18x with medical waiver for retained hardware

PGS16

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May 3, 2020
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I have been working with my recruiter to get an 18x contract. I needed to get a medical waiver for surgeries I had in 2004 (ankle - 3 screws retained) and ACL reconstruction in 2011. I was able to obtain the medical waiver. However, when going back to MEPS I was informed 18x contracts can not have a medical waiver as MEPS is unable to qualify anyone with a medical waiver for Airborne. Despite this, I was told that I could still get this contract through a memorandum which allows 18x candidates to have the Airbone screening waived at MEPS. My recruiter said this would be done after OSUT and I could not get screened prior to this time.

According to AR 40-501 it should be a non-issue for enlistment. The criterion, as follows, for Airborne, Ranger, and SF are more stringent:
"Retained hardware that is integral to maintaining fixation or stability, or presents a risk to mobility or a risk of further injury by its presence."

I have been to civilian PTs to have range of motion testing done and civilian orthopedic specialist to examine x-rays and give full clearance for all activity for my previous injuries.

With that, has anyone seen in recent times someone with retained hardware able to attend Airborne or is this basically a 5 year guarantee for "needs of the Army?"
 

mavs33

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Jul 29, 2019
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Hey man, I am no way qualified to answer your question specifically as I’m NOT in the military. But I’m in a very similar situation with my enlistment. I will share my experience that is purely anecdotal, but relevant.

I have researched this up, down, and even sideways. I’ve talked to the 3 people I personally know in the SOF community, including someone who just got out of Army SOF. He called around and I got in contact with someone whose involved with the 18x intake at Benning. And I was told that currently the “easiest” way to get an 18x with any medical waivers is to enlist as 11x and if the opportunity arises, there will be an SF recruiter that will come by towards the end of OSUT asking for volunteers to go to SFAS. If you’re able to volunteer, and pass the additional physical required to enter SFAS they will change your 11x contract to 18x.

Hell, I’ve even called damn near every recruiter in my state to gather more information with the different answers. And they all come back to saying I can’t get an 18x contract with med waivers. So this is where I’m at too. I’m trying to enlist 11x, get to Benning, learn as much as I can in OSUT, and hopefully get to volunteer sooner than later.

Use the search bar and search this question as it has been asked many times before, and there is a lot of good information in those threads. Including someone who was in our situation and made it to selection and even got selected.

Again, I don’t know shit about shit, and I’m just sharing my anecdotal experience that might be relevant to yours.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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Hey man, I am no way qualified to answer your question specifically as I’m NOT in the military. But I’m in a very similar situation with my enlistment. I will share my experience that is purely anecdotal, but relevant.

Use the search bar and search this question as it has been asked many times before, and there is a lot of good information in those threads. Including someone who was in our situation and made it to selection and even got selected.

Again, I don’t know shit about shit, and I’m just sharing my anecdotal experience that might be relevant to yours.

I almost shut you down for the bolded part above because we tend to frown upon this sort of thing.

Your post remains ONLY because of the underlined parts.

@PGS16 use mavs' advice (right or wrong, I don't know) at your own peril. His disclaimers apply.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
 

PGS16

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May 3, 2020
Messages
4
I almost shut you down for the bolded part above because we tend to frown upon this sort of thing.

Your post remains ONLY because of the underlined parts.

@PGS16 use mavs' advice (right or wrong, I don't know) at your own peril. His disclaimers apply.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

@AWP I appreciate the disclaimer and your looking out. Of course, good outcomes are a result of the team and poor outcomes are a result of my own error(s). I appreciate hearing out all opinions, but at the end of the day the choice is mine and if it turns out shitty that's on me.
 

PGS16

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Joined
May 3, 2020
Messages
4
Hey man, I am no way qualified to answer your question specifically as I’m NOT in the military. But I’m in a very similar situation with my enlistment. I will share my experience that is purely anecdotal, but relevant.

I have researched this up, down, and even sideways. I’ve talked to the 3 people I personally know in the SOF community, including someone who just got out of Army SOF. He called around and I got in contact with someone whose involved with the 18x intake at Benning. And I was told that currently the “easiest” way to get an 18x with any medical waivers is to enlist as 11x and if the opportunity arises, there will be an SF recruiter that will come by towards the end of OSUT asking for volunteers to go to SFAS. If you’re able to volunteer, and pass the additional physical required to enter SFAS they will change your 11x contract to 18x.

Hell, I’ve even called damn near every recruiter in my state to gather more information with the different answers. And they all come back to saying I can’t get an 18x contract with med waivers. So this is where I’m at too. I’m trying to enlist 11x, get to Benning, learn as much as I can in OSUT, and hopefully get to volunteer sooner than later.

Use the search bar and search this question as it has been asked many times before, and there is a lot of good information in those threads. Including someone who was in our situation and made it to selection and even got selected.

Again, I don’t know shit about shit, and I’m just sharing my anecdotal experience that might be relevant to yours.

@mavs33 Thanks for sharing your experience man. Same as you, I don't know shit about shit but I was able to get an 18x contract with a med waiver. I'm not sure what dictates this outcome. Perhaps it depends what the waiver was for - in my case, retained screws from an ankle fracture in 2004. I run the risk of being denied airborne training for a medical DQ as I won't be able to get this physical until after OSUT (from my understanding). This would result in being medically not qualified for training and "needs of the army" is in play but it does seem you can get an 18x contract with med waivers. Again, this is just my experience. I have a ship date of 21 July so I can't yet speak to how this will play out.
 

Jnorton017

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Sep 24, 2018
Messages
24
@mavs33 Thanks for sharing your experience man. Same as you, I don't know shit about shit but I was able to get an 18x contract with a med waiver. I'm not sure what dictates this outcome. Perhaps it depends what the waiver was for - in my case, retained screws from an ankle fracture in 2004. I run the risk of being denied airborne training for a medical DQ as I won't be able to get this physical until after OSUT (from my understanding). This would result in being medically not qualified for training and "needs of the army" is in play but it does seem you can get an 18x contract with med waivers. Again, this is just my experience. I have a ship date of 21 July so I can't yet speak to how this will play out.

This is good info from a more recent experience. I also had surgery but back in 2015 where they placed hardware in a bone in my foot (not ankle) from a Jones fracture. I am seeking a Rep 63 contract (18x for the National Guard). I am currently providing more requested surgery, xray and rehab documents to MEPS in hopes they are satisfied this time ( I originally sent xrays from the follow up appointments in 2015). Anyway, I am anxiously waiting for the okay to go back and get my Airborne Medical Exam to see how they rule it.
 

bb08

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Mar 21, 2019
Messages
19
Just thought I would put my experience in here. I found out today that I got my airborne waiver for 18X two weeks after receiving my regular enlistment medical waiver and will be enlisting next week.

I had shoulder surgery this past December. However, I do not have any retained hardware so that helped me in my personal case so take my experience with a grain of salt. One thing to note though, is my recruiter told me if your recruiter tells you off the bat that you can't get an 18X contract due to prior surgery it is most likely the recruiter doesn't know the process of applying for an airborne waiver or may not even know there is such a thing.
 
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