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Navy Updates Medical Waiver Process

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FALLS CHURCH, Va. (NNS) -- U.S. Navy surgeon general Vice Adm. Forrest Faison, on behalf of the Department of the Navy (DoN), instituted a new policy regarding the medical waiver process. The changes were officially signed Feb. 15, and impacts all applicants, with greater emphasis on enlisted to officer commissioning programs.

The decision to update this policy came about as a result of Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent’s leadership and continued persistence to ensure the best processes are in place for the Navy. Her sacrifice and service to the Navy and our nation will never be forgotten.

This new policy, which was named in her honor, establishes a standardized waiver process that affords a pathway to appeal medical waiver recommendations. A mechanism is now in place for the service representatives to pursue a second medical waiver review on otherwise qualified applicants. 

When a second medical waiver review is requested, a Navy medical professional with delegated authority will evaluate the applicant’s capability to enlist or commission despite the fact that a disqualifying condition may exist. Disqualifying medical conditions are defined in Department of Defense Instruction 6130.03, “Medical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction into the Military Services.”

This change standardizes the initial review process, ensuring all reviewers have access to the same information and are provided standardized training. This will result in decreased variability among medical reviewers and more robust reviews of all details associated with a case in pursuit of the most favorable determination.

Perhaps most importantly, the policy memo firmly states the surgeon general’s strong expectation, shared by all Navy leaders that the highest consideration should be afforded to those applicants currently serving in a deployable status.

Navy Medicine is a global health care network of 63,000 personnel which provides health care support to the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, their families, and veterans in high operational-tempo environments, at expeditionary medical facilities, medical treatment facilities, hospitals, clinics, hospital ships and research units around the world.

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