Waiver Appeal

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by BIGDREAMS, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. BIGDREAMS

    BIGDREAMS New Member

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    I was disqualified by DoDMERB, due to history of spinal fusion with instrumentation. I had a spinal fusion about 4 years ago to correct scoliosis, two metal rods and crews that can be taken out at anytime, but is just an unnecessary surgery. My detachment proceeded to submit a waiver for me, which was denied. In the email provided to my detachment, the reason as to why it was denied was very vague. It is my understanding that DoDMERB is a very black and white process, and that waivers are meant to look at the case as a whole. I've read that often for the waiver process, the officer in charge would send a checklist of requirements which determine the approval or denial of said waiver, which defeats the purpose of a waiver, since the cases are being looked at from a checklist criteria rather than as a whole. I submitted a letter from the surgeon who performed my surgery, stating that I am physically able to endure any physical activities, and that there are no contraindications to my surgery. I also played full contact rugby for over a year, 6 months after my surgery, with no issues whatsoever. I am very active overall, I lift weights at least twice a week, and play recreational soccer as well. I've been a part of ROTC for a year now, and have managed to be at the top 20% of my class. Adding to this, I've taken an official PFA three times, and never failed one. For my latest two PFAs, I've scored above 92. I truly believe that I have no physical restrains to join the Air Force, or do any type of physical activity. There are no contraindications to my surgery, I do not take any medication, and do not have pain at all. Is there anything at all I could do to possibly appeal this decision?
     
  2. MohawkArmyROTC

    MohawkArmyROTC Recruiting Operations Officer

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    DODMERB doesn't grant waivers, they only qualify or disqualify. The commanding general of your commissioning source approves waivers based on the recommendations of his command's surgeon. Waivers are handled on a case by case basis, but there are specific things they look for when deciding to grant one.

    The AF are one of the stricter approval authorities for waivers. Are you currently a freshman or sophomore? Is your bar permanent? If you are a Fresh/Soph, I would recommend transferring to Army ROTC if you really want to serve. The Army sometimes grants waivers for things the AF doesn't, especially if you are very physically fit and do not demonstrate any limitations. We have had a cadet with only 1 kidney get a waiver approved since he consistently was able to max the Army Physical Fitness Test, and had no limitations whatsoever.
     
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  3. BIGDREAMS

    BIGDREAMS New Member

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    My rods are permanent, they can be taken away any time, but it would just be an unnecessary surgery. The waiver authorities argued that I could be fine today, but 10 years down the road I will deteriorate. Is there any possibility that, if I ask my surgeon to write a letter stating otherwise, I could appeal this decision, and how?
     
  4. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    I would seek assistance from not only your surgeon but also get a second letter from another ortho surgeon with a military background. If you don't try to appeal the AF , you will never know.

    Secondly, have a solid Plan B .....if you are interested in serving.....try speaking to the ROO at your Army ROTC unit.

    As Mohawk said above, the Air Force is more strict about the medical issues, but you might have an officer career in the Army.
     
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  5. MohawkArmyROTC

    MohawkArmyROTC Recruiting Operations Officer

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    You can try resubmitting the waiver, and have additional medical opinions submitted with it and to DODMERB as @AROTC-dad has mentioned. If you are currently a sophomore, I don't expect you will get waived in time in order to get boarded for your summer training. If you are a Freshman you have time. Also when does the AFROTC Commanding General change command? A different general could give a waiver as well. However, you will probably have better luck with the Army. If you are a Sophomore, I would seriously consider changing to the Army, and working to go to Army ROTC's Basic Camp this Summer. If you do well there, and well on the APFT, that increases your chances for a waiver, as you would have demonstrated no physical limitations or hardship due to the bar.

    There are no guarantees, but if you want to be commissioned, you should evaluate all of Courses of Actions, and go with the one that has the most likelihood of success.
     
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  6. BIGDREAMS

    BIGDREAMS New Member

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    Would I be more likely to be approved if I go through MEPS?
     
  7. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    Hold on....do you want to serve as an officer or enlisted? o_O
    MEPS is for enlisted.
     
  8. BIGDREAMS

    BIGDREAMS New Member

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    I'd like to serve as an officer. However, I heard that I could join the reserves and do AFROTC simultaneously, and if i get approved by MEPS, then I won't have to deal with DoDMERB.