Is NROTC or AFROTC realistic with an asthma history?

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by Maximus47, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. Maximus47

    Maximus47 New Member

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    Hello!

    I am a 16 year old high school junior and I would like to know whether or not ROTC in College (Texas A&M) and an eventual commission is a realistic aspiration with my asthma history. I was diagnosed when I was 8 years old and I have NEVER had an asthma attack. I believe my allergist called it "allergy induced asthma". I am prescribed an inhaler but I hardly ever use it (unless my parents force me to) and I am always fine. I actively participate in Crossfit and have been on various sports teams with no problems. In addition, I am in AFJROTC (hence my interest in eventually serving). I honestly feel that my diagnosis was a little bit of a stretch. I occasionally suffer from allergies (usually bronchitis or a sinus infection once or twice a year) but nothing serious. I know the most serious problem is going to be that I still receive the inhaler prescriptions. Is there any chance for me to get a waiver or should I reconsider my options while it is still early? Also, is there anyway that I can be considered cured from asthma? Would that even matter?

    PS-I was recommended by other forums to ask my questions here.

    Thank you for any feedback.
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Chances are they will at the very least give you a remedial. Remedial means they want to see your medical records from your doctor. They may DQ. If they deem you competitive they will put you up for a waiver. They may ask you to get a spirometry test done.

    If your folks can afford it, I would get the test done now and this way if they give you a remedial it is already in your records, plus you will know if you have the ability to pass it.
     
  3. Maximus47

    Maximus47 New Member

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    Thanks for the information @pima I will be sure to get an appointment scheduled.
    Also, when I go to meps(I have decided to try) do letters from specialists help along with the tests(assuming I am negative for asthma)?
    Additionally, I was wondering whether a letter from my jrotc instructor concerning my physical condition? My crossfit instructor is also a recently retired army ranger and he would vouch for me too.

    Thank you again for responding.
     
  4. Midwest

    Midwest Member

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    Maximus47, thanks for asking the asthma question.

    Does anyone know how much a spirometry test costs?
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Maximus,

    No they will not matter for DoDMERB. They are not docs.

    This is how it works.

    You go to the physical using one of the docs they offer.
    ~ Caveat, if you are military call DoDMERB and ask if you can use your military doctor on base/post. They usually say yes.

    The doctors visit can be anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. Some docs will treat it like a sports physical, and some will check everything from the nose to the toes. Just because someone in Boise, Idaho had a 15 minute exam does not mean the candidate Newrak, Delaware won't have a 45 minute exam.
    ~ Don't assume anything.

    DoDMERB docs have medical standards to follow set forth by the DoD and the commissioning source.

    All they do is Q or DQ. The commissioning source waives. The problem for many is the wait time. Typically, the earlier the exam, the faster review time. IE exam was performed in August is the first of the bunch, but come Nov. there more in review and it can take longer.

    JMPO, but knowing that there is already one possible DQ, I would make an appointment with the family doc. Look at everything after the age of 13. Long term prescriptions, concussions, broken bones all need to be acknowledged. Having the doc clear you now at 16, will be very beneficial because it will be at least a year out from the exam AND if a remedial is requested they have the doc saying you are all clear.
    ~ That doesn't mean they won't DQ you, but at least it is recorded.

    Midwest,

    I am sorry I don't know, but I know EX.BT.USN two years ago had this fear, and I told him to get it done. He did. His DS passed and submitted it with his DoDMERB, his DS was Qd right off the bat if I recall.

    I would pm him for guidance.

    I would also say the cost is going to vary depending on your insurance and where you live. Just my assumption, but my guess would be a spirometry exam in San Diego costs more than in Abilene, Texas.

    Good luck.
     
  6. Maximus47

    Maximus47 New Member

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    Pima
    Would you recommend having all doctors notes and the appropriate medical history along with tests proving 0 existence of asthma on the day of the physical?
     
  7. Usnavy2019

    Usnavy2019 Member

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    Maximus,

    I would like to first commend you on your desire to serve. I would also like to commend you on researching this early. There are some applicants that don't put the time in to research the medical standards and they end up getting DQ'd and they are sort of blindsided.

    I also suffered from asthma as a child, expect mine was exercised-induced. What I recommend doing is having a spirometry done as Pima has stated. I would also make an appointment with your immunologist/pulmonologist to discuss your history of asthma. I did this and actually found out a few things.
    1. According to my records, I have been asthma free since 12, I always kept an inhaler for just in case, but I never needed it.
    2. My immunologist's office deals with military applicants often, so they know the process and what DoDMERB needs and wants to know.
    3. My immunologist was actually in AROTC, but opted to go to Medical School instead.

    My point is that the best person to talk to will be your immunologist/pulmonologist. I would bring in the DoD standard and see where things go from there. Again, a spirometry will also help your case. I took one and got above a 100%, but I ended up not needing it because I met the cut off, but I sent it to DoDMERB anyway. Another test that you could try is the Methacholine Challenge Test. In this test, you are given a drug called Methacholine, which is a bronchodilater. In other words, it induces asthma. If you reach a certain threshold of reversibility and loss of lung function, then you have asthma. This test is also expensive, more expensive than a spirometry. I was going to guess that my last asthma episode was around 14-15. This would have definitely gotten me a Remedial. If it wasn't for talking with my immunologist, I would probably not be Qualified right now.

    On the letters, I personally would stay away from them. DoDMERB even mentions in their applicant guidebook that letters do not usually have any bearing during exam review, unless it is written by a doctor. The section on letters also says that letters actually work against applicants sometimes. People say something that makes DoDMERB think you still have the medical condition in question, or that you have another underlying medical condition. Also, IMPO, I feel letters from your CrossFit instructor and your JROTC instructor would not be relevant. You stated you have allergy-induced, not exercised-induced. Someone could be a marathon runner, but they still have asthma if they start to wheeze when they get around an allergen.

    Lastly, I am going to be honest, if you get DQ'd, asthma is a pretty uphill battle to when it comes to waivers. Waivers are considered on the basis of:
    1. Would this condition be aggrevated by military service?
    2. Would this condition cause a danger to self or others?
    3. Could the applicant complete the training required of him/her?

    Asthma can strike at any moment. All members of the military need to be world-wide deployable. While your asthma is fine in the States, it could be horrible in Southeast Asia, Africa, or another region of the world. Also, if you are in a combat zone and you have a flare up, then you go down, and your unit has to take care of their fallen leader, as well as make sure they are safe. Asthma can be aggravated pretty easily by combat.

    Sorry for the long reply, but medical issues are always pretty loaded. Everything is case-by-case. One person may get a waiver for something, but someone else won't for the exact same thing. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
  8. Maximus47

    Maximus47 New Member

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    Thank you for the detailed reply Usnavy2019, I have made an appointment with my immunologist. I will also be sure to limit the letters I bring letters to physicians only. After thinking about your comments, I have realized that my immunologist may have been asthma free for a long time (11 or 12). Like you my doctor has prescribed me inhalers just in case.

    Again thank you for taking the time to answer my question!
     

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