1 Year in Waiver Process Advice

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by yankeefan1111, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. yankeefan1111

    yankeefan1111 Member

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    Hi everyone, hope you are all enjoying the spring weather. This is a long and complicated thread but if you would take the time to read it and offer any advice it would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help.

    USMA Denied my waiver as a few months ago. As of 2 weeks ago I got 3 letters from Phds and MDs to appeal the decision and am still in the process of waiting for a final decision from USMA. It is past the medical qualification deadline, so I don't expect to receive an appointment this cycle.

    In terms of ROTC, I am still waiting for any sort of decision from Cadet Command. I have a 4 year scholarship that I was awarded in February of 2014. At this point, the tuition office is understandably upset, and is getting uneasy about receiving this year's tuition (Over 60,000 dollars). Also if the waiver doesn't get granted, I won't be allowed to get retroactive aid for this years tuition. I am in a position where I would transfer to a cheaper school if the waiver was denied or undecided by the end of the summer. My Cadre are working the situation, and trying to move the waiver along as quickly as they can. No one has been able to tell me how long this process could continue for. I have talked DODMERB, Cadet Command, and my Cadre. Does anyone know how long it will take for Cadet Command to make a decision? Does anyone have any advice on the best way to proceed, or if there is anyway of moving this process along? Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

    Below is some information about the condition I am trying to get waived.

    I was born in 1996 in New York City. Before I was born, the docs did a number of tests to check for any genetic conditions that might exist, unfortunately, they found that I had the Genotype for a disease called Gaucher's type 1. This disease is pretty rare, only about 1 in 50,000 people in the general population get diagnosed. This is the most mild form of the mutation, and if I were to become symptomatic I would experience mild bone pain and a slightly enlarged spleen. The good news is that the is that I have never experienced any symptoms of the disease. Furthermore, most individuals with the diagnosis never become symptomatic. The disease is highly treatable either via enzyme therapy or oral medications. I have followed up with a doctor every year regarding the condition just to be safe, and monitor for symptoms.

    Thanks again for your time and help.
     
  2. acadadad

    acadadad Member

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    Dear Yankee,

    I can only relay my DS experience. Summed up I would say that things that we might consider logical or common sense, often are discarded or passed over by CC in making some of these medical determinations.

    He originally answered affirmative to a query about having a history or bleeding disorders during DODMERB questionnaire for USMA qualification . He had tests when he was 3 or 4 as he had some bloody noses. The test results were inconclusive at the time. The Doctor advised us to be aware he COULD have a condition called vWF. As he got older the frequent bloody noses stopped and were never a problem, nor did he have any other issues, but we always felt the need to report that he COULD have this condition in the event there ever was a related symptom, it is very treatable. We never really thought about it for the next 12 years until he was filling out the form. We advised him to be truthful and answer yes. This triggered a request for the records - which he promptly sent along with highlights as to the discrepancy in these early tests along with a note from is care provider attesting to a lack of symptoms or problems. In the end his waiver for USMA was denied (though interestingly it was granted for USNA). He ended up attending Harvard and joined ROTC as a non-scholarship cadet (he had not applied for ROTC scholarship). At some point during the year the Unit had to apply again for his medical clearance. There were no new exams or records requested just another determination, presumably by a different command structure for a waiver. Last June, he found out that the waiver was denied. He decided he wanted to appeal, he went to a specialist and was retested for the condition at our expense. It turned out negative - he did not have the condition they thought he COULD have had, now 14 years prior. The doctor wrote a letter, all of the tests results were assembled and with the help of a DODMERB consultant that he contacted and his Cadre, an appeal was submitted last September at the start of the semester .

    This December the Battalion let him know that they wanted to award him a 2.5 year scholarship, pending medical clearance which was still undetermined. Shortly after signing the forms that stated his intention to accept that scholarship, he was informed that his original DODMERB exam had timed out (no decision had been made on the appeal) and he needed to restart the process. He refilled out the form - this time checking no to a history of a bleeding disorder since he could answer it definitively, sailed through the rest of his physical etc. DODMERB denied him - for a past medical history of a bleeding disorder- as it had been checked in his previous questionnaire. A waiver request was submitted and this time it was promptly granted (2 weeks I think he said). So two and a half years after he started the process, apparently he has been medically cleared to serve. He has still not received tuition for the past semester - though it is anticipated by Cadre - nor do I believe that he received any stipend or book money etc for the semester. However his dream of serving in the US Army moves forward.

    The moral of the story, if there is one, is that like any large organization, policies and practices that are put in place to protect the organization and increase efficiency can sometimes run counter to the interests of the individual (and even defy logic). In this case persistence and his hard work engaging the support of his cadre may have persevered. However I think it easily could have gone another way. My general advice would be to not put yourself in a position where the scholarship is the only way to support your education, as many things can happen that can jeopardize that scholarship. Last year is last year- it is nearly done (and as of this writing likely is, as the paperwork I believe needs to be complete by end of semester). Start thinking about next year as if there is no scholarship. Apply for aid - if it adds up stay where you are - if it doesn't transfer.

    Not sure when your original waiver request for ROTC was triggered or your DODMERB exam completed, but if you went through DODMERB last year as part of the scholarship acceptance a year seems a long time to wait for a waiver decision. The longest waiver decision DS had was about 4 months.

    GOOD LUCK!
     
  3. yankeefan1111

    yankeefan1111 Member

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    Hey acadadad,
    That sounds like a really long and complicated process. I am really happy that your son's waiver ended up going through after a ton of waiting and hard work. Since I posted this thread, my waiver for USMA was granted on 29 April. Since then, My Cadre said that they are confident that the ROTC waiver would get granted in a timely manner. At this point I am just hoping to get a favorable decision. I won't be relieved until I have the decision in hand. I'm surprised that your son had to redo the waiver process. My DODMERB exam expires in August so hopefully I won't have a similar experience. I think that it's good advice to make sure that the scholarship isn't the only way I have to pay for college. If the waiver doesn't get granted by the end of the summer I would likely take the semester off, and reapply to a state school in the spring. Most transfer deadlines have passed at this point. I will also be reapplying to USMA next year with the hope that the waiver gets granted again. Thanks for taking the time to respond. I will keep everyone updated if I hear anything new.
     

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