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Asthma NAMI Waiver

#1
I've used the search function and found what I could. Some is old information and I haven't seen these specific questions asked.

A little background: I'm working on getting my medical records to see if I was actually diagnosed with asthma, but I'm pretty positive I was at ~6 years old. I remember taking the spirometry test. I was prescribed an inhaler, an inhaled steroid (Advair), and Singulair. I've never had an asthma attack, was checked after wheezing, haven't filled a prescription in at least 5-6 years, I will double check when I get my records, and haven't taken any medication in at least 10 years.

My first question is about the general Navy/MEPS asthma policy. I couldn't find anything specific. Is it the "no diagnosis or medication use after age 12" or something different? Does anyone know what constitutes a "diagnoses"? My parents continued to fill the prescriptions just in case, but I never took the medicine. I never took another spirometry test or had my diagnosis confirmed. Is this good enough or does the prescriptions being filled count as a diagnosis?


My second question is in regards to waivers. I've heard the unfortunate stories of people getting through MEPS with asthma and then getting NPQed by NAMI at OCS. Then they have to DOR or redesignate to a non-flight rate, potentially forced to SWO. I'd rather not put myself in that situation if I can avoid it. I found the following in the NAMI Aeromedical Reference and Waiver Guide:

WAIVER: Any history of asthma, to include childhood asthma and exercise-induced asthma, is considered disqualifying (CD) for aviation duties and training, even if the disease is very mild.

APPLICANTS: Waivers for applications with a history of asthma may be considered if all of the following criteria are met, with complete documentation submitted to Code 42:

1. The individual is currently asymptomatic and has been asymptomatic for a minimum of five years without medication use or prescriptions filled.
a. Depending on the needs of the Navy, asthma that is symptomatic/requires medication use into adulthood (≥18 yo) is generally not considered for waiver in untrained personnel.

2. Baseline pulmonary function testing (PFT) within 1 year of waiver application is normal.

3. Methacholine challenge test within 1 year of waiver application is within normal limits and not suggestive of bronchial hyperresponsiveness.

4. Completed Navy ARWG Asthma worksheet reviewed with patient and signed by submitting FS/AME. (form follows this section)

I meet the criteria for section one and am working on an appointment with a pulmonologist for the pulmonary function test and the methacholine challenge test. Is it possible to submit this waiver to NAMI before OCS to avoid getting most of the way through OCS and getting NPQed?

Sorry for the long post, any help is appreciated.
 

RUFiO181

Making Recruiting Great Again
#4
Still waiting to hear back from an OR. I know they're busy so I'm trying to get ahead and get as much what information I can beforehand. Thanks for the info on the age though.
Follow up and ask him to double check the MEPS prescreen guidelines for asthma. That should essentially field a good chunk of your questions.
 
#5
Sorry, I should have clarified better. The only OR I could get in contact with was specifically for medical fields. She is supposed to get my info to a general OR. I followed up and that OR was out of the office last week. I still haven't made initial contact with my OR. I'll be sure to ask about the MEPS prescreen though.
 

ChuckMK23

Former H-46 Driver
pilot
#6
I've used the search function and found what I could. Some is old information and I haven't seen these specific questions asked.

A little background: I'm working on getting my medical records to see if I was actually diagnosed with asthma, but I'm pretty positive I was at ~6 years old. I remember taking the spirometry test. I was prescribed an inhaler, an inhaled steroid (Advair), and Singulair. I've never had an asthma attack, was checked after wheezing, haven't filled a prescription in at least 5-6 years, I will double check when I get my records, and haven't taken any medication in at least 10 years.

My first question is about the general Navy/MEPS asthma policy. I couldn't find anything specific. Is it the "no diagnosis or medication use after age 12" or something different? Does anyone know what constitutes a "diagnoses"? My parents continued to fill the prescriptions just in case, but I never took the medicine. I never took another spirometry test or had my diagnosis confirmed. Is this good enough or does the prescriptions being filled count as a diagnosis?


My second question is in regards to waivers. I've heard the unfortunate stories of people getting through MEPS with asthma and then getting NPQed by NAMI at OCS. Then they have to DOR or redesignate to a non-flight rate, potentially forced to SWO. I'd rather not put myself in that situation if I can avoid it. I found the following in the NAMI Aeromedical Reference and Waiver Guide:

WAIVER: Any history of asthma, to include childhood asthma and exercise-induced asthma, is considered disqualifying (CD) for aviation duties and training, even if the disease is very mild.

APPLICANTS: Waivers for applications with a history of asthma may be considered if all of the following criteria are met, with complete documentation submitted to Code 42:

1. The individual is currently asymptomatic and has been asymptomatic for a minimum of five years without medication use or prescriptions filled.
a. Depending on the needs of the Navy, asthma that is symptomatic/requires medication use into adulthood (≥18 yo) is generally not considered for waiver in untrained personnel.

2. Baseline pulmonary function testing (PFT) within 1 year of waiver application is normal.

3. Methacholine challenge test within 1 year of waiver application is within normal limits and not suggestive of bronchial hyperresponsiveness.

4. Completed Navy ARWG Asthma worksheet reviewed with patient and signed by submitting FS/AME. (form follows this section)

I meet the criteria for section one and am working on an appointment with a pulmonologist for the pulmonary function test and the methacholine challenge test. Is it possible to submit this waiver to NAMI before OCS to avoid getting most of the way through OCS and getting NPQed?

Sorry for the long post, any help is appreciated.

Why the heck would you ever disclose childhood asthma from 6 years old - that your own body has told you was resolved- below average in Officer headwork. Seriously.
 
#8
Why the heck would you ever disclose childhood asthma from 6 years old - that your own body has told you was resolved- below average in Officer headwork. Seriously.
Check out this article.

My dad was in the military when I was (likely) diagnosed. According to that article those are records the military has access to, and has accessed in the past for others to kick them out. But I guess I'm an idiot for not wanting to get kicked out when they go dig that up.
 

RUFiO181

Making Recruiting Great Again
#9
Why the heck would you ever disclose childhood asthma from 6 years old - that your own body has told you was resolved- below average in Officer headwork. Seriously.
Also, N3M has access to military records so even if the kid kept quiet there’s a possibility it could still be discovered...
 
#11
Update for anyone searching in the future:

Got the PFT and Methacholine test done. Submitted with my MEPS prescreen. Took about 3 days for approval, which is standard for the number of pages I had attached. No issues at MEPS and was medically cleared. Of course this doesn't stop me from getting NAMI whammied (if I get selected), but MEPS (and N3M/N33 if they looked at it) gave me no trouble so far.
 

puck_11

Growler LSO
pilot
#12
Don’t worry about getting a Nami whammy, if you got the waiver, you’re fine. I’ve been flying with an asthma waiver for 12 years, it’s a non factor.
 
#14
Don’t worry about getting a Nami whammy, if you got the waiver, you’re fine. I’ve been flying with an asthma waiver for 12 years, it’s a non factor.
I would be cautious, I saw several who had to get Asthma waivers get DQ'd for aviation due to asthma at OCS
I didn't have a diagnosis after 13. I did the test just to confirm for myself and the Navy that I do not have asthma. MEPS passed me through quick and hardly even brought it up. No waiver requested or necessary.

Like I said NAMI might feel differently, but I'll just have to see what happens if/when I get to that point.
 

NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
#15
I didn't have a diagnosis after 13. I did the test just to confirm for myself and the Navy that I do not have asthma. MEPS passed me through quick and hardly even brought it up. No waiver requested or necessary.

Like I said NAMI might feel differently, but I'll just have to see what happens if/when I get to that point.
Good attitude to have, no one really knows what NAMI will do. I think being cautiously optimistic at this point is appropriate and with nothing after 13 I would be very hopefully. I wish you the best of luck!
 
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