10-Year Member
Jul 6, 2006
I recieved a letter from DODMERB saying I was DQ'd for Myopia - Refractive error greater than - 6.00 diopters (sphere component only). I am correctable to 20/20 with glasses. Can I get a waiver? Should I get more tests? I know it doesn't exceed -8.00 Diopters.

I am going to assume you were disqualified for one of the sea services (Navy, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines). They have the strictest refractive error requirements. Waivers can be granted for excessive refractive error up to a certain point. The +/- 8.00 diopters refractive error is the standard for Army and Air Force, it is also the commissioning standard for the sea services. Speaking from experience, the majority of otherwise qualified applicants who's refractive error is +/- 6.50 diopters or less are granted waivers. Between +/- 6.75 and +/- 7.00 diopters you have to be an exceptionally qualified applicant. Over +/- 7.00 diopters very few waivers are given. Thats not to say that if your refractive error is over +/- 7.00 diopters you should just stop trying for a sea service, it is just going to be that much harder.

Your admissions package continues to be processed regardless of your medical status, so keep working on that. If you are a viable candidate for one of the sea service academies they will automatically process you for waiver (you have to request a waiver in writing to the Merchant Marine Academy).

You can leave everything the way it is and hope that your waiver gets granted, or you can try to rebutt the findings if you think that your refractive error is less than +/- 6.00 diopters. You would rebutt the findings by obtaining a new manifest refraction. This can be done by your family optometrist, and then you mail it into DoDMERB with a letter requesting that your file be reviewed again with the new information. make sure that if you wear contact lenses you have them out for at least 3 days for soft and 21 days for hard and provide a statement to that effect with your rebuttal information.

If you know that your refractive error is greater than +/- 6.00 diopters, but you feel that it is less than what DoDMERB has (you can call DoDMERB and they will be happy to tell you what was recorded on your physical exam and your family optometrist can tell you what your latest prescription was) then you can always get a new manifest refraction and send that into DoDMERB to update your information. Any additional information that is submitted to DoDMERB automatically goes to the waiver authorities.

If you do go and get a new manifest refraction here are a couple of hints, try to get an early morning appointment, the eyes have muscles which help you to focus, and muscles, like anything else get tired as the day goes on. The night before get a good nights sleep (meaning go to bed early! :shake: ), avoid activities like watching TV to long, playing video games (either on TV or computer), limit your computer use, don't read for to long (of course not being able to do those items, what else is there to do but go to bed early! :biggrin:). When you get the manifest refraction done tell the optometrist that you want to be corrected to 20/20 with no errors only. Most optometrists will try to correct you to just a little better than 20/20 which increases the refractive error. If you miss any letters on the 20/20 line, that is another disqualification, so ensure that you let the optometrist know to correct you only to 20/20 with no errors.

Anytime you submit information to DoDMERB place a cover letter with it that has your name, social security number and the reason why you are providing the information. In your case it would be to either rebutt the disqualification or to update your medical information for the waiver authorities.

I hope this helps!!
more bad news

My Dad had the base copy my medical records because DODMERB asked for any records that talked about ecxema. The base Derm already addressed it and his letter should have fixed the questions. We were looking at the record and the NP who I saw in Mar with an upper respiratory infection mentions using Albuterol. She did not give me any, and I did not use any. Suffered for about three weeks with bad cough and cold, but she knows my sister has some lung disease from prematurity and we have the neb at home. Bad part is this is what she said.

"Sibling has asthma and uses albuterol and uses nebulizer at home. Pt and sibling were premature."

"has previously used albuterol for cough, along with claritin and flonase for allergies. Not currently taking anything. Sibling has asthma and uses albuterol an has nebulizer at home. Pt and sibling were premature."

Be proactive and get a copy of ALL medical records from birth to present (DoDMERB will be asking for them since there is a mention of albuterol use). I would also attach a statement concerning your physical activities and your use of albuterol. DoDMERB normally can not take those statements into account, but no 2 applicants are ever the same. If DoDMERB issues a disqualification for asthma, exercise induced asthma, reactive airway disease the statement you write can be useful for the waiver authorities, so you want it to be as complete and detailed as possible, and you want it to be at the top of the package of medical records that you submit.

Just know that waviers for asthma are granted all the time, and DoDMERB has to go by the regulations (they do not have a grey area) and if there is a question fo anything in the medical records, DoDMERB has to disqualify.

I hope this helps.