Coast Guard Diabetes Policy In 2020
Finding information on the Coast Guard official diabetes policy was a bit more difficult than the other military branches.
As a result, OMK had a chat with a Coast Guard recruiter on their official website.
Heres what they had to say regarding their diabetes policy:
CG recruiter: Hello! How can I help you today?
OMK: Hi there, quick question. Can you join the Coast Guard if you have diabetes?
CG recruiter: Unfortunately, you wont be able to join with that condition.
OMK: ok so there are no waivers or exceptions?
CG recruiter: NO waivers. Its an absolute disqualification.
The Reality Of Combat With Diabetes
Now lets imagine that you are a person living with Type 1 diabetes or a person living with Type 2 diabetes on insulin, and you are in the midst of this combat zone in Afghanistan. Your unit has had to move out quickly, and you have left your insulin pen behind in a rush.
You got your morning dose along with a carb-loaded MRE, but as you expended more energy throughout the day, your blood sugar started to drop at about the time your troop moved in on the terrorist cell. You have no quick carbohydrates left, and you have a low blood sugar reaction right at the time when the gunfire starts.
Your unit is scrambling for supplies. Should your unit stop and tend to you in the middle of combat, or do you pose a risk not only to yourself, but to those fellow soldiers who fight with you? If they stop to take care of you, will they be ambushed by the enemy? Will your combat buddies lose their life because they stopped to take care of your diabetes? Or will you be left behind, and imprisoned by the terrorists?
Soldiers With Diabetes Fighting Fit
A career in the armed forces should be an option for people with diabetes – this is the finding of the first study into insulin-treated conscripts doing regular military service, in Finland.
Results from the research, published today in the journal Diabetic Medicine, showed that the drop-out rate was not significantly different between conscripts with or without diabetes: 15 per cent compared to 12 per cent respectively.
The research, based on 47 men in the Finnish army between 2001 and 2005, also showed that 46 per cent of conscripts with diabetes were chosen for leadership training compared to 20 per cent of all conscripts.
Diabetes UK believes that people with diabetes should not be banned from doing any job simply because of their condition,” said Simon ONeill, Director of Care and Policy at Diabetes UK.
“People with diabetes should be given the right to prove their fitness for specific roles. Unfortunately, the armed forces are the last employer not to adopt a positive outlook on disability discrimination issues.
“Diabetes UK will continue to campaign to get this situation reversed.
In the UK employers who are exempt from the Disability Discrimination Act , such as the armed forces, can impose a ban on recruiting people with insulin-treated diabetes.
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Can You Enlist In The Military With Pre
Its hard to enlist in the military with Pre-diabetes, Type 1, Type 1.5 or Type 2 diabetes if you are not already in. Again, the severity of your disease is going to be looked at, and you will have to show that you are self-managing your diabetes. Your A1C will need to be in a range where you are not at risk for complications , and you will need to keep your post-prandial blood sugars under 180.
There are many stories related to people who tried to enlist, but were unable to serve. There are stories related to folks with diabetes of all types, including Type 1.5 . There seems to be a large volume of PDQs given out without any medical evaluation being done with just the mention of diabetes on the application. Military recruiters may say no, but then you will have the opportunity to state your case and get approval through waivers. Be prepared for recruiters to say no anyway, and have another plan in case.
Getting Tested For Diabetes
Diabetes is diagnosed by using one of four blood tests.
It is simple to get checked at your primary care physicians office or health clinic.
The test will measure your blood glucose level.
It basically monitors how much sugar is in your blood.
It is a really good idea to get tested for diabetes, especially if you are considering the military.
In fact, some people with diabetes do not have symptoms immediately and therefore are unaware of the disease.
The earlier you can learn of a diagnosis, the better your odds of survival just like any deadly disease.
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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.
Does The National Guard Take Diabetics
Diabetes usually disqualifies individuals from military service. 4 | The Average Salary of a Major General in the US Army National Guard Because diabetics are reliant on medication and may become in need of medical attention at any time, the various branches of the military — including the Army and the Army National Guard — do not typically allow either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetics to join. However, there is a very small chance that diabetics can enter military service. According to the Army website, diabetics who take insulin or other medication to manage their illness cannot join the Army or any of its branches. However, diabetics who do not take medication but instead manage their illness by watching their diet may have a slim chance of obtaining a medical waiver for enlistment. Whatever the likely outcome, it is important that military applicants be truthful about diabetes and other conditions with their recruiters. A failure to disclose medical issues can lead to a dishonorable discharge if it is discovered.Continue reading > >
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Can You Join The Military If You Have Diabetes
By Elisabeth Almekinder RN, BA, CDE
Its patriotic and noble to join the armed forces to fight for your freedom and country. Not only that, it can offer a fully-paid trip to college, early retirement, good insurance, a 0% down VA home loan, and a whole host of other perks.
If you graduate from a military school, not only do you get a free ride, but you also get to go in as an officer after you graduate, with competitive pay and excellent benefits.
If you are active duty, you get insurance through Tricare, which is pretty good insurance. More people have picked themselves up out of poverty by joining the military then by any other means, so it can be a sweet deal for some.
Where Does The Military Stand On Diabetes
The best way to find out where the military stands on diabetes is to speak with a military recruiter. However, its generally a hard stance taken by the military when it comes to Type 1, Type 1.5 and Type 2 diabetes. All military branches take the same, hard stance and do not allow those with Type 1, Type 1.5 and Type 2 diabetes to enlist.
While you can try to go through the medical waiver process, you will likely still get told no. In fact, some stories have been told of PDQs given to those with pre-diabetes before a full medical evaluation has even been done. However, these stories could also be related to obesity or being overweight or could even be related to mental illness.
In some cases, those that have already joined the military only to be diagnosed with diabetes later have been able to stay in the military. Often, they are reassigned, if their occupation puts them at too high of a risk.
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Staying Enlisted After A Diagnosis
The prospects for soldiers who are diagnosed with diabetes after enlisting are less negative and increasingly better as technology improves and diabetes comes to be better understood. Typically, if a soldier is diagnosed while already on active duty, they will be required to undergo a Medical Board Evaluation but may remain enlisted if they are found fit for duty.
Every branch of the U.S. military has established a medical board, whose duty it is to see that every service member who joins the military is mentally and physically prepared for any type of situation they could encounter in the course of their enlistment.
In the Army, soldiers are deployed into many dangerous situations, even if they are not in active combat. Issues arising from diabetes, whether they are longer-term health complications or more immediate situations such as fainting in the line of duty, may preclude the medical board from allowing a soldier to continue to serve. Medical board rulings regarding diabetic service members have varied depending on the specific board and the service member’s case.
Tricks You Can Try And Hoops You Can Jump Through
The key here seems to be whether or not you use insulin, but then it gets a little tricky. It is possible to slip through some loopholes here. If you are a Type 1 or a Type 2 diabetic that is taking insulin, you may be allowed to serve in a branch of the military, including, especially if you are already in. With Type 1, Type 1.5, and Type 2 diabetes that is well controlled and an A1C below 7, you may be able to stay in, even if you require insulin.
There will be some hoops to jump through, but your foot is already in the door, so to speak. You will need to submit waivers to your physicians and officers. You will go through medical testing to see if you are fit. You may be placed in a non-combat related position, such as the mess hall or an office, or allowed to remain in your current occupation if it is on the list of jobs that is permissible for a person with diabetes to hold. This list is called the Military Occupational Specialty list, or MOS.
Remember that Type 2 is progressive, and with subsequent beta cell destruction through the years, you may begin to require more insulin and it may become harder to keep your A1C below 7. At the point your diabetes becomes uncontrolled and your A1C is over 7, you could be discharged regardless.
The same would be true of a person with Type 1 diabetes. It depends on how determined you are to stay in active duty, and to keep your diabetes managed at all times. This can be a challenge in the military.
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How Insulin Resistance Evolves Into Type 2 Diabetes And Other Costly Diseases
Insulin resistance has been brought to our attention with more studies, reports, Ted Talks, articles by doctors, and even an article I wrote, titled “Biggest Health Problem in the U.S.,” yet there are no significant programming or dieting changes recommended by the government health and medical community. There are, however, a few in the medical and nutrition field who have been waving the red flag for years as our country is now sporting 70% overweight or obese numbers.
Now, even our military is representing those numbers as more and more active-duty members are overweight or obese. With a national Type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes rate of 37%, it is only a matter of time before our national crisis affects the pool of military candidates on a strategic level. In fact, Type 2 diabetes has doubled in the last 10 years and quadrupled since 1980.
Currently, the number one reason why young men and women cannot join the military is that they fail to meet the height, weight and body-fat percentage minimum standards. So our nations health and wellness already has started to affect recruiting numbers.
Insulin resistance is pre-pre-diabetes and a precursor to other conditions such as a heart attack, Alzheimers Disease, cancer, kidney disease, stroke, gout, obesity and, of course, Type 2 diabetes. Recent studies are linking insulin resistance to Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimers to a degree that Alzheimers is being considered Type 3 diabetes, Dr. Georgia Ede said.
Why Is Diabetes Problem In The Military
Diabetes can cause hindrance in many military processes and training. Serving in the military is difficult because they have tough duty schedules. During duty timings, soldiers have to bear different weather conditions like hot and cold weather. Consistent heat and MREs, especially carbohydrates, make it challenging to prevent insulin and blood sugar levels from spiking. Due to the long hours of duty, soldiers get less time for sleep, which becomes harmful to their health.
If you are suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you may be on insulin. It may be possible that you miss getting insulin because of the places changing for your duty, and your blood sugar could reach a dangerous level. In short, managing the schedule of duty for military persons is difficult with uncertain health conditions like diabetes. You need to take extra care of yourself, being a diabetic patient.
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How Insulin Factors Into The Decision
Often, those with diabetes are on insulin, which is the biggest issue for the military. When it comes to military recruiting and diabetes, if youre on insulin, it will disqualify you almost immediately. If youre not on insulin, its still tricky, but you have a chance.
While it may seem rather cut and dry with diabetes, its not. If youre a Type 1 or Type 2 diabetic and you take insulin, you may be allowed to serve in the military, especially if youre already in the military. If your diabetes is well controlled and you have an A1C below 7, you may be okay.
If youre already in, you will have to jump through some hoops and submit some waivers, but with the right medical testing, you may be able to serve in a non-combat related position. However, if your A1C reaches a level above 7, you could be discharged.
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Its important to maintain a healthy body weight. You should also make sure that you drink plenty of water, and limit your intake of sugary drinks. In addition, make sure that you get regular exercise. You should also avoid alcoholic beverages. Lastly, you should avoid alcohol. These beverages contain high amounts of sugar. If you dont drink enough, youre not doing anything to prevent diabetes. Besides, drinking alcohol can be harmful to your health.
The most important thing to do is to follow the recommended diet. Eat more healthy foods that have low amounts of fat and high amounts of fiber. The best way to lose weight is to lose 7 percent of your body weight. If youre overweight, you should try to lose 14 pounds to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, you should not attempt to lose weight while pregnant. Talk to your doctor about what kind of weight is safe for you.
Besides high blood glucose, diabetes can also affect the nerves and skin. It may affect your sexual response and your nervous system. It can also affect your fertility. Women with diabetes are more likely to miscarry or have a baby with a birth defect. It can cause a person to have difficulty hearing and sleep. If the condition is left untreated, it can lead to type 1 diabetes and can even lead to amputation.
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You should know that insulin can help you manage your diabetes and prevent further damage to your kidneys. If youre suffering from diabetes, its important to consult a doctor to make sure that youre a good candidate for the condition. If youre looking for more information, you can read about the various types of diabetes available, as well as how to get a free online health assessment. In many cases, its possible to avoid a doctors visit by doing simple exercises. If youre not familiar with the signs and symptoms of diabetes, you can read online articles about the condition and learn about its treatment.