2. Understand the Abbreviations
What is DoDMERB?
DoDMERB is the agency responsible for your medical clearance for your service academy application. DoDMERB is the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board. It’s a big organization and a big bureaucracy so you can expect the entire process to take extra time and effort!
What is DoDMETS?
DoDMETS is an online system that tracks your medical status. DoDMETS is the Department of Defence Medical Exam Testing System. This is the system that tracks exams, making sure scheduling happens, and helping you complete all the medical requirements for DoDMERB.
3. Start the DoDMERB Process Early!
It can take a long time to get your physical scheduled, up to 30 days. We recommend scheduling the physical as early as possible. However, there are different requirements for each service academy so it’s important to understand what steps you need to take to initiate your clearance with DoDMERB.
Scheduling your DoDMERB Physical Exam
You’ll have three options for scheduling your physical:
- Concorde contractor
- Medical Treatment Facility
- Private doctor
The first two options are both paid for by the government, but if you choose to use your own doctor you’ll need to pay out of pocket for the exam.
When you get correspondence from DoDMERB once your physical is complete, you could hear 1 of 3 things:
- Qualified – (also called Q) Congrats, you passed the medical process!
- Disqualified – (also called DQ) There is a condition that does not meet medical standards, however there is still a chance you may be granted a waiver. It’s not the end of the world and just another hurdle in the application process to overcome.
- Remedial – More information is needed before DoDMERB can make a decision either way. Make sure you take care of the extra requirements quickly.
Through the process of going through DoDMERB, you might receive a disqualification code or a remedial code. You can look up what these mean on the DoDMERB website here. (For 2022, currently the website is down, and this is significantly impacting the timeline for candidates with no medical issues to receive qualified status, let alone those requiring waivers)
4. Follow Instructions for each Service Academy
Each Service Academy has slightly different methods for the DoDMERB physical. Understanding these differences is key to making sure you are able to complete everything on time!
In order to start the DoDMERB process, you have to fill out at least 3 of these 5 requirements before the admissions team will forward your name:
- Candidate Fitness Assessment
- Candidate Personal Data Record
- Candidate Activities Record
- Teacher Evaluations
- Writing Sample
Find out more specifics on the USAFA medical requirements page.
The DoDMERB process will start once you have started an admissions file and passed the initial screening process.
The Naval Academy has pretty decent guidance regarding medical requirements in their medical appendix.
5. Honesty is Key
Be honest with your providers. Nothing good can come of hiding conditions. The academies will withdraw your application and prevent and disqualify you from applying again.
If you are honest about a condition upfront you may have time to work a waiver. The more time you can provide to get a waiver for your medical condition the better.
6. Each Service Academy Grants their own Waivers
Medical waivers allow applicants to enter military service programs even though they may not have met DoD medical standards. Waivers may be granted by the program to which you’re applying, NOT DoDMERB. The Service Academies automatically consider applicants for a medical waiver if they are competitive for admission. These waivers are Service (Army, Navy, Force) specific.
You will receive instructions from each academy relayed through DoDMERB, directing DoDMERB to request additional tests, studies, or medical records/information. If this happens, it’s important to get these additional tests done as quickly as possible as the process can sometimes be quite lengthy.
The doctors at each Service Academy receive all the documentation through DoDMERB to grant waivers, so it’s very important to complete all requirements through DoDMERB.