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Readers Respond: Should Asthma and ADD/ADHD be a disqualifier?

Responses: 94


The Department of Defense has softened their medical qualification standards for cases of childhood asthma, and history of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Have you recieved a waiver for asthma or ADD/ADHD? Do you know someone who has? Do you think these requirements are fair? Give Your Opinion

Joined before ADD/ADHD was an issue

I joined the navy in 1967 before we knew anything about ADD/ADHD. We had the draft, and basically we were forced to join the military. I spent my time as a Radarman (now OS) and it was a huge challenge. I left active duty after 4 years of service, and spent the next 16 as a reservist. Later on, I discovered that I have ADD/ADHD. This explains why it was such a challenge for me. I am glad I stayed in, but it was very difficult. I mainly had problems related to my ADHD. I was perceived as being lazy, and stupid by my shipmates. If you are ok with that, then push the issue, and join up. But be forewarned, the ADD/ADHD will be an issue, and your performance will suffer.
—Guest USN Retired

I'm pissed.

I just found out today that u have to be off medication for a year and display the ability to focus effectively. I have ADHD, I was diagnosed at age 6, the age were I didn't take things too seriously. Both of my parents are retired military vets 20+ years each. At age 13-15, I truly decided this was something I wanted to do with my life and for the last 2-3 years I've been pumped up on hopefully one day becoming a Ranger. I've been doing very well with my grades in school,military colleges have spoken with me about ROTC and things like that. That was most of my worries till today. I'm currently a junior in high school, my mom's kept me on medication to prevent my grades from dropping,being that these last two years are critical, but truly I don't believe I need the medicine I act the same way with or without it. Lastly some websites are saying that even if you are excepted your possible job and rank could be limited. (I won't let it stop me though)


i am 13 and i want to join the USAF. i have ADHD but i do not take any medication. i Asked an AF recruiter and he said ADHD patients have to be off meds since they were 12 or , at the latest' 14...
—Guest KJ

Dreams crushed because of Asthma

My family has had a long history of serving in the military. I wanted to follow in their footsteps but I can't because of asthma. I wanted to be an Army Ranger most of my life but now I can't. My asthma is not bad at all. The only time it affects me is when it's cold. I thought it did affect me when exercising but I was just out of breath. Now I know that an American flag wont be placed at my grave because I wasn't able to serve my country. My dreams have been crushed
—Guest Pissed off

Not fair

I have wanted to join the military since I was a kid but asthmatics don't get a chance to prove themselves at all. I'm physically fit and can manage my own. How should I be excluded if I don't even get a chance to prove myself!?
—Guest Mike

I shouldn't fight Asthma but for USAF

I'm 17, diagnosed with asthma since I was 3, and have lived under my father who has served in the USN for 25 years and all I have wanted to do was follow in his footsteps (well... maybe not the USN). I have wanted to join the USAF since I was 13 and I have asthma. I'm a junior in high school and I am trying to get into the process of joining my (upcoming) college's AFROTC unit. Everybody I know has told me that I am just wasting my breath because they will never take someone with asthma and I find that that is bull because anyone can overcome something as trivial as asthma and if I want to die fighting for my country, whether it'snfrom asthma or a bullet, then I should be able to do so! Nuff said!
—Guest Russell


Talked to a Marine recruiter recently and was asked all the basic question for entry, everything was looking up until I said I had asthma. Automatic disqualification. Ever sense I was a boy it was my goal in life to serve so over the years I trained my body not to need it. Then I find out that NO branch of the military will take me because I'm 20 with asthma, I'm a patriot with a very strong military family tree and now I won't be able to serve because of an object smaller then my pocket. I feel ashamed knowing that I couldn't even make it to the bus to get to boot camp without being disqualified.
—Guest Taylor Z


What did we do for the past 238 years with those who had ADD......uhhhhh... Nothing. We did nothing because no one was ever diagnosed with ADD. It's all bull s_ o
—Guest NY Marine 1stSgt


What did we do for the past 238 years with those who had ADD......uhhhhh... Nothing. We did nothing because no one was ever diagnosed with ADD. It's all bull s_ _ ,,'a
—Guest NY Marine 1stSgt


Asthma,ADD, and ADHD in the Military moncler ????? http://www.monclerdown.cc/viewtopic.php?f=4 t=515
—Guest moncler ?????

Let us fight, hyper active

I don't see why we can't fight for our country I mean its in the name attention dificit HYPER-ACTIVE dissorder we are more active and hyped up than any other active duty solidier we need to waste our energy on something useful we would exercise more just put more energy into everything we would do put more time and energy into our country and fight why did our ancestors fight for this country for if there sons and grand sons can't even fight for this country and making us LABLED as ADHD is just a way for the government to make more money having us buy medication and just easier for lazy parents that just want to deal with their kids "too hyper" is to make us take medications and we all have ADHD in some form all of us everyone just people can't deal with it like others I mean come on this is stupid I would join with no incentives just put a gun in my hand and ill fight anyone trying to take my freedom away our country was fonded on the British trying to take our gun rights away
—Guest Roger


I think if u have add/ADHD, u could join the millitary!!! I've been takings meds for 4 months and I barely take them! I have a low dosage of vyvanse. Is there anyway I can still be eligable?
—Guest Howard


I am 16 with asthma and Add. I have been told by several recruiters that I will never be able to join any branch of the military. I say that you should have specialized testing in addition to the initial testing for this. Ofcourse money is an excuse. But hell, we are already 3000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 dollars times a million in debt. My point is, David took down Goliath. We shouldn't be denied to serve our country.
—Guest Yep yep pilot


Well, recently I've been discharged from the navy due to finding out that I have chemically(basically I'm allergic to cleaning products) induced asthma in the middle of boot camp. Since I've been home and gave it some deep thought it is unfair in a sense but it should be based off how severe it is. When I failed the test they couldn't determine how severe it was sense it's minor but the symptoms I get lasts quite a long time. Even though my RE code states that I can get back in after 2 years, it is a little unfair for the people who actually want to be in the military. Everyone looks at the commercial and say "wow, I wanna join the military" but by the time we get to the recruiter they tell us to lie about it (which makes you look stupid if you fail boot camp) or that you can't join. I know I'll never be a SEAL, sniper or a member of TACP but give us a fighting chance instead of a flat out no. A medical condition isn't an excuse on why we can't do anything in life
—Guest cam b


It is not right. Im 26, female, and have asthma. I enlisted and went thru boot camp and everythin and did just fine. Yes it was tough but i never quit. they called me back one day and told me they were going to discharge me because they rece.ntly found out that i had asthma. ruined my dreams completely.
—Guest bubble

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Should Asthma and ADD/ADHD be a disqualifier?

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