Denied after LOA


New Member
Jun 2, 2017
My son received a LOA last fall, received his nomination, aced the physical test, and was DoDMERB disqualified (we expected it). He had all testing done and submitted all documents for the waiver by early February 2017 and received his waiver on May 2017. Unfortunately, the LOA "expired" on April 15 and he now received a letter that, though he is a fully qualified candidate, the class is full.

Now I have the following questions:
1. If he reapplies, will he need to redo the medical waiver process all over again or does the waiver from this year carries over to the next?
2. Is it too late to apply for ROTC for this fall?
3. Is there anything else that he can do to improve his chances next year?
4. Will it matter that he had previously received an LOA and was found qualified?

For me, the waiver is the big one, as the delay in getting the waiver processed is what caused the LOA to expire.

Any input would be appreciated.
It's too late to apply for a ROTC scholarship. It is not too late to join a ROTC program without the scholarship at whichever college he plans on attending. He should contact the ROTC nit at the college as soon as possible to get included in summer mailings, etc. Enrolling in ROTC may help his application and would certainly help prepare for USMA to a degree. It would also provide a backup plan to a commission. I think your son should do all this regardless of the answers to any other questions or a decision on re-applying. Just my 2 cents.
We were in a similar situation last year and my daughter did not get an appointment. She didn't even complete her ROTC scholarship application and we were scrambling last May to make a decision. She went off to ROTC without a scholarship and did well. Kinnem is correct in that you should reach out to the recruiting officer at your school's ROTC unit. It is unit dependent but some have orientation and training before school starts.

Your DODMERB is good for two years so you will not have to go through the wait again. Your son will have to complete a statement that says there have been no changes in his health and the waiver will still be good. It took about a week from my daughter's to process.

The year at school will help his immensely and let him mature. Having a successful semester of college will also help his application. There are additional WCS points associated with college classes that are not available to high school students. He will also have the opportunity to apply for an ROTC nomination and appointment as well as the MOC nominations.

There are a bunch of threads about re-applicants but basically he just needs to go off to college and continue being successful. Take a challenging schedule and do well. If he had an LOA, he most likely had a strong packet.

The best advice I can give though is to encourage him to go off to college, enjoy the opportunity and not dwell on what he doesn't have. He should jump into college with both feet and be active. Show that he has the academic, physical and leadership potential before he brings up re-applying with his ROTC leadership.

There is no rush to finish everything as he cannot be boarded until his first semester college transcripts are received. Approaching the cadre in November is just fine.

I do not know about how a previous LOA will be looked at during the process the next year.
I'm glad to hear that the waiver is still valid. He was a 4.0 student in High School and I expect him to keep it up in college. I will definitely have him contact ROTC early next week.
Getting a LOA early in the admissions process is a great accomplishment and IMHO your DS should be well positioned for another appointment. The things to do to improve you already know. Do well academically, join a ROTC unit and perform will in the unit. For ROTC, although the application deadline has passed, it is possible to win a 3.5 year scholarship after you join.

DoDMERB is good for 2 years, and they already have all the testing and paperwork for a waiver package. I will defer to @USMA 1994 on how long the waiver is valid. However, for ROTC, to activate a scholarship you will need a waiver from ROTC.

Who know, your DS may enjoy civilian college life and ROTC is a path to commission as an officer in 4 years rather than 5 as a reapplicant.
I was in an almost identical situation this year, and in the process I became very close with the admissions office. They told me the #1 priority is grades; they hardly look at any extracurriculars in college. Also, while having an LOA this year won't do anything for next year's admissions, it is a pretty good indicator that West Point wants your son and he has a great chance of being appointed next year. Please PM me if you have any questions, this entire process has left me very well acquainted with the admissions process
I knew the dodmerb is good for two years, but didn't know the waiver was also, since waivers are specific to the institution. I assumed WP would need to reevaluate that each year to confirm that the issue was still resolved. Good to know.

I think it would be wise to continue working in all areas to improve WCS on the reapplication. You never know what the competition will be this year. Take nothing for granted.
This year when she reapplied, the portal went from requested to qualified. She had to complete a statement of health in between to say nothing has changed. The portal did not go through the same steps as the first year. Others are also correct in that ROTC has to request a waiver independently of West Point. DD's ROTC waiver was not approved for almost a year, but looking at it objectively, she only had a 3 year and it wasn't needed any sooner.
Sometimes candidates who are QNS are contacted by cadet command and offered a 3 year ROTC scholarship, even though they didn't apply for one. (this was the case for my son). He attended a SMC (University of North Georgia) and followed a rigorous schedule and was very involved in cadet activities. He waited until the PMS (?) knew of him/knew him before approaching him for a nomination. He got all of his congressional nom apps in early. He completed his file very early. Yes, he could not be boarded til after first semester grades, but he wanted to be sure he was finished for that first available board after grades. Appointment arrived in February. Good luck! It's been a great experience for my son at WP being a little bit older than the average cadet...and good academically as he understands the rigors of college courses.
My DD got the same offer as @mom3boys did last year so it does happen and again echo everything she suggested. I went look at a few notes and her ROTC scholarship offer was dated May 31st.

The process starts over but many of the items will again show in your portal. After you have complete most (each RC has a different definition I think) of your items, they will initiate your DoDMERB again. Candidate statements are you usually the check box that starts the medical review.

The most difficult part we experienced was completing the MOC nomination packets. They will want new letters of recommendations and these become harder when your DS does not see these people everyday.

So he should focus on MOC nomination packets and the things that he doesn't need outside help with in terms of his portal. As the semester progresses and he has done well, approach the ROTC PMI and instructors to do the SOEs. They will want two new SOEs from college instructors. My DD used a CPT in ROTC and her Biology professor. The PMI should not do an SOE as he will complete the nomination form with his comments. The form should still be available in this years portal if you want to get an idea of the items the PMI rates the applicant on.
Thanks for all of your replies. My DS is in the process of contacting ROTC at his college. Hopefully, he will be able to join USMA next year.
Just a comment, my DS tells me that many in his plebe class were older for whatever reason, injury, re-apply prior service etc. Not unusual. One more year to be a bit older and wiser.