Fundoscopic Exam and Orthodontic appliances


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Jun 16, 2007
PLEASE HELP - I'm hoping you can help us and relieve some anxiety...
(Apologies for the long post!)

As of today, my daughter's DODMERB application status on the website states the following:

Applicant Entry: 04/02/2007
Correspondence - Reviewed Medical at Program(s) Request: 05/30/2007
Correspondence - Single Disqualification: 05/28/2007
Correspondence - Single Disqualification: 06/13/2007

Appointment Scheduling Date: *NONE*
Exam Received: 05/29/2007
Date posted to Waiver Authority: 06/13/2007

Current Medical Status (as of 6/13/2007): Pending Waiver Submission/Review

R152.02 - Obtain a dilated fundoscopic exam
R259.01 - Applicant DQ - Waiver Authority requests additional information
D004.00 - Orthodontic appliances
D155.70 - Myopia - Refractive error greater than -8.00 diopters (spherical equivalent)

On June 5th, we sent the results of her fundoscopic exam from her civilian opthamalogist stating that there were no problems found ...and we sent the Orthodontic questionnaire stating that her estimated date of removal of orthodontic appliances as "Beginning of Aug. 07"

We sent all these remedial results June 5th, 2007 and was received by DODMERB on June 7th, 2007.

Today, June 16th, we received another DODMERB letter stating -
".... you do not meet medical standards due to the following conditions: Current orthodontic appliances (see the Orthodontic Appliances Disqualification Information attachment)
If you wish to rebut DODMERB's findings or if you decide to request a waiver...etc"

We're a little confused because this recent letter is asking for her orthdontist to fill out a questionnaire similar to the first questionnaire. Is this recent letter an overlap of the first letter or a reply to the first orthodontic questionnaire we mailed in?

Her braces were supposed to be removed this month but her orthodontist wanted to just "tweek" it just a little more and pushed off the date to early August before she goes off to college. So, if she absolutely has to have it off before August, that would not be a problem. But that brings me to my other confusion: R252.80 states braces have to be removed prior to entrance to an ROTC program; but the questionnaire forms states it has to be removed prior to being commissioned at the end of the ROTC program. Which is correct?

Do we just wait to see if the waiver for both issues have been addressed? Or should I have her orthodontist remove her braces now and have her complete a new questionnaire with an earlier treatment end-date?

I have reviewed practically all the posts on this DODMERB thread and hope that my assumption that her chances of getting these items waived are good. But for just a little more reassurance (or maybe a reality check) can you please give me your thoughts on these issues. Thank you so much in advance!
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To help ease your anxiety a little bit...

My daughter had a DQ as well this spring. It hung out there for ROTC forever. 6 weeks after the requested tests were sent we still had not heard.
We talked to her Professor of Military Science at a visit in April - he basically told me to relax. He has had some kids whose DQ's are not waived until the fall.
This is how he said it would work - she would go start school but the Army would not pay her tuition until her DQ was waived. It would make me a little nervous starting school and not having tuition paid! They also won't pay it until they pass the APFT and some kids don't pass that until well into the fall. Her monthly stipend also won't kick in until the DQ is removed.
From how I understand it - she does have all summer.

Now, RetNavyHM will be on here sometime with his good advice and explanation so the process can be expedited for you!
Good Luck!
GASP!!! can take THAT long???:eek:

Will calling or writing letters to DODMERB help to expedite the process? I don't do very well with waiting....especially for something extremely important as this. It doesn't help when those DODMERB letters sound so disappointing... and my daughter has her heart set on her choice of college which we can only afford through the AFROTC scholarship.

JustAMom - thank you for your help....especially for the "reality" check on the possible wait time. So did you all finally hear from DODMERB and was it favorable....and how long did it actually take?
With the disqualification for the orthodontics, DoDMERB sends out the request for the orthodontist statement. So you do not have to have your daughter's orthodontist fill it out again. As for getting the braces removed early, I can't tell you what to do, but I can tell you that if the orthodontist has stated they will be off in August, then most likely the waiver authority will waive it.

As for the myopia issue, I really can't say since I don't know what your daughter's refractive error is, or even what program your daughter is applying for. I can say, that any time the waiver authority requests additional information it is a good sign. So take heart there!

The waiver process can take 6 - 8 weeks. In a case like your daughters, the time frame restarts with the receipt of new information.

As Just_A_Mom stated, there are cases where the waiver decision isn't made until after the applicant has started classes. As for when the scholarship money would start in a case like that I am not sure, your best resource would be the ROTC detachment commander.

There really is no way to "rush" the waiver system. The waivers are all done by the agencies and DoDMERB has no control over them. Once the waiver process starts DoDMERB becomes the middle man, passing information back and forth. For peace of mind, you could have your daughter call DoDMERB and ensure that the additional information was reposted to the wavier authorities, and I would also ask for the date that the information was reposted. This way you know for sure when the information went out. Also, I would not start to panic just yet. There is still plenty of time (even though it may not seem like it!) for the waiver authorities to process the information.

I hope this has answered your questions, and if you have more please feel free to ask.
THANK YOU, RetNavyHM!! You and this website have been extremely helpful.

The program my daughter has applied for is the Air Force ROTC. Off the top of my head, I don’t know what her refractive error is but it definitely greater than –8.00 diopters.

RetNavyHM – could you please clarify the following for us:
1. Is the request for a dilated fundoscopic exam part of the process to waive the “D155.70 - Myopia - Refractive error greater than -8.00 diopters”?

2. Because my daughter plans to be a nurse (instead of a pilot or navigator), will the chances of her myopia getting waived greater? In other words, would it help if my daughter wrote a letter stating her career interest and that with both eyes correctable to 20/20, the myopia should not be a problem?

3. Do you know if the waiver board looks down on having her fundoscopic exam done by a private ophthalmologist instead of a military contracted doctor or at a MTF? Her doctor is local and convenient. We weren’t too happy with the initial eye exam contracted through Concorde and there isn’t any close MTF nearby.

4. In regards to her Orthodontic Appliances, I apologize for bringing up this question again because I am still not clear: For AFROTC, does her braces need to be removed prior to starting the ROTC program…or does it need to be removed prior to being commissioned at the end of college? She has her last appointment this Friday before they remove her braces in early August. If in fact, she does need to remove it prior to August when she starts ROTC, we will request it to be removed in July.

Thank you again for all your help!
1. The fundoscopic examination is becuase of the disqualifcation for myopia. The waiver authority is checking for any possible pathology inside the eye

2. It may help, and definately couldn't hurt, so I would say go ahead

3. Who did the exam does not matter, as long as the exam was done correctly

4. I understand the confusion concerning the braces. The standards that DoDMERB goes by states that the braces have to be off prior to starting school, and DoDMERB can not removed the disqualification until the braces have been removed. The waiver authority for ROTC will normally grant the waviers for braces, as long as there are no other issues, and the braces will be off prior to graduation. It is different for the service academies, but I won't get into that right now.

Can you see the light at the end of the tunnel yet?? :biggrin: Again, any other questions please feel free to ask!
YES! Thank you so much for showing the light at the end of this tunnel!!
You are truly a blessing! We will wait patiently and will be in touch as soon as we get any news on the waiver.

I just checked her status and it says:
Commission Qualified - Medical waiver granted

THANK YOU, RetNavyHM!! I didn't have to hold my breath too long!! Daughter is doing the "happy dance"!!
Congratulations to your daughter, and I'm glad that you didn't have to wait to long! Now you just need to make sure your daughter stays healthy and injury free for the next couple of months! :thumb:
Thanks! I didn't realize how critical it is to keep her healthy for this process. I will be keeping her in a padded room for the next couple of months.:wink: