Respecting the Process
Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF)
In sports, physical standards must be met to make the cut and get into the game. Like life and sports though, a desire to get into the game sometimes is not enough. The U.S. Navy is no different and, specific to Warrior Challenge occupations, the medical screening requirements have something in common with professional sports franchises.
Medical standards can be a limiting factor for talented people with high goals and aspirations to serve in high risk fields like the Navy Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL), Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman (SWCC), Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), Navy Diver and Aviation Rescue Swimmer (ARS.
Applicants demonstrate honor in striving for exceptional jobs but standards determine eligibility, which can be a difficult thing for some when conditions that are deemed incompatible with Naval service are present. The Bottom Line: these medical conditions are risk factors to the team and may cause some candidates to be disqualified or eliminated.
Meeting the Standards
When medical conditions prevent patriotic people from attaining their goals, it highlights just how performance-driven Warrior Challenge screening is. The ultimate goal is to find those that can serve and can meet the standards outlined.
Standards must be met to enlist and then qualify for any Warrior Challenge occupation. There is a two-step process that originates with a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) medical exam. If the standards are not met, then conditions exist that disqualify or are grounds for rejection for service. The results of the evaluation are non-negotiable.
Department of Defense and U.S. Navy instructions tend to confuse lay people and active duty alike that are not members of the medical department. There are some considerations to be aware of that simplify things for anyone considering the Navy Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL), Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman (SWCC), Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), Navy Diver and Aviation Rescue Swimmer (ARS) occupations.
Firstly, non-prior service is a category. To put it simply, it describes candidates that have never been to RTC or Boot Camp. Also, the Manual of Medicine and most current chapters are the authoritative source that is used to in medical screening. The most basic goal is to identify volunteers that are “medically capable of performing duties without aggravation of existing physical defects or medical conditions” that are acceptable.
Some conditions require review for waivers and some conditions are disqualifying. That is for a medical authority to determine without influence. It should be straightforward but bears mention that concealment of medical history can result in permanent disqualification.
A number of resources outside of the Navy infuses the wrong cultural message associated with the mantra that, “if you’re not cheating you aren’t trying.” This is an integrity issue and loyalty to the mission is the hallmark of our ethos and is why there is a stringent medical evaluation process.
Be forthcoming and disclose your history to let the system determine what is acceptable or not. Failure to follow this simple rule is not only ignoring the right thing to do it is violating official policy.