Poor Performance On Entrance Exams
Though each branch has different cutoffs, low scores on the ASVAB and a poor academic or work record can also raise red flags for recruitment and MEPS personnel. Even the applicants preferred career in the desired branch can impact waiver decisions. Its important to note that there are no accommodations for the ASVAB.
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.
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.
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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.
In general, the waiver guidelines and requirements related to asthma are similar across all branches of the military.
Here are some specific rules that you may encounter across different branches of the U.S. military.
In The Military If You Cannot Do Your Job Due To A Health Condition Then You Are Discharged
In the military if you cannot do your job due to a health condition, then you are discharged. 2 recent changes in military medical guidelines have allowed service members with well controlled asthma to remain on active duty. To diagnose asthma or other lung problems, your doctor may perform lung function or pulmonary function tests. For some, efmp can ruin a career or cause a family to have to make difficult decisions about their future. Webmd explains spirometry, the methacholine challenge test, and other exams to check. The medical officials diagnose it as asthma, and the troop is placed in a holding status for several weeks while the military locates and obtains previous civilian medical records. During an asthma attack, the muscles around the airways tighten, or spasm , and the lining inside the airways swells or thickens, and gets clogged with lots of thick mucous. That problem could actually be your asthma. A young man decided to join the air force and contacted a recruiter. Wheezing when exhaling, which is a common sign of asthma in children. As a general rule, as long as the. While current asthma cases are generally not allowed, there have been more. Many people experience asthma in their youth, and eventually grow out of it.
Also Check: How Many Kids In The Us Have Asthma
Guidelines For Treating Asthma At Home
Avoiding allergens, following appropriate drug treatments, and home monitoring are key elements in preventing dangerous asthma attacks and hospitalization. A combination of medications is important for both treating and preventing asthma attacks. In addition, good communication between the doctor and patient is a key factor in a successful management program. Written action plans, which instruct individual patients how to properly respond to changes in their unique symptoms, are a very important element in successful self-management of asthma.
Can Active Duty Members Work Part
About Ryan Guina
Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of The Military Wallet. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the IL Air National Guard.
Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.
Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.
Featured In: Ryan’s writing has been featured in the following publications: Forbes, Military.com, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, Reserve & National Guard Magazine , Military Influencer Magazine, Cash Money Life, The Military Guide, USAA, Go Banking Rates, and many other publications.
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Asthma During Military Service
Asthma was one of the most common reasons for medical evacuation during the 1991 Gulf War. Using partial data pertaining to 19951997, Clark et al estimated that approximately 1000 asthmatic recruits per year were discharged from military services with an EPTS reason. A more complete statistical investigation conducted more than a decade later reported nearly 3,000 military applicants being disqualified from military service each year because of asthma. The appearance of acute asthma during military service may necessitate immediate treatment, subsequent military discharge, and possible future medical care through the VA system.
Perhaps, the implication of asthma in the military was highlighted after researchers from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Newport, New York claimed that there was an increased risk for developing new-onset asthma because of U.S. military deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. The concern has not yet been adequately settled.,
Consider Immunotherapy Or Allergy Shots
If you have allergic asthma, immunotherapy , may help. These shots consist of small amounts of the substances youre allergic to, with gradual increases over the course of several months .
Allergy shots may be especially helpful for children with seasonal allergies, and it can help them build up immunity so they dont experience as severe of symptoms as adults.
However, its still possible for other triggers to cause asthma symptoms despite taking allergy shots.
Theres no cure for asthma. Once you have this chronic condition, you may have asthma symptoms for life. However, the severity of your symptoms varies based on:
Also Check: How Do You Know If A Child Has Asthma
Is It Worth Pursuing A Military Career If I Have Adhd
It is easy for applicants with ADHD who want to serve in the military to feel discouraged by these guidelines. Its important to remember, though, that recruiters do take an interest in helping applicants, especially those who advocate for themselves.
Recruiters want to, and will, work with applicants to determine their best fit in a specific branch. Recruiters can spend hours interviewing and taking questions from a single applicant. Many engage in non-binding dialogue to gauge an applicants eligibility before asking them commit to any processes or formally submit documentation.
Some recruiters, for example, are known to have applicants fill out a slightly modified version of the medical pre-screening report one that will stay between the recruiter and candidate prior to filling out the official version of the report. The recruiter may explain to an applicant that reviewing the modified questionnaire lets them to gauge whether a candidates medical history requires more documentation, and allows applicants to decide if they have the time and willingness to proceed should any red flags appear.
Hopeful service members must conduct their own research prior to joining, which means speaking to a doctor about the plan for and ramifications of getting off medication, and finding a branch and career that accommodates and accentuates strengths while minimizing weaknesses.
Dont ever stop fighting to get in if thats what you want to do, he said.
Young Children And Seniors
Young children and seniors are more sensitive to air pollution, especially if they have breathing or heart problems. As a parent or a caregiver, if you notice symptoms suggest taking a break or reducing intensity until they feel better. Check the AQHI to find out the best time to plan outdoor activities.
Also Check: Why Is Asthma Worse In Fall
Estimating Your Own Sensitivity
Note: You should always consult your doctor concerning medical issues. People who have existing respiratory or cardiovascular illness should follow their doctor’s usual advice on the management of their condition. Use of the following guide is an additional tool that can be used to protect your health.
Use your own experience and symptoms as a guide.
How do you usually feel when there is an increase in air pollution? If you cannot answer this question, visit this Web site regularly and take note of how you feel on days with different levels of air pollution.
Adapted from the sensitivity guide developed by the New Brunswick Lung Association
Military Rules For Recruits With Asthma Previously Any History Of Asthma Was Disqualifying Regardless Of Age
Webmd explains spirometry, the methacholine challenge test, and other exams to check. However, the armed forces have recently adapted and changed some of its previous guidelines regarding mental health disqualifications for military service. Scores determine which jobs you might qualify for in the service. Many people experience asthma in their youth, and eventually grow out of it. Lying at meps and bad results. The military has a very strict policy on this; 2 recent changes in military medical guidelines have allowed service members with well controlled asthma to remain on active duty. For most people, these symptoms go. That problem could actually be your asthma. This has ramifications for the recruit and leads to avoidable healthcare costs. In addition, any history of asthma after the age of 13 will require a waiver. Many different factors have been linked to an increased risk of developing asthma, although it is often difficult to find a single, direct cause. Wheezing when exhaling, which is a common sign of asthma in children.
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Asthma Reports From Other Countries
Sears et al determined that persistence or relapse of asthma among New Zealand children were associated with sensitization to house dust mite antigen, presence of airway hyperresponsiveness, current cigarette smoking and early age of asthma onset. Asthma relapses were common among ex-asthmatics showing persistent respiratory symptomatology. Asymptomatic airway hyperresponsiveness may be a feature of some cases of quiescent asthma that enter the military.
According to Taylor et al, who followed New Zealand children over time, 35% had asthma in remission at 18 years of age but relapsed by 21 or 26 years of age. Totally, new adult asthma developed by 26 years of age in 9% of study members who reportedly had no asthma or wheezing at any time up to 18 years of age.
In a 1988 study by the British Army, 6.3% of annual medical discharges were attributed to asthma. About 43% of 108 discharged soldiers were ultimately shown to have a history of asthma in childhood. Nearly 30% of military service persons discharged because of asthma denied having asthma in childhood.
In an Australian population, undiagnosed asthma was common and had a similar clinical spectrum as individuals with diagnosed asthma. Service in combat units tended to unmask previously mild cases of asthma that were not disabling and induced asthma in subjects who had never suffered from the disease. It was recommended that candidates with a history of asthma should not be accepted before the age of 22 years.
The Recruiter Vs Meps
MEPS’ job is the same as the recruiter’s job. It is not the recruiters job to get you into the military, nor is it MEPS’ job to disqualify you. For both, it’s to ensure that only qualified candidates enlist. The criminal background check and security clearance investigations can and do find sealed records. If anyone tells you otherwise, they are lying to you. If you get sick while in the military, and the medical professionals suspect it is a preexisting condition, the military will make every effort to track down previous civilian medical records. Again, if someone tells you that the military never checks into these matters, then they are not telling you the truth. If you lie about your previous drug use , and your military job/assignment requires a Top Secret clearance, the military CAN find out about it .
Individual recruiters are not authorized or qualified to make medical or legal determinations. Each of the services has a waiver process whereby senior recruiting and medical officials can waive certain disqualifying medical or moral factors, depending upon the current needs of the service and the other qualifications of the applicant.
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Some Medical Conditions Arent Eligible For Waivers
I wish I could tell you that all you had to do to get a waiver approved was fill out a form, tell the military you are a hard worker, and get a couple character references. Unfortunately, that isnt the case.
The military has some very firm standards for which types of medical waivers they will approve and will not approve. And the decision is completely out of your hands. And in many cases, you cannot appeal the decision. It is simple and final.
I wont try to list all the medical conditions for which you cannot receive a waiver, because it is extensive. Some common maladies include having a history of asthma, ADD , diabetes, drug dependency, severe nut allergies , problems with certain organs, certain skin conditions, and much more. The best thing to do is download a copy of the DODI mentioned above, and research your medical conditions.
Again: there are some conditions for which there are no waivers.
Ruling Out Other Diseases
A number of disorders may cause some or all of the symptoms of asthma:
- Asthma and chronic obstructive lung diseases affect the lungs in similar ways and, in fact, may all be present in the same person. Unlike other chronic lung conditions, asthma usually first appears in patients younger than age 30 and with chest x-rays that are normal. Still, it may be difficult to distinguish these disorders in some adults with late onset asthma.
- Panic disorder can coincide with asthma or be confused with it.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disorder is a common companion in asthma and may affect treatment.
- Other diseases that must be considered during diagnosis are pneumonia, bronchitis, severe allergic reactions, pulmonary embolism, cancer, heart failure, tumors, psychosomatic illnesses, and certain rare disorders .
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Moving Forward With Asthma
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.