Myopia Waiver

CA_USNA_Dad

Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2016
Messages
51
I want to share DD's experience with DoDMERB and waiver experience. Everyone's situation and outcome is most likely different but at least this post might provide some hope to others that are in a similar situation.

DD received LOA from USNA in October and thought that she was pretty much set. At that point, she had not secured a nomination but it was understood that the coach would help with the nomination, if need be. Basically, she did not have a Plan B.

However, after a routine examination with her optometrist, she realized that her vision may be a problem (her vision was worse than she had thought). This was subsequently confirmed when she had her exam with the DoDMERB approved optometrist a few weeks later. Then came the delay with DoDMERB backlog and it took a few weeks before she was even DQ'ed according to the DoDMERB portal. Then came the waiting... She was told that a waiver will be requested but the waiting was excruciating. (In the meanwhile she started working on backup plans by contacting coaches at other schools. The waiting was even more difficult because coaches from other schools offered her admission but only if she were to commit by this date or that date, and these dates were passing one after another.) After weeks of waiting for her follow-up examination request to show up on the DoDMERB portal, she found out that the request had been made by USNA but it just didn't show up on the DoDMERB portal. So in mid-December, after days of needless waiting, she was able to schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist for end of December. We thought this was good news because we reasoned that her level of myopia was waiver-able and as long as the comprehensive examination didn't reveal more serious problems, she would be waived.

Not so fast... She had her eye exam appointment (less than 24 hours after she flew back from a trip in which she was totally fatigued and possible sick with a cold) and her myopia was even worse than before. At this point, she was totally disheartened. However, her patience finally paid off because she was granted a waiver yesterday. When it comes to DoDMERB, it's all about "hurry up and wait." But if you are patient, things can end with great results.
 

mmb5

10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2009
Messages
367
I hope that her case was the exception rather than the rule; our experience with DODMERB on two applicants has been that they are far more responsive than I ever expected a government agency to be. I am delighted for your daughter, and sorry that it was such on ordeal.
 

CA_USNA_Dad

Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2016
Messages
51
can i ask how high her myopia was? I'm also waiting for a waiver for high myopia from usna too.
The first time she was tested, they were -8.5 and -7.5 diopters. For the waiver process, she was retested (less than 12 hours after she returned from a grueling trip) and they were -9.0 and -8.0. But there were no signs of eye damage or disease.
 

CA_USNA_Dad

Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2016
Messages
51
I hope that her case was the exception rather than the rule; our experience with DODMERB on two applicants has been that they are far more responsive than I ever expected a government agency to be. I am delighted for your daughter, and sorry that it was such on ordeal.
Unfortunately, DD was caught during that period when DoDMERB posted notice on its website about delays. DD spoke to someone at the USNA and was told that she could make an appointment for more comprehensive eye examination for the waiver. However, when she contacted Concord, they said that they had no request for re-examination.

The wait was difficult but it's all good now. DD will have a good story about how she had to take a chance and risk not going to college (for a year) while waiting for the waiver.
 
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