Can You Join The Army If You Have Autism
If you have autism, getting into the Army is much easier than enlisting with other branches of the military.
The Army is always under intense pressure to recruit to meet the demand for personnel in various bases around the world. For this reason, it is not surprising that you may join this branch of the military even if you have autism.
Apparently, the Army is somewhat lenient when it comes to handling applicants who have various medical conditions.
Moreover, autism is not necessarily a disqualifier for applicants joining the Army as compared to other disorders.
However, your chances of enlistment will depend on the spectrum of the disorder.
If you have PDD or autistic disorder, the chances of joining the armed forces are extremely limited, considering the fact that these particular spectrums might affect your work.
Nonetheless, things are a little bit different for people with Asperger autism since the condition is mild with no significant symptoms.
In addition, Army recruiters are often looking for bright, industrious recruits, and applicants with Aspergers often prove to fit the bill with their high IQ.
Even so, you might still need to apply for a military autism waiver.
The good news is that the probability of receiving a waiver a much higher in the army than any other branch of the military.
Neurotic Anxiety Mood Somatoform Dissociative Or Factitious Disorders
The causes for rejection for appointment, enlistment and induction are a history of such disorders resulting in any or all of the below:
a. Admission to a hospital or residential facility.
b. Care by a physician or other mental health professional for more than six months.
c. Symptoms or behavior of a repeated nature that impaired social, school or work efficiency.
Tumors And Malignant Diseases
The following conditions may disqualify you for military service:
a. Benign tumors that interfere with function, prevent wearing the uniform or protective equipment, would require frequent specialized attention or have a high malignant potential.
b. Malignant tumors , exception for basal cell carcinoma, removed with no residual. In addition, the following cases should be qualified if on careful review they meet the following criteria: individuals who have a history of childhood cancer who have not received any surgical or medical cancer therapy for five years and are free of cancer individuals with a history of Wilms tumor and germ cell tumors of the testis treated surgically and/or with chemotherapy after a two-year, disease-free interval off all treatment individuals with a history of Hodgkin’s disease treated with radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy and disease free off treatment for five years individuals with a history of large cell lymphoma after a two-year, disease-free interval off all therapy.
Don’t Miss: Does Bob’s Furniture Offer Military Discount
Uk Actively Considering Autistic Military Recruits Defence Minister Says
People with autism could be recruited to the military to aid the UK’s response to cyber threats, according to a defence minister.
Leo Docherty told MPs the Government is “actively considering” the proposal after he was challenged in the House of Commons.
Liberal Democrat MP Jamie Stone raised the case of a Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross constituent who was “keen as mustard” to join the Armed Forces but had been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum.
MPs heard the young man “fell at the first hurdle” and was rejected despite Mr Stone’s efforts to lobby ministers.
Mr Docherty replied: “We are actively considering recruiting people with neurodiversity because of their capacity for working in the cyber-sphere, so I’m very pleased he raised it and I can confirm we’re actively looking at that.”
In March 2019, Conservative MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan now the Trade Secretary used a Commons debate to warn that Britain’s military was losing the opportunity to hire “brilliant minds” due to moves to stop people who are autistic from applying to join.
Ms Trevelyan said at the time: “I’m trying really hard to let the MOD let me do some work with them to look at why it is that autistic spectrum disorder is an automatic disbarment at the moment from participating in application to the military in the United Kingdom.
Army Launches Inquiry Into How Teen With Autism And Arm Disorders Was Recruited
The Army has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that led a 19-year-old on anxiety medication who was diagnosed with autism and congenital arm disorders to report for basic combat training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, this August.
The young mans father told Army Times that he has been trying to help return his son to their hometown in Idaho by reaching out to service officials and congressional representatives. After his son reported for basic training on Aug. 20, he began having anxiety attacks and was quickly separated from his basic training unit to be out-processed for not disclosing his myriad of diagnosed disorders.
Both the father and son say that his Army recruiter encouraged him to hide potentially disqualifying factors in order to enlist as a human resources specialist.
U.S. Army Recruiting Command has initiated an inquiry into this situation, and appropriate action will be taken when all facts are known, Lisa Ferguson, the chief spokeswoman for the services recruiting command, told Army Times.
Army applicants with autism spectrum disorders are automatically disqualified, per Defense Department accession policy, though sometimes medical enlistment waivers are granted after a visit to a DoD behavioral health consultant, according to Ferguson.
All waivers are considered on a case-by-case basis, but generally speaking, autism isnt something normally waived if the diagnosis was appropriately given, Ferguson said.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Military Records
Can You Join The Marines If You Have Autism
The United States Marine Corps is one of the most selective branches of the military as far as recruitment is concerned.
In addition, the fact that the Marines is the second smallest branch of the military branch after the Coast Guard further makes it harder for aspiring recruits to join.
Therefore, you might face an uphill task trying to join the Marines if you have autism or any other medical condition.
What is more discouraging is that waivers are hard to come by in the Marines.
This is because recruiters in the Marines normally regard applying for waivers as a professional risk, especially if it involves handling a case of autism or any other medical disorder.
For this reason, they might not process or approve your request unless there is a shortfall that the Corps is trying to overcome. In the unlikely event that you get a waiver, you may have to serve in a special reserve unit rather than active units.
Can People With Autism Join The Military
People with Autism Spectrum Disorder face many challenges. They may struggle to find a job, build friendships, or handle unexpected situations. But can someone with autism join the military? The answer isnt so straightforward. Lets take a closer look. When you think of military personnel, you probably imagine physical strength, mental toughness, and loyalty. If a person with autism meets those standards and is willing to make the necessary sacrifices, can they join the armed services? Lets take a closer look at ASD and joining the military.
Can People With Autism Join The Military?
Many people with autism are often mistaken as being mentally challenged, even when they are not. However, it is important to understand that many people with autism can be extremely intelligent and capable of high school-level classes. For this reason, they should be considered for enlistment in the military.
Don’t Miss: Is Adobe Free For Military
Medical Conditions That Can Keep You From Joining The Military
Below, you will find details from the Army‘s “Standards of Medical Fitness.” These standards generally apply to all other branches as well. Remember that most of these conditions are not necessarily permanently disqualifying, but they are red flags.
If you have had a medical complication at any time in your life that is mentioned here, then you need to tell your recruiter. They will tell you whether your condition can be waived, or if it is permanently disqualifying.
Remember that if you do not get an official waiver and your condition later is discovered, you most likely will be dishonorably discharged for fraudulent enlistment. The choice is yours.
Can You Take Antidepressants In The Military
In the past, the military has disqualified just about any medication related to mental health.
However, the current policy is a little different.
It generally disqualifies anyone that is or has taken medication for mental illness in the last year.
If its been more than a year you may receive a waiver but the military will need to examine your medical records and speak to your physician.
The rules apply to medications like Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, and Wellbutrin.
However, that doesnt stop the military from reportedly prescribing antidepressants to a surprisingly high number of active-duty soldiers.
Its worth pointing out that some people advise not mentioning any previous mental health diagnoses or medications to a recruiter, as well as MEPS.
The decision is up to you, but some strongly believe that what isnt known doesnt hurt anyone.
However, the military has ways of finding out if the mental health condition is on your medical records.
Recommended Reading: Does Dollar Car Rental Have Military Discount
You May Like: How To Sign Up For Army
Can You Join The Army With A History Of Depression
Depression is a difficult mental health condition for anyone to figure out, much less the military.
The military currently has a broad definition of depression that doesnt cover its many facets.
Its still struggling to find out how to deal with the rising problem in the United States.
While in the past it was a disqualifier, most military branches are changing their stance on diagnosed examples.
Therefore, you may receive a waiver after the military examines your personal circumstances.
The military will study things like when you were diagnosed, current symptoms, if you take medication for your depression, and if youve received inpatient/outpatient care in the last year.
Adhd Medication Rules Are Unreasonable
The military should relax its enlistment standards, but much more needs to be done beyond that, including reforming overly restrictive policies regarding ADHD medication. While few cases are known of people with ADHD who are able to take medication while serving, for the most part, an applicant with ADHD is not able to take medication immediately prior to enlisting and while on active duty.
Realistically, and perhaps in alignment with the militarys reasoning if a person with ADHD cannot function well and be productive without medication, then they are probably not a good fit for the military. You dont want to be in a combat environment, for example, and run out of medication.
But an individual with ADHD who is being treated with medication is not necessarily too ADHD to be an effective soldier. Again, it all depends on the individual. A good argument can be made that taking the appropriate medication will make a soldier who is already capable into one who is even more capable.
The main benefits of drug therapy for adults with ADHD are significant improvements in attention, concentration, and mental alertness, along with a significant decrease in physical restlessness and impulsivity. Common results from taking the proper ADHD medication are significant increases in efficiency and productivity.
Also Check: Salvation Army Erie Pa Hours
Recruit Diagnosed With Autism Returns Home Recruiter Removed From Duty
An Army recruit who had an autism diagnosis and anxiety medication prescription but was still sent to basic training, possibly against Army policy, has been returned home, while his recruiter has been removed from duty pending the final outcome of an investigation.
U.S. Army Recruiting Command confirmed that officials are conducting an investigation into whether the recruiter encouraged the recruit to conceal his autism diagnosis, which is considered high functioning, prior to arriving at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, on Aug. 20.
The day after the original Army Times story was published, a letter was sent from Fort Jacksons reception battalion to Rep. Mike Simpson, R-ID, stating that the 19-year-old recruit, Garrison Horsley, was receiving an administrative separation.
Horsleys father confirmed that his son has been returned to their hometown in Idaho, but does not intend to conduct any further interviews.
Army applicants with autism spectrum disorders are automatically disqualified, per Defense Department accession policy, though sometimes medical enlistment waivers are granted after a visit to a DoD behavioral health consultant, according to Lisa Ferguson, the chief spokeswoman for the services recruiting command.
All waivers are considered on a case-by-case basis, but generally speaking, autism isnt something normally waived if the diagnosis was appropriately given, Ferguson previously told Army Times.
Can You Get A Waiver For Adhd In The Military
A candidate with ADHD who meets the criteria outlined above needs a medical waiver to be able to enlist into any branch of the military. Medical waivers are initiated and requested by the specific military branch per DOD provisions that allow applicants who do not meet the physical and medical standards to be considered for a medical waiver.
Securing a medical waiver for ADHD, however, is a lengthy, multi-step, and largely imprecise process that carries no guarantees.
Well-documented information regarding the medical waiver process and criteria for each individual branch, for instance, is difficult to find. Whats more, recruiters for each military branch tend to be inconsistent in the information and advice provided to applicants with ADHD. Variations in candidates medical histories and enlistment paths, moreover, makes it nearly impossible to find one, uniform path for hopeful candidates with ADHD.
Don’t Miss: What Are The Army Rangers
Endocrine And Metabolic Disorders
The following conditions may disqualify you from military service:
a. Adrenal dysfunction of any degree.
b. Diabetes mellitus of any type.
c. Glycosuria. Persistent, when associated with impaired glucose tolerance or renal tubular defects.
d. Acromegaly. Gigantism or other disorder of pituitary function.
Goiter, persistent or untreated.
Hypothyroidism, uncontrolled by medication.
i. Nutritional deficiency diseases. Such diseases include beriberi, pellagra and scurvy.
j. Other endocrine or metabolic disorders such as cystic fibrosis, porphyria and amyloidosis that obviously prevent satisfactory performance of duty or require frequent or prolonged treatment.
Autism Rates Are Currently At 1 In 40 Births In The United States And The Rates Are Even Increasing
My ultimate goal was to become a regular army officer and have a fulfilling career serving my country and facing many different challenges around the world. Joining the military with autism is tough, but not impossible. Formed in a partnership with ono academic college, the idfs program is known as watching the horizon..
Recommended Reading: Does The Military Pay For Spouse Funeral
Can You Join The Military With Adhd
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most restricted health categories when it comes to enlisting for service in the United States military. While ADHD alone does not disqualify a person from military service, the Department of Defense places significant enlistment restrictions on individuals with an ADHD diagnosis and/or prior treatment with medication.
According to the DODs medical standards for enlistment, last updated in 2018, ADHD is considered a disqualifying condition if an applicant:
- Was prescribed medication to treat ADHD in the last two years
- Was recommended or prescribed an IEP or 504 Plan, or work accommodations after age 14
- Has a history of comorbid mental disorders
- Has documentation of adverse academic, occupational, or work performance.
Individuals with ADHD need a medical waiver to be able to enlist if they meet these points, with the branches Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Air Force typically requiring that applicants be off medication for several months and prove that they can function without it to be considered for a waiver. Each branch, however, seemingly has different standards that applicants have to meet before being able to apply or qualify for a waiver.
How Do You Get A Medical Waiver
Applicants typically learn about the medical waiver process when they meet with a recruiter the first enlistment step for any branch.
Most applicants disclose their ADHD history in conversation with the recruiter, but they also must indicate their ADHD history in the medical documents they must fill out as part of the enlistment process.
One of these documents is the Accessions Medical Prescreen Report, or the DD 2807-2, which requires applicants to check yes or no if they were evaluated or treated for ADHD, and if they are taking or have taken medication to improve attention. Applicants must also explain all yes answers in a separate section. Consequences for failing to answer truthfully or making false statements are noted in the form.
This prescreen form is completed with the help of the recruiter, and is reviewed by a medical professional at a Military Entrance Processing Station typically the second step in the recruitment process, during which potential enlistees take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test and undergo a medical examination.
Each branch has its own waiver authority board, which will make the waiver determination based on all available information regarding the issue or condition, as well as the specific needs of the military service, according to DOD guidelines.
You May Like: Army City Steak And Gyro
Torys Passion For Service
Torys journey has been long and arduous. Because of his disability, Tory has endured teasing, bullying, isolation and was even assaulted on a school bus. Through it all, Tory managed to excel and not allow those experiences to harden him.
Torys love for aviation was born out of shadowing his dad, an aviation structural mechanic and quality assurance Senior Chief. His dad would pick him from daycare every day and introduced Tory to an array of aircraft. Their bonding built the foundation of Torys love for aviation and established his dream to want to follow in his fathers footsteps and serve his country in the United States Navy.
Tory followed up this passion for aviation by serving the military community where he could, through the Exceptional Family Members Program . He gives presentations and staff workshops there every year for Autism Awareness Month.
Tory also served the civilian community, earning the rank of Eagle Scout at the age of 14. For his Eagle project, Tory hosted a presentation and shared his journey as a child with Autism. He also built Buddy Benches to help children like himself make friends on the playground. His brave efforts and ability to reach different audiences earned him numerous public speaking opportunities. His work educated all walks of life throughout the Washington DC area.