Medical Disqualification upheld

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by annapolisAbe, May 4, 2009.

  1. annapolisAbe

    annapolisAbe Candidate Appointee

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    Hello My name is Abraham Mauricio, I am a resident of Fort Lauderdale Florida. I applied to the United States Naval Academy, backed with a congressional nominations. Received a conditional offer of appointment to NAPS, pending graduation and a medical waiver for my vision. I was definitely not worried until I received a letter that the Naval Academy choose to uphold my medical Disqualification. Now I'm here and by the grace and favor of god I'm going to get this stone out of my way. This whole admissions process to the Naval Academy has been especially grueling on me, I faced a lot of challenges and beat them all, this one is next. I am going to be an Infantry officer (0301) in the United States Marine Corps; The Marines are hard and the Infantry is hard as well, no one gets there by quitting, and neither am I.
    With that said I request that anybody who post here does not mention the words "I" or "you" can't, NAPS/ Plebe summer cadre hate this term and we should all eliminate it from our vocabulary. Please focus on information that is constructive to my cause, even if its words of support.

    For more specifics I have near sightedness, i don't know the exact numbers , i can guess its pretty high if they tried to DQ me. I've made an appointment with my own optometrist and she's going to get me up to date with exactly how my eye's are. She's disposed to help me, and she'd like to see what are the medical standards, and what exactly does DODMERB have me down as. So First off, could someone let me know how to get DODMERB's evaluation of me.

    Any help, or even any tidbit of information would be helpful. I'll be doing a lot of research so I will be piecing together any knowledge you guys give me.

    Thanks soo much ahead of time.


    Abraham Mauricio.
    annapolisabe@aol.com
     
  2. Mom1315

    Mom1315 Parent

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    info.

    :thumb:send your info to Mr. Larry Mullen, his email is in a sticky on this thread. He will also need the last four of your social and go ahead and copy/paste your original post. Good Luck!
     
  3. jbrown

    jbrown Member

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    Abraham,

    As a former Marine Corps 03, I can appreciate the spirit and Gung Ho in your email. Your'e right about not quitting.

    By the way, we are in the same boat. My daughter has an LoA since October, Nomination, etc. Just needed that waiver for being near sighted.

    We're in a holding pattern now, waiting on an answer as to whether or not she get's it, but like a Good Marine 03, we have a plan B. And I think our Plan B, may be a good fit for you as well, since your ultimate goal is Marine Corps Infantry.

    You should look into the Marine PLC Program. The eye sight standards are correctable to 20/20, with no mention of diopter limits. You can get tuition asistance, pay as an E-5 while in the course and even some spending money along the way. Uniforms and Books are paid, and you spend the summers at the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School in Quantico training. When you graduate from your civlian college you would report to the Basic School in Quantico, just like you would have to do if you graduated from the Naval Academy. The only difference is you'll be a 2nd Lt with 3 1/2 years in service for pay purposes. So you may lose the Academy, but you'll make more pay than if you had gone USNA, and all 2nd Lt's have to start out at the Basic School.

    Not sure about your eye sight being correctable to 20/20, but if it is, you should be able to get into the PLC program. I knew officers who had coke bottle lenses, but still performed well and it had little impact on them. I recall jungle survival training in Okinawa, the guys with glasses had some trouble keeping them clear and dry, but in todays age with contacts, etc., it's less of a problem if even one at all.

    With all of this said, I don't want to try to talk you out of fighting for your waiver, I just wanted to point out, that not all is lost, your goal of USMC 03, is not lost due to not getting a waiver by USNA or NAPS.

    Mr. Mullen is a great resource. He understands how you want to fight for this, and he certainly will do whatever he can to help our future leaders. But you have to contact him, you have to work with him, and if he gives you the bad news you don't want, you have to understand there are other paths to your goal.

    By the way, Marine PLC info can be found at:

    http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/marinetrng/a/marineplc.htm
    http://www.marineofficer.com
    http://www.sfmarineofficer.com

    All the Best, Semper Fi.

    JB

     
  4. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Outstanding post JB!


    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  5. annapolisAbe

    annapolisAbe Candidate Appointee

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    Sir, thank you tremendously for tacking the time to reply to my topic. I good plan B is prudent sir, and I have heard for the PLC program but wasn't quite sure how it worked. I'll be looking into it now.

    However, If I don't fight this DQ I would be tacking the licks lying down and I can't do that.
    I really do care more about being an Infantry Officer in the Marine Corp, than I do being a Midshipman at the academy; but the ladder is the route I choose for myself a year ago, and I care about it too. My family cared about it and when I got this DQ'd its even possible that it hurt them more than me. I want to be the best Officer I can be, so an opportunity like PLC is tremendous;right now ,however, I'm geared up to fight this DQ until I've exhausted all the possibilities, right now I'm learning what those are.

    As for my condition, I have made an appointment with my optometrist for tomorrow, so I will have some solid numbers soon. What she's told me so far is that my vision is correctable to 20/20. I've e-mailed Mr. Mullen , autoReply say's he's out of town and will check it during the night, so I'm looking forward to that. The reply from these forums has been tremendous, a parent from the Naval Academy parent forum - patty, e-mailed me and gave me the number to the candidate medical office at the academy and suggested I call. I've written it down and that's going to be my plan for tomorrow, everyday I've got a plan, today's was following up on all the awesome e-mails and replies I've got and calling a few people (got home late so a bunch of the offices were closed)

    I hope everything works out with your daughter sir, keep us posted.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
  6. jbrown

    jbrown Member

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    You're welcome. Like most, if not all folks on this board, we all love to help when we can.

    I know that alot of great folks have come from the PLC program, and though some will say that you stand a better chance at excelling at USNA vs PLC, I would disagree.

    I believe that individual career advancement is determined more by the individual and their goals and drive, than where they attended school. I had this very same conversation with my daughter when discussing plan B's with her.

    First we discussed that at The Basic School, the Marine Corps sees all 2nd Lt's the same, they are on a level playing field. Coming to The Basic School from USNA doesn't gain you anything other than a shorter trip from school when reporting. Annapolis to Quantico is alot closer than say, Florida State to Quantico.

    Second, if you look at folks that attended PLC/Basic School, they have reached the highest ranks. See this link to read the backgrounds of Commandants. You'll see that most were PLC - then The Basic, or Civilian College to The Basic School. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commandant_of_the_Marine_Corps

    When I entered the Marine Corps, Robert Barrow was the Commandant. LSU student, corps of cadets, then The Basic School. Side note - I thought it was really cool that he was from the same neck of the woods that I was from.

    The 8 Commandants that served from then till now, are almost all PLC and/or Civilian College to The Basic. I think Charles Krulak and Michael Hagee were the only ones to come from USNA. A side note: Charles Krulak is the son of Victor Krulak, one of the framers of the current day Marine Corps, and architect of the island hopping tactics from WWII. Victor attended USNA, class of 34, but needed a waiver to get in. Then went on to be a GREAT MARINE!!!! His Son Charles who became Commandant attended civilian college for a year before attending the USNA.

    All of these details are just to reaffirm to you, that even if you don't make it to USNA, the career is still there. And clearly if you look at the past 8 Commandants, the highest rank possible in the Marine Corps it supports this. Thats 75% of the Commandants for the last 30 years have "NOT" come from USNA. I believe all came from 03 though.

    So don't feel like you are having doors closed by not getting USNA. If your goal is USMC 03, and your goal is leadership within that MOS, USNA may not be the best choice anyhow. Remember a relatively small percentage of USNA graduates even get Marine Corps.

    Just some food for thought.

    JB
     
  7. jbrown

    jbrown Member

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    Thanks. I'm glad to see a post that I can add value to.

    JB
     
  8. MullenLE

    MullenLE Member

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    I have replied:thumb:
     
  9. annapolisAbe

    annapolisAbe Candidate Appointee

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    Well I remember talking to a recruiter about a year ago and he told me about a program called the 92 day reservist program.

    Basically from what I can remember, I'll enlist in the reserves and in my contract It'll say that I can only be called on active duty for a maximum of 92 days. This is so that I can go to Basic Training my first summer out of high school. The second summer , the summer after freshman year, I would go to MOS school (some sort of combat arms 03xx.) My sophomore summer I would Go to the First Half of the Platoon Leaders Course, and the Summer after my Junior Year I would go through the Second half of the Platoon Leaders Course.

    All in all it seems like a very complete program , I get to earn my Eagle , Globe, and Anchor this summer! AND i get to go to MOS school for 03xx which would be freaking amazing.

    I spent an hour on the phone with a Gunnery Sergeant at Tallahassee Community College, and he gave me a lot of 411 on the P.L.C. and O.C.S. program . When I asked him what the medical standards were for eysight he just asked me if my vision was correctable to 20/20 , i said yes, and then he said -no problem then. I went to my optometrist today and she confirmed it is indeed correctable to 20/20 with either glasses or contact.

    Bad news is that my numbers for eyesight are way over the 6.0 diopters limit, which is why I am looking into these programs more carefully.

    Part 2:

    As for the USNA I still want to go very much, but I've just got to play the cards I'm dealt. I've called a lot of people about my issue today, and got a hold of maybe 3 or 4. I called a local B&GO , a Colonel academy alumni. He said he spoke to one of the deans that said so many people applied to the academy this year, they don't really need to look at people who need waivers. I called Lt. Yvonne Gordon one of the officers in the admissions medical department, she said that claim was completely untrue; and then she said ,well ultimately the medical staff makes a recommendation but sends the waiver paper up to some higher (I forgot who) who makes the decision.
    Talked to her about a bunch of stuff but really just went in circles, only good information I got, is that they'll keep on reviewing waivers until I-day; so I got lots of time to keep on sending my app up for a waiver. Besides that I called a bunch of people who weren't there and a Lt Bernhardt one of the top admissions counselors there ( I think),and he pretty much said getting a waiver for eyesight worse than -6 diopters is "tough."

    So from all this run around I did today I got a lot of input and most was negative. My B&GO had a case of a candidate who spoke English and Mandarin Chinese, had 1450 SAT scores, and a 4.7 GPA; got accepted and then turned down because of eyesight at -6.5 diopters.....mine's worse.

    The only good thing I see is that the doctor keeps saying my eyesight is correctable, which is all the Gunny cared about, and numerous other servicemen I talked to about the matter say.


    Part 2.5

    So what's my conclusion? Well I e-mailed Mr. Mullen, (whom by the way is known by the Naval Academy Candidate Medical Staff as a very good person and truthful person) with the numbers the doctor gave me, and I'll see what he says. But I just don't get how the Academy can turn candidates down WHO HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED down for a condition that is easily correctable with surgery. Surgery that the Navy demands they do themselves, and will automatically DQ you for getting. It would be different If I was trying to get into flight school, but I'm just trying to make into general admissions, just trying to get my butt beaten like everybody else at I-day. Man I don't even want to fly, I want to be an Infantry Grunt! So you know what I believe there is some weight to what the Colonel says. The Academy is simply using their medical standards as a way to shave off candidates.

    Ultimately its sad that its not just happening to me.
     
  10. jbrown

    jbrown Member

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    Mr. Mullen is a great guy, I've had a chance to get to know him a little and I believe that if anyone can help you, he can.

    It's good to see you are moving forward with the PLC Planning. I don't know anything about a 92 day reserve program. Be careful, do your research and make sure the recruiter understands your goals, make sure you understand the programs and get everything in writing. Don't sign anything without taking it home for a day or two. Even if it sounds like everything you want, take it home and digest it.

    PLC comes in a couple of flavors. Funded and non funded. Basically meaning you either do it without receiving money, or you receive money. If you take money, you are committed to at least 3.5 years service upon graduation. If you don't take money you are not committed to accept the commission upon graduation.

    Also, you can reapply to USNA while in PLC, and that may make you more competitive. You can also apply to the other Academies while in PLC. If you are accepted to an academy, you just have to contact your local OSO and have him give you a dis-enrollment form to fill out. If you dis-enroll for any reason, including enlisting or acceptance to an academy, if you accepted money from them, you'll be required to pay it back. They won't care if you are going to USNA. So consider that. If money is a problem and you might not be able to pay it back, you may want to consider not accepting funding till the 2nd year.

    Marine 03 School is fun, and hard. When I went through it was called ITS. Today I believe it's called SOI. It's held at Camp San Onofre, Camp Pendleton, and even if you are a 300 PFT'er, you'll find it physically difficult. Then even if you achieve great physical fitness at SOI, once you're in the fleet, you'll feel out of shape again. Each step is harder. I found that after being in the Fleet for about a 2 years, I finally felt like I wasn't trying to get in shape for the daily stuff. After that point, it was just maintenance.

    For example, just on the runs. Boot Camp - 3 Miles, ITS - 5 to 6 Miles, about 25% with pack and hills. 3/5 at Camp Margarita - 9 miles minimum, sometimes twice a day, always started with the first 1/4 mile straight up the ridge, usually run at a very fast pace, and this was considered garrison training. When in the field, it was harder.

    For your comments about the USNA being more picky because of the amount of applicants. I wouldn't be surprised, I mean it makes sense. I am now in the civilian world and run my own business. If I have 5 job openings and 8 applicants, I won't be as picky as I would be if I had 5 openings and 25 applicants. I think it just makes sense that they would pick the best they can, and those that need waivers may require more medical care/cost ie: glasses, optometrist visits, or maybe they are at higher risk of injury, or higher risk of the condition requiring the waiver to worsen in time.

    Like I said before, for your stated goals, I think the PLC program is a great one for you, and you should pursue it as it appears that you are. USNA is a great option also, but less likely to get you to USMC 03 and they require a waiver for your eyesight.

    Hopefully you'll hear something soon and it's good news. Either way you seem destined for the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, and that is a great thing.

    JB
     
  11. annapolisAbe

    annapolisAbe Candidate Appointee

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    Well I talked to the recruiter today, printed out a contract for the 92 day reservist program. Wanted to bring it home so that my family and I could look at it ;).

    Here's how it works, After I graduate High School I go to Basic Training and Become a Marine. That training ends in 90 days and I get sent back to College. Under this contract the Marine Corps cannot activate me for any training that will take longer than 92 days to get back to college.
    I.E., the next summer I will go to MOS skill on an 0311 contract make it home in 52 days. At this point I am deployable which is the only down part, but if I can make it through one year without getting deployed, the summer after I will go to the first half of PLC ,and then my 92 day contract gets replaced with PLC.
    The only reason its not automatic going from 92 to PLC is that you have get selected by your local OSO to go to PLC.

    So JB my Initial entry date will be a bit earlier when I get my commission. Yeah I can "potentially" get deployed as per needs of the Corps, but I get to be a Marine this summer, which mean's a lot to me. AND i get to go to MOS school for the Job that I want to do as an officer. So its pro's/cons. After i graduate basic i get 500 monthly payments which will help out until I get to finish the first half of PLC where I can start receiving real aid.

    Anybody interest in the 92 program you can Message me and I'll go over what I know , and the requirements.

    Thanks for everyone's help. Academy's not budging on the waiver. It's a shame really my family and I were hit really hard, but you just have take what life gives you. Sending in my doctors results anyways for one last shot anyways to say I tried anyways. Thanks everyone.
     
  12. jbrown

    jbrown Member

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    All sounds great. Were you not able to get the recommendation from the OSO? Remember the OSO is not at the recruiters office. The recruiter has certain tools and programs that they can offer you, and it does not include PLC.

    For PLC, you have to go to the Officer Candidate Selection Office and you have to speak to an OSO.

    If you would prefer PLC right away, I'm sure it can be done. If you don't prefer PLC direct, and the 92 day plan is what you want, you're on the right track.

    If for some reason you haven't been able to get in touch with an OSO, let me know ASAP. I'm meeting with an OSO at 4:00pm PST tomorrow and I can speak to him and get the contact info for someone in your area.

    Also, remember you have two OSO's you can work with. Local to your residence and local to your college.

    Let me know if you need an intro to an OSO. If you and your parents want to conference call with me to discuss the Corps and anything Corps related, PM me, I'll give you my 1-800 number and we can all talk, I'm happy to help.

    JB
     
  13. annapolisAbe

    annapolisAbe Candidate Appointee

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    oh I have talked to the OSO for the college ,Gunnery Sergeant Wallace. What I meant earlier was that in the 92 day reservist contract you don't have PLC guaranteed , because PLC is through your OSO not the recruiter. So basically it just coincides with what you said. But any cool info you get from your OSO you could always post, or e-mail it to me at annapolisabe@aol.com . I havn't signed anything, I just applied to Florida A&M for the spring 2010 to give me more time to plan things out. Otherwise the recruiter would've had me ship out 5 days before my graduation with a note from my school to be back in time for the fall '09 term.
     
  14. jbrown

    jbrown Member

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    Usually the OSO is a Capt. Then there are several career recruiters under his command, usually E7-or E8. The enlisted recruiters will usually have a 1st Lt, with Career Recruiters of E4 (sometimes) and E5 - E6 usually.

    I'll get you the name of your OSO Capt.

    JB
     
  15. jbrown

    jbrown Member

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    Abe,

    I just finished meeting with an OSO Captain, and we believe some of the information you have on the 92 day program is outdated and he would like to speak with you, put you in touch with another OSO in your area and fill you in on the changes.

    One of the main changes is that you are deployable, at any time, and school would be delayed.

    Also, he confirmed that the Gunny is not an OSO.

    I'll send you a private email, with the OSO Capt's contact info.

    JB
     

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