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How To Join The Military With Asthma

Miscellaneous Conditions Of The Extremities

“Joining the Air Force with asthma?”

The following conditions may disqualify you for military service:

a. Arthritis.

Active, subacute or chronic arthritis.

Chronic osteoarthritis or traumatic arthritis of isolated joints of more than a minimal degree, which has interfered with the following of a physically active vocation in civilian life or that prevents the satisfactory performance of military duty.

b. Chronic Retropatellar Knee Pain Syndrome with or without confirmatory arthroscopic evaluation.

c. Dislocation if unreduced, or recurrent dislocations of any major joint such as shoulder, hip, elbow or knee or instability of any major joint such as shoulder, elbow or hip.

d. Fractures.

Malunion or non-union of any fracture, except ulnar styloid process.

Orthopedic hardware, including plates, pins, rods, wires or screws used for fixation and left in place except that a pin, wire or screw not subject to easy trauma is not disqualifying.

e. Injury of a bone or joint of more than a minor nature, with or without fracture or dislocation, that occurred within the preceding six weeks: upper extremity, lower extremity, ribs and clavicle.

f. Joint replacement.

g. Muscular paralysis, contracture or atrophy, if progressive or of sufficient degree to interfere with military service and muscular dystrophies.

h. Osteochondritis dissecans.

i. Osteochondromatosis or multiple cartilaginous exostoses.

j. Osteoporosis.

k. Osteomyelitis, active or recurrent.

Prevalence Of Asthma In Veterans

According to the CDC, there are roughly 25 million Americans with asthma. Out of the 330 million people in the United States, about 7.5% of them deal with asthma in some capacity. One recent study found that veterans who were deployed are 24-30% more likely to develop asthma and asthma symptoms than their undeployed peers.

Deployed veterans are at an unusually high risk of developing respiratory issues like asthma because of their exposure to asbestos-containing materials, desert dust, and toxins from garbage burning. Each of these environments has excessive particulate matterparticles that can cause blockages throughout the respiratory systemin the air. This particulate matter can trigger asthma attacks and also cause long-term asthmatic symptoms to develop.

Medical Records And Exams

When enlisting in any branch of the military, there is a point where you must undergo a medical examination, as well as a review of medical records by experts in the field.

As part of your initial request, you must declare any medical deficiencies and disclose related documentation showing the extent of the disorder.

Previously, asthma was an automatic disqualifying factor upon joining the military.

This means that it was not a factor that could be waived, which means that no matter what, you cannot enter.

With competition for benefits and wages in the civilian job market and ever-changing politics, branches like the Air Force and Navy decided to find ways to allow more people in and essentially increase their numbers.

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Have You Always Been Able To Get A Waiver For Asthma

Getting a waiver is a relatively recent development.

Before 2004, a history of asthma at any age could disqualify someone from military service. After 2004, the cutoff for asthma symptoms after 13 was made when a study of 587 recruits found that a history of mild asthma was not associated with excessive medical care or early attrition from military service.

The military has also acknowledged that the prevalence of asthma is increasing in the general public. By denying entry to a group of potential recruits, the military would be reducing the size of its recruitment pool.

How Do I Apply To Officer Candidate School

Breathing is easier if you follow your asthma action plan

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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Personality Conduct And Behavior Disorders

The following conditions may disqualify you for military service:

a. Personality, conduct or behavior disorders as evidenced by frequent encounters with law enforcement agencies, antisocial attitudes or behavior, which, while not sufficient cause for administrative rejection, are tangible evidence of impaired capacity to adapt to military service.

b. Personality, conduct or behavior disorders where it is evident by history, interview or psychological testing that the degree of immaturity, instability, personality inadequacy, impulsiveness or dependency will seriously interfere with adjustment in the Army as demonstrated by repeated inability to maintain reasonable adjustment in school, with employers and fellow workers, and with other social groups.

c. Other behavior disorders including but not limited to conditions such as authenticated evidence of functional enuresis or encopresis, sleepwalking or eating disorders that are habitual or persistent occurring beyond age 12, or stammering of such a degree that the individual is normally unable to express themselves clearly or to repeat commands.

d. Specific academic skills defects, chronic history of academic skills or perceptual defects, secondary to organic or functional mental disorders that interfere with work or school after age 12. Current use of medication to improve or maintain academic skills.

e. Suicide, history of attempted or suicidal behavior.

Medical Exams And Records

When enlisting in any branch of the military, there is a point when you are required to undergo a medical examination as well as a medical record review conducted by subject matter experts.

As a part of your initial application, you are required to declare any medical deficiencies and release related documentation showing the extent of the disorder.

Previously, Asthma was an automatically disqualifying factor when joining the military.

This means that it was not a factor that could be waived meaning no matter what, you could not get in.

With the competition of benefits and pay in the civilian job market and ever-changing politics, branches like the Air Force and Navy decided to find ways to let more people in and essentially raise their numbers.

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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.

Join The Army With Asthma

Joining the military

When someone enlists in the military, regardless of branch, health care past is part of your enlistment procedure. Along with supplying a thorough healthcare historical past, the recruit ought to also undergo a thorough healthcare examination by a doctor at MEPS .

You will discover several conditions that will disqualify another person from Army service. In the past, it was almost impossible to serve inside the Army if there had been a previous analysis of asthma. While recent asthma situations are normally not authorized, there has already been a lot more leniency granted in direction of those that suffered from asthma previously but are now not afflicted by the issue.

As of 2004, if the recruit has not had any asthma symptoms or been handled for asthma past his 13th birthday, he is commonly deemed to not have asthma by Army recruitment standards. Hell be allowed to enlist via an enlistment procedure that is precisely the same as it is for someone who has never had asthma.

In the event of a healthcare waiver, preceding medical records are going to be requested. They may request medical data at any time as a way to show that asthma has not been a problem since his 13th birthday. For this reason, it is imperative that the recruit is honest throughout the process about his medical historical past. Lying or otherwise misrepresenting his health care background can have serious outcomes when it is learned.

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What Course Of Action Do You Have

If your medical evaluations were correct, then it may not be possible to get a waiver. There is no appeal for the Surgeon Generals decision. Their office is where they hear your appeal .

Was there a misdiagnosis? You would have a case if there was a misdiagnosis by the doctor who most recently examined you. This is shaky ground, because you would essentially be arguing the doctor was incorrect. However, since the doctor stated you were fit for service, it may be possible that what was diagnosed as a mild case of asthma could have been something else. So you could potentially visit another doctor for another exam. This would be your financial responsibility, so be sure you are willing to pay for another medical examination.

You would need to get a statement from the new doctor on their letterhead that states you do not have any traces of asthma and that in the doctors opinion, you are fit to serve in the military. Then you could submit that document, along with your other medical paperwork, to your recruiter, who can then submit it to MEPS. Make sure you continue using the same recruiter, as you dont want to have multiple applications at the same time .

If Theres A Will Theres A Waiver

Three years ago, I wrote an article detailing my personal difficulties securing a medical waiver through three military medical rejections. Since publishing the article, I have had the privilege to speak with over 100 applicants just like me people who want to serve and have something to contribute but who have been medically rejected about the barriers they ran into. Through those conversations, I learned many lessons regarding common myths and misperceptions about the military medical waiver process and have even been fortunate to assist with some successful waiver appeals.

This article aims to demystify the medical waiver process and give applicants the information that will help them get to yes. Far too few people know, for example, that having a disqualifying medical condition is not actually disqualifying, or that they can apply to multiple military branches in multiple states. While no one can guarantee a medical waiver, if you follow this guide, you will maximize your chances of receiving one. Above all else, never forget that if theres a will, theres a waiver!

Is Your Medical History Truly History?

Re-Reapply

While applicants can only formally apply to one military branch at a time, most people do not realize that you can apply to a different branch after youve been rejected by one. In other words, keep applying.

Be a Waiver Innovator

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Can You Lie About Adhd At Meps

If an individual is selected for enlistment based on false information, he or she may be subject to military prosecution or a dishonorable discharge, among other actions. The fact is, however, that many candidates have enlisted into the armed forces after hiding or outright lying about their ADHD history.

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

Can I Join the National Guard With Asthma?

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.

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.

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Can Agent Orange Cause Asthma

While cases may have increased due to burn pits and other particulate matter during the Persian Gulf War, asthma for veterans is not a new problem. During the Vietnam War veterans experienced a multitude of respiratory conditions as a result of the chemical weapon Agent Orange. While asthma might start with intermittent episodes, it usually gets worth with age and other health issues. Some veterans who had mild asthma from Vietnam are now experiencing increased suffering as a result of their initial condition.

If you served in Vietnam and are experiencing asthma or asthma-like symptoms, it may be beneficial to consult your doctor. If you have a respiratory condition that could be linked to your time in military service, reach out to a lawyer to see if you have a potential case for asthma VA disability benefits.

Continue To Avoid Asthma Triggers

Preventing asthma symptoms from returning may also depend on avoiding your triggers and controlling your environment as much as possible. The following steps may help:

  • Take over-the-counter antihistamines during allergy season to help prevent symptoms of allergic asthma.
  • Keep pets out of your bed if youre allergic to animal dander.
  • Clean your home often, paying special attention to areas where dust can accumulate, such as carpeting, rugs, and curtains.
  • Avoid cigarette smoke.
  • Exercise in cold weather with caution.

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Considerations Unique To The Military

Active-duty personnel present unique challenges in the diagnosis and management of asthma. Service members should be questioned thoroughly on deployment and exposure history. A significant portion of the current military population has deployed to SWA in the past decade, many for multiple deployments. Research addressing respiratory complaints in the deployed military population is ongoing. To date, military research has demonstrated that while many service members with deployment-related respiratory exposures have a paucity of objective findings after pulmonary medicine evaluation, some demonstrate functional limitations consistent with asthma or airway hyperresponsivenesss. Further retrospective studies did not find a relationship between deployment and diagnosis rates or severity in asthma patients in the Army. A comprehensive evaluation is recommended for service members with dyspnea to include investigating for potential asthma- or exercise-induced bronchospasm, in addition to diagnoses such as vocal cord dysfunction, GERD, and OSA.

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Moving Forward With Asthma

Asthma in the Air Force | AF

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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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.

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.

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