DoDMERB DQ re Asthma


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
May 10, 2007
My son recieved an AF ROTC scholarhip; all was great until we received the DQ letter from DoDMERB and the AFROTC office did not grant a waiver. This is all because he honestly reported on his medical history that he has mild allergies in Spring season (takes over the counter meds). When he was about 10 yrs old, he had some wheezing while playing sports outside, so they gave him an inhaler. He used it 3 to 4 times in Spring; each year he renewed his inhaler; he used it a few times, but used it less each year; he has not used it in the past 2 years (since he was 16). I THINK DoDMERB has an unwritten policy that DQs a person if they have any history of asthma after age 13. Since asthma is really any type of breathing problem, he technically had it.
We sent my son to pulmonary doc for a test; I asked the doctor to send results to DoDMERB. In addition, as advised, my son sent in a letter explaining his history.
a) does anyone know the DoDMERB policy on this - if its true that any asthma after age 13 is a no go, just tell us so we can get on with plan B
b) since ROTC scholarship doesn't pay until sophomore year, would an ROTC office agree to allow him to participate during freshman year - to assess his health - and make a decision after a year .....
c) any other tips would be great
thanks a bunch
The Department of Defense standards that DoDMERB follows states "asthma, including reactive airway disease, exercise-induced bronchospasm or asthmatic bronchitis, reliably diagnosed after the and symptomatic after the 13th birthday is disqualifying". DoDMERB is black and white, if it was in his medical records, they have to disqualify. It is then up to the waiver authority to make a determination.

Since you did not state the time frame from the time that he was disqualified, the new testing was accomplished and the waiver denial, I would see if there was the possibility that the waiver authority did not have a chance to review the new information before they made the waiver denial determination. If you are in doubt, I would contact DoDMERB to ensure that the waiver authority did review the information. Your son can also request that the waiver authority review his complete package again.

It might be possible for your son to participate with the ROTC detachment, but that is a question that I would pose to the detachment.
more info on asthma DQ

Thanks for the response
My son took the DoDMERB exam April 5
He received DQ from DoDMERB May 1
He received waiver denial from AFROTC May 22
He went to private pulmonary doctor June 4 for testing; I asked doctor to send in results to DoDMERB
My son will mail letter today giving addtional information and asking for AFROTC to re-consider the waiver
qustion - I asked my son's regular doctor for a copy of all his records - since he was a child - do you think I should send these in as well ?
thanks again for your help
Well its pretty obvious then that the waiver authority hasn't seen the new information. I would see if you could pick up a copy of the report from the physician. If you can I would have your son write a statement (even if he's already done one) and send both of those together requesting that the waiver authority review the new information and reverse thier decision.

If you have copies of the medical records in hand I would send those in as well, but if you do not have the records by the time you get the report and your son's letter together, I would just send those 2 items off and wait to see if they request the records.
DQ re: Asthma

just to close the loop
my son Daniel did not get a medical waiver from AFROTC (re Asthma)
we did get a pulmonary test and wrote a long letter explaining history
Daniel had a prescription for an inhaler at age 13-15, but no prescription after that point
he rarely used the inhalers - prescription was really was precautionary
parent lesson: don't get prescription unless necessary !
I do think DODMERB sticks very close to written policy - any evidence of ashma issues after age 13 is a DQ
although we were all disappointed, the upside is that he can still have a career in aerospace and he won't be sent to Iraq
he chose to go to his 1st choice school, RPI, and he is doing well as a freshman in aerospace engineering
best of luck to others with similar problem

I'm sorry the waiver did not work out for your son, but it sounds like he is going to be able to do something that he likes anyway. If a career in the military is something that he would like, I would have him check with the ROTC detachment and see if he can participate as a non-scholarship cadet. He does not have to pass a medical to participate that way, and there is a possibility that he may become eligible for a 3 or 2 year scholarship, and a waiver may be easier to come by after he has participated and the detachment has seen no issues.

There is also a direct commission route after he graduates, and if he has had no problems the chances of a waiver go up dramatically.

I would love nothing more than to have everyone I help get a waiver. I realize that that will never happen, but I'd still like to see that. Again, I'm sorry it didn't work out for your son.
My daughter has a LOA and Nomination to USAFA. She then received a dq for Asthma diagnosis when 5 yr. DODmerb had her do an admin remedial by producing her pediatrician's records, which we did. The records revealed that she had be rx'd an inhaler to use preventatively and rarely up to the time she was 14. She was never tested for asthma, and there was no further mention of the diagnosis in her records. She did have the annual cold. She has had no symptoms of breathing difficulty since 11 years old when she had bronchitis. She runs x-country and has played tennis all four years. Interestingly, she won second place on the CFA for all females at the USAFA Summer Seminar this summer where there was considerable running, etc.
She received word of her dq last week and has already requested a waiver which is pending.
My question is knowing this, what are her chances? and if there is a denial of the waiver, is there an appeal process etc.?
Thanks for any insight.
If a waiver is denied, and you can provide some additional information that the waiver authority did not possess when making their determination, the a re-review of the records is possible. Waiver denials have been overturned in the past with new information.

A letter requesting the waiver authorities re-look at a file, and the new information, would be sent to DoDMERB and they will forward it to the waiver authorities.