Tourette Syndrome...is it an auto DQ?

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by vamom, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. vamom

    vamom Member

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    Good morning. I have a friend whose son is interested in ROTC. He has a mild form of Tourette's. Is this an auto DQ or is it waiverable? Just asking at a high-level. I realize that answers are generally not "one size fits all". Thank you.
     
  2. BAMA ROTC

    BAMA ROTC Member

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  3. vamom

    vamom Member

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    Thank you BAMA. I did read that previously but I was hoping for more current feedback since that thread is 7 years old AND the young man of whom I speak is not currently asymptomatic, as was the son of the OP in the 2007 thread.
     
  4. BAMA ROTC

    BAMA ROTC Member

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    A waiver (approved or disaproved) is the result of the Army asking "Is this student/applicant worth the risk? Is there a compelling reason the Army standards should not apply in this instance."

    I am not trying to discourage but as our Army grows smaller so does our pool of best qualified applicants.
     
  5. vamom

    vamom Member

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    Thank you once again....I understand the definition of "waiver". Also, I have gleaned from this forum that each branch of service has somewhat subtle differences in what they allow. So I was hoping to receive some feedback from all branches. I realize that you are speaking for Army. I personally feel that military service is a slim to improbable chance for this outstanding young man. I was just looking for some info from anyone who has any experience with it. Thanks again.
     
  6. MabryPsyD

    MabryPsyD Dr. G.

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    As far as the Army is concerned, Tourette's is a PDQ for officers and enlisted. If a Soldier is found to have Tourette's he/she is chaptered immediately. There are no "what if's" or "but's" about this disorder. Its a PDQ.

    I've chaptered two people with this disorder. The Army is one of the most lenient branches for medical waivers. If we don't allow people with Tourette's to serve, I can only assume the other branches follow suit. Uncontrollable tics and verbal outbursts are NOT conducive to military service, yet alone officership.
     
  7. Pickle

    Pickle Member

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    In The Same Boat

    NO

    I am also applying for both the United States Naval Academy and the Naval ROTC scholarship this year and can say I am with you. I applied last year but did not get either. I then applied to the College Program here at the University of Washington and, after a letter from my doctor explaining my symptoms, was accepted. I am now a college programmer at the UW! This year I am applying again and received my DQ letters a few days ago indicating that I must provide additional information.

    I can tell you right now it is painful getting these letters but it is not the end of the road. Sometimes I think that DODMERB looks at the condition and basis their opinion off of more severe cases (arm flinging, head banging, obnoxious noise, etc.) I know of some service members, officer and enlisted, that have Tourettes. I am seeing my doctor soon to have him write another letter indicating that my symptoms do not impede my ability to succeed academically, physically, and mentally, and would recommend you do the same. As long as there are no medications or 504 plans involved, I say you and I have an awesome chance of getting that waiver.

    My advice: Speaking from experience, it is very easy to get frustrated.Just don't give up, not even the slightest bit, because if you do, if you don't put forth your best effort, there won't be any waiver. If you want it, you are going to get it.

    Good luck to you and see you in the fleet!
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2014
  8. vamom

    vamom Member

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    Thank you Dr. G and Pickle. I think I have my answer now!
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I would be interested to know if they give him a waiver, but also restricted career field.

    I.E. vamom, your DS is AFROTC. I can see the AF saying yes for weather or Accounting and finance, but not for rated, missileers, maintenance and Intel. Mainly because from what I understand about Tourrettes is a tick that manifests uncontrollaby. They can't risk deploying them to forward bases and briefing missions. They can't risk the key in the slo.

    This is something I would discuss with your friend if he is a career goal.
     
  10. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    We have a family member with Tourette's and it is such a trial.

    I would also be interested to hear if the waiver, received, is restricted. I could see as PIMA says Finance, etc. but I don't see anyone with this disorder sitting in a cockpit or with a finger on a button.
     
  11. MabryPsyD

    MabryPsyD Dr. G.

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    To include a TRIGGER
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I just can't see being allowed to go down range and hand off coordinates, be it Intel orCAS. That is the reason why I am saying I wonder about career options.

    The fact is we say all the time...DoDMERB DQs, commissioning branches waive, and it is a case by case decision.
     
  13. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I served with an Air Force Major who had Tourette Syndrome while in Iraq. Not sure how he made it in, but he said that he never had an issue with it or needed medication. Those who had served with him back home had never noticed it. Well when he got down range, it definitely got bad. It was definitely noticeable and could be seen by everyone. When I first got there he had a weapon and that scared the daylights out of me (ok so 90% of airmen with weapons scared me…jk!). He was eventually sent home and discharged. I see on here and hear from parents a great deal when discussing issues their kids have. Sitting behind a desk as a student is one thing. Bottom line is how will that condition effect you when down range in the heat, dust, cold, etc? Things that may be minor or not be an issue while at home can flare up badly when under incredible amounts of stress and in severe environments. Not saying this will happen to any of those trying to make it through the DoDMERB process. Your willingness to serve is admirable and I hope it works out for the best. I think it will be an uphill challenge.
     
  14. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Hoops is right -- this is the reason that adult asthma is almost never waivered. Person is perfectly fine doing 99% of things in life. Put that same person in the high altitude and/or desert under stress and he/she can quickly become a liability to him/herself as well as those serving around him/her.

    Same is true of many other medical conditions where the person functions normally in society at large but MAY not have that same experience in the unique environments faced by the military. The military isn't willing to take the chance.

    If serving is your dream, you should definitely pursue it 100%. However, with certain conditions, you must be prepared for a medical turndown which only means your path to success -- and even serving your country -- must take a slightly different road.
     
  15. vamom

    vamom Member

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    Thanks to all of you have taken the time to reply. I reached out to this forum regarding this as this is not my DS but the DS of someone close to me, a dear friend. I personally felt that this condition would be an auto DQ for all branches of service but I wanted to get some feedback before I shared my doubts with the parents of this awesome young man. I will certainly circle back here and let you all know how things shake out, if he does indeed, attempt to pursue this path with a waiver. Again, thanks for taking the time to help me out with this. It's never easy to be the one to suggest that someone's dreams may not be attainable. I wanted to be sure that my approach and information were correct.
     
  16. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    I have never met anyone diagnosed with Tourette's who is NOT medicated in some fashion, and most of those drugs which treat this condition are pretty powerful.

    I think Hoops' experience would send huge red flags throughout the DodMERB world. Especially in those 1% ultra-stressful situations, Tourette's is NOT athletes foot, or an arm broken at age 5. It's a big deal.

    And if it is diagnosed, it's an even bigger deal
     
  17. carboj

    carboj New Member

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    I came to this board to find answers about Tourette Syndrome and joining the military. My son has Tourette Syndrome and will graduate high school this year and had hopes of joining the military. Upon reading the above statements, I have to say that Tourette Syndrome is not a "one-size-fits-all" medical disorder. My son has Tourette Syndrome, and although it may make him ineligible to join the armed forces, to say that his tics would make him "NOT conducive to military, yet alone officership" is actually an opinion and not correct. My son's character, dedication, leadership, and love for his country are conducive to officership, and the fact that he may clear his throat every once in a while, does not take that away or make him any less qualified for officership. We will be visiting with a recruiter and hopefully my son will be eligible for military service in the Air Force, because he would make a fine officer and serve his country well.
     
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  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Recruiters are not the path you want to go right now. Their job is really for enlisted and OCS. For your DS he needs to go to the afrotc website. He can also set up a one on one meeting at the colleges you visit. If he does not apply for a scholarship, he will not get a DoDMERB until he contracts. That means he could be a junior before he goes for the exam. If they DQ him and no waiver they will disenroll him.

    I think you are reading Mabry's post incorrectly. He is saying it is not conducive from a job perspective. DQs are not just about the person, but the mission. There are certain positions that only officers hold. All rated positions in the AF are officer only. Missileers, and ALOs are officers only. Docs are officers. It has nothing to do with the character of the person. It has to do with the occassional clearing his throat. The AF would automatically have to knock out any chance of him going rated, missiles or ALOs. That is a lot of career fields. My guess would be @35% of every newly minted AF O1 is going rated. USAFA has @50% go rated, and AFROTC has @30%

    I wish you the best on your journey.
     
  19. carboj

    carboj New Member

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    Thank you for your reply and the information you provided. We will definately look further into your suggestions. I must say that although I agree that some officer positions would not be ideal for a person with Tourette Syndrome, I do not agree that having TS is not conducive to the military or officership. Maybe Mabry could have written, "Not condusive to some officer positions" to which I would agree. We ruled out Special Ops, SEALS, Rangers, Pilot, etc. long ago, as for obvious reasons.

    Thanks again for your help and understanding!
     

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