Waiver for RE-4 Sickle Cell Trait

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Anonymous

Question: Are there any waivers being granted for re-enlistment in the U.S. Armed Forces service? If I can prove that I'm worth the time to take a look at, will a recruiter give me the chance to show I can handle the tasks at hand?

I'm pretty sure this topic has received tons of criticism regarding a RE-4 re-enlistment code regardless of the severity of discharge and I respect but, I still haven't received the information regarding re-enlistment/waivers given that my condition has changed/improved to be given a chance in showing that it has no effect in completing basic training.

Date: 3 October 2003
Service: U.S. Navy
Discharge: JFW, RE-4, Failed Physical Standards
Reason: Sickle Cell TRAIT (not full blown sickle cell disease)

As stated above, I was discharged due to sickle cell trait while in bootcamp. When diagnosed, I was unaware that I had this type of blood disorder, therefore disqualifying me from Active Duty Service. All regualation states anything above 45% hemoglobin S is a disqualification unless, a waiver, bill of health, or history of physical test(Police department, aerobics class, or any physical tests), is submitted before reporting to serve. Statements made in my DD-214 were that I could not handle the physical standards, strenuous/anaerobic, set for navy regulation. Before discharge, questions and information regarding my physical fitness, sports in highschool and JROTC, proved that I was capable of completing the physical tests but, a waiver should have been submitted to show that it had no effect upon my physical traits. I am able to still complete those standards as if it was the day I reported for boot camp.

It has been a total of 8 years and I am looking to re-enter service as an Officer. I have been able to obtain a B.S. in Management Information Systems with a 3.0 GPA. I've taken the necessary blood test, hemoglobin electrophoresis, to show that percentages can decrease depending upon age, time of day (morning/evening), vitamin intake, and water. The test proved that my percentages has dramatically lowered since those 8 years has pass. I've even completed physical tests to improve my candidacy in being able to complete any physical training if asked on the spot from a recruiter at any time of the day.

I'm guessing the only way to know is to speak with a recruiter but, they have to give me a chance first. Right? What am I to do if they don't give me the the time to show? Can I talk to recruiters in other states until one gives me the chance or is that harassment? I'm really searching for answers because it is what I want to do.

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MSG Glenn
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Joined: 08/31/2010
It's true...

...the only way you can know for sure is to speak to a Recruiter. I know that as of 5 July no more waivers were being accepted so I guess that leaves you out altogether. I can see that you'd need a waiver for your RE 4 & also a med waiver. I don't think it's possible. You might be considered Glossary Prior Service because of not completing bootcamp but a Recruiter would have to tell you that & I don't know if that would make a difference. Maybe sometime in the future you might have a chance. I wouldn't plan on entering with an OCS contract, though. Those are highly competitive. Crap - just getting into the Army is highly competitive

rodnsands (not verified)
In regards

to your recent post of the medical questionnaire, could I use this form to submit my application to the BNCR with evidence of blood testing? I recently spoke with a Navy Officer recruiter and he said that they weren't excepting any waivers for RE-4. If it would have been another code, not barring me from re-enlistment, I would have been good to go. Boy...this is tough but, I'll continue to push and see what happens. Thanks again for your advice/information MSG.

MSG Glenn
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Joined: 08/31/2010
That questionnaire...

...is the one that you'll get at MEPS. I just posted it so those interested in joining know what the scope of their medical history is that you'll be asked about. I have no idea what else this form could be used for. I'm not familiar with the BNCR.

As far as I know no waivers were or are approved for RE-4 reenlistment codes. As of 5 July Recruiters are no longer processing waivers of any kind, at least in WI. How long that'll last is anyone's guess. I know of several with RE-2s that were turned down but I'm not sure what the separation codes were.

Has a doctor determined that you don't have any sickle cell traits? It's always possible that you could have the RE-4 amended to reflect that it was given under a wrong diagnosis. I have no idea how to go about that. I've never heard of any RE code being changed but that doesn't mean that it can't happen. I only dealt with serving Soldiers where RE codes weren't a factor. They were already through the recruiting & initial entry training process.

rodnsands (not verified)
Update blood testing.

Good afternoon MSG Glenn. I hope that all is well. Just contacting you for more advice. So, I've attained my record of discharge (DD214) to compare the records of my recent hemoglobin electrophoresis testing as of Thursday. I was discharged for having a 48%, compared to that of the required 45%, of hemoglobin S (Hgb S) to high to perform any anaerobic exercising/physical fitness test without running the risk of having a stroke but, my new blood testing shows only 27%. Wow! I've also a waiver from the doctor stating that these levels fluctuate only if you were/are taking any medication for it. I wasn't taking any medication at that time considering being unaware of the situation. So...where do I go from here?

Should I still contact a recruiter, show the results and DD214 in helping to obtain a waiver for discharge because a waiver shouldn't be required for a percentage this low? Should I take it to the DRB to upgrade the RE code and then join? I've had officer recruiters contact me but, didn't want to talk to them until I had all evidence of this on paper. What do I do? Please advise. Thanks in advance.

Respectfully,

Rodney

MSG Glenn
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Joined: 08/31/2010
To Rodney

I'd contact a Recruiter & ask him if all of your documentation is in order & to start the waiver process if possible. He should be able to advise you on the possibility of having your RE code upgraded to something lower.

Good luck!

rodnsands (not verified)
MSG Glenn

I've contacted a few recruiters and of course they didn't bite (its fine). They also didn't know what sickle cell trait was. Is that common? I was also told to submit for a RE code upgrade. I'm currently filling out the DD293. I've also requested another copy of my DD214. With that I'll provide my blood tests and health care provider's explaination of the percentages never changing unless taking medication. Do I have a great chance, provided this information of testing, to actually get this code upgraded? Of course I think so but, do I need any other documents to show that I'm worthy of an upgrade or will the documents listed be efficient?

rodnsands
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Joined: 07/10/2012
BCNR Status

MSG Glenn,

Hope that all is going well with you. It has been nearly a year since you/I have replied to this topic. I'm only here to give you a status regarding my pursuit into the military.

As of 25 May, I've spoken to an examiner who has written an advisory statement and summary, for submission to the board requesting for a RE code change so that I may be able to go into service. He basically asked me questions concerning sickle cell trait and whether or not it had affected me at anytime or changed into a serious condition. Fortunately, I haven't had any issues with the trait. He also confirmed that sickle cell trait, regardless of Hgb S percentages, isn't a disqualifying condition.

Things are looking up somewhat and I'm quite excited about it. Thanks for the information. I'll be sure to update my status in a few months. Take care and God bless.

Respectfully,

Rodney

MSG Glenn
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Rodney

Good luck to you & let us know what happens.

rodnsands
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Joined: 07/10/2012
I'll be speaking in another language here

because its in relation to my current results.

It has finally been determined that I have another hemoglobin called HbG Philadelphia. Fortunately, HbG itself has no clinical consequences. The only finding of clinical interest is the mild microcytosis, a condition where red blood cells are unusually small when their mean corpuscular volume is measured, that is not due to the HbG, but to the associated alpha gene deletions.

Interpretation: Hb S was identified as GPhiladelphia resulting in The electrophoretic pattern of HbG/HbAS trait most closely resembling S/beta+ thalassemia or sickle cell anemia.

Unfortunately, careful study didn't seem to be an essential in avoiding misdiagnosis and unfairly stigmatizing patients whose benign abnormality may be confused with more severe disease entities such as Sickle Cell Anemia in which the Navy doctor stated I had.

This resulted in a RE-4 code. This just gets better and better. Case is still in review. If an RE-3E is given, the evidence, provided by my hematology doctor, will ensure that I can request for an RE-1. I'm still hoping to hear from them soon. Hopefully, during the Christmas break where recruiting tends to be slow. I just wanted to stop by and give you an update MSG Glenn.

Respectfully,

Rodney

MSG Glenn
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@ rodnsands

Sounds good so far. The wheels of military administration seem to turn very slowly. Just have patience & keep plugging. Get that RE code lowered to RE 1 & you'll have a better chance. You aren't the first person I know of that was kept from military service due to a misdiagnosis. Once that's on your record it's very hard to get changed but it can be done.

Good luck!

rodnsands
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Joined: 07/10/2012
@MSgt Glenn

My reqest for the RE code change has been granted from RE-4 to RE-3E. I am currently working with a Officer recruiter who is going to help me with the waiver and application submission process. After this I now know that some circumstances are beyond human control, but with a drive of motivation and determination, you can turn those circumstances into an opportunity. Thanks for your help and encouragement through this process. I really do appreciate it. I did understand that things worked against me but, I couldn't allow that to stop. Again, thanks for everything. I'll keep you posted on my status.

Respectfully and Sincerely,

Rodney

MSG Glenn
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Joined: 08/31/2010
@ Rodney

Good news. At least someone is willing to work with you. That offers some hope.

Good luck & I'll take you up on your promise to keep me updated.

rodnsands
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Joined: 07/10/2012
@MSG Glenn

Good morning MSG. I pray that all is going well with you and yours. I'm just stopping by to give an update to my push towards a commission. Of course, its been quite the experience considering the lack of communication between my recruiter and I but, its all okay. Along the way we encountered problems amongst one another when information was a little vague when presented and I questioned him on it. Unfortunately, lies were tossed when he stated that I had been permanently disqualified for military service by direction of MEPS. Of course I contacted MEPS who verified that being far from the truth. It's okay though. Despite all what's happened, I've accepted what fate has brought my way. Last Monday, I received a call from the recruiting command giving great news that my waiver had been approved. I could describe how excited I was. Moving on now to the selection boards next month. Well, I hope that my message wasn't too long. I look forward to hearing back from you sir. Be blessed.

Respectfully,

Rod

MSG Glenn
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@ Rod

Sorry for the delay in responding but it's been a busy week.

That certainly is great news! Good luck with the board. If for some reason you're not selected do you plan on enlisting?

Keep us updated.

rodnsands
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Joined: 07/10/2012
MSG Glenn

No problem. I wasn't even aware that you replied so early. Talk about someone being busy. Unfortunately, the board had been cancelled because of the recent government shutdown. In addition to that, I was one of those being shutdown from work as well. All is well though. I was one of the fortunate people called back to work the following Monday instead of the entire time during the shutdown.

I've planned on enlisting but, haven't made a decision. I'm currently going to school to obtain my Masters degree in Education. My wife and I always discuss it with the conversation being a definite no from her (she's currently enlisted Navy with 10 years in). Of course I always push to just trade in her shoes and it always ends in no. So, I just pray and ask for God to make a way out of no way. It's all okay.

In recent weeks, my recruiter had been off and I couldn't get any feedback as to what was next. What always happens is that another obstacle is thrown my way. Despite the waiver being approved for the RE-3, they are holding me up with the sickle cell trait medical waiver. After the requested 5 years of medical records, lab results for sickle cell trait, a statement regarding any limitations to physical activity, in which there are none, and a letter from the director of oncology stating no physical limitations, they requests more lab testing as if those results have changed. In addition to that, they also requested 3 more LOR's on top of the other 6 that I have. LOL is all that I can do MSG. Are they implying that I just give up? I don't think so. Not at least until the board has seen my package. Its tough knowing that this process has taken 2 years. I still remain faithful that all will go well.

Well MSG, thanks for the reply. Blessings to you and yours.