ADHD AND APPLYING TO ROTC

Shabbykelly

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Dec 10, 2018
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My son is 17 and a junior in high school. He is a 4.0 student, class president, national honor society member, cross country/ track, and a Eagle Scout. He has been on medication for ADHD since he was 6. He has Also had a 504 plan( but not the last two years). He has expressed interest in the ROTC program. After reading some posts I’m assuming that he would be disqualified. Does he need to be off of medication for a year prior to applying? Is there still a chance he wouldn’t get in?
Thank you!
 

kinnem

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Moving this thread to the DoDMERB forum where I expect you'll get more, and more qualified, responses.
 

Falcon A

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Your DS sounds like a fine young man.

The medical standard by which he will be judged says this: https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/613003p.pdf?ver=2018-05-04-113917-883

Page 44
"5.28. LEARNING, PSYCHIATRIC, AND BEHAVIORAL DISORDERS.
a. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, if with:
(1) A recommended or prescribed Individualized Education Program, 504 Plan, or work accommodations after the 14th birthday;
(2) A history of comorbid mental disorders;
(3) Prescribed medication in the previous 24 months; or
(4) Documentation of adverse academic, occupational, or work performance
."
I am NOT a doctor and we have not been through this. It would appear that the 2 things that may trip him up are items 5.28.a (1) "A recommended or prescribed Individualized Education Program, 504 Plan, or work accommodations after the 14th birthday" and (3) "Prescribed medication in the previous 24 months." In my opinion, DoDMERB would have to declare your DS as medically "DQ" (disqualified). It would then be up to the ROTC medical waiver authority to decide whether to grant a medical waiver.
 

Tbpxece

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For what it's worth, I know a few active military members that were diagnosed with adult-onset ADD. Universally, they were given a choice between the medication and continuing their service. Most chose the treatment (and I don't blame them). Even if your son gets the waiver, odds are extremely high he will not be allowed to take his medicine to include while in college. Consider that.

DoD is pretty adverse to any mind-altering drugs taken for long periods of time-- even if they are beneficial.

It's certainly worth a try, though! As Falcon A said, your son sounds like an otherwise terrific candidate.
 

Humey

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For what it's worth, I know a few active military members that were diagnosed with adult-onset ADD. Universally, they were given a choice between the medication and continuing their service. Most chose the treatment (and I don't blame them). Even if your son gets the waiver, odds are extremely high he will not be allowed to take his medicine to include while in college. Consider that.

DoD is pretty adverse to any mind-altering drugs taken for long periods of time-- even if they are beneficial.

It's certainly worth a try, though! As Falcon A said, your son sounds like an otherwise terrific candidate.
The problem with that is there is a difference between contracting a medical issue after you enter the military and before you enter. The military seems to not want to accept people who have medical conditions that will eventually wind up costing the military later in life. If they contract it while serving, not much they can do about it.
 

Tbpxece

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The problem with that is there is a difference between contracting a medical issue after you enter the military and before you enter. The military seems to not want to accept people who have medical conditions that will eventually wind up costing the military later in life. If they contract it while serving, not much they can do about it.

Bingo.

And in the case of the folks I met, it came down to either choosing to separate and medicate, or stay in and struggle.

Still, it's worth a shot. Perhaps the kid doesn't actually need the medication anymore.
 

rjb18

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I was never on medication or anything. I got the scholarship but have never been cleared yet. This is the end of my first semester right now. My ROO is sending my grades to dodmerb after a semester of not having any accommodations to prove I can do well without them. Its a long process but if you can function without them you should be good.
 

Pima

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I wish him the best. First and foremost his health should be his priority. As stated he must be off the meds and an IEP for quite sometime.

DoDMERB will Q or DQ according to the requirements set forth. The commissioning source will decide whether or not to waive that DQ.
~ IE USMA may say no, but AROTC may say yes. They are both under the Army umbrella, but they are different commissioning sources.
~ Same is true when you look at ROTC. AFROTC may say yes, and AROTC says no. Both ROTC, just different commission sources.

Just my opinion, but I think you should also place into the equation, what schools he is applying to for college. If he applies to an SMC (TAMU, VT, VMI, UNG, Citadel, etc) he can be in the Corps without being in ROTC. However, he cannot be in ROTC without being in the Corps. That equates to a lot more time management as a freshmen. Same goes for the fact if he decides to attend a university that is not the host ROTC unit. It means he will be a xtown cadet/mid and have to travel to the host unit at least 2x a week, again time management will be key.

Good luck. Thank him and your family for wanting to defend this great nation.
 

Tbpxece

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I was never on medication or anything. I got the scholarship but have never been cleared yet. This is the end of my first semester right now. My ROO is sending my grades to dodmerb after a semester of not having any accommodations to prove I can do well without them. Its a long process but if you can function without them you should be good.

Glad to hear it, and congrats! Hopefully this guy will be in the same boat and be able to function fine without the medication.
 
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