Asthma-should I even apply?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by willdec22, May 22, 2014.

  1. willdec22

    willdec22 New Member

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    Hi everyone

    I am interested in applying to USMA, but I currently have asthma.
    I am prescribed an albuterol inhaler and I use it prior to sports and exercise. I play football and throw for my track and field team, but prior to practice, I use my inhaler. If I don't and I run or do physical activity, I experience symptoms such as wheezing and trouble breathing. If I do use the inhaler, I am completely fine.

    I know that I will be disqualified, and my chances of getting a medical waiver is close to none (I think?), so should I still apply, or is not even worth it?
    My brother is a plebe at USNA, and I became interested and I really want to persue this career. Should I just start looking somewhere else, or is there something I can do?

    Also, does anyone have any suggestions for treating asthma? I've actually never gone to a pulmonologist or allergist since my parent's don't really think it would help, but is there anything else I could do?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015 5-Year Member

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    Only you can answer that question for yourself. Applying is a lot of work, and even more so with the added waiver process. But the Academy is a lot of work too, so its something to get used to anyway.

    I can tell you that while you may or may not get disqualified and may or may not get a waiver if you apply, disqualifying yourself by not applying is the only guaranteed way to not get in.
     
  3. Overwhelmed

    Overwhelmed Member

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    DS is applying to USMA and suffered from childhood asthma. He passed a preemptive methacholine challenge test and was cleared by his pediatric pulmonologist and an adult pulmonologist who provided letters stating that he no longer suffers from asthma. He still was disqualified and is beginning the waiver process. Dodmerb determined his asthma lingered past 13.
    When we started this process many people urged him to lie including his church pastor. DS said that would be a violation of the cadet honor code and his integrity is worth more to him than an appointment. I am proud of him but I can't stop thinking that a less qualified candidate who may have lied may get his potential appointment.
    If you do decide to apply, apply everywhere because you never know what SA or ROTC will waive your asthma and give you a chance. I wish there was a way to pay out of pocket and go through the Dodmerb process early.
     
  4. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    @Overwhelmed, your DS should be commended for taking the high road. There are numerous threads here from cadets/mids who regretted lying about something on their application and debating whether to come clean to clear their conscience. The feedback has been consistently in favor of coming clean, i.e. the truth shall set you free.

    There’s actually something worse than not receiving appointment because you told the truth. And that’s being found out later, and subsequently being separated or denied a commission because of the condition. After all the hard work of an SA or ROTC, that’s a miserable ending. DODMERB is not a one-time thing, and the truth has a way of coming out.
     
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  5. Goat 965

    Goat 965 Member

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    Always be truthful . Plain and simple. Agree with MidCakePA 100%. The Honor Code at USMA is very clear about it. If one has to break it to apply, they have already failed the code.
     
  6. DDmom

    DDmom Member

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    Do you have an actual diagnosis from a doctor? Have you tried not using the inhaler? Have you become dependent on it because you think it helps? Maybe call the dodmerb consultants and ask what they think. They are an outside consultant that helps with the process of dodmerb for a fee but will talk to you and let you know if you have a chance. I believe with adhd diagnosis you must be off medication for over a year and take all standardized tests without the meds.
     
  7. willdec22

    willdec22 New Member

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    Hello all! Wow, four years later and it’s amazing to reflect back on the application process. Thank you all for your responses.

    Update on me: I ended up going through with the application to USMA in 2014 and even received a senator nomination, but ultimately received a call from the regional commander about my disqualification. Now I am on track to graduate from Rutgers University this coming May and will continue on to graduate studies towards becoming a professional engineer.

    Thinking back, I actually was never “officially” diagnosed with asthma, so I technically did not have to report it in my application. However, I agree that lying would be against everything being an officer is all about, plus I probably would not have been able to physically make it through the summer training. Going through the summer leadership experience that summer gave me an idea of the physical requirements, and honestly having asthmatic symptoms is something you just can’t have.

    It’s very unfortunate to us who have asthma or other health issues that will disqualify us from this career path, but looking back, I have no regrets, and I have really enjoyed where life has taken me thus far. It may suck at first, but definitely don’t let it affect your pursuit of finding your place and purpose in the world, whether it be as an military officer or not. I’ve learned to move on and explore other career paths, and I’ve loved every part about that journey!

    However, I’m also really glad I went through the application process, even if I knew I was going to be medically disqualified. Being able to receive the senator nomination and knowing that my health is the only thing stopping me from being able to go to a service academy makes me proud every time I look back, and the whole proceeds taught me a lot as well.
     
  8. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    @willdec22, what a thoughtful, gracious and mature statement you just posted. To follow up, four long years later, with amazing introspection is truly a wonderful gesture.

    I’m sorry that asthma kept you from USMA. That aside, I have little doubt that you would have been a superlative officer. But to borrow a phrase I’ve learned here, you blossomed where you were planted. And you will undoubtedly become a great leader in your chosen field. All the best to you.
     
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