This will be a long post, but I have been trying hard to get enlisted since April of 2009. I need some experienced persons to advise me on this final leg of my process.
I have decided to enlist in the Active Duty Army. Being very interested in SF, I am seeking an 18X contract.
The first time I arrived at the MEPS, I disclosed that I had a kidney stone in 2007. They sent me to a lab to have x-rays taken to ensure that I don't have any remaining stones. The radiologist found what he thought were more kidney stones. Reoccurring stones are a disqualifying condition, so I was sent home from the MEPS without signing.
As a last ditch effort to salvage my dreams of being in the Army, I went to an urologist to confirm what the lab found. I explained to my doctor how they diagnosed me and he concluded that the type of imaging they used was 2-dimensional and was incapable of correctly diagnosing kidney stones. The lab at his hospital gave me a KUB (3D imaging) and found no stones.
I submitted a letter from the doctor of his findings and all records pertaining to the visit to my recruiter. My recruiter called me 4 weeks later informing me that “My waiver was approved.”
Question 1: Why did my recruiter apply for a waiver for a condition that I didn’t actually have?
I went back to the MEPS this Monday morning to get signed up. When I sat in front of the Army counselor, he informed me that I cannot receive an 18X contract because I cannot obtain an “Airborne Stamp” on my physical due to the waiver. He offered me 11X. I promptly left the office and did not sign.
During my research, I discovered a few relevant threads on this board describing similar situations.
In this thread
, the recruit had a similar problem in that he was told his waiver for PRK prevented him from obtaining an Airborne stamp. The members (QPs as well) generally thought the Army Counselor was lying and that he should stick to his guns and press for the 18X contract. They also recommended that he find a new recruiter that will get the job done.
Question 2: My recruiter was about as surprised as I was when I didn’t get the stamp. I do not believe that she is preventing me from the contract; the Army counselor at the MEPS is. Should I still consider a different recruiter?
In that same thread, user .45ACP personally attests that you can get an Airborne stamp with a medical waiver at the MEPS because he had gotten one. His waiver was also for a PRK.
Also in that same thread, The Reaper notes that “[they] are getting quite a few guys with waivers into 18X” which implies that it is possible to get an Airborne stamp with a waiver.
Question 3: Am I being lied to? Can I get the Airborne stamp (and then 18X) with a waiver?
Currently my recruiter thinks I will go 18X or nothing. I will end up enlisting as 11X and going the long route if I have to, but I don’t want to abandon the 18X just yet. The 18X has that special word (Guarantee) that tells me no matter what happens, at least I’ll get a shot a SFAS.
Thank you for investing your time to read this. Please advise.