DoDMERB applicant(parent) guide part II

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by sheriff3, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

    Jan 14, 2013
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    3. The authority to accomplish this mission and the standards DoDMERB apply are contained in the Medical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, and Induction located at

    4. “If” DoDMERB renders a determination of “does NOT meet medical accession standards,” the DoDI permits the Service Secretaries (Army, Navy, Air Force) to authorize waivers in individual cases. In the case of the Coast Guard Academy, HQs, US Coast Guard render waivers for their own applicants, under the same concept. The United States Merchant Marine Academy utilizes the Navy’s authority to render waiver decisions, in light of the Naval Reserve Commission that each graduate receives. The US Marine Corps is the other uniformed Service in the Department of the Navy. While the medical recommendations for the Navy ROTC (Marine Corps option) come from the Navy, the Marine Corps issues the final decisions on applicants to that program.

    5. Service Academies = If the applicant is determined to be “competitive for an offer of appointment” (determined by the Offices of Admissions), medical waiver consideration will be automatically requested on the applicants behalf. The applicant is NOT required to request a medical waiver. Conversely, if the applicant is not competitive for an offer of appointment, either after evaluation or because enough of the application has NOT been completed, there will be no medical waiver consideration. There may be periods in between, where the Admissions office has NOT made this determination yet.

    a. Keep in mind that all US Services Academies, require 4 non-negotiable items for admission 1) Selection by Admissions {Academics, College Test scores, extracurricular activities, etc., are considered}; 2) Successful passing of the Candidate Fitness Assessment {CFA}; 3) Medical qualification by DoDMERB or receipt of a medical waiver by the Academy 4) {Except for the USCGA} a nomination from Member of Congress, the Vice President or the President. So, depending on where you are in the timeline, prior to 31 Jan of the year, you must have items 1, 2, and 4 completed.

    b. No applicant, say again, NO APPLICANT, will ever be denied admission from a US Service Academy because they receive a DoDMERB determination of did NOT meet DoD medical accession standards. “IF” an applicant meets 1, 2, and 4 in 5a above, but receives a DoDMERB determination of “does NOT meet medical accession standards,” Admissions will automatically request medical waiver consideration to begin.

    6. 4 year ROTC programs = In most cases, applicants “may” have already been awarded a scholarship…”contingent” upon obtaining a DoDMERB MEETS medical standards determination or a medical waiver from the specific ROTC program. Applicants awarded ROTC scholarships, will be automatically considered for a medical waiver; the applicant is NOT required to submit a letter or a request. The waiver authority will have all the records that DoDMERB possessed to render our decision.

    7. “In-college” ROTC applicants = Commanders will determine which applicants will be processed for medical waiver consideration after a DoDMERB determination of does NOT meet medical accession standards. These are applicants, in any Service ROTC program, that were recruited “in college/on campus” by that specific ROTC Battalion or Detachment.

    8. Waivers in general –

    a. Speculation of potential waiver decisions; percentages of waivers granted for similar conditions by waiver authorities; “what are my chances?”; etc., are all inappropriate and may be misleading. Therefore, DoDMERB does NOT answer these type questions.
    b. Waivers are individually based. A condition, injury, illness, disease, etc., has different effects on a person’s ability to function. This is dependent on severity, frequency, where on the spectrum of the malady the applicant currently may be, etc. So, when the question is asked, “Do they often waive for THIS?” There is NOT going to be a general answer. Also, the Services and programs in that Service, waive to the needs of the Service in terms of their mission to access so many folks. If the specific Service/program is MEETING their manpower requirements, medical waivers would be issued in far fewer cases than if a Service/program is increasing the numbers of personnel in the force. In other words, what may have been waived last year, may not be waived this year or vice versa.
    c. In lay terms, when there’s a significant medical situation present by examination or history and the standards require a DoDMERB determination of does NOT meet medical accession standards….it does NOT mean that the applicant will NOT be able to receive a medical waiver (From an applicant standpoint only, MEETS medical standards or Medical Waiver Granted, means the same thing…if appointed or selected, they can be admitted to a Service Academy or ROTC program)
    d. Different Services and different programs within the same service “may” render different waiver decisions. Again, waiver decisions are individually based and support the needs of that program and Service.
    e. Any Service Academy or ROTC Program “may” request additional test(s), consult(s)/evaluation(s), and/or applicant supplied information/medical records PRIOR to rendering their waiver decisions. If they do this, they will do so thru DoDMERB, who will in turn send directly to the applicant or for campus based ROTC applicants, to their Battalion/Detachment.

    9. Waiver timelines – The waiver authorities will render their waiver decisions based on their workload; complexity of the case; whether or not additional consultants are utilized in the decision making process AND the consultant’s ability to be responsive; etc. There is NOT standard timeline for rendering any waiver decision. All waiver authorities are dedicated to providing a comprehensive evaluation and issuing as timely a decision as possible. This is very important, because I frequently get folks wanting a decision right then and there. That kind of haste will not afford the applicant the appropriate review of their case for an accurate waiver decision. So, while I understand everyone’s angst for a quick and favorable decision, please be patient so your case can be reviewed comprehensively. DoDMERB does NOT have any insight as to what the waiver authority will decide. Their decision is totally independent from DoDMERB. You will be notified via letter by the medical waiver authority of their decision AND you will see the decision on the DoDMERB website (

    10. Generalized waiver criteria – The main focus of all waiver decisions is centered on the ability to train, be commissioned, and be world-wide deployable upon graduation/commission. In applying this objective, a few of the questions that are considered are: a) Is the condition progressive? b) Is the condition subject to aggravation by military service? c) Will the condition preclude satisfactory completion of prescribed training and subsequent military duty? d) Will the condition constitute an undue hazard to the applicant or to others the applicant will be charged in leading, particularly under combat conditions?

    11. “What if” type questions -

    a. In almost all cases, DoDMERB will NOT render a determination off of what an applicant, parent, advocate, etc., writes to me.
    b. DoDMERB, nor anyone in DoD or the Services, are authorized to recommend treatments; therapies, surgeries; medication use/stop use; etc. Those decisions are strictly between the applicants and their physicians. In order to obtain an “official answer (DoDMERB determination/waiver decision),” an applicant must apply and go through the process. This allows the reviewing authorities to review existing records AND to order additional consult(s), test(s), and/or request additional information from the applicant.
    c. The only guarantee is: If there is NO application, the applicant will be guaranteed to NOT receive medical clearance. In all cases, we highly recommend that applicants apply to more than one Service Academy, ROTC program, and civilian opportunity. While that may require more activity on the applicant’s behalf, it also broadens the opportunities, should you not be offered your first, second, or subsequent choices.
    d. The reason we have a requirement for a medical history and exam is for DoDMERB to evaluate those actual results and THEN make determinations of whether more consult(s), test(s), and/or information will be required. We certainly understand the dilemma from your perspective, but please be patient and understand the issue from ours. We need to evaluate the actual history and exam results before rendering any type of determination. More often than not, what applicants, parents, advocates, and friends “think” is the medical issue, is not the “confirmed” medical issue at all.
    e. We also can’t “speculate” what decisions will be rendered by the waiver authorities. They are totally independent from DoDMERB and make decisions based on their Service, program, training, and experience.

    See part III for the final.

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