Requirements come join any branch of the military include a high level of physical fitness and generally an excellent health. This method that asthma deserve to sometimes disqualify a person from serving in the equipped Forces.

Depending on your personal background with asthma and also the severity of the disease, you might be may be to acquire a waiver permit you to sign up with the military.

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Each branch has its very own asthma screening methods and also requirements for waivers. Over there are additionally many sources that may enable you to proceed serving if you build asthma throughout your time in the military.

Read on to learn an ext about just how you have the right to join the military with diagnosed asthma and also what other choices may be easily accessible if you are not able come enlist.

According come the 2018 “Medical criter for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction right into the military Services” issued by the department of Defense, having a history of asthma after 13 year of period is taken into consideration to be a “disqualifying condition” because that service.

But same file sets the end the terms in which an individual may apply for a medical waiver.

Having a waiver approved calls for a review of a candidate’s medical background and performance on a check of pulmonary duty (how well the lungs work) in enhancement to i of a complete physical examination.

Here room the general steps because that obtaining a waiver at an early stage in the recruitment process:

Fill out a medical pre-screening form that includes precise account that your medical history, including your background of asthma, and also some family medical history to the best of your knowledge. Send the form to the army Entrance handling Station (MEPS), an independent company not linked with any type of military branch.At the MEPS stage, clinical personnel deserve to deem your asthma together too serious to proceed the process. If your asthma was deemed too severe but is gentle or fine controlled, girlfriend may be able to proceed with the physical and a waiver application. A finish medical evaluation is consisted of in your applications file. Before recruitment, her evaluation and also waiver space reviewed by her recruiting commander. This human being will ultimately decide to approve or dismiss your waiver request.

Getting a waiver is a reasonably recent development.

Before 2004, a history of asthma at any kind of age might disqualify someone from military service. ~ 2004, the cutoff for asthma symptom after 13 was made as soon as a examine of 587 recruits found that a background of soft asthma to be not associated with extreme medical treatment or beforehand attrition from armed forces service.

The army has additionally acknowledged that the pervasiveness of asthma is boosting in the basic public. By denying entry to a group of potential recruits, the military would it is in reducing the size of the recruitment pool.

In general, the waiver guidelines and requirements concerned asthma are comparable across all branches that the military.

Here space some details rules that you might encounter throughout different branches that the U.S. Military.

Air Force

In 2017, the Air force modified several of its much more restrictive clinical standards, including how concerns around asthma room handled.

The Air force announced the would usage the Methacholine difficulty Test to assist diagnose asthma and measure the severity. In the test, candidates breathe methacholine, i m sorry can reason a tightening of the airways similar to what happens during an asthma attack.

A check is considered positive if metacholine causes at least a 20 percent decrease in her breathing ability. A negative test commonly rules out asthma.


Asthma is disqualifying just if symptoms are present after a recruit turns 13 years old.

A waiver may be requested during recruitment. The military may be much less selective than several of the various other branches, together it maintains a higher enrollment than the wait Force, Marines, and also the Navy.

Coast Guard

The coast Guard also typically disqualifies candidates that have had asthma symptom after transforming 13 years old.

The shore Guard notes the asthma symptoms might not constantly be present during a physical exam, so a mindful review the a recruit’s medical background and medication usage is important.

The shore Guard likewise discourages health waiver applications indigenous students using to the U.S. Shore Guard Academy, though every waiver applications are considered in the context of a student’s as whole application.


Like other branches, the Navy follows a cutoff at 13 year old because that asthma symptom in determining an applicant’s fitness because that duty.

A waiver might be authorized if an applicant has:

been asymptomatic because that at least five yearshad a typical pulmonary role test in ~ the last yearhad typical metacholine challenge test results within the last year

A naval aviation applicant must additionally complete the Navy’s ARWG Asthma worksheet come be thought about for a waiver. Navy personnel who develop asthma symptoms while they room serving must use for a waiver to continue to be in the service.


The naval Corps is the smallest and most selective of the armed Services, definition that it also observes strict guidelines because that obtaining health and wellness waivers for any kind of cause.

The Marines watch the exact same review process involving MEPS and the guidelines because that no symptoms after 13 years of age.

Because asthma and related respiratory difficulties can worsen end time, it’s important that armed forces servicemembers achieve a thorough testimonial of their health in stimulate to assist get therapy to control symptoms, even if you’re currently in the military.

As with signs of any medical condition during army service, asthma symptoms should also be take away seriously. Every effort should it is in made to recognize whether an individual can proceed with military company in stimulate to avoid unnecessary danger to their own life or come the stays of others that serve v them.

Medical research study supports the authorized of people with asthma in the military with an easy treatment for symptoms.

Research indigenous 2015 in Federal Practitioner suggests that most “service members with asthma have the right to remain on active duty when monitoring with inhaled therapies that permits them to meet standards and also perform required duties.”

Researchers connected in this 2015 study also suggest the an asthma diagnosis should be given along with the adhering to tests to confirm the accuracy the the diagnosis:

how strong the airways react to asthma root cause (bronchoprovocation)

You may have actually a higher chance the receiving a waiver if:

you are currently being treated because that asthma her symptoms show up to be well managed your symptoms are fairly mild

Poorly controlled symptoms are most likely to bring about a waiver disapproval and also disqualification from joining the military.

Waivers for particular positions in the military, such together pilots and other aviation personnel, are additionally generally more difficult to attain with a history of asthma, however other army occupations might have much more lenient guidelines.

It may likewise be possible to job-related for the department of Defense (DoD) or department of Homeland defense (DHS) together a civilian if yes, really military organization is prohibited. Civilian work within the army don’t typically require together strict medical evaluations.

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Asthma deserve to be a disqualifying condition that prohibits military service.

If your symptoms room mild, you may be maybe to attain a waiver that can allow you come join. This deserve to involve pass one or much more tests of respiratory tract strength, and also completing a physics examination.

Flight duty in the miscellaneous branches may additionally be more complicated to acquire a waiver for, but other roles in the armed Services might be much more accepting. Talk v a recruiter to learn more.

last medically the review on July 1, 2021


Medically the evaluation by Marc Meth, MD, FACAAI, FAAAI — composed by James Roland ~ above July 1, 2021

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