USNA Waiver with LOA??


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Mar 27, 2008
I got my USNA LOA in the beginning of March and then I found out from dodmerb this week that I need a medical waiver for my knees. When do I find out if I get my waiver? I haven't had knee pain in about 1.5 years and I wrote that down; my doctor also wrote a medical clearance for all orthopedic issues. I called the orthopedic doctor that I saw 2 yrs ago and he's out for 2 weeks, so I currently can't go see him to get reevaluated...

I called USNA to ask when I would know about my waiver status, the possibilities of getting a waiver, and if I should try to get myself un-disqualified (if that's a word :rolleyes:). However, the medical lady is out because of something so I left a message on her answering machine.

Besides waiting, what do I do? What SHOULD I do? Should I call my regional director? I don't want to be rejected because I can't get a medical waiver for a problem that no longer persists. I'm physically active for 2-5 hours a day, 6 days a week and I don't have any knee problems. :confused:

Thanks for any help.
Well, I would say that we are both in the same boat! I dislocated my knee cap twice (it has been a year since the second) and am athletic as well. Varsity Cross-Country and Soccer AND I'm now running a couple miles a day to get in shape for Air Force/Navy. I've had an LOA since October and been DQ'd since November. Patience... Oh! I got accepted to Air Force though. Waiver and everything =D
First thing is to take a deep breath! :biggrin:

Based on your post I'm not sure if you have written a detailed letter explaining exactly what happened, what treatment you received, how you are now and what activities you participated in. This letter should be from you, in your words. Send the letter to DoDMERB.

You never stated what the disqualification was, so as far as trying to rebut the DoDMERB disqualification, I don't know if that is possible.

A waiver can take from 3 - 8 weeks from the time the waiver authority is notified by USNA to review it. When the USNA medical office gets back to you they will have that information.

So at this moment you just need to sit back, try to relax, and think happy thoughts.
I spoke to my regional director. He told me he was e-mailing the usna medical lady about my issue and told me to call on Monday, when she'll be back. He said I would probably just need to send in a letter from my current physician saying that my knees are fine. Since I had sent an clearance from my doctor cleraing me for all orthopedic issues, I'm wondering if maybe they missed that.

I had to fill out a history of my knees for my dodmerb remedials. I included the following info: What happened to me was I had on and off knee pain for a few years, finally when to an orthopedic doctor at the beginning of 11th grade. He told me that I was having patella femoral pain syndrome. He gave me some stretches that I could do (which I didn't do) and told me to wear simple neoprene sleeves during sports practices. I wore them for about 2 months and stopped wearing them in January of 07 when the knee pain stopped. I haven't had any problems since then.

"You do not meet the medical standards due to the following condition (s):

Chronic retro patellar knee pain syndrome, history of"

Thanks for the help :)
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The disqualification will not be able to be removed by DoDMERB unless you can prove you never had the issue. The disqualification you listed is a "history of" disqualification, meaning if you have EVER had the issue during your life, DoDMERB has to disqualify you.

If you have already submitted the physicians evaluation you don't need to submit another. DoDMERB didn't miss it, as stated above, they had to disqualify you. This is where your personal letter (as I mentioned in a previous post) comes into play. The waiver authorities look at medical records all day long. At times they do not tell the waiver authorities exactly how you are doing and what activities you are currently participating in. Write the letter and get it off to DoDMERB as soon as you can. It will be forwarded to the waiver authorities for their review.
Just a quick update. I've been in contact with my regional director and the lady who deals with medical questions at USNA. It's going to take a few weeks until my waiver is decided upon. My mom was able to get me an appointment this Monday with an orthopedic to give a full evaluation of my knees since she works at the same hospital. I'm not sure if it'll make a difference, but it's the best orthopedics in the tri-state area (Pennsylvania Hospital). I've got my x-rays and evaluation from my previous visit. The doctor said he's going to write the evaluation for me immediately so I can send it out. With it I plan to send that letter you suggested that I write. I'm going to fax them to USNA and mail them to dodmerb. How soon should I call to confirm that they receive everything? Also, should I mail my papers with overnight mailing?

Thanks for your help. I hope that everything works out. USNA told me that if they might want me to get evaluated with one of their medical persons during the process.
My son got a waiver for NROTC. When responding to DODMERB with all their requests, we sent everything by Priority Mail with delivery confirmation. You could do Overnight, too--but do some type of delivery confirmation. We usually saw updates on the DODMERB site within a week. But, the entire waiver process from date of DQ took about 6 weeks in his case.
My dd has had her NROTC waiver since 28 February, but nothing yet from USNA, even though she has had an LOA since last October. She did finally receive a phone call from USNA last week (31 March) asking if she was still interested in USNA, and whether she had ever turned in her remedial info, even though we had FedEx'd the info to DoDMERB in early January, AND notified the USNA "medical lady," including sending her a copy of the NROTC waiver. What a mess...
gonecokanutts, You can submit your information to DoDMERB any way you wish to. If you are looking to get it to DoDMERB overnight, I would suggest using one of the commercial delivery services rather than the USPS. All USPS mail goes to the base post office first, which can add a day or so to the delivery time, all commercial deliveries go straight to the DoDMERB mail room.

The normal timeline for waiver processing is 3 to 8 weeks.

2012mom?, there are times the right hand does not talk to the left hand, i.e. USNA medical lady does not talk with admissions (or the admissions office doesn't do their research) even though they are in the same building. It is frustrating!

The orthopedic gave me a clearance yesterday. He says he finds zero evidence that the condition remains. The report should be complete by next Monday and then in the mail it goes. Then more waiting! :eek:

Should I include my personal letter WITH the report, so that it's all sent together?
Sending it all together would be the best thing to do. That way its all there together, and it makes it much easier for the waiver authrotiy to make a determination. And you do want to make it as easy as possible for the waiver authorities!
Would it be a good idea to include letters written by coaches about my participation in athletics and the fact that I have no complaints/problems with my knees?
Question #2: I have bad eyesight, but I didn't get anything back from dodmerb about needing any sort of waiver for my eyes. If you have corrected vision, do you need anything to go? I'm wondering if something happened since I didn't hear anything about my eyes.
Would it be a good idea to include letters written by coaches about my participation in athletics and the fact that I have no complaints/problems with my knees?

If you can get letters from the coaches in a timely manner, by all means submit it. In this type of case letters from someone who has seen you participate in activities could help.

Question #2: I have bad eyesight, but I didn't get anything back from dodmerb about needing any sort of waiver for my eyes. If you have corrected vision, do you need anything to go? I'm wondering if something happened since I didn't hear anything about my eyes.

If you haven't received a disqualification from DoDMERB for your vision, then most likely there is no issue.
I got my medical report today. However, the birthdate is wrong. They wrote March 9th instead of the 8th. The 9th is my sister's birthday. They're giving us a pretty hard time about getting it fixed ASAP. Should I just send the report and explain the mishap in my letter, and say that I'll followup with the edited report?
Just include a statement from yourself that they put the birthdate wrong. As long as they have your name on the form you will be good.
Thank you so much for all your help! I found out I got the waiver today and that I'm in!!!! Unfortunately that medical appointment wasn't necessary, but at least it was ready just in case. :biggrin::biggrin:
Congratulations on the waiver. Now just stay healthy an injury free for the next 2 months!!