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HomeExclusiveCan You Join The Military If You Have Asthma

Can You Join The Military If You Have Asthma

How Likely Is A Medical Waiver To Be Approved

Asthma in the Military + Letter from a USMC Recruit

Unfortunately, I cannot predict that outcome. I dont play a doctor on the Internet, and Im not involved in the recruiting process, MEPS processes, or any appeals boards. This is not my area of profession and I do not speak for the military. So I dont want to give any false impressions.

What I can tell you is that some medical conditions are simply ineligible for waivers. Other conditions may be waiverable, provided the member meets the medical standards for waivers as outlined in the DODI .

The best thing you can do is arm yourself with the applicable knowledge and have the willingness to do the legwork required to get the medical examinations, file the paperwork, etc.

Finally, dont lie when trying to join the military. It never ends well. In fact, it can end with a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of pay and benefits, or even legal action. Its simply not worth the stain on your record.

For more information, you can read this Guide for Getting a Medical Waiver to Join the Military. This article and podcast explain the medical waiver process and the process for finding information, submitting documents, and much more. Its very helpful.

Relevant Resources:

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Navy Policy On Asthma

OMK spoke with Officer Mendoza, a Navy recruiter stationed in Atlanta, Georgia, about the Navys policy on asthma.

This is what he had to say:

  • It is possible to enter the Navy if you have been previously diagnosed, but it can be very difficult. For starters, if you currently have asthma, it is not going to work.
  • The army has a very strict policy on this If you are currently being treated for asthma, it will not help.
  • Also, any history of asthma after age 13 will require an exemption.
  • The exemption process will take place at your Military Entry Processing Station, or MEPS.
  • Before enlisting, you will be asked to take what is known as a pulmonary function test or PFT.
  • A PFT is essentially a non-invasive test that shows how well your lungs are working.

If you can pass this test, you can join the Navy.

Compensation And Benefits For Occupational Asthma

If youre told that your asthma has been caused by your job, you should get advice quickly both about compensation and about benefits you may be entitled to.

The level of benefit you get will depend on the severity of your disability. You may be eligible for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or be eligible for Reduced Earnings Allowance.

Its important to claim your benefit as soon as possible. Payments will only start from the day you claim, not the day you found out you had occupational asthma.

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Coast Guard Disqualifying Medical Conditions

The U.S. Coast Guard follows the same guidelines as the other military branches.

MEPS is managed by the Department of Defense with the same temporary and permanent disqualifications.

Once again, speak to a recruiter if you have any of the following:

  • PTSD
  • Schizophrenia

However, the Coast Guard is starting to apply more waivers to anxiety and depression than in the past.

Regardless, its still very difficult to receive a waiver for more serious mental health problems.

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What Can I Do If I Am Found To Be Ineligible To Join The Army

Can You Join The Military With Asthma? Yes, But There

In many cases, ineligibility means you will not be able to join in the Army or other military branches. However, in some circumstances the Army will provide waivers to help ensure potential recruits are able to join and serve. For questions about specific Army waivers and your potential eligibility, talk to a local recruiter to learn more about available options.

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Allergies And Coeliac Disease


Significant food or other allergies are a limiting factor to entry.

Coeliac disease

While coeliac disease is manageable day-to-day within New Zealand, in certain situations there may be limited dietary options for a prolonged period. In such situations there is a risk of complications ranging from gastrointestinal symptoms to nutritional deficiency. This has potential implications not only for the individual, but also those around them. The Defence Force has an obligation to minimise risk to the individual and the organisation wherever possible, and accordingly if you have coeliac disease you may not be admitted entry to the Defence Force.

How Long Do You Have To Be Off Adhd Medication To Join The Military

Recruiters generally tell applicants that they must be off medication for a considerable length of time by far the most important measure to take and show that they are able to function properly while off medication prior to starting the enlistment process and to be considered for a waiver.

The time frame required to be off medication differs across the branches and even among recruiters within the same branch. Some also recommend different approaches to demonstrating proper functioning without medication.

In the Army, Navy, and Marines in particular, recruiters largely advise applicants with ADHD to be off any and all stimulant or nonstimulant medications for at least one year.

Some recruiters, notably within the Air Force, tell applicants they must be off medication for 15 months or more . The Coast Guard which represents just 3 percent of active armed forces members is widely considered to be the most difficult branch to successfully petition for an ADHD waiver.

The time spent off medication should be noted by a doctor in the applicants medical and pharmacy records, and handed in as part of the waiver process. The records should also describe the applicants ADHD history, diagnosis, treatment, and stability while off medication.

Apart from medical documentation, recruiters may also recommend that applicants submit transcripts and letters of recommendation to showcase evidence of successful academic and work performance while off medication.

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Can You Join The Military With Ptsd

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder disqualifies you from military service in most cases.

The problem with PTSD is that the disorder is often linked to serious trauma like what you might experience serving the Armed Forces.

Therefore, serving the military might only make symptoms worse.

You should avoid service to find more effective ways to cope with the disorder.

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You Cant Have Flat Feet

Can You Join The Army With ADHD or ASTHMA?

Though this is one of the most widely argued-about conditions that can bar you from the military, the answer is yes it is real. While someone who has flat feet can serve in the military, it depends on the severity. If someone has symptomatic flat feet, which indicates that the condition causes the person chronic physical pain, then he or she cannot serve.

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Adult And Childhood Asthma Phenotypes

Distinct adult and childhood asthma phenotypes depend upon on the type of airway cellular inflammation and the airwayĆ¢s unique response to environmental stimuli., Purportedly, the asthmatic child and adolescent are different than adults with asthma., Adult asthma may be predestined in childhood asthma as early allergen exposures and viral infections intersect with genetic susceptibility., Although structural and biochemical dissimilarities between children and adults change over time, the inherited tendency towards respiratory symptoms never disappears.

AsthmaĆ¢s transformations over time are influenced by its clinical heterogeneity, airway structural changes, unrelenting airway inflammation, persistent airway remodeling, and fluctuating airway hyperreactivity. The age when various airway changes originate or end have not been precisely defined in adult and children. More men than women experience a worsening of their asthma as adulthood approaches. Presently, men predominate in the military services. Particular environmental stimuli, during military deployment, might institute an acute asthmatic attack or initiate a new case of asthma de novo in susceptible individuals.

How Do You Shut Up A Jehovah Witness

Politely interrupt to take control of the conversation.

  • When a Jehovahs Witness starts talking, interrupt with a polite, Excuse me to get their attention.
  • Try raising your hand an holding it between the two of you at chest level with your palm facing the other person and begin your interjection with, Hold on.
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    Keep Taking Prescribed Medications

    Long-term controller medications may also help treat your asthma and prevent symptoms from returning. Its important not to stop taking your prescribed medications even if your symptoms are better.

    If you stop taking your medications as prescribed, this could cause your symptoms to return at a higher severity, leading to an over-reliance on fast-acting inhalers and other rescue medications.

    Can You Get A Medical Waiver For Asthma


    So now lets answer your question is your journey over, or can you possibly join the military with asthma? The answer is: it depends.

    The military normally does not allow individuals who currently have asthma to join. However, there can be waivers for those who had asthma in their youth, provided it is still not present when they apply to join the military.

    Now your situation is unique. You mentioned you had asthma as a youth, but havent had any issues since then. However, the doctor who recently examined you stated you still have asthma, but that it shouldnt be a problem for military service.

    Therein lies the problem: the doctor recommended you as fit for service, and MEPS sent your examination and waiver application to the Surgeon Generals office, where the Surgeon General denied the waiver application.

    Obviously they saw something they didnt like, or something that went against military medical standards for applicants. You can familiarize yourself with the DODI, or Department of Defense Instruction for Medical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction in the Military Services for a better understanding of which medical conditions are excluded from entry to the military, and which are eligible for waivers . This makes for dense reading, but arming yourself with this knowledge is essential if you want to keep trying to join the Air Force.

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    Do Military Recruiters Call To Reject

    They can’t tell you that you will definitely be sent to California and can leave the service at any time you like. They cant tell you that you will be promoted to officer after six months. … They can’t tell you that you will definitely be sent to California and can leave the service at any time you like.

    How Do I Apply To Officer Candidate School

    If you have a four-year college degree from an accredited college and meet the age, physical and moral requirements, you may apply for OCS. Upon completion of your officer package, you will have an interview with three Coast Guard officers. The completed package will be submitted to a board, who will select the top candidates from the packages they receive. For more information, please visit the OCS Home Page or visit your local recruiter.

    The following conditions may disqualify you for military service:

    a. Arthritis.

    b. Complaint of a disease or injury of the spine or sacroiliac joints with or without objective signs that has prevented the individual from successfully following a physically active vocation in civilian life or that is associated with pain referred to the lower extremities, muscular spasm, postural deformities or limitation of motion.

    c. Deviation or curvature of spine from normal alignment, structure or function if

    It prevents the individual from following a physically active vocation in civilian life.

    It interferes with wearing a uniform or military equipment.

    It is symptomatic and associated with positive physical finding and demonstrable by X-ray.

    There is lumbar scoliosis greater than 20 degrees, thoracic scoliosis greater than 30 degrees, and kyphosis or lordosis greater than 55 degrees when measured by the Cobb method.

    d. Fusion, congenital, involving more than two vertebrae. Any surgical fusion is disqualifying.

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    You Need To Take Care Of Your Teeth

    Your dental health is very important when joining the military you cant have too many cavities. According to the International Classification of Disease code, any dental issue that interferes with a normal diet, or includes complex dental implant systems with complications will disqualify you from service. Having braces can also temporarily disqualify you, also.

    Moving Forward With Asthma

    Can You Have Asthma In the Army or National Guard?

    As a safety measure, members that are allowed in under the new policy for enlisting with Asthma are not allowed to take on combat jobs or jobs that would require them to be subject to respiratory issues.

    There are many jobs in the military in which you are not required to be out in the elements.

    Some of the jobs may be in the information technology fields, medical fields, and administrative fields.

    This allows members with medical issues to still serve their country while keeping their physical health in order.

    The Armed Forces previously restricted entering due to Asthma because of the requirements of the training environment in relation to fitness and physical health.

    Also, some jobs in the Armed Forces require members to be deployed in areas where the environment may not be conducive to breathing issues.

    Moreover, in order to treat Asthma, individuals may be required to take a medication or carry around a steroid inhaler which may not always be available to them.

    Applicants that have been diagnosed and experience asthmatic issues after they turn 13 can still attempt to enlist as long as they have all of their medical documentation, are in good cardiovascular shape and possibly be subject to a pulmonary function test in order for a waiver to be considered.

    Once accepted in the military, the asthma condition can be better treated with free healthcare for service members.

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    General And Miscellaneous Conditions And Defects

    The following conditions may disqualify you for military service:

    a. Allergic manifestations. A reliable history of anaphylaxis to stinging insects. Reliable history of a moderate to severe reaction to common foods, spices or food additives.

    b. Any acute pathological condition, including acute communicable diseases, until recovery has occurred without sequelae.

    c. Chronic metallic poisoning with lead, arsenic or silver, or beryllium or manganese.

    d. Cold injury, residuals of, such as: frostbite, chilblain, immersion foot, trench foot, deep-seated ache, paresthesia, hyperhidrosis, easily traumatized skin, cyanosis, amputation of any digit or ankylosis.

    e. Cold urticaria and angioedema, hereditary angioedema.

    f. Filariasis, trypanosomiasis, schistosomiasis, uncinariasis or other parasitic conditions, if symptomatic or carrier states.

    g. Heat pyrexia, heatstroke or sunstroke. Documented evidence of a predisposition , recurrent episodes requiring medical attention or residual injury malignant hyperthermia.

    h. Industrial solvent and other chemical intoxication.

    i. Motion sickness. An authenticated history of frequent incapacitating motion sickness after the 12th birthday.

    j. Mycotic infection of internal organs.

    k. Organ transplant recipient.

    l. Presence of human immunodeficiency virus or antibody. Presence is confirmed by repeatedly reactive enzyme-linked immunoassay serological test and positive immunoelectrophoresis test, or other DOD-approved confirmatory test.

    Can I Join The Army With Asthma

    Another of the most common questions we get is Can I Join the Army with Asthma?. This article answers that question and outlines why asthma may keep you from joining the U.S. Army.

    When a person joins the Army, medical history is part of the enlistment process. In addition to providing a detailed medical history, the recruit must also undergo a thorough medical exam by a physician at MEPS .

    There are multiple conditions that can disqualify someone from Army service. In the past, it was virtually impossible to serve in the Army if there had been a previous diagnosis of asthma. Asthma is one of those conditions that can be fatal in basic training so those individuals that are not clear cut are not given a waiver. If you have asthma, you are PDQ, no waiver authorized. PDQ stands for Permanently Disqualified for military service.

    While current asthma cases are generally not allowed, there have been more leniencies granted towards those who suffered from asthma in the past but are no longer afflicted with the condition.

    If the recruit has not had any asthma symptoms or been treated for asthma beyond his 13th birthday, he is generally considered not to have asthma by Army recruitment standards. He will be allowed to join through an enlistment process that is the same as it is for someone who has never had asthma.

    The results of a pulmonary function test may also be used in making the decision about a waiver. Any required testing will be provided at no expense to the recruit.

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    Air Force Asthma Policy For 2019

    OMK spoke directly with recruiter Staff Sergeant Socha, an Air Force recruiter stationed in Staunton, Virgnia.

    Heres what he had to say regarding the Air Forces asthma policy:

    With the Air Force, asthma is disqualifying if the service person carries an inhaler.

    If they had childhood asthma but currently do not carry an inhaler it is possible to join the Air Force.

    Before joining the Air Force, the potential candidate would take a Pulmonary Function Test .

    Keep in mind though that, in the Air Force, there would be specific jobs where asthma would be an issue.

    We will update the Air Force asthma policy every 6 months to keep this content current and notify you of any changes.

    Which Medicines Are Available To Treat Asthma

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    Medications to treat asthma can be divided into three groups:

  • Relievers e.g. Ventolin, Bricanyl These provide relief from asthma symptoms within minutes by relaxing the muscles that surround the airways. This allows the airways to open up and it becomes easier to breathe. You should always carry your reliever with you, in case of emergency. If you require your reliever three or more times a week, it could be a sign that your asthma is not well controlled and you should check with your doctor.
  • Preventers e.g. Flixotide, Pulmicort, Qvar If you have asthma, you will probably find that your doctor prescribes you a preventer and a reliever inhaler. This is because preventers will directly reduce swelling and inflammation in the airways. They will also reduce over-sensitivity in the airways, so exposure to triggers will be less likely to cause symptoms. Preventers must be taken every day to be effective. They will not be effective if used on an as and when basis. They do not give quick or immediate relief of symptoms and may take a couple of weeks to work, so do not stop using your preventer if you notice no improvement after the first week. Most patients find that they need their reliever inhaler less often once they are using a preventer regularly
  • Other treatments. If despite using a regular preventer, your asthma is not well controlled your doctor may suggest adding in other treatments.
  • These include:

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