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Army clarifies misperceptions about recruiting waivers

By By USAREC PAO USAREC

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Waivers have long been a topic of discussion when it comes to recruiting statistics and are often used as a measure of success or failure in the public's eye.

U.S. Army Recruiting Command is working to eliminate the stigma and help the public understand the purpose of the waiver process.

"Waivers are not an exception to the Army's enlistment requirements, which is often what people think," said Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Snow, USAREC's commanding general. "The term has a negative connotation because people tend to believe a waiver means we are accepting someone who does not meet one or more of our prescribed qualifications; this simply is not true. In fact, it's the opposite, as the waiver process means we are doing a higher-level review to validate the individual does fully qualify. "

The Army will only accept individuals who meet all requirements at the time of enlistment, said Col. Jim Jensen, director of operations for USAREC. The waiver process is used when someone has a past condition or issue that is listed as a disqualification. If the individual can prove the past disqualifying factor is no longer an issue and he/she currently meets all the Army's enlistment requirements, a waiver can be considered. USAREC uses defense department policy to determine what past conditions or issues can be considered for this higher-level review.

"The policy is black and white as to what we will consider and what we will not. You either meet our requirements or you do not, " Jensen said. "In addition to providing all the documentation associated with the previously disqualifying factor, individuals must have a favorable recommendation from local recruiting commanders."

Snow said since 2010, USAREC an average of 10-12 percent of recruits each year enlist using a waiver, and since that time the vast majority of waivers have been related to medical issues, such as correctable vision imperfections, childhood asthma, and knee and shoulder repairs.

"All new recruits are fully qualified for the Army and for the job they have chosen," Snow said. "We evaluate every applicant using a whole-person concept. "We seek resilient and fit individuals who are capable of meeting our cognitive, physical and moral requirements and are committed to successfully completing their first term of service."