Dodmerb Exzema waiver story


New Member
Oct 13, 2018
I would like to share my DD’s story since it is finally resolved and I have found this forum to be so very helpful. She has had so many ups and downs and dissapointments in the past year and has lived in that awful state of not knowing.... So here is the story, I hope it will give some encouragment.

My DD has always wanted to be a pilot and was wanted to attend either the Naval or Air Force Academy. She earned a congressional nomination to the Naval Academy in our extremely competetive city and we were so excited. Unfortunately she didn’t get accepted to the academies.

She also applied for an AFROTC scholarship but didn’t apply for the NROTC scholarship because she was told that the Navy only gave scholarships for STEM majors and she is poly sci/ history.
We were thrilled when she was awarded the AFROTC scholarship.

She checked the box for excema because she had gone to the doctor ONCE for a rash on her hand when she was 13. The Dr. sent her to a dermatologist who prescribed a prescription cream which we never filled or used. He also noted that she rode horses and washed her many times per day. We didn’t think anything of it. I had read about excema being a disqualifying condition and she laughed at me when I told her. Like so many people who don’t know about it, she couldn’t imagine that one Dr. visit and check box for something that had no affect on her life could potentially derail her dreams.

When she was disqualfied, well if you are on here, you can understand the horror and disbelief. She appealed and we hired Dr. Merchant who promotes himself as a Dodmerb consultant. He charged us $950 had 1 phone call and a couple of emails. He sent us the names of a couple of dermatologist with military backgrounds. One of them wrote a fantastic letter on her behalf and spoke of the activities she does such as ocean swimming and back country back packing with no issues and recommended she be considered for a waiver.

Unfortunately the waiver was denied. By this time, she had started college and was participating in the AFROTC program which she loved. She appealed and was denied. When the wiaver appeal was denied they pulled her scholarship and told her she could no longer participate in AFROTC. She was devastated.

She then spoke to a Navy recruiter, told him the entire story and he encouraged her to enlist and said that they would recommend her to the NROTC and they would be able to use her MEPS exam, in which she was cleared. She enlisted and then was recommended for the NROTC at her university. (Don’t do this btw, they misled her and she could have gone directly to the NROTC program) She was starting a semester late but they accepted her and she did well. She then applied for the NROTC scholarship and got it!! As a tier 3 major that was a very exciting accomplishment and she was so excited. She loves the NROTC even more than she had the AFROTC.

Once she was awarded the NROTC scholarship (which is a way better scholarship) she learned that her MEPs clearance would not work and she’d still have to be cleared by Dodmerb. Back into the land of worry and uncertainty she went.

I scoured these forums for any glimmer of hope. School ended and she was still hanging in the air waiting for word from Dodmerb. The scholarship kids are going off to CORTRAMID and she was desperately hoping to get a waiver before the deadline so she could go with her classmates and friends.

If the waiver was denied by the Navy, it would be pretty much over for her dream of a military career.

Finally today, we got word that her waiver was granted! The relief and joy is overwhelming.

If anyone had dreams of attending an academy and didn’t get in, the ROTC program is such a great alternative. Now she is so glad she did not get into an acadmey as the ROTC experience is so fantastic. They get to have a normal college experience and still commission upon graduation.

Sorry for the long story but now that she was granted the waiver I wanted to let you know that it is possible with excema on the record. I won’t get into all the was it or wasn’t it, etc. but once it (or any potentially disqualfiying condition) is in your record, you are flagged and it’s all uphill from there.

Keep trying, explore every avenue and don’t give up.

Also regarding Dr. Merchant and his company DOdmerb consultants.... I would NOT recommend him. He did help us a bit, but the agreement was that he would help until we reached a final outcome. After the initial email and phone call, he never again responded to any contact. We called, emailed and texted him and he never responded. He was somewhat helpful but not reliable. You can do a search yourself for Drs with a military background.

Best of luck! I wish you all the same positive outcome we FINALLY realized after over a year.

Capt MJ

Ancient Mariner
10-Year Member
Sep 27, 2008
What an instructive story, and with a happy ending. Touches on so many topics often raised here.

For those getting started the path to service, I want to highlight a few things:

- Thoroughly research the primary sources, every web page, dropdown and link. Don’t rely on indirect sources. The NROTC allowed majors are here:

- Something that might be waived for enlisted service via MEPS may not be waived for officer accession via DODMERB.

- Enlisted recruiters may not be the best sources for info on pre-comm Officer programs, especially the medical standards. Their mission is to fill the enlisted funnel and let others sort out diversions from that path down the road.


Feb 22, 2018
I just finished my first year at my NROTC unit, and went through DODMERB in May for my physical. Currently waiting on a waiver decision for my eczema too. This gives me hope!


Jan 23, 2019
@Sdmom Hello, so happy for your DD and family. We are in the similar situation right now that DS's NROTC waiver was denied due to eczema and scholarship was put on hold. I am trying to find a dermatologist with Navy or at least military medicine credential to seek for a LOR. But hardly know anyone and Dr. Merchant disappeared after taking the money...We are in Pacific North West and wondering if you could PM me the doctor's contact that I may call and see if possible to see him/her for a LOR. Thanks.


Jul 9, 2017
Same boat! DQ'd for eczema as a USNA candidate. Unexpectedly offered 3-year AROTC scholarship after finishing 1st year of college... Can anyone here share what they have done as far as documentation when appealing for a waiver??? Many thanks!!!