An applicant walks into your recruiting station ready to make a huge life decision and join the Navy. You sit the applicant down and discuss everything the Navy has to offer before starting the necessary paperwork. After a few weeks, you call the applicant with a date to report to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) only to have them medically disqualified after seeing the MEPS doctor. So what’s the next step after receiving a medical disqualification

Recruiters know that a disqualification isn’t necessarily the end of the road for an applicant and will begin the process of submitting a medical waiver request.

A waiver of medical standards can be given to candidates who do not meet established physical standards but are projected to be able to serve without posing an undue risk to themselves or to the Navy’s mission and are not projected to pose an undue burden to Navy medicine.

“An example of a waiver of standards is an applicant who had a history of a dislocated shoulder which is a disqualifying condition,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Christopher Mullins, medical waivers processor for Navy Recruiting Command (NRC). “If the applicant obtains a favorable orthopedic evaluation and meets other established physical standards, a waiver of standards can be granted allowing this applicant entry into the Navy.”

An applicant may be disqualified for medical reasons on the initial medical pre-screen which is conducted prior to the physical at MEPS. If MEPS disqualifies a candidate based on the medical pre-screen (2807-2), then MEPS will not allow the applicant to process further. NRC’s Medical Waivers department (N3M) may request the MEPS to conduct a physical if they feel the medical condition is likely to be something considered waiverable.

Once the final results of the MEPS physical and appropriate consultations are complete, the results are forwarded to N3M for adjudication.

N3M requires the following forms: DD 2807-2, a medical pre-screen form; DD2807-1, a report of medical history; and DD 2808, a report of medical examination.

“These documents, along with any additional medical information that pertains to the disqualifying conditions are used in waiver determination,” said Mullins. “From there, N3M will make a recommendation to the current Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, on whether or not to approve or disapprove the waiver.”

The decision to approve or disapprove a waiver for any medical condition may not coincide with a private physician’s recommendation.

MEPS and N3M use the Manual of the Medical Department Chapter 15 and DoDI 6130.03 (Medical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction in the Military Services).

“A private physician may fully clear an applicant with retained hardware on their collar bone and even send a letter stating that it will not interfere with military duty,” said Mullins. “If this hardware is palpable by the MEPS examiner then it likely interferes with proper military equipment and duties.”
Applicants who have questions about their waiver need to contact their recruiter. The recruiter can contact N3M for additional information.

For more news from Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, visit us on the web, www.navy.mil/local/cnrc/; on our Youtube channel, U.S. Navy Recruiter; on Facebook, www.facebook.com/NavyRecruiting; and on Twitter, @usnavyrecruiter.

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Updated March 1, 2017 (kbh)