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Unacceptable Delays in Enlistment Processing

Hurry Up and Wait

October 25, 2015

Lately, well, actually, over the past few months, I have been getting a growing number of applicants, and even some recruiters, telling me via comments in the blog, social media, or via email that they are waiting on their local commands and MEPS to inform them to whether their police involvement and/or medical condition will allow them to move forward with their processing. This is actually a normal part of the processing.

The medical prescreening issue:

When an applicant has a “yes” answer on their medical prescreening form, DD Form 2807-2, Medical Prescreen of Medical History Report, the corresponding medical records must be submitted to the MEPS for review. MEPS personnel will respond with one of a few options, either, eligible to process, permanently disqualified, temporarily disqualified (usually a timeframe will be given as to how long the disqualification will be in place), or that more medical documentation is required.

What isn’t normal is having to wait for extended periods to get an answer. In a growing number of cases, applicants are waiting weeks, and even sometimes months, to get a response. That is unacceptable, and actually contrary to MEPCOM Regulation.

USMEPCOM Regulation 601-23, dated June 26, 2012, Chapter 2, Section 2 “Processing Schedule, Projections”, paragraph c.3 and c.4 states,

(3) Prescreens on applicants with medical history documentation, of 5 or less single-sided pages and with “yes” responses in any item numbers other than 12, 61, and 73 will be submitted NLT 1200 2 workdays in advance of the projected processing date. The Recruiting Service will be notified of the applicant’s status within 2 workdays of receipt of prescreen.
(4) Prescreens on applicants with medical history documentation of more than 5 single-sided pages and with “yes” responses in any item numbers other than 12, 61, and 73 will be reviewed and submitted NLT 1200 3 workdays in advance of the projected processing date. The Recruiting Service will be notified of the applicant’s status within 3 workdays of receipt of prescreen. The projection may be submitted together with the prescreen.

Item number 12 asks if contact lenses are worn, number 61 asks about braces (teeth), and 73 asks if you smoke (tobacco).

Yes, that’s right, the regulation states, “The Recruiting Service will be notified of the applicant’s status within 3 workdays of receipt of prescreen.” MAX.

The waiver prescreening issue:

It is prudent for a command to ensure recruiters are as efficient as possible. One way to do that is to ensure they are working with applicants that are otherwise best qualified. Some applicants, however, have blemishes on their record — many of those will require extra work. Sometimes those applicants get put on the backburner — that is okay, but when the time extends into weeks and months, this too becomes an unacceptable practice.

I am positive that many, perhaps even most, MEPS are following the regulation as it dictates, and that a majority of the NRDs are returning answers in a professional and timely manner, but having even one that may have excessive delays cannot be allowed, and for two very good reasons.

First and foremost, the applicant puts their life on hold while attempting to find out if they are eligible to move forward. It is easy to say, well, if they don’t like it, go do something else, but that is not the professionalism we should expect from those in uniform. We should know pretty quickly if the applicant will be able to process — either get them on deck, or tell them to move to plan “B”, but don’t just let them flounder.

Second, and the most disturbing, these excessive delays can lead to an increase in cases of fraud. One example is a comment that was posted just yesterday,

… The recruiter told them as long as she didn’t take any medicines for her conditions, she could enlist. As for the arthritis and kidney disease, he told her the military only had access to the records she gave them and they would never find out about those conditions unless she told them. So he advised her not to tell anyone and he would pretend he never heard it. He also told her that if she had problems after she enlisted, she should just pretend it was a surprise and a new and unexpected diagnosis. He also told her that the military would just say, “Oh, we’re so sorry about that diagnosis. We won’t make you repay the tuition you’ve used so far but you won’t be able to serve now. Have a good life.”

The Navy is trying to eliminate such incidents — one step was the implementation of the “Recruit with Integrity Card“, but many times, applicants are reporting that they never recieved it — they didn’t even know it existed. Maybe make it a check at MEPS? I don’t know, but we need to avoid putting good people into impossible circumstances — a majority will overcome it and live right, but regrettably, a few will try and take the “easy” way.

Working with MEPCOM should be easy — communicating with the local MEPS and attending the quarterly meetings to share concerns is a good way to move forward to reduce those times where they are a problem. I say easy because in the same cited regulation it states,

This chapter prescribes schedule policies for the operations of MEPS. The times associated within this regulation are the base from which MEPS will operate. MEPS are encouraged to expand the windows and times whenever possible in support of the recruiting mission. If a MEPS policy is more restrictive toward recruiting than what is in this regulation, then it does not meet the USMEPCOM Commander’s intent. MEPS will not establish any times or windows that are more restrictive than what is indicated in this regulation.

MEPCOM leadership is already on board.

For the NRDs, perhaps specifically reviewing procedures and how they may impact the customer’s time would be a great start. Not all would benefit because most are on top of it, but I am sure some will find efficiencies that could strengthen their organization.

Bottom line, would you want to be an applicant today?

159 Responses to “Hurry Up and Wait”

  1. Gale:

    Having just gone through this process with my son I can say the big disconnect is between the recruiters and medical staff. My son took 18 months to wade through the maze. He had a heart ablation when he was 17 so his recruiter told us to get an “all clear” from his cardiologist. Which we did through an updated physical and a letter of recommendation from the cariologist. This was processed and DQ’d by medical. The recruiter then said he could get and “echo” cardiogram and process the results and hope for the best but there were no guarantees. However “navydoc” said the medical condition was waiveable and shouldn’t be a problem. We did this and he was successfully processed and is now in bootcamp. We should have been told about the “echo” at the beginning and saved a trip out of town to see the cardiologist.

    If it weren’t for “navydoc” assisting along the way, my son and I would have very little positive to say about the process. I do appreciate your blog and efforts to make sense of the process. Also “navydoc” was invaluable. Thx, Gale.

  2. RCBev:

    Thanks for the post. The young man that I’ve been mentoring for over a YEAR to enlist has basically “given up” because of how long it has been taking for MEPS to respond and the CONFUSION with the paperwork they need for a wavier (he scored very high on the ASVAB and has great letters of recommendations). He have gone back and forth to the county courthouse too many times to count to gain copies of records. I am ex-Navy myself and it shouldn’t be this way. He is basically “dead in the water” because he cannot gain copies of “sealed” juvenille records without a lawyer and with a subpoena basically (at least that is what he was told) And obtaining a lawyer is not realistic to say the least. It is disappointing because this is his dream. :( Any suggestions on moving forward, no matter how slim, would be appreicated. Thank you..

  3. NCCM(Ret):


    I am a little surprised that he is having a difficult time getting his “sealed” records. It has been my experience that when the actual person goes in person to the courthouse, they will provide those documents. I never ran into an issue driving the applicant to the courthouse and getting records that were juvenile and sealed when the applicant was there (now an adult) and gave permission for their release. As a matter of fact, I don’t know that it is lawful for them to keep his records from him (I am not a lawyer).

  4. NCCM(Ret):


    And a follow-up question, what was the charge, and has the court produced a letter stating that they refuse to produce the documents? Sometimes, depending on the underlying charge, that letter may help move things along.

  5. RCBev:

    Youthful offender; 3rd degree theft ($15 item) and drug para charge in 2012. We were able to obtain copies of the court “summary” of the case with the fine paid and time served. BUT MEPS wants a copy for the arresting officer’s arrest report (basically to verify potential recruit’s account/demeanor) and RAP sheet. We have to arresting officer name and attempted to request a statement from him. Didn’t have any luck with that avenue either. So, the recruiter has basically put his paperwork on moving forward for wavier on the back burner. :( The young man had a public defender, if the he and recruiter went down to their office, would it help? I was told by the county record’s clerk that it would not. How do we get this letter from the recruiter? Like I said, it’s been on the back burner. :(

  6. RCBev:

    Oh and one more thing, we have a statement from one of the possible future recruit friend’s who was with him when he was arrested with his account of what happened also.

  7. NCCM(Ret):


    The friend’s statement will be no help.

    Not a letter from the recruiter, but a letter from the court and the police officer that the information will not be released — it is not uncommon for legal to ask for arresting officers notes — especially in questionable drug related cases. Was the drug marijuana or some other drug? He had “time served”?

    If his charge(s) rose to that of a Major Misconduct Offense, a waiver at this time is highly unlikely no matter what documentation he gets.

  8. RCBev:

    NCCM (Ret)

    Thanks for all your help!! So a letter from the court (have no idea where to even go/division inside municipal court to obtain that) AND police officer statement that information will not be release or just one or the other?

    Drug was marijuana (for drug para) and he has time served/completed in 2012.

    According to the recruiter, the wavier request will have to go up to NRC Commander in Millington because of the drug para charge.

    *Sigh* this has been difficult .. This young man has so much potential if just given the chance. He wants to go PACT.

  9. RCBev:

    NCCM (Ret),

    What also been frustrating is that the recruiter says, “get this paperwork and within a couple of weeks you can go to MEPS” Potential recruit will get the paperwork requested but then doesn’t hear anything back in 6 weeks. He gets his hopes up and then nothing. If the wavier is NOT possible then just tell him — no more false hope. :(

  10. NCCM(Ret):


    And that is part of the point of my post — I wish things could move along faster because people put their lives on hold. We can do better.

  11. RCBev:

    NCCM (Ret),

    Yes, things can be better. It is not fair to this young man! I can really tell that this process has really been frustrating for him thus the “giving up” attitude.

  12. RCBev:

    NCCM (Ret)

    Of another note on above. The charges are NOT major misconduct offenses because it was less than 30 day sentence (in other words, no $$ to pay fine).
    Thanks again for your help!!

  13. NCCM(Ret):


    If the drug was anything other than marijuana, it is a Major Misconduct Offense regardless.

  14. DYLAN:


    I got back from MEPS last tuesday and i was pdq with history of shoulder dialocation and i need a eyesight waiver because my eyes are -8.5 and i needed an “ear flush” necause of wax build up. I went to my family practice and got am ear flush with documentation, as well as i had my opthomologist fill out the MEPS eye prescription sheet ( because i was on the border line of needed and eye waiver). From what my recruiter told me he says i have to wait 10 days for my drug test and blood test to come back. Then i can go back to meps for a shoulder consoltation. My question is…when i go to get my shoulder consplt, will they clear my eye and ear issue the same time? Or do i have to go three different times for each waiver… then when the third party doctor looks at my shoilder, whats after that and when can i swear in lol!. I got a great asvab score. 89 afqt. Please imform me if you will. Thank. You so much sir


  15. RCBev:


    The young man I was working with to try and join the Navy has given up — unfortunate. I gave it my 110%. :(

    Thanks again for all your help.

  16. NCCM(Ret):


    I am sorry to hear that.

  17. Jo&Bill:

    Our son is on his second recruiter and is having the most horrible experience. He has surgery on his leg 3 1/2 years ago and was completely cleared for all activity 3 weeks after surgery. The recruiter said that MEPS was requiring additional paperwork, including physical therapy paperwork. My son never had to have physical therapy. Long story short, I sent all ER paperwork and a letter from the surgeon stating that my son didn’t need PT on Apr. 7th. After no response from the recruiter, I contacted MEPS directly. The recruiter got really upset and said that if I interfered again they would not allow my son to process. I backed off and my son has been corresponding with him directly (My son is 17 and high school senior). The recruiter has never contacted my son without my son contacting him first. He is now asking my son for the exact same paperwork. When my son texted him to say I had already sent, and called to leave him a message, the recruiter will not respond. It has been almost a week with no response. My son signed original paperwork in March and we cannot get anything out of this recruiter. What do we do?

  18. NCCM(Ret):


    Your son being 17 years of age, you have every right to know the details about what is going on, and I do not know why the recruiter appears to be uncooperative.

    It is likely that when he gains permission to process, he will start the physical and be sent out for a separate orthopedic consultation — depending on the MEPS, that could happen the same day.

    “The recruiter got really upset and said that if I interfered again they would not allow my son to process.” Your son’s processing won’t be stopped unless he is found not to be qualified. If he continues to be evasive, I recommend contacting his supervisor, or call directly to the local command headquarters to talk to the Chief Recruiter (each of the Navy Recruiting District’s contact information can be found via the links on this page.

    I am sorry for the experience you’re having to date — I wish there was something more I could do to help.

  19. NCCM(Ret):

    Now, reaffirmed per instruction COMNAVCRUITCOMINST 5604.1Q of June 10, 2014, all Navy Recruiters will have the following on the reverse of their business card:

    Navy Recruiting Command
    We at Navy Recruiting Command are committed to professional,
    honest, and respectful treatment of every prospect and applicant.
    Commander, Navy Recruiting Command
    (901) 874-9003

  20. Justin:

    I Recently took the ASVAB Scored High Enough to get a EOD contract, but before I can enter the pipeline I have to go see a DOD doc at MEPS and get approved. Its been 2 weeks and still no idea when I might be able to go and get screened Navy recruiter just keeps telling me to wait and they will let him know when can I go. Is this true or am I just being put off? there aren’t many navy recruits where I live maybe 5 or 6 and he hasn’t asked me to fill out any paperwork or anything.

  21. NCCM(Ret):


    Do you have any previous police involvement? Have you filled out any of the medical screening questionnaires? Is there medical documentation that needs to be submitted for review? If you scored well on the ASVAB, and you don’t have any police or physical issues, you should have already been to the MEPS.

  22. Justin:

    I do not have any Involvement with the police (I Used to be one) and I have no medical Problems or paper work to be reviewed I am Glossary Prior service from 2010 But It’s been so long since then it shouldn’t even be a problem. He hasn’t had me fill anything out so far just says the Specwar guy up at at meps has to let him know when I can go.

  23. Justin:

    Pretty sure he is waiting to make his quota next month

  24. Faren [Last name redacted for privacy]:

    I have been waiting for a response from MEPS for 5 months.

    I was seeking reenlistment to NAVRS (formerly in the ARNG) and there was some confusion on my re-enlistment eligibility–I needed a “sole caregiver” (forget the title) type of waiver… otherwise, I have a very strong ASVAB, no med hx, no crim hx, and only student loans (good standing) in the way of debt.

    The ARNG was very cooperative and provided all necessary documentation (NGB-22, etc.), and a letter stating that I was eligible for re-enlistment and I provided the other legal documents and personal statement.

    My Navy Recruiter was very helpful and seemed enthusiastic about getting my packet submitted to MEPS. However, since submitting my application in Oct., 2014, I’ve only heard from her 2-3 times…and then only to inform me that MEPS hasn’t responded.

    Is this normal? After 5 months should I still expect to get a response from MEPS?

    I understand that when a waiver is involved the process will be protracted…but if for some reason I’m not eligible, I’d just like to know. I’d hate to think that MEPS would elect to “round file” my application. I have considered contacting a different recruiter, but really don’t want to undermine my current recruiter if it’s a MEPS issue and out of her hands…

    Any advice would be appreciated and utilized.


    [Last name redacted for privacy], F.C.

  25. NCCM(Ret):


    I assume NAVRS means Navy Reserve?

    What kind of response are you waiting for from the MEPS? The MEPS only responds to ASVAB and medical queries; the recruiting district would be who responds to everything else — neither of whom would “round file” your application. No issue would take 5 months to get a response when processing for the Navy. Did you serve out your entire contracted time in the ARNG? Did you graduate high school? Are you a single parent, and if so, is your debt to income ratio in-line?

    Again, what issue is in front of you that requires a decision from higher up before you can move forward?

  26. Faren [Last name redacted for privacy]:

    1. Correct, Navy Reserves.

    2. I’m not certain what response I am waiting on from MEPS–they haven’t run me through my medical screening yet, so I suppose that’s one thing I’m waiting on…?

    3. Did not serve out full contract, no. (I was hardship discharged before I even shipped because I was an only child with dependent/disabled parent, but that situation has passed, so I needed a waiver on changed circumstances..all documentation was submitted to my recruiter…I am unsure where that information went from there, but recruiter tells me that it’s at MEPS…?).

    4. Graduated, from high school, college, grad-school, and law school.

    5. Not a single parent, no.

    6. Not sure what issue I am waiting on that requires a decision from higher up…but I will ask.

    FYI–I’m not submitting an officer application or anything fancy–not seeking any credit for my education/experience. I simply want to return and serve out my duty to my country–which I don’t feel I have fulfilled yet–at any rank or in any position, because I don’t like to leave things unfinished. I attempted to return to ARNG and they didn’t seem to have any concerns other than I had aged out of eligibility…I haven’t aged out of Navy Reserves.

    Thanks for your response.

  27. NCCM(Ret):


    Ahh, roger that. That makes it a little more clear.

    Firstly, there is no excuse for not having an answer to you yet — five months is beyond acceptable. MEPS responds within 3-5 days to ANY inquiry per their own regulation, so it isn’t a MEPS issue, and must lie with the local NRD or the recruiter herself.

    I am going to make a couple of guesses that may help formulate questions for your recruiter:

    Based on not completing your contract, you will require a waiver to reenlist. If your NGB-22 had an RE-4 or any other RE-code that denies reenlistment, then that would be an insurmountable problem unless you were able to have that RE-code changed — I cannot recall whether RE-codes even are shown on an NGB-22, but if it is, and it is the disqualifying code, there is your problem.

    If it is an N/A or RE-3 (which I expect), then it requires an RE-code waiver from CNRC — if you are otherwise fully qualified, and it sounds like you are, this waiver takes time to put together and takes up to 2-4 weeks to gain approval (usually faster) — this may also be your problem because you won’t “count” until the waiver is returned and you go to the MEPS to get your contract — or even worse, if they determine you are still in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), and you don’t “count” until you ship off to boot-camp. This whole thing could be just an unprofessional only taking the time to pick the fruit closest to the ground. Although culpable for not sharing this with you, this may not be the recruiter’s fault — somewhere in her chain of command might have put a hold on things for when the easy fruit becomes harder to find.

    Regardless of which one of those it may be, I highly recommend that you pursue the officer route, too. If you have a discussion with the officer recruiter about the length of time you have been “on hold”, that, too, may help speed things along.

    Those are my guesses. I hope it is something else that just isn’t coming to mind because as I said, there is no excuse for putting applicant’s lives on hold like what you have experienced.

    An aside, my oldest son graduated Penn State Law (Dickinson) after his time in the Navy.

  28. Faren [Last name redacted for privacy]:

    Thank you Sir! This gives me a much clearer picture of what might be happening… and I will frame my questions to my recruiter accordingly.

    Congratulations to your son–Dickinson is a great school!

  29. Rose:

    My son took the ASVAB at MEPS and scored 92. After, 2 weeks the recruiter called him and asked if he would be interested in taking the Navy Advanced Placement Test, and if he scored well he could have a chance to go to Nuclear Engineering program. And if he past the Physical. Unfortunately, my son scored a 53 and you need a 55 -80 to get accepted. During his Physical the Meps doc said he had a sway back or curvature of the spine? two days later I asked his recruiter what this all meant. The recruiter said that my son would have to wait until the MEPS Doctors called the him (recruiter) to schedule a appt with their Orthopedic doctor to get a X-ray by the navy. After 3 weeks we are still waiting for someone at MEPSTo call us? Or some doctor to call us to give us an appointment for this exray? He has never had any back issues. They also said he had dirty ears but passed his hearing. Is he suppose to get his ears cleaned before they call him? Is it true that he has to wait 3 months before he takes the NAPT again, that is what recruiter said. Please help an anxious mom. Thanks

  30. NCCM(Ret):


    Did the MEPS tell him to what degree his scoliosis (cannot be greater than 30 degrees) or kyphosis and lordosis (cannot be greater than 50 degrees) may be? If greater than the amounts I described, and the Navy will not entertain a medical waiver for it, there won’t be any call forthcoming as he would be finished for the Navy. Those degrees of curvature are not normally waived because they are considered to already be generous. The reason the issue is disqualifying is because a large curvature such as that more often than not can lead to back problems in the future.

  31. Rose:

    They did not do an exam for scoliosis or lordosis. The doc had him stand up against the wall and said he was sway back. He said he would need to get X-rays from them. That was all they said. We are waiting for someone to call to make an apptment. Meanwhile we are in the holding zone. how can He speed up this process. He has some curvature but only at most 5%. he is almost 19. Should I take him to a ortho get X-rays and send to the navy?. Why does it take Meps so long and why didn’t they X-ray him that day?

  32. NCCM(Ret):


    Swayback is lordosis. I do not know why an x-ray wasn’t done if the MEPS doctor wanted it — the MEPS doctor can evaluate the degree of one’s curvature; getting an x-ray is fairly routine and does not take anything special (waiting on an appointment time with a consulting physician). If the MEPS doctor saw only a 5 degree curve, then it would not have been a concern because that is well within normal limits. The direct question I would ask his recruiter is, is your son permanently medically disqualified (PDQ)?

    I would not recommend taking him to any doctor until you have a definitive answer as to what is required.

    I wish I could be more help.

  33. Rose:

    Dear NCCM (Retired),

    You have been a great help thank you for your time. I will ask the direct question.
    I want to help my son have all his ducks in a row. Do you know if he has to wait 3 months to take the NAPT again. Also, do you know if the Navy accepts college credits from University of Phoenix? Thanks again.

  34. NCCM(Ret):


    At the bottom of the Advanced Program Test page is the NAPT retest policy written out in full (yes, a minimum of 90 days must pass plus additional stuff).

    The Navy will except college credits from an accredited U.S. college (remedial classes do not count) — more detail can be found on this page.

  35. rose:

    Dear NCCM (Ret),

    Hello again, Thank you for the above info. After several calls to the recruiter we finally have a date in a month for Doc Appt. Apparently, my son has a varicocele. can he be disqualified for that too? He is not PDQ’d. We are praying for Gods Will be done.

    Your site has helped me be less anxious. I will let you know what the Doctors say.


  36. NCCM(Ret):


    Left varicocele, if painful or symptomatic, or associated with testicular atrophy, or varicocele larger than the testis — or if the Left varicocele does not reduce or decompress completely when supine would be PDQ. A Bilateral or Right varicocele by itself would be PDQ. Depending on the severity, a waiver is possible.

  37. Rose:

    Hello again,

    My son’s appointment is May 6th at MEPs. They will be taking ex-ray of spine and Ultrasound of varicocele. Is this what is called a waiver? Do they write up a waiver after his appointment?
    Is a waiver, something I should do by taking him to a Doctor Now?
    Would it be breaking any navy rules or get my son PDQ’d if I take him now to see an Orthopedic Doctor that can exray by Cobb Scale what degree this Lordosis/Scoliosis is?

    My husband and I are now concerned about this finding. (We are suprised, his back looks good and he doesn’t have any pain or slump like they show scoliosis/lordosis is on the computer.

    His recruiter said, if he passed the physical exam his ship date would be August.

    In January when we went in to have him sign-up one of my questions was…If everything goes well when would you expect his boot-campbe and he replied, “August”.

    Do you think they make them wait to give the recruites time change their mind?

    Thanks again.

  38. NCCM(Ret):


    It sounds like, based on the time frame between your postings, that the Navy medical waiver authority has ordered the x-rays and ultrasound, and if I am right, he is right in the middle of waiver consideration. It doesn’t break any rules to send him to your own doctor, but it may not help at all. The MEPS contracts doctors for consultations to use as an impartial third party, and if any additional measurements or diagnosis are requested, those will be taken by that contracted doctor.

    If this is infact a request by the Navy and not one requested by the MEPS as a follow-up, then he must be borderline and the Navy thinks a waiver approval is more likely than not or they would not have requested the additional documentation via the MEPS.

    Now, in the case of a disapproval, the letter of disapproval will not state which of the two disqualifying factors was the reason for the disapproval; it will list both even if one would have been waived on its own.

  39. Marshall:

    I’ve been working to get in the navy for 7 or 8 months now. I’ve had my gallbladder removed. I smoke 1-3 cigarettes a day. And I had leukemia at age 6-7. I’m currently 19 with no sort of related problem. The gallbladder issue has been cleared as well. The only thing I’m waiting on is the leukemia. For some reason I keep getting told I need more paperwork. When I already have a huge stack. I qualified for the nuclear field which I assume takes longer anyways. I was wondering if maybe there was something I could do. I’m healthy and work out regularly. Thank you for any help.

  40. NCCM(Ret):


    I don’t understand the hold up. It should not take this long for you to get an answer one way or another.

    If they have requested that you provide additional documents, then you must provide those documents or a letter from the doctor or hospital explaining that they do not exist — you will wait forever if you haven’t handled the document issue.

  41. Dawn:

    We submitted medical records for my son’s broken femur when he was 11 (now 18) to the recruiter in January. He still states that they are on the list at MEPS and that we just have to wait. ALL the paperwork has been submitted, there is no other injuries or past medical history that my son has had that would inhibit him in anyway. Always been healthy. My son is graduating in very early June and 2 of his friends that just recently decided to enlist have already gone to MEPS for physical and testing and have been accepted. What should I do? We both have contacted the recruiter numerous times.

  42. NCCM(Ret):


    I recommend that you inform him of the MEPS regulation (USMEPCOM Regulation 40-1) that doesn’t allow MEPS to delay a response to a medical record evaluation. I have extracted the information from that regulation and put in into an easier to read fashion on this medical record’s page. It outlines timeframes, etc. MEPS medical is not the cause of the delay; but it might be the Navy Liaison office at the MEPS, and they are not to be holding documents — they are supposed to forward to the MEPS for evaluation. So, when you provide the instruction to the recruiter, if he persists, then contact his supervisor; if that doesn’t work, contact the district headquarters, and if that doesn’t work, call the hotline at 1-888-247-9321 or 1-901-874-9003.

  43. Dawn:

    Thank you very much. I will do as you have instructed.

  44. Rose:

    NCCM (Ret);
    Hello again. Went back to MEPS and my son received a n exam . Conclusion; asymptomatic varicocele and should be given a waiver . And the orthopedic said xray regarding scoliosis was 50% “your fine” 1% more and it would be a no. The urologist gave my son a paper stating his findings. However, the orhto only gave my son the exray w/out a printed typed finding report.
    Question? Why didn’t ortho give a statement finding report of consult showing the degree of scoliosis. The dictor just told him he was good. We are thinking this is excellent and are excited to sign up and get bootcamp dates? Do you think it’s a GO! ? Thanks again.

  45. NCCM(Ret):


    Yes, if his lordosis is 50 degrees or less, he is good to go with that (scoliosis cannot be more than 30 degrees). I assume the consultation doctor may fax the actual letter over to ensure, perhaps, that an applicant won’t tamper with it (I am guessing). Things sound good, I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

  46. Luthien:

    Is there a blog somewhere for USMC meps as well because we are trying to get clearance on medical paperwork and the recruiter told us not to contact him but that he would call back when he got word back and it has been three months no word. We would like to call the recruiter and find out what the hold up is but we are worried that would get the case kicked out.

  47. NCCM(Ret):


    I am not aware of another website like this one for any service; however, when it comes to MEPS and their procedures, they are the same across all services. If it is a medical document review you are waiting for, MEPS’ rule is the same for the Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force, etc. You should have heard back a long time ago.

  48. Becky:

    My daughter started paperwork back in October 2014. We got all paper work in. They, being our recruiter, could not get it to MEPS before Thankgiving. So we waited thinking we would be able to get infor physical before Christmas, wrong… So she ended up having hip surgery on jan 6 2015. So we had to fill out the application again. Had everything by mid May. Just wanting to hear if she could take the physical and test. We kept calling her recruiter he didn’t get back to us, so I called again. Finally in a cranky text he said MEPS called they would not look at it until After June 6 being 6 months from surgery. So we are still waiting. She has put college apps, jobs all on the back burner to wait for an answer. Again the Navy motto.. HURRY UP AND WAIT. We know it all to well.

  49. NCCM(Ret):


    It is true the minimum time of six months must pass before MEPS will review the documents. If submitted before noon today, she should hear back by Thursday — otherwise, Friday. If she had the surgery while in DEP, she may have had her date pushed out (losing her job for what is otherwise available) or even discharged depending on the surgery itself, so in this unique case having to wait may have been a good thing.

  50. Rose:

    NCCM (Ret),

    Hi again, this is Rose.

    Finally got word last week (to go for a second time) to sign, pick job and say Oath.
    He was suppose to check in the Hotel today at 3:00
    We were in the car leaving and the recruiter called and said, MEPS only wants Girls. What the heck????
    I am so dissapointed with the way the Navy or maybe it’s the recruiter etc office has processed this with my son. Mostly, communication errors and my Son’s error. Rewind to two weeks ago we were at Meps to say the Oath and after he picked his job and right before he was going to say his Oath they found that my son had a traffic ticket and going to traffic school was never cleared on court record. We drove home and he completed all that had to be completed. Today recruiter told us they want girls? Is this a Joke I asked? I am a very patient person and have backed my son’s decision to join the Navy even when I didn’t want him to. I have lost faith in our Navy. Not sure how to help my son.
    He can’t live at home forever and He needs to move on in his life. He loved the Sea Cadet’s and Loves the Navy and his Country etc. Does any off this make sense to you? Is this Normal? Why is Navy so Disorganized? Thanks

  51. NCCM(Ret):


    It doesn’t make sense to me, but I have been hearing this is happening across the country. Ever since about 1994, the Navy has been trying to increase its percentage of females — they made jobs “gender neutral” and started pushing for females. In 1994, females made up about 13% of the Navy. Fastforward to today, the Navy hasn’t improved their position much — I think they are at about 15% now? So, now they are forcing the issue by holding back males until the recruiters find females — usually happens in the beginning of a month, and by the end of the month when they are missing goal, they open it back up to males. Gotta love politics. Personally, I’ll never understand it.

  52. Anders:

    Wow. What a blessing to have found your site. My son has been waiting 8 months to hear something. This is what happened – he began the process in Florida. He took the ASVAB (94) He checked “yes” to prior adhd. The recruiter told him to go to a doctor getting a note stating he no longer has it. He did that. The recruiter told him to supply all of his medical records for the last 5 years. He did that. Nothing happened despite numerous visits and calls. February, he moved to Virginia with his father and I. March we visited the recruiters here in VA and she said he was temporarily disqualified based on “missing medical paperwork.” He signed a form to release his records from Jacksonville so they could see what paperwork was missing and what we could do to fix it- we were told it would be up to a month before we heard anything. WE ARE STILL WAITING. He calls the recruiter, he calls all of the time. Still told they are waiting and this is not unusual. Here is the really ridiculous thing- (which we told the recruiter)……He only took ADHD medicine for 2 years in MIDDLE SCHOOL. He HAS NOT TAKEN ANY MEDICATION all throughout his high school years and he is now 20 years old. (He wanted to be completely honest) So, it is a non- issue but somehow we are stuck in a holding pattern and my son is beginning to get very discouraged. His father has called, I have called, and my son keeps calling. We just not know where to turn. Please any help would so very much appreciated.

  53. NCCM(Ret):


    Because he started in one MEPS and is continuing in another, his entire record (hard copy) must be physically mailed to the new MEPS before he can move forward — thing is, that doesn’t take months, but three weeks can be normal depending on how fast the request is sent to the old MEPS and how fast the old MEPS packages up everything and mails it.

    Having only provided the last 5 years of medical records can prove to be very problematic; by asking for just that, the recruiter may have caused an issue when one didn’t exist. If your son only provided the last five years of records that would not have even covered the initial diagnosis of the medical issue that is in question — by not providing the entire record for the main issue, MEPS believes the records may have purged to leave out stuff that may be important. When that happens, they want to see every record since birth — all records, and not just the ones for the main issue records were required, and sometimes, that won’t even help depending on the issue because the may think there are other issues being hidden.

    The being of remedy is to gather all of his records and have his new recruiter submit them — once submitted, MEPS must, by instruction, respond with an answer — either more docs are needed, temporary disqualified, or permanent disqualified, or cleared to physical, and they must answer within 5 working days.

  54. Anders:

    Thank you so much for your response. It makes sense regarding the records now that you say it, but I wonder why the recruiter isn’t telling us what to do in order to move this along? From what I understand you to say, (please correct me if I am wrong) MEPS will have responded with clarity regarding what, specifically, is required/missing? The reason for the delay, according to them, is they are still waiting on Jacksonville MEPS to forward ALL of his records. They have said they received only some of them. We have even offered to drive to Jacksonville and retrieve them ourselves. (After 4 months of waiting)

    Also, If I may ask another question- It is my understanding, regarding ADHD and Navy admittance- that a person must not have been on adhd medicine for a period of one year prior to attempting to enlist. If this is true, if he supplied paperwork for the last 5 years, wouldn’t that take care of the issue regardless?

    One more question? (sorry) Is it allowable for my son to go to the recruiter here in VA and ask to see what records they have received and see for himself just what is missing? In my mind, this would clear up some issues. Also, if he is allowed to view the temporary disqualification form from MEPS in Florida. (The Fl recruiter did not even tell him he was temporarily disqualified even though he had been showing up there weekly. (a 2.5month time frame after all docs were given to him) I feel like if recruiter had done his job, we could have taken care of it before he came here. In fact, the only reason he had to come here is that his life is on hold at this point in time, awaiting a start date. (Hopefully)

    Again- thank you so very much. You are too kind to help those of us who have no experience with military service and do not understand the process!

  55. NCCM(Ret):


    When MEPS sends a package from one MEPS to another, they send the entire paper record — every original sheet of it; they don’t just send part of it — so, if they sent something, they sent everything. Your son can find out what the MEPS has by contacting them and making a formal request — contact his MEPS, and they will tell him how they expect the request to be forwarded. Here are the addresses and phone numbers for each MEPS in the Eastern sector.

    To the ADHD and the one year thing; they not only have to be off treatment for that period, but they must also demonstrate that the treatment wasn’t needed, and that can be demonstrated through work references and school records that may cover that period of time. It helps to show records from the doctor that state he no longer needed the treatment, too, but that is really only good if it was made back when the medication was stopped — a year or more ago, otherwise, it just looks like he is trying to get a doctor to say what is needed in order to join. Also, if there is comorbidity of ADHD and some other mental/psychological issues, then a waiver may not be forthcoming — it depends on what and how long ago, and that is why the entire record is required, and not just the proof of the one year.

  56. Anders:

    You know, we knew they were not being truthful as it wasn’t logical the reasons/excuses they were giving and the time frames involved. I guess we will never know the “why.”

    Regarding co-morbidity: There aren’t any. In fact, he was just an overly-bright but under-motivated kid. I regret succumbing to the pressure to try the medication. That is water under the bridge now.

    I will share this information with him, and he will contact MEPS for more information. Additionally, I will have him print out some of the information you shared, (not your actual replies, but the section reference re MEPS time frames, recruiting integrity card, and the district recruiter information, etc.- nothing from you) I will have him visit the VA office again, and politely press them for answers because he is becoming greatly discouraged. It is funny, for a child that never showed interest in anything and only just went along with suggested activities, he decided to join the NAVY all on his own without telling anyone. Once he told us, after the shock wore off, (lol) we all agree that he has made a very good choice for himself. We have no family members with a military background and we never imagined he would consider military life. So- now to have it turning out like this, it is such a blow to his confidence. I sincerely hope he can fix this because the NAVY will win and he will too.

    I cannot thank you enough for your help.

  57. NCCM(Ret):


    I have no problem with recruiters knowing where you got the information. Many already know my site exists — it has been around for over 11 years now; I started it while at CNRC as a prototype for CNRC (it was a three month testing period for recruiting within online video games) — after the testing period, I kept the site and ensured ever since that only up-to-date information is put out (I read instructions constantly and keep in contact with CNRC and other recruiting sources).

    A point I would like to make, recruiters want your son in almost as bad as he wants to be in — many recruiters do not know more than what they are told by the MEPS service liaison, so he may absolutely believe what he is telling your son. I don’t know, but I would assume confusion lies in the process that can be cumbersome at times, especially cumbersome to recruiters with only 1-3 years experience.

    My fingers are crossed, and I am hoping for the best! :)

  58. Becky:

    Well my daughter is still waiting.. Yes I wrote before she was still waiting well the wait is still going on. We had to go in and re do he application because it expired again. The recruiter is not telling us anything. I finally got mad and I texted him and he said her application was sent to Tennessee. Ugg why can’t they tell us these things. Yes it is all for medical stuff but this is ridiculous. After 6 1/2 months of waiting this is a bit much.

  59. NCCM(Ret):


    I am sorry for the waiting, but in your daughter’s case, she has to wait. She cannot be processed at MEPS until a minimum of 6 months passed from the date of her surgery — now, that is no excuse for not hearing before the surgery was required, but currently, if the surgery was on Jan. 6, 2015, it would have only been this week that MEPS would even look at the documentation to render a decision. If the actual joint had to be repaired, she may be permanently disqualified and would require a medical waiver. More on medical waivers and the process can be found HERE. NavyDoc is a MEPS Chief Medical Officer who takes time to answer specific questions on that page.

  60. Irma:

    Hoping for some guidance. My son is 17 and has been working with a recruiter for several months. He had a MINOR concussion in August of 2014 which he indicated on his paperwork. He was requested to provide 7 years of medical documents which he provided at least 2 months ago in which there is a letter from his doctor stating that upon follow up, he has no after effects of the concussion. He has been told by the recruiter that they had to submit the documents to the Las Vegas office (NOT MEPS) to get cleared? Does this sound right?

    It just seems like it’s taking too long.

  61. NCCM(Ret):


    Back in 2010, a Satellite Outlying Area Processing Station was started with the 99th Medical Group at Nellis in Vegas to save on travel — I have to assume the arrangement is still in place; regardless, they would have to adhere to the same MEPCOM instructions as anywhere else, and your son should have had an answer back within 5 working days of them being submitted to the MEPS.

  62. Irma:

    OK …. thank you so much. So I think he needs to go back to his recruiter and find out exactly when the documents were submitted. If he gets the run-around, by reading other posts here, would you recommend he ask to speak to his supervisor or can he contact MEPS directly?

  63. anthony:

    I have been in the process of enlisting since Feb of this year. I am 31 now ,took my asvab already but now had to get waivers for a number if things all of which were not really a problem except for 1. When I was just out of high school ,which might I add is over 10 years ago, I had a car that would attract a lot of the wrong attention. Here in Hawaii there is a thing called a reconstruction permit that needs to be obtained if you do any type of modifications to your vehicle and if you do not get that permit the police can give you a ticket. This goes from changing rims and mufflers or even raising or lowering your vehicle. Anyways these are minor tickets that don’t affect your insurance and are not even on your listed on your traffic abstract. In my opinion its just a way for the state to make extra money. Anyways now like I mentioned earlier the attention I got from the car was about 9 tickets. So with the 9 minor and 3 speeding , which were all also over 10 years ago, my recruiter said they need the tickets approved from their supervisor because there are over 10 or something like that. I had asked if it mattered if they were moving violations and was told that it didn’t matter what type of violation it was and I needed to write a statement for each one. Now after writing statements for each and and waiting roughly about 2.5 months for a response I get one. Now they need my traffic abstract so it can be judged without all the minor infractions. Really, why couldn’t I have just gave my traffic abstract in the beginning? I’ve submitted my traffic abstract and have now been waiting about 3 weeks with no answer. Is there anyone else that I might be able to talk to to speed up this process? This can’t be the normal amount of time this takes right? Or is it…
    Thanks in advance!

  64. NCCM(Ret):


    With 11 or more traffic violations, you require a waiver by the Commander, Navy Recruiting Command (the Admiral) — it doesn’t matter how long ago the offenses occurred.

    To get a waiver from the Admiral, you need to be an otherwise stellar candidate — a Tier I education, high ASVAB score, good work references, etc. The fact that they asked for the abstract is a good thing, however, they should not have asked you for it — they should have went and got it themselves because only the official record gathered by the recruiter can be used when the waiver is run.

    Once your waiver gets to CNRC, it can take 3-4 weeks for a response.

  65. Mary:

    Hello, I’m just a concerned mother, My son went to MEPS on the July 13th and had to stay an extra day for an xray for lordosis. We have not heard anything and it will be 2 weeks tomorrow. He was told 3-5 days for results, but his recruiter says she hasnt hear anything or does not respond and at the office they say no news yet. Should he be be worried? How do we know if he is disqualified or not so he can move on to other life choices. Please let me know if this is a normal wait time and should we relax? Also will he be notified by mail or will his recruiter be the only one notified? Thanks for listening!

  66. NCCM(Ret):


    It depends. Without knowing the contracts and procedures for that specific MEPS, it is hard to tell. For instance, if the MEPS has a contracted orthopedic doctor that actually goes to the MEPS just a couple of times a month, he would not read the x-ray until his scheduled visit. I have used MEPS that had an ortho doctor on just Wednesdays, others that would have to schedule an appointment at the ortho doctor’s office, and then it would be up to the doctor having an open appointment. Normally, a large MEPS will have the doctor on contract and at the MEPS once a week and scaled back from that.

    Now, two weeks is a long time for the x-ray read — the recruiter should be able to call the MEPS Navy Liaison to see if they can track it down and get an idea where it is and how much longer it may take.

  67. Nadine:

    I have been trying to join the Navy over a year now and I’m having some trouble and I don’t know who else to turn to. My situation is that I had asthma on my medical records but I actually don’t have it. I don’t take any form of medication nor do I need it. I was informed that I must be cleared before I can go forth with anything. So when I finally got cleared he scheduled my date to go to MEPS which was in early November 2014. At MEPS I finish taking my entire physical test and then I go for medical where they tell me I have to go for a consult. Last minute my recruiter asked me if I can go alone and I had to drive an hour and half down to Miami from Lake Worth by myself. After I give my recruiter all my results I completely lost all contact with him. I called him several times and not once did he ever return my calls. I finally received a letter from MEPS saying I’ve been disqualified from joining any branch due to my “asthma”. I finally got a I call from my recruiter the next day after receiving the letter and he informed me that I was DQ and enjoy the rest of my civilian life. I was devastated by the fact that I wasn’t going to be able to join but I was also upset with the fact that throughout that whole process my recruiter never really helped me. So I decide to take matters into my own hand by getting a chest x-ray and going for another PFT where my doctor cleared me and wrote off on a letter to prove so. I switched to the recruiting station in Delray Beach where I am now currently at with my new recruiter who was super understanding of my frustration with how things when down. I brought him all my new paper work and still once again I have another recruiter ignoring me. So when I finally get a hold of him he explains that I disqualified again but without reason which to me doesn’t make sense and ever since that day I haven’t heard from him except from one text message that say MEPS is requesting my medical records for a full review and that he would call me but I haven’t heard from him nor MEPS.

  68. Habwe:


    I had the BCG vaccine when I was a child and therefore will always test positive for PPD. In lieu of the test i get chest X-rays(the most recent done in 2013) to show that I do not have TB i.e negative result. During my initial processing the MEPs MD stated that he required that documentation as a formality which I provided. It took 6 weeks to be asked whether I received any treatment. I told my recruiter that since the CXR was negative I did not need treatment. I took another CXR 2 days ago to rule out TB and a note from my doctor saying that treatment is not required as the CXR was negative. Is there a way to expedite this process. The recruiter said that the USMEPCOM Regulation 601-23 is no longer enforced as a new policy has been put in place. How true is this?


  69. NCCM(Ret):


    The referred to content of MEPCOM’s instruction has not changed — it is still exactly as I have it posted in the article. No new policy has been put in place by MEPCOM with respect to document timelines. If a new policy has been sent out, your recruiter should be able to provide the reference or show you a copy of it. To the medical question itself, I recommend that you ask NavyDoc, he is a MEPS Chief Medical Officer. He routinely answers questions that are posted here.

  70. NCCM(Ret):


    I apologize for the delay in answering; I found your comment in the SPAM folder — your email must have triggered the spam detector used for WordPress sites.

    Anyway, to your question. If the MEPS recommended a waiver and the Navy sent it off, and you were disapproved, then there is nothing else you can do with the Navy. You’d need to try another service. MEPS will always have you a disqualified, it is up to the service to consider your medical waiver.

  71. Junior:

    I have been waiting on Meps to give my recruiter the results of blood count for 8 days, 12 if you count weekends. A lady at Meps told me comeback Monday and you’ll have the results. All this after I was told I qualify accept I needed to clean wax from my ears wich I did the day after I was told. I get my ears cleaned as I was told thinking I that’s all I needed to be medically cleared. Then they tell me I need a blood count. So demoralizing, I get sent to the VA to get my blood drawn and I have been waiting ever since. My recruiter telling me he has no control over Meps. I have to wait it out.

  72. NCCM(Ret):


    Strange. If MEPS requires an ear cleaning, they send you to a specialist and they pay for it. Why did you require an additional blood draw? It sounds as if you were disqualified and you are waiting on the branch of service’s medical waiver authority to consider a waiver. That is what I would have your recruiter check on.

  73. Junior:

    I wasn’t told I was disqualified. I was told I needed to get my ears cleaned that’s all. I paid to get my ears cleaned. I don’t know why I needed to get my blood drawn again. I’ve been getting mixed information between Meps and My recruiter. My recruiter has me waiting.

  74. Junior:

    Something somewhere between my recruiter and Meps there was a mistake made. I call my recruiter a lot asking him on updates he tells me the same thing play the waiting game. I’m not calling him no more.

  75. NCCM(Ret):


    I just don’t know the answer for you because an ear lavash is paid for by MEPS, but the blood draw, to me, is the biggest question. That is very unusual, and when that type of additional test was required it was because the medical waiver authority asked for it after a person was disqualified. With you not being told you were disqualified, I stand confused. I really wish I had an answer for you. I would ask the recruiter if you were disqualified and if you are awaiting a waiver. That’s all I got.

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