Careers: Military--Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines, Coast Guard/childhood asthma/USN


QUESTION: Dear Colonel Howell,
    My stepson has been "waiting" to enlist in the USN for approximately 1 year. He disclosed in his medical history a minor case of childhood asthma.  In addition to taking a methacholine challenge test, he supplied the recruiters with what I feel is ample evidence from treating physicians that he has not suffered from this problem since he was 10-he is 19 now.  I have not taken any steps until now to question/intervene, as I feel if he is old enough to enlist in the Navy, he should handle things on his own.  I used the qoutes earlier as the performance of his recruiters have left me less than impressed with someone who wears a uniform.  I can understand if asthma is an automatic disqualifier, but to keep him waiting all this time does not make sense to me.  Before I go any further (if I so decide) I am asking your help for an informed opinion.  Thank you in advance for your time.

ANSWER: Kevin,
You seem very wise, letting him handle things on his own.
A childhood disease under the age of 15 does not count against him.
I assume his test results were normal?  People with pre-existing airway hyperreactivity, such as asthmatics, will react to lower doses of a drug.  
Since he gave the recruiter the test, then you're causing him to worry.  If you had said nothing about it, then he would've pushed it through right away.  But that's OK.
I imagine what the recruiter has done was send his paperwork to the Surgeon General and let him decide if everything's OK, just to cover the recruiter's behind.  That's still OK, it's just that with the thousands of applications the Surgeon General has to review every week, it can slow things down considerably.  There's only one of him for the entire country.
I think you've done all the right things and he'll have no problem.
The waiting is typical military.  Please let me know how it goes.
Sorry for the delay, I've been gone.
Colonel H

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I'm sorry Col. Howell, I left out the salient point.  He was rejected.  What has caused him to worry was the recruiters (when they answer bother to answer the phone)that strung him along for over a year, telling him something different everytime he spoke to them (oh, yes, when they didn't forget the appointment and leave for the day...) ergo my dissatisfaction with their part.  And I also ask you to please understand, my stepson has been with a personal trainer for a year exercising vigorously, and I've yet to hear so much as a cough from him.  By the way, is ASVABs are also off the charts.  He would fly through OCS.  I told his mother that his recruiters should be hounding him, as with his build and intelligence, most like him would not want to serve as an enlisted man.  His decision-he wants to put college on hold and do this 1st, and see where it takes him.  Well, it's basically screwed up a year of his life waiting.  Obviously, I am not pleased hence my question-if you could please speculate why he was rejected.
Thank you,

I'm sorry you're having to go through this.  Sounds like you've got a dud for a recruiter.

It's hard for me to second guess from here what's going on with that recruiter.  Sounds like your son needs to see a different recruiter.  The recruiter in your town is just there for your convenience.  It's perfectly OK to go "recruiter shopping" until you find one you like. Of course that will mean going to another town.  Explain to the new recruiter what's going on and why you chose him.  Your son means $ to him, so he should be pleased you chose him.
Sorry again for the delay, I ended up in the hospital
Colonel H

Careers: Military--Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines, Coast Guard

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All military questions, any Service. 30 years experience & two Ph.D.'s. 4 times Base Commander. Worked with Army, Navy, USMC, USCG and several foreign military units. Veteran of Kosovo, Bosnia, Macedonia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, and 10 civil wars in Africa.


Air Force Colonel with 30 years experience. Air Force Base Commander 4 times. Highly decorated.

Org of Am Historians, Wild West History Assoc., Disabled American Veterans - Life Member, Am Motorcyclist Assoc. - Life Member, North Am Hunt Club - Life Member, NWTF - Life Member

Numerous book reviews published in the Journal of American History. Two books submitted for publication. Co-Author of two more. Eisenhower memorial Library (interview with U.S. Presidential chaffeur

Ph.D. in military history, Columbus University (Summa Cum Laude) Ph.D. in history, London, England (Summa Cum Laude) Master of Arts degree in history, Marshall University, WV Bachelors degree, double-major in history and mathematics, Salem College, WV Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL

Awards and Honors
Legion of Merit, Defense MSM, 5 Meritous Service Medals,Joint Commendation Medal AF Commendation Medal Army Commendation Joint Achievement Medal AF Achievement Medal Outstanding Volunteer Medal Total of 33 Medals and 43 Ribbons

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