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Waiver and Waiting Periods for Postive Drug Tests at MEPS for Army Applicants

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Urine sample in doctor's office
Karen D'Silva / The Image Bank / Getty Images

Individuals applying to join the active duty Army, the Army Reserves, and Army National Guard are given a drug test as part of their medical physical at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS).

Individuals who test positive for marijuana, alcohol, or cocaine may still enlist (with a waiver), if they pass a re-test after a specified waiting period.

Waiting periods are required under the following circumstances:

Positive for marijuana and alcohol

  • If applicant's first test is positive, he/she must wait 45 days for retest. (Recruiting battalion commander is the waiver approval authority.)
  • If applicant's second test is positive, he/she must wait 1 year for a retest. (The Commanding General, HQ Army Recruiting Command is the waiver approval authority.)
  • If applicant's third test is positive, he/she is permanently disqualified.

Positive for cocaine

  • If applicant's first test is positive, he/she must wait 1 year for a retest. (Recruiting battalion commander is the approval authority.)
  • If applicant's second test is positive, he/she is permanently disqualified.

Positive for drugs other than marijuana, alcohol, or cocaine

  • If applicant's first test is positive, he/she is permanently disqualified.

Prior service personnel

  • Prior service personnel who test positive at MEPS for any illegal drug or alcohol are permanently disqualified.

All applicants who test positive will be required to have police records check accomplished as part of the waiver process regardless of any admission or record of civil offenses.

Applicants with an approved drug alcohol test waiver are prohibited from enlisting in any MOS or option that requires a security clearance.

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