Will suffering a traumatic experience DQ me from the USNA?

Rising11th

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Jul 8, 2024
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Hello,

I am a rising Junior and I recently decided that I wanted to apply to the Naval Academy. I have very strong academics and am training to meet the physical requirements for admission. However, in middle school I was in a school shooting. Fortunately I was not physically harmed and, despite seeing a counselor afterwards, I believe I do not have PTSD (was not diagnosed with it) or any related stress disorders. I have previously suffered from depression (and I was given medication) though it lasted less than a year.

Will either of these conditions disqualify me from admission?
 
I expect the "...previously suffered from depression and I was given medication..." will trigger a remedial from DoDMERB, but not necessarily a DQ.

You won't know for sure until you apply and wait, which is its own sort of traumatic experience.;)
 
I expect the "...previously suffered from depression and I was given medication..." will trigger a remedial from DoDMERB, but not necessarily a DQ.

You won't know for sure until you apply and wait, which is its own sort of traumatic experience.;)
Got it, I just looked into the whole DoDMERB process. Do I have a good chance of getting a waiver if I was only on medication about a year, over 5 years ago, with no hospitalizations, suicide attempts, self harm, etc?
 
Got it, I just looked into the whole DoDMERB process. Do I have a good chance of getting a waiver if I was only on medication about a year, over 5 years ago, with no hospitalizations, suicide attempts, self harm, etc?
None of us can speak on the chances. The only way to find out is to apply. Good luck!
 
I agree with NavyHoops, only way to know is to try. Make them tell you no. And hope you are such an exceptional candidate that they pursue a waiver.

Also, when our admission cycle comes around, get a quality application to at least a 50-75% completion early so the DODMERB process is activated. That gives you more time for any remedial paperwork you may be asked to provide.
 
My three older kids lost their mom to an aggressive cancer when they were fairly young (11, 8, 5). I took them to counseling, which the current Academy dude disclosed in his app. But, never got on meds. The Academy/DoDMERB did not ask anything further on that.

His oldest sibling took things a lot harder and was on a darker path. They (gender withheld for various reasons) did try to join the Air Force but they had been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Even though they had been off meds for three years, because they didn't disclose all of that in their enlistment stuff (totally on the recruiter as he told them not too mention it since they were off meds), during Basic and wanting to be honest and have integrity, they told their chain of command and got pulled from their training group pending a waiver review. They were denied the waiver and shipped home.

Be up front about the challenges you faced, any treatment involved, and any follow-up from the later periods. There can be periodic levels of mental health issues, and there can be permanent/genetic ones. It sounds perhaps as if your situation was periodic. But, I am not a doctor/psychiatrist, and cannot presume what DoDMERB and the Academy medical review team would do in this instance.

And, I'm so sorry you had to experience that. It breaks my heart every time I hear about those situations. :(
 
Got it, I just looked into the whole DoDMERB process. Do I have a good chance of getting a waiver if I was only on medication about a year, over 5 years ago, with no hospitalizations, suicide attempts, self harm, etc?
We don’t the specifics of your case, but there are plenty of stories of people (including on the forums) being granted waivers who were on antidepressants for longer than that, and also were on it more recent than that when they applied.

Every case is different, and you won’t know what happens unless you apply
 
Oh and if you were never diagnosed with PTSD by a professional (which it sounds like you weren’t), check the “no” box for it on the medical questionnaire. Do not self-diagnose

You’ll have to check “yes” for the counseling question though. It’s worded vaguely iirc (like “have you ever talked to a counselor?” or something along those lines)
 
Oh and if you were never diagnosed with PTSD by a professional (which it sounds like you weren’t), check the “no” box for it on the medical questionnaire. Do not self-diagnose

You’ll have to check “yes” for the counseling question though. It’s worded vaguely iirc (like “have you ever talked to a counselor?” or something along those lines)
"Do not self-diagnose"

One of the most valuable tips I've seen on this forum in my short time here.
 
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