I wanted to talk about a couple of the more common DODMERB issues I see. When you prepare to go for your exam you will have to fill out a medical history. If you are like the typical applicant you will have to check at least one block indicating a medical issue or previous treatment or surgery. You must answer truthfully. The last thing you want is to have a condition flare up, and it is discovered that you weren’t truthful on your medical history. It’s called failure to disclose, and it is a disqualifier.
So, what are some of the issues that frequently come up. The following paragraphs are my attempt at explaining the process, and shouldn’t be taken as official policy. Only DODMERB, and Cadet Command have the authority and the final say on medical issues. I am not a doctor, but I know how to read a reg, and I’ve dealt with many DODMERB cases
If you have been diagnosed with asthma after the age of 13 you are medically disqualified. If you are currently prescribed an inhaler you are typically disqualified. If you don’t have asthma (or reactive airways disease) then you have to convince your doctor to atest that he misdiagnosed you. Will a doctor typically do this? Probably not. So, your best bet is to convince the Cadet Command surgeon that you should receive a waiver. In the past an applicant who warrants consideration for a waiver will be sent for a pulmonary functions test. If the results indicate the applicant is fit a waiver is granted. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t go out and get one of these tests until told to do so. You also need to know that if you require medication to control your breathing you will not be qualified or waived.
Academic Skills Defect
ADHD, ADD, accomodations are all medical disqualifiers. You don’t get extra time if you need it when you are in a firefight. If you have a history of having these issues, if you are on medication to control these issues, or if you receive accomodations (extra time on test, test questions read aloud, etc.) you will not be qualified. If you had these issues in the past, but you are currently not on meds or receiving help, and can show academic success (high GPA), then there is a good chance you will receive a waiver. I am not sure what the current time frame is, but in the recent past it had to be 1 year off meds, or without accommodation. That time frame may have changed. Now, am I telling you to stop taking your meds? No, I am not a doctor, so if you want to serve you need to discuss your situation with your doctor.
Broken bones, ortho sugery, pins, plates
What DODMERB and the Cadet Command surgeon are going to want to know is do you have any limitations due to your injury. If you have full function you will probably be qualified or receive a waiver. Again, there is usually a window that will indicate if you are qualified or not. The window may be something like surgery within 6 months you are disqualified. If you’ve had surgery within that time frame you won’t be qualified until the time has passed. There may be remedials, and you may have to see additional doctors, but if you can do what you need to do you will probably be qualified or receive a waiver.
Some allergies like bee stings or peanuts may be disqualifies. Don’t take it personal that the Army doesn’t want to risk you getting stung by a bee in a forward operating base without the medication to keep you alive. You will be putting more lives on the line than just yours. If you do have an allergy you must disclose it. If you have an allergy that causes you to get stuffed up in the spring when you cut the grass, and you have never been treated or prescribed medication you shouldn’t need to annotate that allergy, but it can’t hurt. Just be prepared to explain to the doc that does your exam exactly what the implication of your allergy are.
Remember, I’m not the final authority. This article is only my judgement based on 7 years of experience. The final authority are the regulation, DODMERB, and Cadet Command. Be truthful, be prepared to provide additional information, and be ready to fully explain your condition. Too easy.