Allergies and Aviation


New Member
Apr 12, 2024
Hi! I am currently a sophomore in High school and turn 17 in October when I'll be a junior. I intend on applying to the Naval Academy Class of 2030. I have wanted to be a Naval Aviator for as long as I can recall. However, I recently came across complications to this plan. I've had glasses for years now, but I know I can get surgery for that. My main problem is my allergies. At the age of 11 I had an allergic reaction to walnuts which led to me being hospitalized. I was unaware of my allergies until this point. The doctors ordered for me to take an allergy test. I kept putting it off but my parents finally forced me to take one when I was 13 or 14. I tested positive for a whole bunch of nuts including walnuts and peanuts. I also have pollen allergies, for which I am recovering shots and thanks to them the allergies have practically disappeared. Besides these implications I am perfectly fine. I am an honors student and exercise regularly along with playing a sport. Is there any way for me to become a Naval Aviator, even if I don't receive the opportunity to fly jets and fly as a helicopter or a transport pilot? Would the Army, Air Force, Or Coast Guard take me as a pilot?
Not a medical expert, but from what I’ve seen a history of peanut allergies is usually disqualifying for military service.
I recommend you call USNA Admissions directly to confirm your options to train/ commission and serve to become a Navy Officer. Assuming you do graduate/ commission, there is no guarantee you will serve as an aviator vs NFO, on a sub or ship or other. One new Ensign is even is going to be a METOC/ meteorologist after more training.

Below for reference is some an official link that with details you can confirm directly with USNA when you call.

I happen to be the father of a pilot/Naval Officer who is presently training to earn his wings in the Navy. Your note, " even if I don't receive the opportunity to fly jets and fly as a helicopter or a transport pilot? " made me chuckle a little in your description of the pilots other than jet aviators presenting like their roles are like a backup prize at a carnival. That was great - thanks for the smiles. The standard for all aviator positions in the Navy is pretty high, and not everyone who starts training in that pipeline finishes/ despite their best efforts. Also, some folks due to their lifestyle - married, don't want to live on a carrier, or just preference to fly a particular airframe chose the P8, the doomsday plane, or helos or whatever. Others opt for a shorter training pipeline that is being tried out and is emerging for rotary wing. I have a little bias too in that I think they only let the top pilots fly jets- maybe most people do - it was just your bluntness that I thought was charming. I mean I think it, but...

Good luck to you and thanks for your willingness to serve.