Can You Join The Military If You Fail The Asvab – Soldiers fire an M4 carbine during marksmanship training at the indoor range Caserma Del Din, Vicenza, Italy, July 9, 2020. (David Dalla Massara/Army)
When you cave into the local recruiter and sign up to join the US Army, the first thing you must endure is basic training—10 weeks of hell before a cute little graduation ceremony.
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Can You Join The Military If You Fail The Asvab
Personal weapons qualification is one of the many areas a wannabe soldier must pass to join the ranks of the oldest branch. But what if you can’t reach your goal?
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“Proficiency in his personal weapons is a graduation requirement for basic combat training,” Lt. Col. Randy Reidy, a spokesman for the Initial Military Training Center, told Military Times. “Trainees receive 92 hours of basic rifle marksmanship instruction over a three-week period before making multiple attempts to qualify.”
At a minimum, recruits must shoot 23 out of 43 targets to qualify on the M4 or M16 rifle and graduate from basic training. Those who shoot the 23 to 29 range are called “marksmen”. Anyone who hits 30 to 35 targets is designated as a “Sharpshooter” and those who hit 36 to 40 targets will earn the title of “Expert”.
If a trainee fails in 23, he is given more coaching and training before he is allowed to retake the test several times.
“Trainees who fail their first attempt at qualification receive additional training and coaching from their drill sergeants before subsequent attempts,” Ready said. “Soldiers who fail to achieve proficiency in their individual weapons but have demonstrated motivation to achieve operational standards are considered for reassignment to another basic combat training company or battalion.”
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Sixteen soldiers were singled out for basic rifle marksmanship failures in fiscal year 2019, according to data provided by Ready. In 2020, the number dropped to just four.
“In rare cases, if a trainee fails to qualify after multiple attempts at retraining, an entry level separation action is initiated and the soldier is processed for discharge,” noted Ready. “Entry-level separation (ELS) is a discharge from the military that occurs within 180 days of joining. It is not characterized under any other type of discharge, as it is used in situations where people have not met the basic requirements of the service.”
Sarah Sicard is a senior editor at Military Times. She previously served as Digital Editor of Military Times and Army Times. Other works can be found in the National Defense Magazine, Actions and Objectives, and Defense News.
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United States Military Enlistment Standards
Every year, thousands of young Americans join the armed forces, today comprising approximately 1.3 million active service members spanning the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy. (And, most recently, Space Force.)
Military service is an attractive and often successful career option for teenagers and young adults who thrive in high-energy situations, collaborate constructively with others, respond positively to clear expectations, and function well with structure.
In many ways, it’s an excellent fit for people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) — which makes the military’s ban on recruits with ADHD even more frustrating.
Enrollment steps and requirements are similar throughout the military, varying only from branch to branch. In addition to age and educational qualifications, the Army outlines medical criteria for enlistment and assignment, including a comprehensive list of physical, mental, and behavioral conditions that may disqualify an otherwise exceptional candidate.
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ADHD is classified as one of those restricted conditions. This does not mean that joining forces with ADHD is impossible, but it does mean that it is more complicated and requires advanced planning.
According to Department of Defense (DOD) guidelines last updated in 2018, ADHD is considered a disqualifying condition if any of the following are present along with the diagnosis:
Other potentially disqualifying conditions under the DOD’s “Learning, Psychiatric, and Behavioral Disorders” section include dyslexia, autism, mood disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and anxiety.
A candidate with ADHD who meets the above criteria will need a medical waiver to be able to enlist in any branch of the military. Medical waivers are initiated and requested by the specific military branch in accordance with DOD provisions that “permit applicants who do not meet physical and medical criteria…to be considered for a medical waiver.”
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Securing a medical exemption for ADHD, however, is a lengthy, multi-step, and largely imprecise process with no guarantees.
For example, it is difficult to find well-documented information regarding medical exemption procedures and criteria for each individual branch. What’s more, recruiters for each military branch (and even within the same branch) are inconsistent in the information and advice they provide to applicants with ADHD. Differences in candidates’ medical histories and enlistment paths, moreover, make it nearly impossible to find a common path for hopeful candidates with ADHD.
Applicants usually learn about the medical waiver process when they meet with a recruiter – the first admissions step for any branch.
Most applicants disclose their ADHD history in a conversation with the recruiter, but they must also indicate their ADHD history in the medical documents they must fill out as part of the admissions process.
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One of these documents is the Accessions Medical Prescreen Report, or DD 2807-2, which requires applicants to check “yes” or “no” if they have been evaluated or treated for ADHD, and if they are taking or have taken medication to improve it. said attention Applicants must also explain all “yes” answers in a separate section. Failure to answer truthfully or making false statements is indicated on the result form.
This prescreen form is completed with the help of the recruiter, and is reviewed by a medical professional at the Military Enrollment Processing Station (MEPS)—typically the second step of the recruiting process, during which potential enlistees take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test and pass a medical exam. do it
The MEPS doctor provides medical eligibility decisions, and may use the prescreen document to request additional medical records and/or make a (or preliminary) decision on the applicant’s readiness. MEPS doctors are determined on an individual, case-by-case basis. If a MEPS doctor says the applicant does not meet the medical criteria, the military branch concerned can initiate and request a medical waiver for the individual.
Each branch has its own waiver authority board, which will determine a waiver “based on all available information regarding the problem or condition, as well as the specific needs of the military service,” according to DOD guidelines.
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But what does each branch look for when making a discount decision? There are many factors that come into play that can work in favor of an ADHD applicant, such as time spent on medication and without evidence of proper functioning.
Recruiters typically tell applicants that they must stay off the drug for a long time ——by far the most important measure to take——and demonstrate that they are able to function properly while off the drug before starting the enlistment process. discount
The time frame required to discontinue medication varies across branches and even between recruiters within the same branch. Some also recommend different approaches to perform proper function without medication.
In the Army, Navy, and especially the Marines, recruiters advise applicants with ADHD to discontinue any and all stimulant or non-stimulant medications for at least one year.
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Some recruiters, particularly within the Air Force, tell applicants they must be off medication for 15 months.
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