Waiver denied/AFROTC... what to do?

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by 76momm, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. 76momm

    76momm New Member

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    My DS applied to USNA his senior year of high school and had the DoDMERB exam in the process. He had no medical issues addressed in the exam. However, when listing medications, he reported triamcinolone cream that he had filled only once about a year before. He had been seen by a dermatologist for a separate (non-disqualifying) issue and brought up a small, dry patch of skin on his arm that was diagnosed as eczema and given the cream. DS was DQ for atopic dermatitis after the 12th birthday.

    DS is currently 4/c at The Citadel and decided on AFROTC. His previous DoDMERB exam was used when applying, so, of course, he was DQ. His detachment requested additional information to send to the waiver authority, and DS obtained that from the dermatologist. The waiver was denied.

    DS then saw a different dermatologist for a second opinion, as we felt he didn’t truly have eczema. The doctor took an extensive history and exam and believed DS to have dry skin, not eczema. He also stated he wouldn’t have ever given DS the triamcinolone cream but would have recommended moisturizing with OTC lotion. This info was sent to his detachment, and it was still denied.

    DS was told by his detachment that he could not contract or become an officer, but he could enlist. DS was told eczema is a no-go in the Air Force due to the possibility of a severe reaction to the small pox vaccine if he should ever deploy to a region where that would be a necessary precaution.

    My main questions are #1. If we feel his diagnosis of eczema is inaccurate, and a dermatologist has stated “no atopic dermatitis or history of” and the waiver is still being denied, what else can be done, or who else can we contact for more clarification? I’ve contacted a medical technician at DoDMERB who says it’s the waiver authority’s decision and to have the detachment contact them on DS’s behalf, but they already have. #2. I have read info that last year the Air Force relaxed their policies in eczema, asthma, and ADHD. If AF’s policy on enlisting has changed to “select candidates medically classified as having mild forms of eczema will be processed for a waiver”, why is it different for those seeking a contract through ROTC? If the issue is the small pox vaccine, certain clothing/equipment, exposure to irritants, etc., wouldn’t someone have the same chance of being exposed to those things by enlisting, or am I missing something?

    Thank you in advance for your time and any input!
     
  2. Falcon A

    Falcon A Member

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    76momm -- I am not a doctor

    The AFROTC medical waiver authority is the Air Education and Training Command's (AETC's) Command Surgeon or Surgeon General -- terms are used interchangeably.

    http://www.aetc.af.mil/About-Us/
    http://www.aetc.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/
    http://www.aetc.af.mil/News/Article...-last-hope-for-every-recruits-medical-waiver/
    http://www.aetc.af.mil/News/Article...bers-team-up-to-support-14-units-two-centers/

    You might consider using the contact information supplied to you in the "waiver denied" letter or email you received. The letter does not always include instructions on how to appeal; however, you are allowed to contact them and inform them that you would like to appeal their determination, and if necessary, appeal to the AETC Command Surgeon/Surgeon General. A respectful letter written by your DS to the Command Surgeon detailing what you have outlined in your posts, and explaining how this condition has had no impact in his life (sports, school attendance, AFROTC participation, etc.) may be helpful to your appeal.

    Sincere best wishes to you and your DS and thank you for his willingness to serve
     
    mainemom likes this.
  3. 76momm

    76momm New Member

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    Thanks so much for your response! DS never received a “waiver denied” letter or email with contact information. He was told by the detachment it was denied, and he has logged in to his DoDMERB account to see that it was denied. Everything except for the original DQ letter has been sent to the detachment. The only contact information listed in that letter is the medical technician assigned to DS, whom we have contacted and were told to have the detachment contact the waiver authority on DS’s behalf. To our knowledge they already have, which is why DS had the second doctor’s opinion reported.
    Thanks for the additional information and well wishes. I greatly appreciate your time! DS will be writing a letter very soon!
     
    Falcon A likes this.
  4. 23Lt

    23Lt Member

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    What was this Non-Disqualifying issue?
     
  5. 76momm

    76momm New Member

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    Yes, a non-disqualifying issue.
     
  6. 76momm

    76momm New Member

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    Sorry, I reread your question. It was mild acne. (Never prescribed accutane)
     
  7. CSMAX

    CSMAX New Member

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    How did this turn out for you? We are dealing with a similar situation now regarding waiver denials that aren't consistent with AF waiver guidelines or anything published.
     
  8. 76momm

    76momm New Member

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    My son wrote a letter to the Air Force surgeon general with all his info, and he received a letter back that stated “your case was found to exceed Air Force waiver criteria.” So he’s still disqualified. We have attempted to contact anyone from the regional ROTC director, the detachment at college, local recruiters, and others just to get clarification and some answers. Either we don’t get a response, speak with someone who isn’t knowledgeable on the topic, or get conflicting answers. I hope to find a resolution, but he may need to start focusing on plan B. I hope you have more success in your situation.
     
  9. Falcon A

    Falcon A Member

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    Very sorry to hear this . . . it seems from many posts (and our own experience) that the Air Force medical waiver authorities are the most "conservative". I have mentioned before that it is interesting that for the Army and the Navy, the medical waiver authorities are the "commanders" (i.e. USMA Supt., USNA Supt., AROTC Cammanding General,etc.) and they are advised by their medical staff. But in the AF, the medical waiver authorities are the doctors, not the commanders. I suspect this is cultural. The joke within the AF is "Who is the most powerful officer?" -- It's not the Chief of Staff, it is the Flight Surgeon because he can take the Chief"s wings away!"

    If your DS can see himself serving in another Branch, he might try that. I bet his AFROTC Det Staff there at the Citadel would be happy to assist him moving to the Army or Navy.\

    Best wishes to you and your DS, and a special thank you to him for being willing to serve.
     
    76momm and AROTC-dad like this.
  10. 76momm

    76momm New Member

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    Thank you for your insight and helpfulness.