TABLE 1-1 Medical Failures and Waivers, May 1, 2003 to April 30, 2005, Active Forces (most frequent medical failures, ranked by frequency; excludes cases with 2+ failures)

Medical Status

Total Applicants

Name

No Failure

Failure

% Waived

% Occurrence

No failure

359,082

 

 

 

All othera

 

20,804

36

29.7

Weight

 

16,312

46

23.3

Marijuanab

 

8,796

20

12.6

Psychiatric

 

4,303

34

6.1

Lower extremities

 

4,058

46

5.8

Lungs/chest

 

3,700

38

5.3

Hearing

 

3,637

28

5.2

Vision

 

2,868

41

4.1

Upper extremities

 

2,840

53

4.1

Skin

 

2,716

41

3.9

 

 

 

 

100.0

Totals

359,082

70,034

38

 

Total accessions

 

239,940

 

 

Total not accessed

 

189,176

 

 

Total applicants

 

429,116

 

 

aAll other medical fail codes with N < 2,000, e.g., blood pressure, abdomen, feet.

bPositive test at physical.

SOURCE: Committee analysis based on data provided by USMEPCOM (2005).

changes that could make a difference in the eligibility of significant numbers of potential recruits.

Table 1-1 presents the distribution of failure codes assigned in the medical examination and the waivers assigned in those failure codes by the various Services for applicants between May 2003 and April 2005. The top five disqualifiers are all part of the committee’s examination: body mass index (BMI)/weight (23.3 percent), marijuana (12.6 percent), psychiatric/mental health (6.1 percent), lower extremity/musculoskeletal (5.8 percent), and chest and lungs (5.3 percent). Together the top five disqualifiers account for 53 percent of the medical failures.

The committee’s evaluation of existing standards includes their effects on attrition and injury. Specifically, attrition was examined in basic training and through the first term of service. Measures relating to injury or illness include days lost, the need for hospitalization, cost, and attrition



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