AFROTC with slight injury?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Zander, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. Zander

    Zander New Member

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    I am in my senior year of highschool and will be going off to college in less than a year. I will most likely be going to Virginia Tech, and doing their AFROTC program. However, since last year, I have been unable to participate in any physical activities because of a injury called "athletic pubalgia" or "osteitis pubis". This injury is somewhat common to athletes that play in sports such as soccer, football, and baseball where a lot of quick change in directions are present. The doctor said that it may completely heal by summer before I would begin my ROTC physical training, or could take well into my adulthood. This could mean I wouldn't be able to participate in any running my freshman and sophomore year of college. Would I be able to get a physical waiver so I would be able to participate in all of the activities except the physical ones? I am not at worried about "falling behind" as I am a top athlete at my school and was always one of the fastest in cross country and track and field in my whole district. I will be able to stick with the cadre as soon as I am healed.
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am going to assume you are not a scholarship recipient because this might be a DoDMERB issue. There are cadets that get injured and until they are healed are allowed to not participate in PT, but for them they usually have a specific end date, whereas, for you as I read your post there is no definitive return to PT date.

    I would move forward with a plan to enter, and while doing so find a specialist that maybe able to give you a more definitive answer about this issue. AFROTC requires cadets to attend SFT in the summer of their rising junior year. They will meet a board and part of the selection is the PT score and ranking.
     
  3. Zander

    Zander New Member

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    I applied for the AFROTC scholarship but did not get selected for the second board and though it said I will be re-entered into the third and final selection board, I doubt I will be selected for the sole reason that for the PT section, I had to get a waiver from a doctor. I am fairly confident that I will be completely healed before the summer of my rising junior year. However, I am, like you mentioned, expecting to see a specialist on my medical situation and get a more accurate and complete diagnosis of my situation. I had/have to sit out my entire senior year of Athletics and it is very frustrating, so to have my dream career of Air Force and maybe being a potential pilot crushed by the injury I have would be devastating to me.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    If you busted any part of the PFA for your scholarship than you busted the entire test. At least that is true for the CFA for USAFA and true for AD. I.E. bust the run, but max sit-ups and pushups than you still failed the exam.

    If possible I would find a specialist that has experience with the military or FAA. The reason why is you stated you want to become a pilot.

    Assuming all goes well and as a junior you get selected for pilot, in the summer of your rising senior year you will go to Wright Pat AFB for your FAA FC1 physical. It is not like DoDMERB (45 minutes) it is a 3 day journey. 1 1/2 full days of exams. The final exam is with a flight surgeon to review everything. You will bring all of your medical records, thus this issue may arise again.

    If you have this exam done by a specialist that has military flying experience they maybe able to calm any fears by the way the specialist writes your prognosis.
    ~ You must see it from their perspective...pulling Gs and wearing a G suit is to force all of your blood flow from your lower extremities to your cranium. Guys are known to pull their back in air to air combat scenarios. Hence, they want to make sure your history has no impact on your future.
     
  5. Zander

    Zander New Member

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    So to my understanding, if I do go to a specialist and he gives a certain end date of when I will be healed, then I wi be allowed to participate in all ROTC activities except PT? My greatest concern was being released from the ROTC program from the start because I would not be able to participate in PT.
    Also, a little off topic here, but my other concern regarding competing for a UPT slot was that I have fairly bad eyes and wear contacts. They are a prescription of -4.00 diopters. I do not know my vision in terms of the 20/whatever, although the I believe it to be at 20/400. Now, I have done some research but what some people say about the matter seems to be very inconsistent. Some say that if you don't have perfect vision, then you are already eliminated. Others say that it is fairly easy to talk to your cadre's commander and arrange a LASIK or PRK surgery and get your eyes to 20/20 vision. Is it common for people that have been selected for UPT to have underwent the corrective eye surgery and is it in any way a factor that may lose your competitiveness in obtaining a UPT?
     
  6. Zero

    Zero Member

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    First, yes you can get waivers for PT. It happens a lot on active duty, however it is risky when doing it in ROTC because they can remove you from the program. It would probably most likely depend on how long you would be removed from physical activity. Second, you can always join your sophomore year and take your freshman year to recover, keep this in mind. Personally being a 3 year cadet there is only a slight advantage on doing an entire 4 years, so if its a matter of being accepted or not, just reapply your sophomore year. Lastly, you can get PRK or LASIK, I would suggest PRK over LASIK if possible. The sooner you accomplish this the better, you have to be completely healed before you are allowed to go to Wright-Pat for your Flying Class 1 (which can take up to and over a year depending on which you choose and your recovery). Lastly you can wear contacts and glasses while flying, surgery is not always the best option. Speak with an eye specialist to find out what is best for you and take into account your timeframe.

    Side note: your vision does not make you less or more competitive for UPT, you have to pass the generic dodmerb medical exam to get a pilot spot, then pass wright pat to be allowed to keep it.
     
  7. enskaisin

    enskaisin Member

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    Definitely get in contact with VA Tech's cadre about this. Rules are every cadet must take a PFA each semester and contracted cadets must pass, and I was given the impression that this was non-waiverable. I've had friends with extended leg injuries but they dragged themselves through an acceptable mile and a half time for the PFA.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree contact VT and ask them directly what will be required regarding PT exemption. Doctors note, how long, etc.
     
  9. afrotc16

    afrotc16 Member

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    So from getting slightly injured this year, I know for AFROTC, they [the cadre] can exempt you from certain PT for no more than 30 days with a doctor's note. This does not have to go through DoDMERB. After 30 days, they have to put you on medical recheck status, and DoDMERB could disqualify you from continuing in the program if you are determined to have a long-term injury. I had a shoulder injury and was exempt from shoulder PT during the PFA that semester. I just took it a couple weeks later after it had healed. Technically, in the Air Force as a whole, they can exempt you from a certain section of the PFA if you are injured, because the PFA due dates are non-negotiable, but AFROTC will work with you to find when the best time in the semester is to take the PFA. My detachment is small, so they could organize this easily, however VT's detachment is larger probably so it might be harder to take the PFA later. Anyway, best bet is always to talk to the cadre and work it out with them so that you're all on the same page. And you haven't even done DoDMERB yet, so we don't know whether they will Q or DQ you anyway.
     
  10. Zander

    Zander New Member

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    OK so I have been accepted into Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. I have also received the AFROTC 4 year Type 7 scholarship after the third and final board meet. Some of the people from AFROTC I have gotten into contact about my injury had said the best thing to do is to get it documented so that the cadre can exempt me from physical training in some areas so as to not aggravate it. With my injury, I am able to run and do all physical activity, it is just that after a while of intense running, the pain starts. However, I am confident that I can pass the PFA tests above the required to keep my scholarship. The problem is that, I don't know how intense the normal weekly physical training will be and whether or not I will be able to keep up. By ignoring the pain and continuing to perform physical activities is how I made my injury worse in the first place in my junior year of high school so I would like to refrain from doing much physical training for the sake of letting my injury heal. I hate the fact that I have this injury and I love sports and physical training so it kills me to have to sit out on it.
     

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