed because I did look it up and this is what it reads “
    k. Current hypothyroidism unless asymptomatic and demonstrated euthyroid by normal thyroid stimulating hormone testing within the preceding 12 months.” Like I said I DO take synthroid. How often does this medical regulation change? Can I take this medication in boot camp? I can go weeks without taking it before feeing side effects (which is just feeling a little lethargic) just because it has changed can I get a waiver? I’m in the process of getting all my labs for the pre screen.

  6. Allie says:

    I have two fibroadenomas. I initially had an ultrasound. One was deemed to be a fibroadenoma. They did a biopsy on the other and it came back normal as fibroadenoma. AKA they’re both benign. I have all of the paper work ready for meps showing there’s nothing wrong. Does Meps disqualify for this even with documentation?

  7. Christian says:

    Hello,

    I have an asymptomatic type 1 Chiari malformation. Is this going to disqualify me from enlisting?

    Thanks in advance!

  8. Rose says:

    Jacob was diginosed with ADHD about six and a half years ago. He only took meds for a short time. He has not used them for six years .
    Everything was disclosed at MEPS.
    Now at boot camp the Doc reviewed his records cause he threw up.
    He has been there 22 days.
    Can they kick him out?
    He will be 23 in March.

  9. navydoc says:

    Rebecca,
    Synthroid is the ONLY medication that you can bring with you to boot camp. The regulation you quoted says that if you are asymptomatic and euthyroid (as shown by normal TSH) on the SAME dose of synthroid for the past 12 months, you are NOT DQ. Your recruiter is wrong. If you get DQ, this is one case where a Congressional Inquiry will help, because the regulations clearly state that controlled hypothyroid is not a disqualifying condition. The regulation changes approximately every 5-8 years. The only change to hypothyroid since the previous DoDI in 2010 is that you now only need to submit a single TSH within the past 12 months. Previously you had to submit 2 in the past 6 months.

  10. navydoc says:

    Alexandra,
    Criminal charges can be indicative of a psychiatric disorder (antisocial personality, impulse control disorder, conduct disorder) and thus can result in a medical DQ. That is why we review them in the medical interview.

  11. navydoc says:

    Dusty,
    Sinus arrythmia is only DQ if it is symptomatic.

  12. Josh s says:

    I’m trying to gather all the information I can my medical waiver was not accepted do to 38-skin lymphatic which I believe is do to the fact that the waiver was for herpes. I thought minor cases were not an issue for military. Specially when your going for reserves and not active. Does that leave me open to try other options with the military even tho I have already be failed on my waiver for the army.

  13. navydoc says:

    Rose,
    ADHD can possibly get him sent home from RTC. It all depends on what he wrote on his MEPS paperwork versus what is in his medical records.

  14. navydoc says:

    Allie,
    No.

  15. navydoc says:

    Christian,
    Chiari malformation is PDQ. Waiver is dependent on the needs of the service. Why did you have a brain MRI if your malformation is asymptomatic?

  16. Mike says:

    Hello,

    3 years ago I had a tumor removed from my lung that turned out to be malignant. Since it was primarily localized, I did not receive any Chemotherapy or Radiation and instead was just monitored through CT scans every 6 months for 2 years. Now I am on low dosage CT scans yearly and have 3 left. I was wondering if this is waiverable since I technically did not receive treatment and can I get qualified right now or do I have to wait until the 5 year mark when I am going to be considered “cured”? I have been told that there is a chance this could get a waiver and just want to clarify.

    Thank you!

    Mike

  17. Curtis says:

    Hello,

    I was recently denied a medical waiver for a pilonidal cyst I had excised nearly a decade ago with no recurrence since and with surgical and followup notes detailing full recovery. Is there any avenue to appeal the waiver decision due to the complete absence of any cyst besides the one I had excised some 10 years prior? Also, when discussing my medical dq with other branches, I was plainly told that such a quick turnaround on my waiver decision was likely the result of no actual investigation into the matter and just a reaffirmation of the initial decision by the MEPs doctor. Other than that mark on my medical record, I have no other disqualifying factors. Is there any path towards enlistment for me to follow, or should I commit to another branch at this point?

  18. Kamar says:

    I read the drug and alcohol part of this thread but just want a little more information on my situation. Back in 2011 i applied to join the military. When i got to MEPS, i went through the process until i got to the questionnaire part. One of the questions asked how often do i drink, i told the truth not thinking it was a big deal because i just turned 21 and i didn’t think the amount i was drinking was a lot. it was 2-3 beers a day out of 3-5 times a week. Thinking about it now, i still don’t think its a lot but haven’t drank since then (2011). After that i couldn’t go further with the process and my recruiter had to come get me. I went to see a psychiatrist, some time passed then my recruiter told me i was disqualified but never gave me a reason but im guessing because of how i answered the question. What i am asking is if i am able to reapply even though i was already disqualified.

    P.S when i first applied, my recuiter tested me for marijuana and i tested positive but was clean when i went to MEPS and blood work at MEPS showed i was clean too.

  19. Jordan says:

    Hello ,

    I was discharged from army bootcamp in March 2018 for hip stress fractures that occurred January of 2018 . My re enlistment code is RE-3 JFV . I got all my medical records and orthopedic doctor clearance letter and I’m completely healed , my recruiter sent it up to Meps in a 50 page med read .

    1. Is this something I would have to get a waiver for and if so , is this waiver hard to get approved.

    2. I’m also confused because I read it’s disqulifying if occurred within 12 months . Is that a temporary disqualification or Permanent ?

    3.My Meps read is taking over 2 months , how long does it normally take ?

    4. I’m trying to rejoin the army right now , but would the navy be easier to get a waiver for my previous stress fractures ?

    I have no criminal history , no other medical conditions

    Thanks in advanced and much appreciated

  20. navydoc says:

    Jordan,
    If you had a stress fracture 12 months of going to MEPS, you will need a medical waiver. Alternatively, you could wait out the full 12 months before processing and then you will only require an RE code waiver, and not a medical one. We use “permanent” loosely in order to expedite the waiver process, when conditions last a very long time or have a long DQ period (severe head injury) or makes an applicant unlikely to return to MEPS (current pregnancy). Only PDQ conditions are eligible for waiver condition.

  21. navydoc says:

    Kamar,
    You can have another MEPS physical after yours expires (2 years) provided you can find a recruiter willing to work with you.

  22. navydoc says:

    Curtis,
    Strictly as you have written your info here, you should not have been DQ. Pilonidal cysts are only DQ if they are current or it you have not had at least a 6 months recovery after complete excision (NOT I&D, which is still PDQ). Most waiver decisions can be made very quickly when the service chooses to do so (30 minutes or so). It is the volume of requests that slows down the process. However, services also have the option of not even looking at waiver requests, as waivers are not a right and exists only to meet the needs of the service, not the applicant.

  23. navydoc says:

    Mike,
    Surgical resection IS treatment. You can never be qualified with a history of cancer, other than squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas. You will always need a medical waiver. You need to submit medical records and see if you will even be authorized to have a physical at MEPS.

  24. Thomas [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    Hi,

    Long story short, I am active duty enlisted and have been battling to get a medical waiver for OCS. Literally no one in my command, squadron, officer recruiter or MEPS knew how to submit a medical waiver for OCS. My squadron DOC submitted a waiver through my commodore on November 2nd, but did not know where to send it for medical endorsement. I found this out the week before holiday stand down and through calling everyone in the Navy that I could think of, I was told I needed to submit my application and that the waiver would be processed through NRC. I did get my application sent and received before stand down, but unfortunately I have to get my application to the board today. My contact at NRC says that he will forward my package as soon as he gets the waiver. I was able to get three phone numbers for N33 last week and left messages for all of them, but I have not been able to speak with any of them. Is there any other way to contact the med waive department? Thank you.

  25. Zachary says:

    I got a MEPS PDQ for ADHD, is there any way to get a wavier

  26. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Zachary,

    ADHD and waiver opportunity has been discussed numerous times in this forum. The search function should be of help as you know exactly what your related dates of medication use and whether any performance accommodations were given to you.

  27. navydoc says:

    Thomas,
    No. The waiver authority generally does not speak with applicants. The only communication goes through MEPS and DoDMERB. Enlisted members who do not go through MEPS for their commissioning physical often run into this problem, which is why it is discouraged to try to have the physical through other channels. I’m sure there is someone, somewhere, who can help you, but I don’t know who it would be.

  28. Debbie says:

    Hello! My 18 year old son wants to enlist in the Navy. When he was a sophomore in school, he was diagnosed with anxiety and prescribed Sertraline for a few months. He’s not needed it ever since. Also, he wears glasses due to Retinopathy Of Prematurity. His vision with glasses is 20/30 both eyes. In 2015, he had laser eye surgery for Band Keratopathy. Will this disqualify him from enlisting in the Navy?

    Thank you!
    Debbie

  29. navydoc says:

    Debbie,
    Yes, ROP and the band keratopathy are PDQ and require waivers. Army is more likely to waive vision issues than the Navy, but if he truly wants to join the Navy, he can see if a waiver is possible. Anxiety may or may not require waiver, depending on review of his medical issues.

  30. Michelle says:

    NCCM,
    My daughter is very interested in the Navy. She has visited the recruiter’s office several times and began the enlistment process. When we reviewed the medical disqualifications list we noticed that her birth defect was there. She has no uterus and no vagina due to a congenital birth defect called Mullerian Agenisis, sometimes called, MRKH. The condition is fairly rare. 1/5000. There is no pain with this condition and no underlying medical problems that she will experience during her lifetime. The only limitation will be that she can’t have children. She never completed any paperwork but the recruiter called to tell her this is a non waiverable condition. Do you have any experience with this medical condition? We did find an Army recruit (I know each branch is different) that was able to enlist quite a few years ago. Any help would be appreciated. If she knows early to move on it will be devastating as her dad and grandfather were both Navy Chiefs. She is willing to go through the process but if we know ahead of time is helps everyone. Is there ever a first time a waiver rule changed?

  31. Justin says:

    Good Morning NavyDoc,

    My question is simple. I’m trying to enlist with the Air Force Pararescumen. I don’t have any psychological issues or medical issues except for a broken clavicle (2012, which healed by itself, save for a sling and some crepitus in my knees. There is no pain in my joints, just crackling and it only happens when I bend them in a couple specific positions.
    Thanks in advance for your time.

  32. NavyDoc says:

    Justin,
    You didn’t ask a question.

  33. NavyDoc says:

    Michelle,
    I have never had an applicant with that condition. But the navy doesn’t usually waiver abnormalities of the reproductive system. Army might consider it. The only way to know for sure will be to submit her records when the time comes for her to enlist. There is always a first time for everything.

  34. Michelle says:

    Thank you for your reply. When approaching a situation like ours, is it important to have the full support of her recruiter? I’m just wondering if he’s willing to help her through the process considering the uphill battle or if he’ll be less interested in helping. He’s been great up until now. Hopefully he will continue to help.

  35. NavyDoc says:

    Michelle,
    Without a recruiter she will never make it to MEPS.

  36. Jay says:

    Dear Navydoc,

    I wrote to you back in November regarding entrance to the military with a history of IEP (emotional disturbance) in high school, im currently taking one semester of community college and plan on enlisting this late summer or October. Can you tell how the process would work and if a psych eval is needed. Also what kind of documents do i need to proceed, should i find the same psychiatrist and have her do a reevaluation on me.

  37. navydoc says:

    Jay,
    First thing you do is talk to a recruiter. He/she will guide you through what your MEPS will require as far as medical and academic records. At the least you will need to submit your psychiatric records and a copy of your IEP, as well as evidence that you have had no decrease in academic, social and employment function without accommodations.

  38. Carmen says:

    Hello, my son is interested in enlisting and I have been asked to obtain medical records. He was a preemie, and had a successful PDA ligation when he was only weeks old. No issues since, super healthy kid. Would the PDA ligation be Disqualifying?

  39. NavyDoc says:

    Carmen,
    If they went through the chest, yes. If it was through the leg vein, no.

  40. Carmen says:

    Thank you Doc, I didn’t realize I was on the wrong board. To clarify, the incision was made just below his left shoulder blade and clamped permanently. Please advise. I appreciate your time.

  41. Rachel says:

    My question is: I am trying to join the Navy- ASVAB score is 84. I was diagnosed with very mild scoliosis in middle school during a physical. Very mild, never had any symptoms and never been treated, to the point I forget I was ever diagnosed. Going to have an X-ray to determine the degree of curvature. Is that PDQ or will I even need a waiver if it’s under 20 degrees? I want to get an X-ray before I even go to MEPS just to be prepared if they say anything. Also history of ADHD but recruiter said waiver is possible bc I haven’t taken meds in over a year and I have a college degree. How likely is it to get approved?

  42. NavyDoc says:

    Carmen,
    That’s his chest. Any history of chest surgery is pdq.

  43. BonnieS says:

    Hi Doc,
    My son was just disqualified at MEPS for one of his ears that failed the hearing test. He passed all qualifications including blood work. They say they are applying for a waiver for this issue. Any idea how long this will take and then of course they told he will get a crappy MOS, not the one he wanted…GM. Any info will be appreciated.

  44. navydoc says:

    Bonnie,
    I have heard that the new criteria for waiver consideration with regards to hearing loss is that the Army and Navy will allow a 5 dB loss in a single frequency in a single ear for new accessions.

  45. Spencer says:

    Have ADHD + dyslexia and im thinking about joining the Army or the Navy. However I am getting my associate’s degree first. I would just like to know if there’s anything I can do in the meantime that will increase my chances of getting a waiver?

  46. navydoc says:

    Spencer,
    As long as you are off meds for at least 2 years and have no decline in academic performance, waiver will most likely be granted.

  47. Christian says:

    Navydoc,

    Thank you for your reply. The Chiari malformation was found coincidentally in a brain MRI done because of some unrelated issue (mydriasis, also had several other tests done). Here is the information as it appears in my records:

    Findings: Chiari I malformation with 10mm of cerebellar tonsillar ectopia.

    Otherwise normal ventricles and sulci. No abnormal… [goes on to describe everything else as normal.]

    In your experience, what is the possibility of a waiver, and what do you mean by “needs of the service?” What is considered? I’m looking to join the Navy in an undermanned rate (CTI), if those sorts of things might make a difference.

    Thank you again for your time and for all of the answers you offer on this website.

  48. TC says:

    Good morning,

    I am visiting MEPS in a few weeks for my OCS physical. Unfortunately, I may have fractured the 5th metacarpal neck in my hand back in September. I have full range of motion with the hand and finger and there is no pain associated with the injury, but there is a noticeable bump just behind the knuckle on my little finger. I assume this is a fracture callus where the bone healed. I never saw a doctor for the injury or got it x-rayed, since I assumed it would just heal on it’s own. Will this cause any problems at MEPS?

    Thanks for your help

  49. navydoc says:

    TC,
    Whether or not it will be an issue will depend on what the exam shows. I can tell you that it’s foolish not to see a physician if you thing you have a boxer’s fracture, as they often do not heal correctly without casting.

  50. navydoc says:

    Christian,
    You will need to submit your records for review. Mydriasis can have its own set of issue. Needs of the service means that the service needs to grant waivers to make recruiting mission. If there are 10 applicants for every spot, waivers are not usually granted. If there are not enough fully qualified applicants, the military starts lowering standards (like ASVAB scores, taking GED applicants, allowing criminal history) and granting medical waivers.

  51. Nicholas says:

    Navydoc,

    I have written in the past to you about my DQ at MEPS in March 2018 for leg length discrepancy but a quick recap: waiver denied by Millington, SPF to Army, waiver approved.

    Current Question: I went to see a Guard recruiter to weigh options/opportunities and they had some enticing encentives. My question is: do the Georgia Guard and the regular Army use the same waiver authority? My recruiter did not seem to know the answer.
    Nicholas

  52. NavyDoc says:

    Nicholas,
    No. The army and national guard have different waiver authorities. if you change service components you will need another waiver.

  53. Ehije says:

    NavyDoc,

    I’m applying to join the Marine corps. Back in March 2017 when I went for an eye exam, the ophthalmologist discovered I had a small retina hole, and advised me to fix it on the spot, did that with laser eye surgery. My vision is good at 20/20 in both eyes, is this disqualifying as I think the corps falls under Navy standards? Thank you.

  54. NavyDoc says:

    Ehije,
    History of retinal hole is pdq.

  55. BC says:

    My son has Hashimotos. He takes Levothyroxin for it. His TSH is always within normal range but his Free T4 always runs a little high but his doctor doesn’t feel the need to adjust his levothyroxin so that they are both within normal range. I know he can get in the military with controlled hypothyroidism.

    My question is will MEPS find his Free T4 being a little high acceptable or will they want both his TSH and Free T4 to be within normal range? Thank you.

  56. Arnold says:

    HI NAVYDOC,

    I was discharge in the navy during my P-days in boot camp because of perforated eardrum, and got it fixed Last year and everything is being processed for my medical waiver. My problem now is my Asvab result will expired in February 24 and according to my recruiter my waiver is being review and on it’s way to the admiral. Do you have any idea how long would it take for the admiral or admiral staff to process the waiver? Just trying to avoid taking another asvab exam. Thank you in advance!

  57. navydoc says:

    BC,
    He should be fine.

  58. Unknown says:

    Hey doc I had a undecended testicle when I was a child doctors fixed the issue and brought it down and now I have two beautiful kids my left nut is smaller then my right nut and I have a small scar on my pubic area can I be dq for this issue if they discover it at meps I do have both balls and no pain i am also in law enforcement and it doesn’t effect my job at all

  59. NavyDoc says:

    Unknown,
    MEPS should not be “discovering” your medical history. You are specifically asked on your prescreen in you have every had an undescended testicle and whether or not you have ever had surgery. You must answer yes to both of those questions. Having an orcidopexyus not DQ.

  60. NavyDoc says:

    Unknown,
    MEPS should not be “discovering” your medical history. You are specifically asked on your prescreen in you have every had an undescended testicle and whether or not you have ever had surgery. You must answer yes to both of those questions. Having an orchidopexy is not DQ.

  61. navydoc says:

    Arnold,
    Waivers for the Navy usually take about 4 weeks.

  62. Rodney says:

    Hello, in 2015 I was disqualified at MEPS, because it was very cold and my nails were purple, then they sent me to do some tests of labs, then everything went negative, except the ANA TEST 1.40 which is the minimum. Then 1 year then I have done 3 ANA TEST and all have been negative. I have delivered the 3 results to MEPS and its almost 1 year and I’m still waiting. The civil doctors said that I’m okay and it doesnt mean anything. (Im from Puerto Rico)

  63. James says:

    I put in a adhd wavier and been off my medication and had doctor notes and was reevaluated but what gets me I graduate from high school with a gpa of 3.89 and had my boss write a letter saying I can socialize perfectly in society and was denied my adhd wavier

  64. LT says:

    Doc,
    ADHD has been covered a bunch, but I feel my situation is unique.

    Prior Service Navy SWO w/ HON discharge, male, 29. Out for just over 1 year. NAVPERS stated I am eligible for Reserve Intel and wants to send me to MEPS (as I am out past 1 year) in 1-3 months. Not too worried about most of the VA Ratings (Sleep apnea, minor hip/knee issue). Diagnosed with minor ADHD WHILE ON Active Duty – no negative results from command/no med board, etc. I am a prior service officer with a proven track record of service, deployment, excellent fitreps, etc. VA Doc will be writing a positive memo to support my case. What are your thoughts on being cleared for the Reserves?

  65. Christian says:

    Hi, I have suspected keratoconus. What are the chances that my waiver would be approved these days?

  66. Angel [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    Doc,
    I was diagnosed with acute bronchitis between the time of January 15th to January 30th where when i went into a physical wrote a note saying i was clear.
    I had an inhaler which i used about 10% of the prescription they gave me. how much of a chance do i have to go in meps. or do i need a waiver 100%
    do i still have a shot?

  67. Melissa says:

    I have not seen recent answers to this my Son has been speaking to a recruiter and informed him that he was diagnosed with Crohn’s as a young boy has been a-symptomatic for years and not taking any meds does he have a chance or is the recruiter getting his hopes up he want to go nuclear

  68. navydoc says:

    Melissa,
    Crohn’s disease is PDQ. I have not seen a waiver for it.

  69. navydoc says:

    Angel,
    Short term inhaler use for an acute illness is only PDQ if you have a history of asthma.

  70. navydoc says:

    Christian,
    The services will not waive a history of keratoconus or keratoconus suspect.

  71. John says:

    I’m in dep as of now. I recently went to the doctor to get a check up. I was diagnosed with constipation(bloated,difficulty defecating), high blood(145/90)and wrist problem. I didn’t get an x-Ray on my wrist because I have no insurance. But I know there’s something wrong because I tried the “wrist range of motion” and it’s only bending a little. I can’t even do a radial deviation. Although I can still function with my wrist,no pain. My recruiter told me not to worry about it. I’m worried if it’s disqualifying and if I go to RTC, they’ll find out about my medical record and I’ll be separated. If I’ll be disqualified, I rather be it before I leave.

  72. navydoc says:

    John,
    If you do not have full range of motion of your wrist you will not be able to physically handle boot camp. When you go to ship you need to tell the physician about your injury. They will temporarily DQ you until your issue resolves. If you have persistently high blood pressure (about 140/90) at boot camp, you will also get discharged. You are right that you are better off not shipping at all than getting sent to separations at Great Lakes.

  73. John says:

    Thanks navy doc for the response. When you say “ship” you mean when I go to meps again before my final swear in? I live outside of U.S. I have no problem being physical. I still play basketball and lift weights. I run 1.5 miles in 11 mins, 80 push ups and 60 sit-ups.my wrist doesn’t hurt at all but it’s just stiffed. I told my recruiter and she said it’s fine. I don’t know what to do anymore. If I get an X-ray from an outside doctor do I have to disclose it that I recently went to the doctor recently? And if I don’t disclose it will they find out that I visited the doctor? Thank you.

  74. navydoc says:

    John,
    When you ship to boot camp. Yes you have to disclose your visit to the doctor, as we as disclose any change in your medical history.

  75. John says:

    Again thank you for the time. I told my recruiter I want to disclose it but she said never mind. “Just say no when they ask if I visited a doctor recently”. Tell the physician when I ship to bootcamp or the second time I go to meps? I live in a U.S Territory so the recruiting process is different from the states. We go to meps twice. First, before we sign a contract and second time;days before they ship us to rtc.


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