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Old 05-11-2004, 18:45   #1
skipjack
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Post Question about 18x

Hi everyone,

This is my first post and I wasn't sure where to post this question so I figured here would be a good place. I recently went up to MEPS to enlist under the 18x contract. I needed an eye waiver for PRK and my recruiter said everything was good to go and that I would be able to get 18x. Well, once I got through medidal and everything, I sat down with my counselor and he said that I could not get 18x because any medical waiver DQ's me from Airborne school. So, instead I received an 11x contract with a "Statement of intent for Special Forces." Does anyone know what exactly that means, if it means anything at all?

Then they told me that once I was in I would be able to go to Airborne but I can not get it intially in my contract. This sounded like a huge lie to me and I said I was walking away. But, my recruiter said to take it and we'll try to renegotiate the contract. Does any of this sound right to anyone, or are they all taking me for a ride?

My intent was to go Special Forces, but I understand that if I do not make it I will be in infantry. That is something that I am willing to deal with and would be proud to serve my country any way that I can, but I at least wanted the opportunity to try for SF. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

-skipjack
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Old 05-11-2004, 18:52   #2
The Reaper
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I would walk. You lose nothing by doing so. I think they will call you back with a "change" pretty quickly. If not, any recruiter can give you an 11B contract. Tell them 18X or you will check into the Navy SEAL program.

He may be right about airborne school, but we are getting quite a few guys with waivers into the 18X program.

Sounds like he is trying to fill his 11B quota, and save his 18X slot.

If you get in, no matter what the MOS, as soon as you are an E-3(P), you can request and schedule for SFAS.

Good luck, HTH.

TR
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Old 05-11-2004, 18:57   #3
skipjack
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Reaper,

Thank you for your quick reply! That's is pretty much what I thought. Something didn't sound right there. I have my college degree so I will be going in as an E-4. So, do I have to wait a certain period of time after I get out of OSUT at Benning or could request and schedule for SFAS right away?

But, it sounds like I'm going to have to play hard ball and see if they jump.

Thanks again!

-skipjack
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Old 05-11-2004, 19:10   #4
The Reaper
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If you make it to a unit, you could theoretically apply for SFAS right away, but the CoC will be very pissed, and you could not PCS to the SFQC till you had done your stabilization, which for CONUS would be at least a year or two.

I would stick with the plan to play hardball, and let them come to you with a better offer. I suspect that they will, rather than lose you.

TR
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"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." - President Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

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Old 05-11-2004, 20:09   #5
skipjack
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Thank you very much for the advice! I will do just that.

-skipjack
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Old 05-11-2004, 21:09   #6
Surgicalcric
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Skipjack:

Having been thru what you are going thru, I can tell you there is a policy, though not adheared to by all MEPS, that anyone receiving a waiver to enlist cannot receive BAC in their initial contract. This means no 11X w/ airborne, option 40 (Ranger contract), or 18X for anyone receiving a waiver for anything medical.

You can play hardball or just wait your time like TR has suggested. I would doubt the hardball approach will get you far based on my experience and that of another board member here but anything is worth a shot. All they can say is no, and they have said that once already.

Sorry I do not have better news for you.

Best of luck to you.

James D
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Old 05-12-2004, 13:16   #7
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This is my second post and I have refrained from posting because of my general ignorance. I am encountering a situation similar to that of Skipjack. I am asplenic and in the process of obtaining a waiver for this condition.
Quote:
Originally posted by Surgicalcric
Skipjack:
Having been thru what you are going thru, I can tell you there is a policy, though not adheared to by all MEPS, that anyone receiving a waiver to enlist cannot receive BAC in their initial contract. This means no 11X w/ airborne, option 40 (Ranger contract), or 18X for anyone receiving a waiver for anything medical.
You can play hardball or just wait your time like TR has suggested. I would doubt the hardball approach will get you far based on my experience and that of another board member here but anything is worth a shot. All they can say is no, and they have said that once already.
James D
Quote:
Originally posted by The Reaper
He may be right about airborne school, but we are getting quite a few guys with waivers into the 18X program.
Sounds like he is trying to fill his 11B quota, and save his 18X slot.
During a conversation with the recruiting station’s First Sergeant I was informed that I am disqualified from the 18X contract. After a few phone calls the First Sergeant assured me that Airborne would be available post waiver. In the context of the above quotes, am I being mislead?

I am confused because I had interpreted AR 40-501 as granting general waiver authority which applied across the board to conditions such as mine. Is the modifying language listed below a complete exception to the general authority?

5–13. Asplenic soldiers
a. Asplenic soldiers are disqualified from initial training and duty in military specialties involving significant
occupational exposure to dogs or cats.
b. Asplenic soldiers are disqualified from initial Special Forces training.
54 AR 40–501 • 19 February 2004

If AR 40-501 5-13 (b) is a complete exception to the general authority does “initial” only apply to the 18X pipeline or will I have additional problems later on?

Quote:
Originally posted by The Reaper
If you get in, no matter what the MOS, as soon as you are an E-3(P), you can request and schedule for SFAS.
I was assured at the station that SFAS would still be available but only through the traditional approach because of the medical waiver. I will be entering as an E-4. My undergraduate degree is in Psychology and I am completing my Juris Doctor this summer. In the context of “no matter what the MOS” do the members of this forum have opinions or suggestions as to what specialties I should pursue or avoid? The word around the camp fire is that I should avoid UBF (Underwater Bulk Fuel) at all costs.

I am sorry if I am jumping the gun with any of these questions. When handing out assignments a professor of mine would always remind us that Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. With that in mind I do not under any circumstances want to be under prepared or under informed while pursuing my goal of serving in the Special Forces.

Hopefully my asking the above questions does not demonstrate or draw into question either my ability to be a self starter or my ability to operate in an ambiguous environment.

Thank you for your time, and thank you in advance for your thoughts and opinions.
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Last edited by Bellerophon; 05-12-2004 at 13:20.
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Old 05-12-2004, 22:27   #8
.45ACP
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Skipjack, I am living proof that you CAN receive an 18X contract with a waiver for PRK eye surgery. I had PRK about 4 years ago and initially at MEPS it was disqualifying. They sent off for a waiver (after forgetting to do so for 2 weeks), then when they received it I went back down and got my contract all signed up for 18X. I was originally slated to ship 05 MAY but due to my having pneumonia they had to reno my contract to 02 JUN...there were no problems at all with the waiver in the whole process. Like TR and SC have suggested, they can and most likely will give you what you want if you stick to your guns.
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Old 05-13-2004, 04:44   #9
skipjack
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Thank you everyone that responded!

I am going down to my recruiters office tomorrow to tell him that I will not leave unless I have an 18x contract. I will keep you updated.

Thanks again!

-skipjack
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Old 05-13-2004, 14:23   #10
surfcolt
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Is PRK recognizable when conducting a general eye exam?
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Old 05-13-2004, 14:48   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by surfcolt
Is PRK recognizable when conducting a general eye exam?
I think you are looking for an unethical solution.

We can teach many skills, and put up with quite a bit from our students, but we are pretty intolerant of people who lie, cheat, steal, etc.

Think about that.

TR
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Old 05-17-2004, 11:03   #12
Sacamuelas
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Quote:
Originally posted by surfcolt
Is PRK recognizable when conducting a general eye exam?
I agree with the Reaper concerning the probable intent of your question. Just to give you the information to prevent you from destroying your chances before they begin.

In response to your question:
I got the following response when I posed your question to an expert (Opthalmologist).

"The only way to see that a patient has had PRK is if there is haze or scarring, or by looking at the light reflex coming out of the eye. The definitive way to know for sure is to use a device called a corneal topographer. If a large correction was performed, the central cornea may appear thinned making it obvious to the ophthalmologist that refractive surgery was performed."

So the answer is yes, it can be determined by detailed exam in some instances. Will it show on a basic eye exam, probably not. But don't forget that you could be injured,etc during your training or future career where this type exam would be needed to determine injury/damage extent.

Do you really want to take a chance that a future injury or even specialist exam during your military career could reveal that you falsified your medical history?

Hope the info helps and Good luck.

Last edited by Sacamuelas; 05-17-2004 at 11:06.
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Old 06-02-2004, 09:18   #13
skipjack
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Well, I just left my recruiters office and he gave me a couple emails from Ft. Bragg and some SF packets but I still have no 18x contract. He is telling me that the SF recruiters at Ft. Bragg said that my best option would be to join 11B and then put in for SFAS at my first duty station. I can't seem to understand why if it is possible to get 18x with a medical waiver... I can not get one.

.45ACP, what MEPS station did you go to and did you have to do anything special or talk to anyone to get 18x with a PRK waiver? I went out of Westover Air Force base near Springfield, MA.

I'm willing to drive down to Ft. Bragg if that is necessary! I just want the chance to get to SFAS.

Any other suggestions would be well appreciated. Thank you!

-skipjack
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Old 06-02-2004, 10:17   #14
The Reaper
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SF Recruiting Company, Ft Bragg, 910 432-1818.

You kids need to write that number down somewhere, it might be important.

You sign up as an 11B (or any other MOS), you will have to be an E-4 and have fulfilled your PCS service obligation to go SF, and If you are sent OCONUS, that could be two years from arrival on station, or almost three in the Army.

HTH.

TR
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Old 06-02-2004, 10:31   #15
skipjack
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Thank you very much TR!

-skipjack
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