Possible medical disqualification

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Cadetdad2020, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. Cadetdad2020

    Cadetdad2020 New Member

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    My son is currently attending USAFA as a C2C in his second semester. His GPA and class rank are good. He has been in the deans list the past two semesters. Now the question, in the summer after completing his freshman year a mile was discovered. It was termed malignant melanoma. It was successfully removed and all SNB listed as clear. No additional medical attention needed other than a visit to the dermatologist every three months. He recently received a letter from his AOC that a medical waiver was denied. We did not know one was being sought as he had a clean bill from the surgeon. Now we are in the process of requesting an exception. How likely will this be granted? I have obtained a letter from the surgeon and also contacted the dermatologist which would speak in his behalf. The surgeon has written in his letter thatnjn his treatment of 1000’s of patients over 22 years with a similar case as my son he has only seen one reoccurrence.

    Any input or direction is appreciated
     
  2. nykaby71

    nykaby71 Member

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    Since your son is already at the Academy, I would suggest you reach out to DoDMERB consulting and get his thoughts on the process. He was a tremendous resource to us as we worked through a complicated waiver process with our DD.
     
  3. Cadetdad2020

    Cadetdad2020 New Member

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    According to the letter my son received from his AOC a medical waiver was denied. Mind you my son has been back to his schedule at the academy as soon as the bandage come off and this was back in July of 2017. Now to hear this has been going on behind the scenes. He was never aware of any such review and neither was his base dermatologist. All that is left now is to request an exception packet which his AOC has done. Waiting fof more information
     
  4. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Follow the process, and I agree with discussing with the for-profit DODMERB consultant firm. The firm owner was formerly at DODMERB, and comments here on SAF tend toward the positive. Exhaust all avenues.

    The pre-comm accession bar is set higher than for conditions which develop after becoming an officer. While those accession standards often vary by Service, pre-existing cancer, though currently corrected, is a tough hurdle. There are people on AD who are melanoma survivors, who, with appropriate follow-up care, can continue serving - but it was diagnosed and treated after accession.

    Though there are many reasons for the higher standard, including reducing risk of impact in operational readiness, the Service takes on on obligation with regard to health care, while on AD, and afterwards, that obligation shifts to DVA, for both Service-connected and combat-connected conditions, for a lifetime.


    Here’s some reading at the link below. I don’t know if it’s the most current standard for DOD, but the current document for DOD and the derivative AF one will be the reference for decisions.
    See p. 77


    http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmotc/nami/arwg/Documents/WaiverGuide/DODI_6130.03_JUL12.pdf
     
  5. Cadetdad2020

    Cadetdad2020 New Member

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    So basically if the melanoma was found a year later after he signed, this would not be happening.

    The oncology surgeon has written a letter. He is one of a hand ful of doctors that participated in a DNA screening research program. This was conducted on my son and results were listed as non aggressive or unlikely to come back. He has provided all this documentation to apply for the exception.

    Have you had any experience within exception process?
     
  6. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    No personal current experience. We have sponsored many USNA mids over the years, and between DH and myself, have 52 years AD experience, and watched as several of our mids were medically separated for various reasons, or AD members we know. Some USNA 2/c and 1/c were allowed to graduate but not commission if they could complete requirements. The pre-comm physical for all Services is a big hurdle.

    There is no way to “chance” the exception. Each case is considered on its merits. Medicine is continually evolving, so waiver standards may change. There is always hope, until there is not.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
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