Essential Tremor, AUTO DQ?


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Jun 27, 2007
Hey guys!

I really want to attend the Air Force Academy, but I've got one issue:
I haven't been checked out or diagnosed, but I definitly have been told by others (family) and websites online that I have ET, or essential tremor. I'm 17 and it isn't all that bad. It only shows when I get extremely stressed out, or I work out a lot like lifting weights. I have a little bit of it when I pick up a heavy glass of water and bring it slowly to my lips. If you look up close, you can also notice it when I salute in AFJROTC. I know I'm not a doctor and I could be wrong. But this is still an interesting scenario. Oh and my friends rarely notice it unless I'm in a situation for the symptoms to occur.

Is this disqualifying? It isn't bad and I know it can be controlled easily and even remedied surgically (last resort of course).

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Any tremor will be a disqualification. Depending on the severity of the tremor, a waiver is possible. It will be difficult to get the waiver, but I have seen it happen.

If USAFA is what you want, then go ahead and apply. You will have to prove to the waiver authority that the tremors will not affect your daily activities, or whatever military specialty that you wish to go into.

As always, I'm here to answer any questions you may have.
Wow. Well, it certainly isn't severe. In fact it's not associated with any type of disease or anything. Like I said though, I haven't been diagnosed and I actually thought for a long time no one would probably notice. I want to be honest though. The tremors don't stop me from doing anything, really, I could be working on sensitive electronics which is actually one of my hobbies, and I can control the shaking without medication. Throughout my highschool career I've been working to get prepared for the AFA, I hope this doesn't become a road block.
This next paragraph is just advise from one person to another, it in no way implies any medical advice!

You should go have it checked out by your family physician. It is possible that what you, and according to your first post, what others have noticed is normal. You will not know until it is checked out by a medical professional. If it does turn out to be a disqualifying issue, then once DoDMERB has disqualified you, submit all medical information that you have concerning this, as well as a personal letter explaining how this affects you in your normal daily activities, sports and hobbies (make sure you put in that part about playing with electronics). If you go get this looked at by your family physician it may turn out to be nothing at all.

I would still apply if this is what you want. You will never know the answer if you don't do anything. A disqualification from DoDMERB is not the end of the process, it is a way for DoDMERB to "flag" an item for the specific service you are looking at, letting them know that they need to make the determination about letting you into the service.
I would still apply if this is what you want. You will never know the answer if you don't do anything.

This is exactly what I told my daughter a year ago when she considered NOT applying at all because she knew she would be medically disqualified.

As usual, excellent words of wisdom, from RetNavyHM.....Good Luck!