Spinal Curvature, BUMED v. DoDMERB confusion

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by Jeho34562, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. Jeho34562

    Jeho34562 New Member

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    Hi,
    I have mild scoliosis, spinal curvature. It sits at about 28 degrees thoracic, and like almost everyone who posts here, it doesn't affect any part of my life. Nevertheless, the military is pretty rough on backs, few or no waivers are given. Now, I'm applying to NROTC. According to DoDMERB, as long as my thoracic scoliosis is below 30 degrees. See here on DoDI: (page 29)

    http://dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/613003p.pdf


    But that's not what BUMED says. According to BUMED, any scoliosis above 20 degrees is an unwaiverable DQ. See here: (first page)

    http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmotc/nami/arwg/Documents/WaiverGuide/Waiver Guide - Ortho.pdf



    Does anyone have any advice or experience here? I don't know what to do. I'll get through DoDMERB, as my physiatrist attests to me being under 30 degrees for thoracic scoliosis, but I don't know about BUMED. How does one affect the other? Any help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Couple of things... they are different sources for medical, therefore different requirements. Also, when you do DoDMERB they will send you to an approved doctor for the physical. They will do your measurements using the approved DoDMERB standards. Remember each commissioning source does the waivers, not DoDMERB. DoDMERB only Qs or DQs per the standards.
     
  3. Jeho34562

    Jeho34562 New Member

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    Well, that's kind of my issue. The way scoliosis has to be measured is via the Cobb angle, and generally only a radiologist or orthopedist is qualified to read an x Ray and calculate that. So not only is it unlikely that I be given an x Ray during my Dodmerb medical exam, but also that the doctor be qualified to contradict the assessment of a specialist. I don't have concern as to how much curvature I have. It is low enough that it does not require a waiver - I will qualify on the Dodmerb assessment. My confusion stems from the idea that Dodmerb and Bumed differ with regard to their standards (the former being less rigorous than the latter). I'm not so familiar with the military in terms of how this stuff goes down. Consider the following-

    I pass the Dodmerb exam as my scoliosis is not severe enough to require a waiver. Will Bumed review something that does not require a waiver? If I had been DQ'ed pending a waiver on a Dodmerb assessment, then naturally Bumed would review it to see if I should receive a waiver. But would they review something I DIDNT need a waiver on? That's the problem. Bumed is more stringent than Dodmerb on spinal curvature.
     
  4. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Follow DoDMERB. Answer the questions when you get them in the packet. If DODMERB wants more info about your condition they will ask for it. If they want it evaluated by one of their doctors they will send you to a contracted specialist and run the tests they want.

    If DODMERB gives you a Q then you are fine. The commissioning source will enter Q. Remember the commissioning source as in USNA or the ROTC component does the waiver, not Bumed. USNA has its own doctors who will review waivers and make recommendation to the Supt.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I will add one thing. If you want to fly, you will be required to complete an FAA FC1 physical. My guess right now is you will not pass the FAA because if my memory serves me correctly it is lower than 21 degree curvature.

    I am assuming that for rated the Navy is like the AF. It will be FAA medical requirements along with DoDMERB, but is DoDMERB has a lower threshold for rated than they will bow to the FAAs requirement for rated qualifications. IE DoDMERB says 30, FAA say 21, rated will require that 21.

    Bullet decades back got hit with scoliosis, as an AFROTC rated cadet. He was cleared to serve, but he had a rated a slot and he was DQd. He went to a private doc that specialized in scoliosis surgery in NYC. The doc performed more xrays, wrote a letter that basically stated the original xray was performed incorrectly and he was under the FAA requirement. He flew fighters for 21 years.
     
  6. Jeho34562

    Jeho34562 New Member

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    No interest in flying. I was planning on going SEALs. I've got the optimum PST scores already, but I thought that, since I have the opportunity to go to college, it would be a good idea. From what I hear, if you hit the optimum scores, your chances of getting through BUDs are higher than 60%. Would what you're talking about @Pima apply to Special Warfare?
     
  7. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    SEALs have just as tough medical requirements as flying does. They were nearly the same in many aspects when I was commissioned. So as Pima already mentioned, just because you get a Q now, doesn't mean you will be found physically qualified for certain warfare designations during your pre-commissioning physical.

    If your plan is to commission via NROTC there will be a long process that is involved called service selection. A PST will be a part of it. But the selection process is much more than just your PST scores. And correlating a score to a % sounds great, but honestly that means zero when it comes to making it through BUDS. There will be 100s upon 100s of kids who report day 1 to ROTC who want to be SEALs, this number will dwindle over the years. There will be ~15-20 spots or so for SEALs when you graduate (if numbers hold true to what they have been). USNA has been getting ~25-30 spots and ROTC gets slightly less (other service selection is the same rate as USNA). It is extremely competitive with grades being reviewed, evals of leadership/performance, PST, interview, mini-BUDS performance (this one probably being a huge portion of it all). Its hard to find numbers and none official. NROTC attrition rate is speculated to be around 40% and USNA wash out rate is around 10-20% (this number varies from what I could find. The four years I was at USNA we had a total of 2 wash out of 4 graduating classes, which had ruined a streak of nearly 10 years with none). These are still better than the 20-25% wash out rate overall.
     
  8. navymomwannabe

    navymomwannabe Member

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    +1 NavyHoops....always excellent advice. Best of luck to you on your quest. My son thought about Seals for a little bit...now he's decided on EOD. I am not any more comforted.
     
    EOD/SEALmom likes this.

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