Medical Questionnaire

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by UHBlackhawk, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

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    I'm hesitant to write this. It's primarily geared toward those applying to Service Academies now. I'm putting it in the Parent Section as this is an area parents can help... or really hurt an applicant.

    Let me preface this by saying I am NOT a doctor or healthcare provider.

    Part of the application process is the DODMERB or Department of Defence Medical Review Board. This will include a full physical to include a medical questionnaire that will include standard questions such as allergies, medications and medical history. Please, be honest. This is one area where you may want to help. If you are unsure about a question, ask for clarification. Something such as allergies may seem minor to you but when you are on a ship in the middle of an ocean or at a remote site in the middle of a desert having an allergic reaction is potentially lethal as well as detrimental to the mission of the military. You can't make ships "peanut safe zones" and the Third World cook you have at a remote site probably won't understand what you're talking about when you ask if the food is "allergy safe". Seriously, I was in the middle of the Sahara Desert for six months, my cooks were either Bedouins or Morrocan Army cooks who didn't speak English and if the weather was bad the nearest medical facility was probably a 4-hour drive over bumpy desert roads. Yes, things happen. But you don't want to start off behind the 8 ball with medical conditions. So understand that some conditions may disqualify you from military service. And when I am talking allergies I'm not talking about a little hayfever, but something that requires you to walk around with an Eppipin. But let the docs figure that out. Some conditions may disqualify you from the academies but not ROTC. I won't get into the reasons for this.

    If you identify an issue early enough and demonstrate you are "functional" without medication you may get a waiver. If you have ADHD, for example, but can show you can function for a set period of time without medication you may be able to get a waiver. Heck, many of us were successful in the military with what is now termed ADHD, we just didn't have a term for it. Probably why I'm writing this instead of working on my wife's "To do" list.
    Finally, review these medical items with your applicant. Then, prior to reporting, review them again. If a medical condition has come up, try to work it out BEFORE reporting. You may be medically DQed, may get an LOA for the following year, maybe get a slot for a prep school. But at least you will be giving medical personnel time to work it out.
    Finally, the point of my post. If a person shows up on R/I-Day with a medical issue not previously disclosed or checks a box on a medical questionnaire that was not previously checked, understand that you may be turned back. Every year, at every service academy the same thing happens. Someone does this and the medical personnel normally do NOT have the time to go through the waiver process so a person is turned back or at a minimum left scrambling for a last minute waiver. No one likes this. The parents, the candidate (although I do think some do this on purpose as an easy out), and believe it or not, the medical personnel hate doing it and being the "dream crushers".
     
  2. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

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    +1 on the allergies at sea or in the field. About 80 percent of the Navy and Marine Corps operational forces have an Independent Duty Corpsman as the primary healthcare provider. We are among the world's best trained non-physician medical personnel but do business without X-ray, CT, advanced lab, or operating room.

    One reason asthma is a no-go aboard ship is the ship is an industrial environment. Dust, fumes, vapors, isocyanates, hydrocarbons, PCBs, et. al. make the ship unhealthy for the unhealthy.
     
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  3. THParent

    THParent Member

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    Navy ships are unhealthy for the healthy!
    My solution was to stay off them - but I understood from time to time - that M.A.R.I.N.E. was an acronym which stood for My A** Rides In Navy Equipment. :D
     
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  4. BTCS/USN

    BTCS/USN Member

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    And there is the difference between the services, specifically Marines and Navy. I spent 17+ years AT sea on Naval equipment without any medical issues. Actually felt better at sea than when we were in port. Just saying .
     
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  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Agree with UHBlackhawk on parental oversight on the DoDMERB part. I believe every inch of an application should be done by the candidate, but during this part it’s time to sit down with mom and dad and talk about that time you broke your arm age 3, had tubes put in, etc. Learning your health history and preparing to take charge of it just part of the steps needed to move away from home. It’s also important because Mom and Dad can clear up things like why you had an inhaler, help pull up old documents to see what was diagnosed, etc.
     
  6. Falcon A

    Falcon A Member

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    Parents ... On the “nut allergy thing” ... it is a big deal. I am not a doctor, and I don’t have statistics ... what I do have is experience watching my DS go through the DQ / remedial / medical waiver process for a tree nut allergy, and reading posts here on the forum.

    What we experienced is USAFA will NOT approve a nut allergy medical waiver unless you can prove you no longer have a nut allergy, and they seem to typically require a supervised “nut challenge”. Have read here on forum AFROTC is the same.

    We experienced that Army ROTC and USMA will provide medical waivers for nut allergies, but the circumstances and severity of the allergy as assessed by the AROTC or USMA medical waiver authorities will matter. In some cases the type of nut (I.e. tree nut vs peanut) may matter, although I have read here about medical waivers being granted for both tree nut and peanut allergies. (Seems like peanut waiver is harder to get since peanuts are ubiquitous. Cheap, ready source of protein, etc.)

    Have recently read where Navy granted a nut allergy waiver, but not clear if NROTC or USNA. Again, the details of the allergy will matter.

    I have no experience with USCGA or USMMA.

    Best wishes to all and thank you parents for raising a son or daughter that is willing to serve.
     
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  7. Smaker

    Smaker New Member

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    Question regarding the waiver for ADHD, my daughter got tested for ADHD because she wanted to , and she diagnosed as ADHD, her teacher or coaches never recommended for getting tested for ADHD. She has beeen A student. She took medication for a month of March 2018, but she stopped and working fine without it. Is this something going to restrict her getting in academy? If so what are options? Waiver from whom? Any other options?
     
  8. jrwork

    jrwork Member

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    Question from a rookie, and it may seem like a dumb one but I'm asking anyway...

    USAFA has qualified my son based on his DODMERB. Is it possible that USMA or AROTC would not qualify him? Just wondering since it sounds like each branch possibly has their own requirements.
     
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  9. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    Not a dumb question, but a common one. The answer is no, it is not possible that USMA or AROTC would disqualify him.

    If your DS is qualified by DoDMERB, then he is qualified by all the SA's and ROTC programs.

    All programs and SA's use DoDMERB to get a Q or DQ status. However, each program has their own "waiver" process. So the bottom line is, if a candidate is straight up qualified by DoDMERB, then they are qualified for all the SA's and ROTC programs. However if the candidate is DQ, then each program and SA will make an individual decision to offer a waiver or not.

    So yes, it is conceivable that USNA will "waive" a DQ, but the NROTC scholarship program will not, and vice versa.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
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  10. jrwork

    jrwork Member

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    Makes complete sense! He was straight up qualified so that's good news! Thank you :)
     
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  11. StPaulDad

    StPaulDad Member

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    I believe the only thing that might vary by SA are the color blindness rules. (Fewer buoys facing the Army I guess.)
     
  12. Humey

    Humey Member

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    Curious, why is that? Why are Navy ships unhealthy? Is it because you have so many people in a confined space?
     
  13. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Taking @THParent at face value, all ships, military and commercial, are industrial environments. Large machinery, small machinery, industrial fluids, moving machinery, jet engines spooling up and ensuring you are not near the intakes, rotor wash and ensuring you are not too near the deck edge, showing off your two-handed foot-free sliding descent of a steep steel ladder which doesn’t end well, hearing pollution, long hours in stressful situations, long-life milk, powdered eggs and canned peas. Heck, one miscalculated step through a steel hatch while hurtling along a passageway to your damage control station during a fire drill can darn near pulverize your shinbone.

    No different than at a school, team or other group of people spending time with each other, whatever bug someone brings with them is going to go around.

    It is also customary for the Navy and Marine team to joke and kid with each other. One of the Navy’s missions, the amphibious one, is to take Marines to the fight ashore and support them from sea. Navy folks take sea-going deployments on ships, “cruises,” very seriously, as an operational mission. The embarked Marines often humorously call it a “float on a boat,” because they know it bugs us! Commissioned ships are different from boats; it’s a serious distinction for true sea dogs.

    On the other hand, the freshest air you can breathe, miles and miles and miles from land, and an unbelievable bowlful of stars overhead, and a trail of phosphorescence behind you, during a quiet midwatch on a trans-ocean route - well, there’s a reason DH and I enjoy sailing and cruising for pleasure.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
  14. Humey

    Humey Member

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    Those sounds more like accidents than health issue although I understand your point. From what you say, a ship can be a dangerous place but not necessarily a more unhealthy place outside the fact you have a group of people stuck together.
     
  15. THParent

    THParent Member

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    CaptMJ hits it on the head once again.
    Marines typically take their health and readiness very seriously, so a sprained ankle is no different than being sick with the flu.

    And yeah, we make fun of SWOs. It's all in good fun though!
     
  16. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

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    :(
    It may. You can only go through the process and see. ADHD itself is not the issue. Heck, if ADHD were disqualifying a good number of us would never have been commissioned. But the use of meds within a certain time frame may be. Two years off meds rings a bell to me, but since she only took it for a month and displayed an ability to perform without it she may be ok. Good luck to her.