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Will Asthma Get You Discharged From The Military

Adhd And The Military

Can You Join The Army With ADHD or ASTHMA?

Can Individuals with ADHD Join the Military

Finding accurate information about whether or not individuals with ADHD can serve in the military is a challenge. CHADD and the NRC often receive questions from parents or teenagers who want to know whether a diagnosis of ADHD or taking medication to treat ADHD disqualifies someone from entering the military service. This challenge is compounded by the fact that military recruiters who have monthly recruitment quotas they must meet, often give incomplete, contradictory, or inaccurate information.

So, the simple answer to this question is maybe.

Enlistment in the military is a multi-faceted process and there are numerous eligibility criteria which a potential soldier, sailor, airman, or marine must meet. These criteria fall into two main categories: skills and aptitude for military service; and physical standards for military service. These criteria are evaluated at the Military Entrance and Processing Station when an applicant seeks to enter the military.


Each enlistee must take and pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery . This timed test,;for which no accommodations are permitted, measures aptitude in eight critical areas: general science, arithmetic reasoning, word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, auto and shop information, mathematics knowledge, mechanical comprehension, and electronics information.

Physical Standards

Waivers Available

Now what

Can Asthma Get You Discharged From The Military

Posted by Richard Horgan

Can Asthma Get You Discharged from the Military? The list of U.S. military separation codes, the numeric or lettered designation by which a soldiers record is officially annotated when he or she abandons enlistment or prematurely ends active enlisted duty, is extensive. Asthma may or may not get a soldier in the Marines and the Air Force discharged. It begins with a Military Evaluation Board hearing; if the MEB decides there is enough evidence to warrant further review, the individual soldiers case is moved on to the Physical Evaluation Board .

Neurotic Anxiety Mood Somatoform Dissociative Or Factitious Disorders

The causes for rejection for appointment, enlistment and induction are a history of such disorders resulting in any or all of the below:

a. Admission to a hospital or residential facility.

b. Care by a physician or other mental health professional for more than six months.

c. Symptoms or behavior of a repeated nature that impaired social, school or work efficiency.

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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.

What Can You Get Medically Discharged For

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A physical or psychological condition that interferes significantly with an individuals fitness for duty can be grounds for discharge. Each Services disability evaluation system will determine if a servicemember is unfit for duty due to physical disability. Not all medical problems amount to a disability.

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Why Is An Evaluation Needed

For civilian medical care providers:

Military personnel may need medical documentation to show the existence of a condition requiring discharge, the severity of the condition of a dependent, or mitigating circumstances for an unexcused absence. Although the military has its own health care system, individual and specialized attention can be difficult to find. In many cases, civilian evaluation may be the only way to ensure that a patients needs are considered.

Civilian evaluation can be used to provide evidence of a patients medical or psychiatric condition. However an evaluation will not be protected by patient/doctor privilege once it has been submitted to the military. Anything said may be used as evidence against the patient. For example, discussion of illegal drug use could result in criminal prosecution for the military patient.

It is unnecessary for civilian medical provider to spend time on legal technicalities. A knowledgeable GI Rights counselor or attorney can review any letter. It is perfectly legal to medically evaluate a member of the military even when the member is absent without leave . In fact, medical evaluation is sometimes an important step toward return to military jurisdiction. The risk of civilain providers being forced to attend hearings or trials is virtually nonexistent.

How The Meb/peb Is Conducted

Physical or mental health problems that are incompatible with military duty or that result in disqualification from worldwide deployment for more than 12 months precipitate a Medical Evaluation Board . Medical boards are initiated by the Medical Treatment Facility , not the individual or the command.

The medical board consists of active duty physicians who review the clinical case file and decide whether the individual should be returned to duty, or should be separated, using the published medical standards for continued military service.

If the MEB determines that the member has a medical condition that is incompatible with continued military service, they refer the case to a Physical Evaluation Board . The PEB is a formal fitness-for-duty and disability determination that may recommend one of the following:

  • Return the member to duty
  • Place the member on the temporary disabled/retired list
  • Separate the member from active duty, or
  • Medically retire the member

The standard used by the PEB for determining fitness is whether the medical condition precludes the member from reasonably performing the duties of his or her office, grade, rank, or rating.

Per DoD Instruction 1332.38, the inability to perform the duties of office, grade, rank or rating in every geographic location and under every conceivable circumstance will not be the sole basis for a finding of unfitness. Deployability, however, may be used as a consideration in determining fitness.

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Tumors And Malignant Diseases

The following conditions may disqualify you for military service:

a. Benign tumors that interfere with function, prevent wearing the uniform or protective equipment, would require frequent specialized attention or have a high malignant potential.

b. Malignant tumors , exception for basal cell carcinoma, removed with no residual. In addition, the following cases should be qualified if on careful review they meet the following criteria: individuals who have a history of childhood cancer who have not received any surgical or medical cancer therapy for five years and are free of cancer; individuals with a history of Wilms tumor and germ cell tumors of the testis treated surgically and/or with chemotherapy after a two-year, disease-free interval off all treatment; individuals with a history of Hodgkin’s disease treated with radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy and disease free off treatment for five years; individuals with a history of large cell lymphoma after a two-year, disease-free interval off all therapy.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Can You Have Asthma In the Army or National Guard?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is also an anxiety problem.

The disorder causes persistent mental or emotional stress which is usually a result of some form of trauma.

Unfortunately, PTSD is a common mental illness that gets diagnosed to patients who previously served in the military.

While it is rarer for people to try and join the military with PTSD it is not completely abnormal.

Unfortunately, the military considers PTSD a disqualifying mental health condition.

If youve been diagnosed with PTSD you likely wont receive a waiver.

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Peace Corps And Food Allergies

Due to the lack of available health infrastructure in Peace Corps countries, the Peace Corps typically does not clear applicants who have a variety of allergic conditions, including life-threatening anaphylactic reactions, multiple allergens, multiple antibiotic allergies, poorly controlled asthma, or severe eczema.

While each medical application is assessed on a case-by-case basis, these conditions will likely prevent someone’s acceptance if they are not likely to complete the 27 months of service required without the threat of unreasonable disruption due to allergic reactions. If a potential volunteer only has mild or moderate non-life-threatening food allergies, it is possible that they will be able to serve after signing a form promising to carry an EpiPen at all times.

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According to Recruiter Mendoza, if you are found to have asthma while on duty, you will be discharged.

With that said, someone contacted us and said that this is not necessarily true.

Check out what he had to say below:

  • I would like to talk about the Navy that discharged you for being diagnosed with asthma while currently serving this is simply not true.
  • I have enlisted for 10 years and am looking forward to 20+ years of enlistment right now.
  • I was officially diagnosed with asthma earlier this year, and discharge was never discussed, except when I said that I dont want this diagnosis to cause me to be discharged from the service.
  • They are treating me with a single daily pill and an inhaler to use before physical exercise and also as needed.
  • They will not discharge me because I was diagnosed with asthma .

DBoydstun, comment left on August 1, 2019

The biggest concerns would be for anyone thinking of becoming a naval aviator , submarine, diver, or firefighter.

Navy policy is pretty straightforward on this too; Any history of asthma , including childhood asthma and exercise-induced asthma, is considered disqualifying for aviation duties and training.

This includes even very mild asthma.

For all other fees , the recruit will perform a series of physical tests during MEPS.

If your doctor expects you have asthma, you will be referred to a specialist.

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How Do You Get Discharged From The Air Force

In order to qualify for separation under this provision, the hardship must not be of a temporary nature; must have developed or become increasingly worse since entry on active duty; discharge or release from active duty is the only readily available means of alleviation; and the individual must have made reasonable

What About Alcohol Or Drug Abuse

Orkney Archive

A history of alcohol or drug dependence may disqualify you from military service.

The military carefully scrutinizes alcohol abuse or drug abuse that requires inpatient or outpatient care.

Problems with alcohol or drugs can become problematic during military service for several reasons.

It can also enhance or worsen symptoms of other, undiagnosed mental health conditions.

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How Do I Get A Waiver For Asthma

The best way to obtain a waiver is to go through the appropriate channels and get it from the doctor who performs the medical. Before you get excited, if you still suffer seriously from asthma, you are unlikely to pass the medical regardless of how much you want it or are otherwise capable.

If the Military Entrance Processing Station decides that your condition is too severe to serve active duty, there wont be much you can do about it for that specific branch of the military. If you can convince the Surgeon General that you are not as sick as it appears from your medical records, it may be possible that you will get a chance.

However, he is a medical professional, not you. The military will not likely take kindly to you challenging the word of their top doctors without a very good reason.

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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Mental Health Conditions That Are Disqualifying In The Military

Nearly 20% of the U.S. population deals with some type of mental illness.

Despite the stigma, mental illness is not uncommon or a personal problem.

These diseases and conditions are very serious and require treatment like any other medical condition.

Serving in the military with mental illness has always been a delicate issue, considering soldiers carry weapons and could put other lives in jeopardy.

The military treats mental health very seriously, considering going into combat or other stressful situations could trigger unwanted symptoms.

However, the Armed Forces have recently adapted and changed some of its previous guidelines regarding mental health disqualifications for military service.

Heres a list of 9 of the most common mental health conditions, and whether or not the condition will disqualify you from military service:

Military Cost Of Asthma

Getting Out Of The Military – Honorable Discharge

Approximately 40% of young asthmatic recruits who wheeze subsequently became wheeze free in their late twenties. Even so, succeeding wheezing and asthma attacks may reappear even after an asthma-free interval of up to 7 years or more.

An investigation, comprising the years 19951998, recorded 3,699 EPTS discharges because of asthma. From 1998 through 2002, approximately 17% of EPTS discharges among U.S. Army active duty enlistees was for asthma. A 2006 study, revealed that many Navy recruits were discharged early because of asthma.

Exercise-induced bronchospasm , common among military recruits, has been linked to numerous cases of undetected asthma., Disappointingly, lung function testing for airways obstruction is rarely positive during extended remissions, between attacks, or among persons with exercise-induced bronchospasm. Likely, extreme physical performance and innumerable environmental stimuli are problematic for the soldier with exercise-induced bronchospasm.

Nontraumatic military-related death because of asthma is rare with only 1 reported case detected among relatively healthy young military recruits not exercising. However, many nontraumatic deaths are associated with exercise, especially unrecognized pre-existing cardiac disease. Heat stress is a factor in roughly one-third of exercise-related death of recruits. There were 3 cases of asthma chronicled as exercise-related deaths.

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Can You Take Antidepressants In The Military

In the past, the military has disqualified just about any medication related to mental health.

However, the current policy is a little different.

It generally disqualifies anyone that is or has taken medication for mental illness in the last year.

If its been more than a year you may receive a waiver but the military will need to examine your medical records and speak to your physician.

The rules apply to medications like Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, and Wellbutrin.

However, that doesnt stop the military from reportedly prescribing antidepressants to a surprisingly high number of active-duty soldiers.

Its worth pointing out that some people advise not mentioning any previous mental health diagnoses or medications to a recruiter, as well as MEPS.

The decision is up to you, but some strongly believe that what isnt known doesnt hurt anyone.

However, the military has ways of finding out if the mental health condition is on your medical records.

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Untreated ADHD in an adult can lead to significant problems with education, social and family situations and relationships, employment, self-esteem, and emotional health. It is never too late to recognize, diagnose, and treat ADHD and any other mental health condition that can commonly occur with it.

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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.

Serving With Food Allergies

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Food allergies can feel like a barrier for people who wish to volunteer, whether it is joining the military or the Peace Corps. Many service organizations station members in remote locations with limited food and healthcare options. For this reason, many organizations consider a history of food allergies as a disqualifying condition for people who want to join.

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Documentation For A Disability Discharge

In cases of acute, grave illness or injury, the medical evaluation may stand alone, particularly if medical evidence establishes that continued service would be deleterious to the servicemembers health or is not in the best interests of theService.

However, when a members condition is a chronic impairment, evaluation of the members performance of duty by supervisors as indicated, for example, by letters, efficiency reports, credential reports, status of physician medical privileges, or personal testimony may provide better evidence than a clinical estimate by a physician of the servicemembers ability to perform his or her duties. Particularly in cases of chronic illness, these documents may be expected to reflect accurately a members capacity to perform.

Adequate job performance may be considered evidence that a servicemember is fit for duty even though medical evidence indicates questionable physical ability. However, inadequate duty performance shall not be considered as evidence of unfitnessunless it is established that there is a cause and effect relationship.


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