Type 1 Diabetes

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by Driverainv, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. Driverainv

    Driverainv Member

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    My son is a new cadet at USMA. We experienced R day and the oath ceromony. My younger son(15) was so impressed his first statement when we got home was " I wish I could go to West Point" It broke my heart knowing that his chances were slim to none because he is a Type 1 Diabetic. Does anyone know if there has ever been a waiver given for Diabetes. Its a shame because with todays technology his condition is pretty well controlled. He runs track and is on the High School baseball team. He is just as athletic if not more so than my older boy but his condition disqualifies him. Any suggestions.
     
  2. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    If you post your question under the Dodmerb forum I'm sure Mr. Mullen will answer you. :smile:
     
  3. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    To get a more official answer the best bet is to contact Mr. Mullen, but I'll give you the unofficial, military physician's, answer.

    Unfortunately Type 1 diabetes will be next to impossible to get waived for a new accession/recruit. People on active duty who are newly diagnosed with Type 1 are immediately referred for a medical evaluation board for determination if they will be allowed to stay on active duty. Except for very rare instances these individuals will be medically retired from the military.

    Although various conditions can be well maintained while close to medical care, refrigeration, and other necessities for some medicines those same individuals become a huge medical liability when sent to certain areas of the world. In the military everyone needs to be "world-wide deployable" and you just can't send someone with Type 1 DM or some other conditions like asthma to every place in the world.

    I completely understand the frustration that can be had with these type of issues, but there are also many other ways to serve the country beyond the military. Maybe he will find one of these just as appealing as the Army.
     
  4. MullenLE

    MullenLE Member

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    Diabetes would received a DoDMERB determination of does NOT meet medical standards.

    I do NOT speak for any waiver authority, but it is doubtful that any Service for any program would waive diabetes for regular accession.
     
  5. MullenLE

    MullenLE Member

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    Driverainv - Technology has grown tremendously and control is far more easier to achieve than previously. The combat conditions of today and again, the requirements for regular accessions is to be world-wide deployable without medical restrictions, is not commensurate with individaualized stockage, transport, refrigeration, maintenance, and delivery of life saving medications.
     
  6. mnolan

    mnolan Parent

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    other ways to serve

    Just out of curiosity.............

    If someone wanted to join either the Public Health Service Corps or NOAA Corps, would the same medical qualifications generally apply? Or might this be another uniformed service route for those who have medical issues keeping them out of a SA or ROTC. Just curious..

    Thanks
     
  7. MullenLE

    MullenLE Member

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  8. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Perfect example from the "real world."

    "Back in the day..." we had pilots/maintaners/etc., in a squadron I was in on "waivers" for Asthma...it was fairly easy to get as I understood.

    So off we go to Desert Shield. And we encounter the "talcum powder like" sand...

    And we lost a HUGE number of our people to severe asthma attacks! I'm not simply saying "asthma attacks" I'm saying "life threatening" attacks. Several folks were airlifted out of theater for this.

    After that...it seemed like asthma was re-evaluated as to what would be allowed (read: waiverable) and what would not. I'm NOT the expert on this; Mr. Mullen is. I just use asthma as an example.

    Worldwide deployable is the key. And trust me, right now: we ARE deploying worldwide.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  9. MullenLE

    MullenLE Member

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    Continuing the asthma example, there were 500 soldiers in Army V Corps (in Germany) that were unable to deploy to the Theater of Operations because of their "respiratory profile" (medical restrictions). This was such a significant impact during Desert Storm, that the asthma standard was changed FROM (prior to DS) ---episodes, hospitalizations, treatment, etc AFTER the 12th birthday TO "reliably diagnosed at any age" for almost a decade.
     
  10. scmom123

    scmom123 New Member

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    Diabetics attending USMA

    I have read this thread, and the explanations of why diabetics are not accepted. I understand the policy is " If you're not deployable, you're not employable." . My husband is a retired officer USA, and I've had this explained to me. So, here's my concern. My oldest son decided at the end of his sophomore year in high school, that he wanted to attend USMA. He had been a disinterested student, had issues in other aspects of his life. He turned his GPA and behavior totally around. Five monthe ago, after he had already applied to USMA, he was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic.He is not overweight. On the contrary, he is extremely physically fit. His dad and I explained to him that USMA was no longer an option, but he wanted to pursue it anyway. He attended Senator Lindsey Graham's Academy Day a month or so ago and I believe he actually spoke with Mr. Mullen, who when the boy asked him what were his chances of getting into USMA, he told him virtually nil, but that can't stop you from applying. Why not just be blunt and tell the kid he has ABSOLUTELY NO CHANCE of admission? He is following his dream; he has upcoming interviews with our Senators and Congressman, and from the posts I've just read written by Mr. Mullen himself, he has no chance of admission. All I want to know is, why "No, let it go." wasn't told to the kid to his face by someone in a position of authority, such as Mr. Mullen. I can tell him there's no chance all day, and it means nothing. There's nothing posted on the website stating exclusions. You have to go through the admission process before you can apply for a medical waiver, and there's no chance of that waiver being granted. Why not just cut to the chase, decrease the heartbreak level for these kids who want to dedicate their life to the military but can't because of some medical issue that's not negotiable, and post some kind of " no chance of acceptance don't even try" list?
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The reason why is that DoDMERB only DQs, they are not in charge of granting a waiver. In your DS's case it would be USMA to determine if they will grant it.

    Due to that fact he can say it is in his personal opinion, virtually impossible, but that is all he can say...his opinion.

    Use as an example, color deficiency. A candidate will be DQ'd, and for many that want Navy they won't get a waiver, but at the same time these candidates may get one from the AF and the Army.

    It truly is a case by case decision and the branch has a voice in the results
     
  12. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I can't speak for Mr. Mullen but here is my best guess. Larry Mullen works at DODMERB, which qualifies or disqualifies applicants. It is up to the individual SA or ROTC program to decide whether to waive that disqualification. When he told you "virtually nil," I'm guessing he is saying that, in his experience, Type 1 diabetes is either never waived or almost never waived.

    However, I suppose (and he may suppose) it's possible -- extremely unlikely, but theoretically possible, that the SA might waive this. That's not Mr. Mullen's decision to make.

    In terms of your son, I would be extremely thankful that his dream of USMA has caused him to do all the wonderful things he has now done. That will hold him in great stead no matter where he ends up in college and beyond. While probably no comfort, many terrific men and women will not be able to pursue their dreams of a SA, ROTC, etc. due to medical issues or simply b/c the competition is so intense.

    It sounds as if your son has a great future. If USMA doesn't work out, there are many other wonderful options for him that he has made himself eligible for through his pursuit of USMA.

    Best of luck to both of you.
     
  13. scmom123

    scmom123 New Member

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    Thank you pima and usna1985 for helping me to understand the process. I am clear now it was not Mr. Mullen's place to tell him not to apply. What he told him was the correct answer. Unfortunately, as my son has put it, he won't quit until they " throw him kicking and screaming from the door". Determination is one of his strongest suits. I am very grateful for the positive changes he has made in his life, and he actually has a back-up plan ( The Citadel is one of his back-up schools) and he is looking into CIA/Homeland Security for future career options. But for now, he has chosen to "charge on" and follow this to the end.
     
  14. Tigger

    Tigger Member

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    Your son's efforts made me think of this quote from a speech given by Theodore Roosevelt over 100 years ago:

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. ​

    Reading about all of the students on this forum who are "daring greatly" is a true inspiration and I have no doubt your son will channel this energy and devotion into great things.
     
  15. scmom123

    scmom123 New Member

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    Thanks everyone!

    Pima- I hope you read this, as I thank you for your PM. The system wouldn't allow me to PM you back as I need 15 posts to PM and this is probably only #4. PLEASE keep in touch, and when I can PM you I will. Any info you might have is greatly appreciated. Tigger, thanks so much for your kindness. Jay loved it, as TR is one of his heroes. He's not giving up- he has been granted interviews with our Congressman and both Senators. He's gotten a provisional acceptance to The Citadel though, and is going for his pre-knob visit this coming Thu-Fri. He may be broken-hearted about his prospects for USMA, but he's not stupid, thank God.
     
  16. scmom123

    scmom123 New Member

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    ok- I'm working toward my 15th post :). Pima-my DS has NO Facebook account. No social network accounts/ connections at all. Why? Because he was afraid some idiot friend of his might post something unacceptable and whatever it was might be held against him in his quest for The Point. Sometimes the boy is smarter than I give him credit for.
     
  17. jkeefe

    jkeefe New Member

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    Frustration with T1D....again

    I feel for your situation. My 18 year old daughter has lived with T1D for 14 years now. She is graduating in the spring, was a 4 sport varsity athlete and is heading of to school in the fall. Her excitement about applying to the AFROTC program has been crushed by the news that she will be 100% DQ'd after the DodMERB examination after her sophomore year prior to signing the contract. I'm not even sure that she'll be allowed into the program at this point. Is it true that the waiver for this medical condition is non-existant. Has anyone ever beaten this roadblock. Last night she drafted a letter to her State Rep looking for assistance. Very frustrating....
     
  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    She can do walk on since she is not a scholarship cadet. However, she should be prepared that it is unlikely they will give her a waiver.

    There are just too many future impacts that they will be thinking about by granting a waiver, even if she wants non-rated, it means she can only go non-rated. The AF is commonly called the Chair Force, but reality is they have a lot of rated slots to fill.

    I.E.:

    Deploy to forward bases in time of conflict?
    ~~~ I.E. Bullet in 98 was sent wit the squadron to Kwang Ju in Korea, 7 days notice for 120 days +/-. The base had been essentially mothballed until they reported. It was not a full up base like Elmendorf where they deployed from. Medical conditions impact the mission.

    Career field assignments?
    ~~~ Obviously flying is going to be out of the options. It gives the AF less to work with.

    Base assignments?
    ~~~ Incirlick, Turkey? Del Rio, TX, etc.


    Even if it does end after her sophomore yr., AFROTC still has a lot to offer her personally. Friendships to start with ----some of DS's friends left at the 200 yr., but they remained friends. Future career options...she may not be able to serve in the AF, but there are many companies/organizations that work with the AF as contractors or GSs. She will have a leg up competing for the jobs because she has some insight from her AFROTC experience regarding how the AF works compared to the other college kid in the same major with no connection to the AF.

    My cousin's spouse went to Gtown. He was DQ'd for AROTC. He graduated and got a job with Homeland Security connected to the Army. They just returned from a 2 yr overseas tour. He was able to find a path that filled his desire even though he could not be in the Army.
     
  19. jkeefe

    jkeefe New Member

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    This is really good advice that i didn't think about. I agree, even if DQ'd, she can still get all the redeeming qualities of this program and then look into the contractor world for options. Thanks......
     

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