Hearing disqualified me for Pararescue, next steps?

Aladdin

Unverified
Joined
Apr 29, 2018
Messages
9
Location
Colorado, USA
#1
Sorry for the long post, just thought I’d ask for some help.
So I’m in sort of a predicament right now. I went to MEPS a couple weeks ago to do my ASVAB and medical/physical. Asvab went well, I scored a 93 on it. Physical went well except for my hearing, I failed in one ear at low frequency. I’ve had this since I was little and I wasn’t aware of it because it never affected me. So I was given two options, retake the test a week later, or accept the DQ and apply for a waiver. I took the former option because there was no guarantee I could get a waiver. I went back a week later and to my surprise I passed. So I got sworn in (DEP) the same day and got a temporary contract, picked out my ten jobs per Air Force policy.
Fast forward to today, I’ve been training and working towards passing the PAST test. I get a call from my recruiter after work and he tells me that someone (???) messed up and forgot to mention that I didn’t score well enough on my hearing test to be qualified for Pararescue. My recruiter (he’s not a special forces recruiter by the way) told me I could just join into one of the 20 jobs that I’m qualified for that have open spots, then keep retrying the hearing test when I get to my first duty station until I score a one to become qualified.
There’s no guarantee that’s going to work, as my hearing isn’t something that’s just going to “get better”, and from where I’m standing, none of the open jobs that I am qualified for are very attractive and I can’t see myself being my best doing pest control (no offense to those specialties, just not my thing).
So my question is, is there anything I can do? Is there a waiver I can get, someone I can talk to, a way for me to fight for what I believe in? I don’t believe in throwing in the towel over something like a minor hearing deficit in one ear. I’m not going to tell you how much I want this, or try to prove how committed I am. I just want some tips from people who know better than me so I can make a decision on next steps that will be best for me and the military. Let me know if there’s another option. Let me know if I sound like an idiot. I’m young, I accept that maybe sometimes I don’t know what’s best. That’s why I’m here, asking for help.
Thanks in advance.
 

Aladdin

Unverified
Joined
Apr 29, 2018
Messages
9
Location
Colorado, USA
#5
So, you absolutely, no chance at all, can't apply for a waiver?
I was thinking about contacting an actual SOF recruiter to see if he has any opinion on the matter, because my recruiter made it seem like it was either I pick another job and retake the hearing test (which is unlikely I’ll pass) to infinity or give up and accept that pararescue isn’t an option. He didn’t say anything about a waiver being possible but it doesn’t seem right to say that there’s nothing I can do at this point.
 

Ooh-Rah

Marine
Moderator
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
8,604
#6
I was thinking about contacting an actual SOF recruiter to see if he has any opinion on the matter, because my recruiter made it seem like it was either I pick another job and retake the hearing test (which is unlikely I’ll pass) to infinity or give up and accept that pararescue isn’t an option. He didn’t say anything about a waiver being possible but it doesn’t seem right to say that there’s nothing I can do at this point.
There are a number of recent recruiter/waiver related threads on the board; check out the search function, it is one of the best on the net. Based on what you've shared so far, they may inspire you to dig a little deeper before 'settling'.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
Administrator
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
13,435
Location
Not Afghanistan
#7
I was thinking about contacting an actual SOF recruiter to see if he has any opinion on the matter, because my recruiter made it seem like it was either I pick another job and retake the hearing test (which is unlikely I’ll pass) to infinity or give up and accept that pararescue isn’t an option. He didn’t say anything about a waiver being possible but it doesn’t seem right to say that there’s nothing I can do at this point.
Accept some truths in life: redheads are insane, Star Wars is better than Star Trek, Nickelback sucks, and most recruiters lie. He's trying to steer you into a job because you're a number to them. Some have integrity, but I'd say the majority are more concerned with their numbers than looking after a recruit.

Hold out for what you want. As for enlisting and retaking the test? Honestly, it is unlikely your hearing will improve, especially if you're on an AFB.
 

Aladdin

Unverified
Joined
Apr 29, 2018
Messages
9
Location
Colorado, USA
#8
There are a number of recent recruiter/waiver related threads on the board; check out the search function, it is one of the best on the net. Based on what you've shared so far, they may inspire you to dig a little deeper before 'settling'.
I’ll check it out. I did a quick search earlier and didn’t see much other than stuff about vision waivers. But I’ll take another look and see if I can find anything else out. Thanks.
 

Aladdin

Unverified
Joined
Apr 29, 2018
Messages
9
Location
Colorado, USA
#9
Accept some truths in life: redheads are insane, Star Wars is better than Star Trek, Nickelback sucks, and most recruiters lie. He's trying to steer you into a job because you're a number to them. Some have integrity, but I'd say the majority are more concerned with their numbers than looking after a recruit.

Hold out for what you want. As for enlisting and retaking the test? Honestly, it is unlikely your hearing will improve, especially if you're on an AFB.
That’s almost exactly what I was thinking, but that’s why I asked here first. Like I said, I don’t know much and I don’t want to dig a deeper hole for myself trying to push my luck. But thanks for the input, I’ll see if I can poke and prod a bit more for it.
 

Ooh-Rah

Marine
Moderator
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
8,604
#10
I’ll check it out. I did a quick search earlier and didn’t see much other than stuff about vision waivers. But I’ll take another look and see if I can find anything else out. Thanks.
- sigh -

That's what I get for trying to be subtle. Let me try a different way...

Read all the recent recruiter threads on the site. There is one overwhelming theme....

Recruiters have one mission. Make their numbers...of which you are one. They may not all lie to you, but they likely won't tell you the whole truth unless you press...really press.

If they don't have to dig deep into the the pit of waivers to fill a spot that the next kid won't need a waiver for, they won't.
 

Aladdin

Unverified
Joined
Apr 29, 2018
Messages
9
Location
Colorado, USA
#11
- sigh -

That's what I get for trying to be subtle. Let me try a different way...

Read all the recent recruiter threads on the site. There is one overwhelming theme....

Recruiters have one mission. Make their numbers...of which you are one. They may not all lie to you, but they likely won't tell you the whole truth unless you press...really press.

If they don't have to dig deep into the the pit of waivers to fill a spot that the next kid won't need a waiver for, they won't.
My bad, I usually just take things the way I see, or read, them. Yeah I’ll make a mental note of that. Thanks for the info.
 

Aladdin

Unverified
Joined
Apr 29, 2018
Messages
9
Location
Colorado, USA
#13
Talk to a SORL before you do anything else. Seriously.
That’s exactly what I’m going to do. I just got off the phone with my recruiter and he’s been acting weird about it. I think he’s getting pressure from one of his superiors to move me along so that I can ship in August. I really don’t know if he’s telling the truth but he says there’s no waiver I can get because I had to take the hearing test twice to get a passing score. But like I said I’m going to talk to the SF recruiter to see what his take on it is.
 

amlove21

Pararescue
Administrator
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
3,712
Location
The Duke City
#14
That’s exactly what I’m going to do. I just got off the phone with my recruiter and he’s been acting weird about it. I think he’s getting pressure from one of his superiors to move me along so that I can ship in August. I really don’t know if he’s telling the truth but he says there’s no waiver I can get because I had to take the hearing test twice to get a passing score. But like I said I’m going to talk to the SF recruiter to see what his take on it is.
So first this is a life decision no one can pressure you in to. Your answer right now is ‘no’ and remains ‘no’ until you get what you want. You hold all the power.

Second- are you going into the Army? What SF recruiter are you talking about?

You’re going into the Air Force. Learn and use the proper terminology. It seems like a semantic difference but it isn’t.
 

Aladdin

Unverified
Joined
Apr 29, 2018
Messages
9
Location
Colorado, USA
#15
So first this is a life decision no one can pressure you in to. Your answer right now is ‘no’ and remains ‘no’ until you get what you want. You hold all the power.

Second- are you going into the Army? What SF recruiter are you talking about?

You’re going into the Air Force. Learn and use the proper terminology. It seems like a semantic difference but it isn’t.
My bad, I was under the impression it was the same thing.

Both my recruiter and SORL have told me there’s no way I’m going to enlist as Pararescue (or any other battlefield airman specialty) with my hearing score, I needed to score a 1, not a 2. They said once I get to my first duty station I can retake the test to try and get a better score to become qualified. They both seemed very firm on “we can’t control what MEPS says on your score, there’s no waiver you can get, this is the only way”. I don’t know what else I can do without digging a hole I can’t get out of. Is there something I can do? I doubt they’re both lying to me.
 

riot1013

US Navy
Verified Military
Joined
Dec 11, 2014
Messages
4
Location
Pensacola
#16
My bad, I was under the impression it was the same thing.

Both my recruiter and SORL have told me there’s no way I’m going to enlist as Pararescue (or any other battlefield airman specialty) with my hearing score, I needed to score a 1, not a 2. They said once I get to my first duty station I can retake the test to try and get a better score to become qualified. They both seemed very firm on “we can’t control what MEPS says on your score, there’s no waiver you can get, this is the only way”. I don’t know what else I can do without digging a hole I can’t get out of. Is there something I can do? I doubt they’re both lying to me.
First of all a disclaimer: I am not a military doctor...but what your recruiter is telling you seems a little off.

My first piece of advice to you is talk to an actual military doctor. My second piece of advice is never trust a recruiter when they tell you that you are not qualified for something due to medical issues. You need to hear that from the doc or see it in writing. Most recruiters have no idea what is actually waiverable. I've seen too many folks suckered by recruiters talking out of their rears when it comes to medical issues. Unfortunately I have no idea how you would start that dialogue other than going through the recruiter.

I wear hearing aids and I did struggle with my hearing coming into the military as an officer (I don't remember having hearing issues when I enlisted but that was a very long time ago). Ultimately I had to go to an ENT and audiologist and get a waiver, but my hearing loss is at high frequencies. I'm not trying to scare you here, but I would be concerned in your case because you are failing a hearing test at lower frequencies. That is where most voice communication lies (unless you are talking really low, like bass low, but at that frequency range who cares?) so maybe that's the issue.

Before you make any decisions ask to see the letter saying that you are disqualified.
 

CDG

Mittens
Moderator
Joined
Apr 15, 2011
Messages
7,248
Location
Off safe. One away.
#17
First of all a disclaimer: I am not a military doctor...but what your recruiter is telling you seems a little off.

My first piece of advice to you is talk to an actual military doctor. My second piece of advice is never trust a recruiter when they tell you that you are not qualified for something due to medical issues. You need to hear that from the doc or see it in writing. Most recruiters have no idea what is actually waiverable. I've seen too many folks suckered by recruiters talking out of their rears when it comes to medical issues. Unfortunately I have no idea how you would start that dialogue other than going through the recruiter.

I wear hearing aids and I did struggle with my hearing coming into the military as an officer (I don't remember having hearing issues when I enlisted but that was a very long time ago). Ultimately I had to go to an ENT and audiologist and get a waiver, but my hearing loss is at high frequencies. I'm not trying to scare you here, but I would be concerned in your case because you are failing a hearing test at lower frequencies. That is where most voice communication lies (unless you are talking really low, like bass low, but at that frequency range who cares?) so maybe that's the issue.

Before you make any decisions ask to see the letter saying that you are disqualified.
@riot1013, if you are going to post advice like this, then you need to get yourself vetted.
 
Top