National Pool and Medical Waivers

A6E Dad

5-Year Member
Jun 30, 2016
Looking for some clarity on which candidates make it to the National Pool and which ones don't.

From what I understand, only the 3Q candidates who are not slate winners go to the National Pool, and from that group (several thousand?), there are about 3-400 appointments, 75% of which must come from MOC nominated candidates.

The question is about those candidates who are 2Q with Nom, who do not have a waiver yet, but have not been denied one either. USNA clearly states that a waiver is only initiated once a Conditional Offer is made.

So, does this mean that candidates who need a waiver are out of the running if they don't win their slate? Or does it mean that 2Q candidates are, in fact, included in the National Pool, and if they are competitive enough they can get a conditional offer then a waiver?

If the waiver doesn't happen, then they go to the next one of the list?
Great question. DS is that exact boat (pun intended). He has been sitting in pending waiver submission/review for months. Do all three SA's proceed the same way?
I agree...great question. The whole waiver process is voodoo. My DS is also in the waiver gray area. I have been searching this and other forums for intel and have only come across generalizations, the same ones you can pull from the admissions sites. I did come across a thread on this forum from last year in which the member called their admissions POC from USAFA and was told that due to budget constraints they were only processing waivers for those who were in a position to receive an appointment. Others chimed in to corroborate to some extent. If that situation persists this year, one could assume that as they start filling the next wave of appointments, those above a "cut" line would be processed for waivers or granted a conditional appointment as mentioned.

In the meantime, we have gone on offense to compile and submit the pertinent medical records and ultimate "Released without Limitation" 6-month post-op from the Ortho surgeon and Phys Therapist for an ACL surgery. Submitted all to DODMERB which they confirm was added to his file (We did this on the recommendation of our DODMERB liaison). Should speed up the process if a waiver is requested as DODMERB would not have to send us a letter asking for the same info.
Medical status is not usually part of the Admissions Board qualification determination or matching appointments to candidates (think of it as those making these decisions are not aware of the candidate's medical status). If a candidate is going to be offered an appointment but is medically disqualified and the condition is waiverable, then waiver process is initiated. If the waiver is approved, then the candidate will receive an appointment. However, just because the waiver process has been initiated doesn't necessarily mean an offer of appointment is or will be extended.
I think all three academies handle these a little different. I do know that West Point will start the waiver process if the candidate is competitive for an offer. The RCs get to define what competitive means but if you are at the top or near the top of your slate, they will start the process.
Thank you for the feedback, it seems to confirm that while you certainly need to be 3Q to be appointed, you don't need to be 3Q to be selected. Obviously, if the waiver isn't given, then you can't be appointed.
The term is a "conditional offer of appointment" -- conditional on being medically qualified.
@usnabgo08 , is a conditional offer of appointment the same as a LOA? And is a conditional offer something that is still up on the table/ possible this late in the game?