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What the Recruiter Never Told You

Part 2 -- Meeting the Recruiter

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There is simply no way to even guess whether or not a waiver will be approved, even if someone has gotten a waiver for the same condition in the past, or -- conversely -- if nobody has ever gotten a waiver for the condition in the past. Each and every waiver is evaluated INDIVIDUALLY, using SEVERAL individual factors, including but not limited to:
  1. Is the condition progressive?

  2. Is the condition subject to aggravation by military service?

  3. Will the condition preclude satisfactory completion of prescribed training and subsequent military duty?

  4. Will the condition constitute an undue hazard to the examine or to others, particularly under combat conditions?

  5. Is the recruit *EXCEPTIONALLY* qualified, otherwise? (ASVAB scores, etc.)

  6. How are current recruiting goals? How bad does that particular branch of the service need this particular applicant at this particular point-in-time? Generally, when the services are doing well in their recruiting efforts, fewer waivers are considered. During years when the services are having a tough time finding enough qualified applicants to meet their quotas, they are more generous in the waiver approval arena.
I have seen waivers approved for a specific condition, only to see a waiver disapproved for the same condition, by the same service, just a few weeks later.

Remember, each of the services have their own standards and policies when it comes to processing recruiting waivers. If you don't qualify for one service, it's possible that another service would agree to process and approve a waiver.

In general, the Air Force has the reputation for approving the fewest waivers, followed by the Marine Corps, the Navy/Coast Guard, and finally the Army. Because National Guard recruiting policies can differ greatly from state-to-state, many times the National Guard will approve a waiver that the active duty and reserve forces won't even consider.

Once the "pre-qualification" is done, the recruiter then knows whether or not he/she can start processing you for enlistment.

Continued in Part 3 -- The Enlistment Process

Other Parts to this Series:

  • Part 1 -- Choosing a Military Service
  • Part 3 -- The Enlistment Process and Job Selection
  • Part 4 -- Enlistment Contracts and Enlistment Incentives
  • Part 5 -- Military Pay
  • Part 6 -- Housing, Housing Allowance, and Barracks
  • Part 7 -- Chow Halls and Food Allowance
  • Part 8 -- Education Programs
  • Part 9 -- Leave (Vacation), and Job Training
  • Part 10 -- Assignments
  • Part 11 -- Promotions
  • Part 12 -- Military Medical Care
  • Part 13 -- Commissaries and Exchanges
  • Part 14 -- Morale, Welfare, & Recreation (MWR) Activities
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