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Can Someone With Type 1 Diabetes Join The Military

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Conditions For Deployment For People With Diabetes

Serving in the Military With Type 1 Diabetes – Meet Mark Thompson

Several studies explore that technological advancements have opened ways for diabetic soldiers to retain their positions in the military after treatment of diabetes.

The following qualities helped diabetic soldiers to retain their position

  • Hypoglycemia awareness
  • Knowledge of sick day rules
  • Ability to follow parameters of profile

Besides, the following factors should not be present.

  • Macular edema
  • Occurrence of diabetic ketoacidosis in past 6 months
  • Other comorbidities include congestive heart failure and chronic kidney disease

Overall, it is possible to join the military with diabetes under certain conditions like under control diabetes. Yet, if you have a severe condition, you cannot qualify for being enlisted at all. Besides, there are more chances for soldiers already on active duty to retain their positions even when diagnosed with diabetes. However, current Us regulations for diabetics in the military are more flexible compared with the past due to advancements in technology.

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Diabetes And Physical Capacity

Diabetes can cause a number of symptoms, most of which are associated with high blood sugar levels and include excessive thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, blurry vision, extreme or constant hunger, and fatigue. While these are signs of the disease, they are also signs that blood sugar levels are too high even in diabetics who are taking oral medications or insulin.

With a proper diet, moderate daily exercise, a consistent sleep schedule and appropriate use of prescribed medications, including insulin, most diabetics are able to control these basic symptoms of the disease and continue working their usual job and schedule. There are however complications that can arise with the disease, including vision/eye problems such as sensitivity to light and even blindness. Nerve damage, or neuropathy, digestive issues, metabolism problems, and frequent skin and feet sores and infections can also be among the complications diabetics must deal with.

Those unable to regulate their blood sugar levels, and who deal with complications such as those listed above, may or may not be physically capable of continuing to perform their normal job functions. People who work in more physically active or taxing jobs may have more trouble continuing to maintain gainful employment.

Notably, there are a couple of jobs that diabetics cannot legally hold due to safety concerns. These include commercial airline pilot and long-distance, commercial truck driver and bus driver positions.

Can A Type 1 Diabetic Be A Firefighter

You bet. We all know that there are certain conditions that the National Fire Protection Association recommends is automatic disqualifier. Diabetes used to be one of those disqualifiers. The latest edition of NFPA 1582, from 2007, permits diabetics to be firefighters but there are a number of strict standards.

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Determination Of Military Readiness

The medical board is established by each branch of the U.S. Military in order to ensure each service member that joins the military is prepared and ready for any type of situation.

Soldiers are deployed into all types of dangerous situations and must demonstrate basic physical and mental readiness.

Unfortunately, diabetes can cause an unnecessary distraction in times of combat.

It can damage the cohesiveness of a squad, and also put other soldiers at risk if they are attending to your medical needs during combat.

Sadly, diabetes adversely affects the career of a soldier as certain opportunities for promotion and development are restricted or blocked because of the medical condition.

It may prevent you from being able to go on certain assignments which ultimately fosters a bad psyche.

The Army, like other branches of the military, likes to remind servicemembers that the world in which they exist is far different from the real world.

Anything that can get away from the single-minded objective of completing a mission is a serious risk.

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What Is A Type 15 Diabetic

Can I Join The Military With Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1.5 diabetes is an unofficial term that is sometimes used to refer to a form of Type 1 diabetes known as Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults . Type 1.5 diabetes is a slow-progressing form of autoimmune diabetes. Like the autoimmune disease Type 1 diabetes, it occurs as the pancreas stops insulin production.

Also Check: Medical Management Of Diabetes Mellitus

Air Force Policy On Diabetes In 2020

The Air Force has similar regulations regarding diabetes like the Army.

The manual notes that is it imperative that the deliberations to deploy a service member with diabetes consider all the factors that can compromise the members safety and the ability to accomplish the mission.

Air Force regulations support the same method as the Army that anyone with a HbA1c of less than 7% is allowed to still get deployed with some careful considerations.

The Air Force supports the general stance of the U.S. military that if found fit for duty, the solider may not get deployed to areas where insulin cannot get properly stored.

Furthermore, there should be appropriate medical support for the individual as well.

Talk to an Air Force recruiter to find out which waiver, if any, would be necessary.

The Canadian Human Rights Act

In the case of discrimination in the workplace, if you are employed in federal work, the matter would come under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Subsection 3 , paragraph 7 and section 14 of the Canadian Human Rights Act stipulates the following:

3 For all purposes of this Act, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, marital status, family status, disability and conviction for which a pardon has been granted are prohibited grounds of discrimination.

7. It is discriminatory practice, directly or indirectly

to refuse to employ or continue to employ an individual on a prohibited ground of discrimination.

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Diabetes Diagnosis After Enlistment

As discussed above, soldiers diagnosed with diabetes while enlisting in the military have to undergo medical board rules and processes. In addition, medical board evaluation is not necessary for the enlisted soldiers if they maintain their HbA1c level below 7 and their condition is under control without medication. It means their diabetes is under control with only lifestyle medications like diet and exercise. So, there are more chances for type 2 diabetic individuals to qualify.

Besides, soldiers who need medication like type 1 diabetics have to depend on insulin fall into a more complex situation. They must serve their duty perfectly instead of managing their complex condition of diabetic level. These diabetic soldiers must pass an MBE to remain enlisted.

They may need to apply for non-combat positions or remain in the same place on Military Occupational Specialty List. The list explains the jobs that diabetic soldiers have permission to do. In general, soldiers with severe cases of diabetes who use insulin do not get enlisted.

How Diabetes Took Being A Pilot From Me

Trying the Russian Special Forces (Spetsnaz) Physical Fitness Test as a Type 1 Diabetic

Editors Note: People with Type 1 diabetes in Canada and the UK can fly commercially and enter the United States. Why cant people with Type 1 diabetes in United States do the same? Currently in the US, Type 1 diabetes is a disqualifying factor for both first and second-class medicals. If you have T1D, you cannot be a professional pilot.anythingso

All of the needles, lows, sleepless nights and carb counting dont bother me that much, but the fact that my dreams and ambitions were taken away, crushes me every day. I want to prove that those living with Type 1 diabetes can actually do anything though. I want to become the first professional pilot with Type 1 diabetes. I want to change the mind of those who view this disease as a disqualifying factor for this career choice. I want to defy the odds once again and make a difference for others like me. And I genuinely trust that I have what it takes to accomplish all of this. But I cant do it alone.

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What If You Are Already In The Military And Get Diagnosed With Diabetes

If youre in the military, get diagnosed, and they are talking discharge with you and you have just a few more years before you can retire, then you may be able to stay in based on the status of your position. You will need to submit the waivers to command. They will look at whether or not it is on the MOS list of jobs that is possible for a diabetic to hold in the military.

There are certain jobs that a person with diabetes may not be safe doing. Those jobs include jobs on the front line, or anything to do with piloting a military plane or serving on a submarine, among others. In particular cases where the military is giving a person with diabetes a hard time, it can be helpful to call your Congressman, as command will usually listen to Congressional inquiries.

From branch to branch, whether it is the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines, National Guard or Reserves, if you are already in, they are looking at each person on a case-by-case basis. Above all else, they are looking at how safe the person will be in combat, and if they will pose a risk to others in their unit.

Take the example of one National Guardsman who wanted to go to Afghanistan with his unit. He submitted one waiver, which was approved. However, they changed the rules and revoked his waiver. This time, he submitted another waiver. He got approved, and was able to deploy to Afghanistan with his unit. Here is a summary of his story:

  • Sergeant Mark Thompsons story
  • Captain Nick Lozars Story

References:

Allergies And Coeliac Disease

Allergies

Significant food or other allergies are a limiting factor to entry.

Coeliac disease

While coeliac disease is manageable day-to-day within New Zealand, in certain situations there may be limited dietary options for a prolonged period. In such situations there is a risk of complications ranging from gastrointestinal symptoms to nutritional deficiency. This has potential implications not only for the individual, but also those around them. The Defence Force has an obligation to minimise risk to the individual and the organisation wherever possible, and accordingly if you have coeliac disease you may not be admitted entry to the Defence Force.

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Military Recruiting And Diabetes

If youre not in the military, it can be very difficult to enlist if you have pre-diabetes, Type 1, Type 1.5 or Type 2 diabetes. Depending on the severity of your disease and your A1C, you may be able to enlist in certain positions. However, you can also consider going on a plant-based diet for many months or even a few years before enlisting.

A plaint-based diet has been shown to reverse diabetes and even has allowed some to live without insulin or any other treatment for the disease. Following a strict plant-based diet could be the answer and may allow you to get the all-clear from a doctor before enlisting in the military.

The hard part will be sticking to this type of a diet once youre in the military. While some bases and military outlets have become far healthier, its still difficult to get all the best foods during basic training and during combat. However, if you follow a plant-based diet as much as possible, you may be able to join the military and keep your diabetes from coming back.

Make sure to consult a doctor before starting any new diet. If you want to join the military, but you have pre-diabetes or diabetes, consider making some major diet changes first. This could be your ticket to joining without diabetes and to a healthier you.

Diabetes And The Military

Can I Join The Military With Type 1 Diabetes

If you have pre-diabetes, Type 1, Type 1.5 or Type 2 diabetes, its not as easy as simply joining the military. Questions may come up about your diabetic condition and even though it may seem discriminatory for the military to tell someone they cannot serve due to this condition, the military is known for rejecting people due to health issues.

Before we start to get too worried, its important to look at how military recruiting and diabetes relate. Its also important to look at what could happen if youre diagnosed with diabetes as a member of the military.

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Diabetics Can Now Be Rcmp Constables

NEWS RELEASE

CANADIAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION

*********************Canadian Diabetes Association fights discrimination with the RCMPTORONTO – Yesterday, during Diabetes Awareness Month, the Canadian Diabetes Association proudly announces that people using insulin for diabetes are no longer barred from applying to work as a regular constable for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The Canadian Association applauds the RCMP for adopting a policy of individual assessment and implementing the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Diabetes Mellitus Medical Guidelines.The RCMP’s new 2006 medical guidelines are a result of a Canadian human rights complaint filed by Ken Hall in 2001.

After applying for employment as a regular constable, Mr. Hall, a resident of Calgary, was told he was unsuitable for employment with the RCMP because he has type 1 diabetes.

After five years of support and assistance from the Canadian Diabetes Association and pro bono legal work provided by the firm of McCarthy Tetrault, LLP in Calgary, the RCMP agreed to modify its hiring policy, to be inclusive of people with type 1 diabetes, for regular constables.”The Canadian Diabetes Association believes that all people with diabetes should be eligible for employment in any occupation for which they are individually qualified,” said Karen Philp, executive director, national office of public policy and government relations, Canadian Diabetes Association.

You can visit the Association’s advocacy website at Diabetes.ca.

Meet Some Leos With Diabetes

Adam Roth took his first position in law enforcement as a Type 1 diabetic working as a cop on the beach in New Jersey. He later went to the Pentagon, where he received rigorous physical exams by the team that also conducts these examinations for the military, which can be very intimidating.

He was still able to work as a US Pentagon police officer. His current job is Department of Commerce Special Agent. He once ran into trouble when he applied to be a reserve officer with the Coast Guard, and was turned down.

When he took the case to court, the Coast Guard won. He tried to work as an EMT with a volunteer fire department in Virginia, but the fire department had banned all persons with diabetes. He also appealed this and won, and ended up working for the fire department. You can read Adams inspiring story here: .

Lt. Jose Lopez with the Miami-Dade police department was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic during his first probationary year. He did not tell his superiors right away, but when he did, they were very supportive. He was able to move up and work in the SWAT team, on the narcotics squad, and later even became a sergeant. He is currently serving as a lieutenant in the homicide division. You can read his story that proves diabetes will not hold you back here: .

Some frequently asked questions we received through email and facebook.

References:

Read Also: What Eye Problems Does Diabetes Cause

A Year After Doctors Said He Wouldnt Be Allowed To Commission Air Force Academy Graduate Joins The Space Force

A year before Tanner Johnson was due to graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, he was lying in a hospital bed and doctors were telling his family he had two hours to live.

His organs were shutting down due to complications caused by Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune condition where the body attacks the cells that make insulin.

Type 1 diabetes usually affects young children and runs in families, but none of Johnsons relatives were diabetic. He was nearly 22when he was diagnosed in May 2020, two months after most cadets had been sent home as the academy scrambled to contain the fast-spreading coronavirus.

Johnson pulled through the worst of the health crisis and began to deal with his new reality.

The doctors said I would have to take insulin shots every day for the rest of my life, I would not be able to fly, I would not be allowed in the military, and wouldnt be allowed to return to the academy and graduate, Johnson said.

But he refused to accept what they said and set out to prove them wrong. He hoped to become the first person to be commissioned into the U.S. military with a medical condition that, up until then, was automatically disqualifying.

If you have Type 1, you become not deployable because you are taking insulin shots, said Lt. Col. Amy Carpenter, an assistant professor of biology at the academy and a certified diabetes counselor.

What You Can Do About Unfair Treatment In The Workplace

Demolishing Diabetes Type 1

Problems in the workplace can sometimes be resolved by educating your employer about diabetes and about your medical needs.

When education isnt enough, try to negotiate a resolution to the problem. Call on others to help, including colleagues, your diabetes team, union or elected official.

Other times, you will need to take more formal action by filing a lawsuit or human rights complaint.

The federal parliament and provincial legislatures in Canada have enacted human rights legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of physical disability. As defined within the context of human rights law, diabetes is a disability for which discrimination is prohibited.

Although employers and others are not permitted to discriminate against people with diabetes, sometimes it occurs because of a lack of correct information about diabetes or assumptions made about diabetes.

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