• Current or a history of personality disorders is disqualifying because of concern that immaturity, instability, personality inadequacy, impulsiveness, or dependency will interfere with adjustment to military service.

  • Current or a history of dissociative disorders, including hysteria and depersonalization, as well as current or a history of a somatoform disorder, such as hypochondriasis or chronic pain disorder, are disqualifying conditions.

  • Individuals with current receptive or expressive language disorder that interferes with the production of speech or ability to repeat commands are disqualified.

  • Any individual with current or a history of psychosexual conditions, such as transsexualism, exhibitionism, transvestism, voyeurism or other paraphilias, are disqualified.

Age cutoffs are used for some standards. After the 13th birthday, if an individual has enuresis, encopresis, or sleepwalking, then he or she is disqualified. Similarly, eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia, occurring after the 13th birthday and lasting longer than three months are disqualifying conditions.

A single item on the medical prescreen form, which is completed at the recruiting station, is related to psychiatric disorders (Item 16). The item is worded “seen a psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor or other professional for any reason (inpatient or outpatient) including counseling or treatment for school, adjustment, family, marriage or any other problem to include depression, or treatment for alcohol, drug or substance abuse.”

If an applicant responds “yes” to Item 16, he or she is requested to explain the affirmative response. All documentation relating to an affirmative response is sent directly from the treating clinician or hospital to the military entrance processing station (MEPS) chief medical officer. If an applicant has been diagnosed or treated since age 12 for attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, academic skills or perceptual deficit, or has an individual education plan, the recruiter is instructed to contact the MEPS for additional instruction.

At the military entrance processing station, recruits complete a medical history questionnaire. A history of treatment for a mental condition depends solely on self-report. Although recruits undergo a medical evaluation, there is no formal psychiatric assessment.


As noted in Chapter 3 there is a paucity of available data on health and medical conditions in military databases. In some cases data are not

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement