On Hold and Medical Waiver Timing

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by ForGod&Country, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. ForGod&Country

    ForGod&Country Member

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    This question is about the timing of a waiver request. DS is on Hold and medically DQ'd. Hold status letter says he needs to be medically qualified by 3/31. Does this mean he'll need a waiver in place or at have started the waiver review process for him before 3/31 or he will get the TWE? Are we to trust the process and the AO that if he's a top contender then the waiver will be submitted? I'm assuming we'll know more about his competitiveness for an appointment after files are reviewed after the 3/1 deadline. Just wondered if there is any value in DS reaching out to AO to discuss this as sometimes these waiver requests can be lengthy.
     
  2. AROTC Parent

    AROTC Parent 5-Year Member

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    ForGod&Country - I am confused. Was the USMMA waiver denied as indicated in your 1/27 post or is it pending review/on hold as indicated in your current post?
     
  3. ForGod&Country

    ForGod&Country Member

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    Great question. DS applied last year and rec'd HOLD status. We contacted AO and asked if she was going to submit for a waiver since he had not been a TD at the time and the deadline for a medical decision was fast approaching. His application was weaker than most (per the AO and by his own admission) and after being sent forward for waiver he was denied. He was advised by AO to reapply after a year of college to improve his competitiveness. He has done so, enrolling in MMI, improving significantly in all areas. He's on HOLD again this year. Instead of asking the AO about a waiver again, he'd like to know if his improved performance will likely spark a waiver request or if he should just push forward and inquire about the waiver and if so, what would be the best timing for doing that given the tight deadline for being medically qualified.

    My gut tells me to suggest he contact the AO and talk about what the medically qualified deadline means (waiver in hand or in process?) and whether or not that process will be initiated by AO based on his competitiveness or a request from him. We're hoping he was not misled into reapplying if he would still not receive a waiver despite his significant overall improvement.

    I hope this is clear....Any insights or additional questions for clarification welcome. Thanks.
     
  4. MMA19kid

    MMA19kid Banned

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    The waiver process isn't initiated based on competitiveness for admissions, as soon as the academy receives from DoDMERB that he is medically disqualified, they should start the waiver process. The waiver process is basically, will his medical deficiency be something which impairs his ability to be a student/get a commercial license/commission as a (restricted) line officer (sso).

    For example, many students at USMMA couldn't get into USNA due to eyesight correction exceeding +/- 6 diopters. But since the academy doesn't primarily produce unrestricted line officers, its easy to waive that.
     
  5. ForGod&Country

    ForGod&Country Member

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    Thanks. This seems different from posts I've read about other SAs (USNA, USMA, etc.) where if the SA makes an offer of appointment and the candidate is not medically qualified, it's at that time that they request a waiver. If I understand your post correctly, once they receive the DQ from DoDMERB they initiate the waiver process and an offer of appointment/competitiveness is NOT a factor in the waiver submission. If this is the case and my son was not granted a waiver last year then he likely would not get one this year regardless of the improved performance. If that's the case I would hope the AO would have told him that before he went through all this effort instead of encouraging him to apply again...
     
  6. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    For a SA appointment a candidate needs to be medically qualified or waived. They could issue a LOA or conditional appointment with one of the conditions being medically qualified or waiver.

    If you look at the the "questions about the process" on the DoDMERB website https://dodmerb.tricare.osd.mil/Default.aspx they say that all "qualified" candidates disqualified will be considered for a waiver. You don't need to be competitive, but you need to be qualified. I would assume that qualified is a lower standard. However; "how bad they want you" does factor into the waiver decision making process.
     
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  7. MMA19kid

    MMA19kid Banned

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    Obviously, he is otherwise academically qualified and has a nomination, as evidenced by the fact that he's on hold.

    Competitiveness of grades, scores, extra-curricular and leadership stuff obviously goes into whether or not he receives the appointment. But waiver decisions are evaluated by the Academy's Chief Medical Officer or the Navy's BUMED (Bureau of Medicine & Surgery) which examines mids for commissioning eligibility. I don't think the doctors factor competitiveness into whether they can overlook the medical deficiency or not.

    Yes, once the academy has an otherwise qualified and nominated candidate whom DoDMERB has communicated is medically disqualified for whatever reason, the academy initiates a review for a waiver. However, if the admissions/athletic/etc departments really want him, they can press whatever medical people to give him a waiver. That being said, certain things just can't be waived.

    For example, there could be a candidate for admission with a 2400 on his SATs, Scripps Nat'l Spelling Bee winner, et al; Caveat is, he's colorblind. This is an amazing candidate, however he will be medically disqualified and will not be given a waiver, because color vision is essential to being a merchant mariner, and will likely make obtaining a commercial license impossible.

    If he had a waiver review last year and was not given a waiver, I don't think the odds are that great that he gets one this year.

    Encouraging someone to apply next year is the admissions standard practice, it's up to him to do his due diligence before investing time and/or money into something. But who knows, anything could happen with this.
     
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  8. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    We agree. That is what I meant when I said "how bad they want you". You just explained it better and in more detail.
     
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  9. ForGod&Country

    ForGod&Country Member

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    Thanks. If he is denied a waiver, does he have options with admissions personnel or some other source at an academy that can push for a waiver for him? Anyone have experience with this?
     
  10. MMA19kid

    MMA19kid Banned

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    No. The coaches/admissions/etc can pressure the medical side by asking them to put his waiver review at the top of the stack, extra "consideration" I'm sure if they want him bad enough. But there are certain things they can't budge on. If he's denied a waiver that's end of story unfortunately. Also, admissions probably doesn't care much about his waiver unless he's a diversity candidate, female (obviously not), or an amazing student. I'd bet on the athletics guys to get this done if its possible at all.