Understand the Abbreviations
What is DoDMERB?
DoDMERB is the agency responsible for your medical clearance for your acceptance into ROTC. 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.
Start the DoDMERB Process after you accept the scholarship offer
Once you accept the scholarship offer, you will receive an email to start the DODMERB process. We recommend scheduling the physical as early as possible.
Scheduling your DoDMERB Physical Exam
You’ll have three options for scheduling any follow up exams, after your initial:
- Concorde contractor
- Medical Treatment Facility
- Private doctor
For your first exam, you will schedule an appointment with a contracted doctor. For follow up requests, 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.
We always recommend that scholarship winners use their own doctor for any follow ups.
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.
The results after your physical can take from 6-8 weeks to come back with a Q/DQ decision.
Follow Instructions for Each ROTC Program
Each ROTC program in different services has slightly different methods for the DoDMERB physical. Understanding these differences is key to making sure you are able to complete everything on time!
If you want to fly, you’ll need a Class 1 Flight Physical which must be completed by November of your junior year of college. This process happens once you are already an Air Force ROTC cadet.
If you are applying through the High School Scholarship Program (HSSP), DoDMERB will automatically forward the waiver to the Air Education and Training Command Surgeon General for consideration. You’ll still want to keep a close eye on the status of your waiver.
If you are already in college, the AF ROTC Detachment Commander at your school will submit your waiver.
Navy and Marine Corps ROTC
The waiver authority for Navy ROTC is the Bureau of Navy Medicine and Surgery (BUMED). Once your physical is completed, any disqualifying conditions will begin the waiver process through BUMED. Follow the waiver process closely and make sure you schedule all required appointments as soon as possible.
The waiver authority for Army ROTC is the U.S. Army Cadet Command Surgeon. Once your physical is completed, any disqualifying conditions will begin the waiver process through the surgeon’s office at Fort Knox. Follow the waiver process closely and make sure you schedule all required appointments as soon as possible.
Be Honest During your ROTC DoDMERB Physical
Be honest with your providers. Nothing good can come of hiding conditions. Your ROTC scholarship will be put in jeopardy if you hide a condition.
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.
If you need a waiver, you will receive instructions from each service 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 waiver authorities for each service receive all the documentation through DoDMERB to grant waivers, so it’s very important to complete all requirements through DoDMERB.