Disabilities and the Air Force Academy

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by redfalcon, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. redfalcon

    redfalcon New Member

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    I am currently pursuing a scholarship with the Air Force Academy, and I have a few questions I would like to ask anonomously.

    First, I have bad eyesight. I know that times are different than when aerial warfare was in its infancy, and now aircraft and ground units can see farther than the human eye, eliminating eyesight as an advantage in combat. Also, I have heard that the United States will let anyone in the Armed Forces recieve eye surgury if they can be fixed. But, I don't want my eyesight to affect my chances at a dream career.

    Second, I have moderate ADHD, inattentive type. Under the influence of medication, I am an excellent student. But, without the assistance, my performance is affected and I am not so competitive anymore with the men and women who will apply to the academy. People like me who have this condition are unfortunately drawn to exciting careers such as firefighting and flight because of the rush we get that counters our disability, making us feel normal. I would appreciate it if anyone could give me their opinion on my chances making it to the Air Force through the academy. I am well qualified in leadership, academics and sports otherwise, and these two things are my only vices.
     
  2. falconfamily

    falconfamily Member

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    Redfalcon: I applaud your desire to serve. This is a question best posed in the DODMERB forum. But I can give you some general guidelines.

    1. If you need meds to function, you might not get DODMERB Clearance.
    2. If you have a current IEP, Individual Education Plan, you might not pass DODMERB.

    Again, it all depends on how long you have been taking meds or have had an IEP. And if you are currently taking meds or have and IEP.

    Good Luck!
     
  3. SaltLife

    SaltLife Candidate

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    Man you just gotta make yourself focus off the medicine because you have to off of it for one whole year prior to the academy along with other things. ADHD is a disqualifier and can be very tricky to get a waiver for meaning it all depends on the certain situation. Definitely apply to the academy because I got a waiver for ADHD so its possible.
     
  4. redfalcon

    redfalcon New Member

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    Saltlife, how can I apply for a waiver? I can go without my medication for a year if I need to, but doing so forces me to spend extra effort:/. I'm used to it, so I can cope. I could explain my situation if that helps.
     
  5. SaltLife

    SaltLife Candidate

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    You dont apply for a waiver. One will be requested by your ALO or your counselor I cant remember which one so definitely get to know both of them and explain to them your situation. I had a 3.375uw gpa with solid ec's and a composite 26 ACT and one was requested for me. Though, I had to retake the SAT and ACT to pull my scores up so that one would be requested. Also I have no IEP. I guess compare yourself because other than that I dont know what to tell you other than good luck:thumb:
     
  6. redfalcon

    redfalcon New Member

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    Thank you saltlife, that helps a lot. I'll go to my ALO and talk with him about this. Those stats help a ton. Good luck to you too!
     
  7. SaltLife

    SaltLife Candidate

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    No problemo:thumb:
     
  8. akngm

    akngm Member

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    bad vision

    depending on how bad your vision is....if really bad will be an automatic dq by dodmerb. but may be waiverable by the service academy.
    go on the dodmerb thread for the exact specs. having lasik surgery prior to getting into a service academy will automatically dq you. the service academy can authorize lasik type surgery after you are in the academy.
     
  9. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    redfalcon; if you have an ALO, I have to assume that you're a Junior. If so, and you're applying to the academy this coming cycle, you're definitely going to have a difficult road. Definitely apply, but with you taking medications for ADHD, don't expect much chance with your DODMRB qualification. Being off the medication for a year means you have to be off it that long before they'll give you a clean bill of health. And you can't receive an appointment unless you get a clean bill of health. And that doesn't mean that once you get an appointment, you're allowed to start up the medications again. You Can't. It's like someone who NEVER had asthma. But they develop asthma at age 20. They most likely would be separated for medical reasons. So it's not whether you can be off the medication for a year. It's; "Can you get off the medication today; AND for the REST OF YOUR LIFE"? Definitely apply to the academy. Just be prepared for what's most likely to happen; a disqualification. Best of luck to you. mike....
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I concur with CC aka Mike.

    Def. apply, but be prepared.

    The one other issue to realize is that waivers are just that waivers. With the downsizing of the AF, including AFA and AFROTC waivers are becoming harder and harder to come by regarding chances.

    In other words it is their decision to grant the waiver. When times are plentiful so are the waivers, when times are tough the waivers become rare.

    You need to apply for many reasons, most importantly so you never live your life with the what if question.

    If you can't get a waiver, be pro-active and get off the meds as soon as possible so you can have that 1 yr free and clear of meds., thus not forcing yourself into a waiver issue.

    If you really, truly want an AFA education, it will be there a yr later. It will also allow you the ability to be honest with yourself as a collegiate student to determine if you can do it without the meds in a no harm/no foul scenario. If you can't than you will know, if you can you will know that too.

    Talk to your doctor and discuss this openly.

    As Mike stated it is not as if once you get in they will give you a waiver at that time. The DodMERB is not a one time deal, you will have it often even as an AD member they rotate yrly the type of physical that is required between what is called the "short" think sports and the "long" think the DodMERB where they check you out from your ears to your toes and everywhere, I mean everywhere in between.

    Our DS will be going for his rated physical at Wright Pat this June, it is an 8 hour physical, where he will even get hooked up to an EEG or EKG (can't remember which). If you try to hide anything medically they will find it , better to address it now than worry that it will be found out later down the pike.
     
  11. dohdean

    dohdean Member

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    You should post the ADD questions/medication for ADD questions on DODMERB site. We recently discussed these same questions with Mr. Mullen -- he can send you the operative language re ADD and medication.
     
  12. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Holy Toledo! I think the total of my flight/graduation physical series, INCLUDING WAIT TIMES was maybe 3 hours. And that is about 50-75% wait time!
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Yep Hornet, the AF is paying him for a 3 day TDY to Wright, 1 day flying in, 1 day flying out, and 1 day physical. Report by 8 am, and last exam will end obviously by 4. From what he has told me, morning is exams and blood titers. Afternoon is eyes, ears, and dentist

    They already told him that if he has even a cavity it will cause a waiver issue. In other words go to the dentist before arriving. Yes, we already booked the dentist.

    IMPO this is fraud, waste and abuse. Honestly, flying them out to Wright Pat makes no sense if they can do it with a flight surgeon closer. I understand the length of the exam, but at least for DS they could have sent him to Andrews.

    Than again, I also know that due to restructuring not every base has everything and this may be the reason why. It also surprised me it was Wright Pat and not Texas. I would have thought Wilford Hall would have been the place.
     
  14. DjSanguine

    DjSanguine USAFA '15 Appointee

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    Greetings from Lackland AFB :D. As a fyi, when they stood up Joint Base San Antonio, they've pretty much sent everything to Fort Sam Houston in terms of the hospitals down here. Wilford Hall isn't really big these days.
     
  15. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    Aww, Pima, your DS is headed our way, DH is stationed at WP.
    And Wilford Hall, such memories, my DS was born there, surprised to hear its been so downsized.
     
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    You know you are old when bases that you gave birth to your children get downsized. Yes, back in the old day every base had a maternity ward.
     
  17. DjSanguine

    DjSanguine USAFA '15 Appointee

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    I believe I read something in the base newspaper that they are planning on shutting down the ER here soon too. It'll get replaced with some sort of urgent care sort of deal. Everything is going to BAMC these days. Not many are happy about this, and the whole Joint Base San Antonio venture either.
     
  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The AFB Bullet retired from no longer had ER after duty hours. They actually had a voice mail that stated if you are calling after hours go to the off base hospital.

    This is what we have endured.

    A. DS's friends run into the house and say I think DS broke his arm. (2004). DS comes in the house, Bullet sees him before me, and the arm is completely concave.

    Bullet throws him in the car, drives 20 miles to the base and told, sorry we don't cast here, you need to go to the community hospital. Told there after about 5 hours, Sorry, you are military, thus we can't cast him, you need to go to another base. They were kind and contacted the base/post.

    Told sorry, we are booked, have them place him in a splint and we will take him the day after tomorrow.

    Yes, he lived with a broken arm for 36+ hours.

    B. DD got bit by a copperhead snake.

    Knew the system and called 911. Rushed by ambulance---15/20 minute wait time. By the time Bullet arrived with her via ambulance, the squadron knew and not only was the Commander there, but also the flight doc! Flight doc was in contact every day with the hospital. They worked in tandem knowing he was her doc.

    It actually works both ways.


    A lot has to do with the community. DS was is No VA and it is overloaded. DD was in NC.

    I do not want anyone to think negative about the military healthcare. We were very privileged because Bullet was a flier. However I will say the healthcare system for the military is something that you will feel like you are spoiled. If you ever saw the show Marcus Welby, MD., you will understand.

    These docs treat members and their family like they are their own family members.

    I don't have enough fingers and toes on my body to express how many times they were there for our family.

    I have had docs do house visits for me. I have had docs when Bullet was deployed bring to my home the prescriptions because I was stuck there with an infectious child. The one thing, at least for the AF, that the military does right is they have great docs.

    I really could never impress upon on anyone how great they are. I guess the only way I could impress that issue, is to say, the saddest day was as a newly retired member we were locked out of the base hospital system.

    Man we got off topic.
     

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