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  • Captain Harper

Do I Need a Waiver?

There is a distinction to be made between a Marine Corps Recruiting Command (MCRC) waiver and a medical waiver. The MCRC waiver is written by an Officer Selection Officer (OSO) and the medical waiver is granted by the Navy Bureau of Medicine (BUMED). The medical waiver requires very little work by the recruiting personnel while the MCRC waiver requires the OSO to compile certain documentation and type out a specific waiver.


For MCRC waivers, the wait-time for an answer depends on the criteria. The waiver may only need to be signed off by an O-4 level commander which can be done in a single day. Other waivers can take up to a month for approval. The higher a waiver has go up the chain of command, the longer it takes.


A medical waiver is required for some individuals who go through Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). The civilian doctor that you see at MEPS will either discover something at your appointment or will further evaluate something based on medical documents you provided prior being see. If that medical history is disqualifying per DOD Instruction 6130.03 you will require a waiver from your service medical authority. In the Marine Corps, the authority for granting waivers is BUMED. A doctor will evaluate your case and either approve the waiver outright or will request more information. This request is called a remedial. When you receive a remedial the doctor evaluating your case will likely indicate the need for more medical documentation. This will likely require you seek out a doctor/specialist on your own and provide your OSO with the documentation to return in response to the remedial.


The Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DODMERB) is the Department of Defense Agency responsible for the determination of medical qualification of applicants for appointment to a United States Service Academy, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Programs of the United States Armed Forces, and other programs as assigned by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. DODMERB is an alternative to MEPS for OCC and PLC applicants. OCC/PLC applicants are only granted the ability to use this service on a case-by-case basis. It is typically used for individuals who are not located near a MEPS. DODMERB typically adjudicates waivers internally and does not consult with BUMED.


To learn more or ask questions about your particular case give Capt Chad Harper a call at 646-558-5701 or fill out an initial screening questionnaire today.

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