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  • Retinitispigmentosa found out I have this today

    Hey guys, I've been thinking and finally made up my mind about joining the guard as a 68W (medic). I found out today I have retinituspigmentosa.. Im a civilian Firefighter/EMT I've never notified problems with my eyes before besides the fact I wear glasses to assist in seeing far distances. With my glasses I have 20/20 vision if not better, I've been busting my butt studying for the ASVAB and everything I can do to make sure I can get the MOS I want and now I don't even know if I'll be able to join. Recruiter said to just bring the paper work with us to MEPS, I also had someone tell me to get a bill of clean health. If anyone has heard of people getting into the military with this condition or anything similar please help or any advice that anyone could share. This is my first post In this forum so hopefully I'm not In the wrong thread.
    Thank you!!
    Last edited by Tylo60; June 21st, 2012, 08:14 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Retinitispigmentosa found out I have this today

    Originally posted by Tylo60 View Post
    Hey guys, I've been thinking and finally made up my mind about joining the guard as a 68W (medic). I found out today I have retinituspigmentosa.. Im a civilian Firefighter/EMT I've never notified problems with my eyes before besides the fact I wear glasses to assist in seeing far distances. With my glasses I have 20/20 vision if not better, I've been busting my butt studying for the ASVAB and everything I can do to make sure I can get the MOS I want and now I don't even know if I'll be able to join. Recruiter said to just bring the paper work with us to MEPS, I also had someone tell me to get a bill of clean health. If anyone has heard of people getting into the military with this condition or anything similar please help or any advice that anyone could share. This is my first post In this forum so hopefully I'm not In the wrong thread.
    Thank you!!
    Just so other readers are you clear, I'm assuming you are referring to Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative condition of the retina that can cause major vision impairment or even blindness. Looking at the DoDI 6130.03, the Medical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction in the Military Services, it states:

    "d. Retina. Current or history of any abnormality of the retina (361.00-362.89, 363.14-363.22), choroid (363.00-363.9) or vitreous (379.2x) [is considered a disqualification]."

    What's interesting about this condition is that it's progression can happen slowly. Some people have symptoms since birth and don't have any issues until they get older. So, a question to ask your doctor is, what is your prognosis? To what degree are you impaired? Is this something that will affect your military career?

    It's good you're working with your recruiter now before you go to MEPS. Get as much information you can about your condition and try to get a letter from your doctor clearing you for training. This will help your case; especially if you need to apply for a waiver. You'll already have your documents in order!

    Good luck. Hopefully, it's nothing too serious.

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    • #3
      Re: Retinitispigmentosa found out I have this today

      Rycass thanks for replying! Yeah Honestly I have no major issues with any of the symptoms that are associated with "RP". I made it through fire academy, also no issues with working as a crash rescue firefighter. I went to a optometrist, for eyeglasses technically they have to run many tests and blood work to officially diagnosed with RP, so I've been told. Witch doctor would you suggest trying to get clearance from? The eye doctor I saw for glasses took a picture of my retina and noted RP. And reffered me to find out about genetic testing! Thanks for the help!

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      • #4
        Re: Retinitispigmentosa found out I have this today

        Originally posted by Tylo60 View Post
        Rycass thanks for replying! Yeah Honestly I have no major issues with any of the symptoms that are associated with "RP". I made it through fire academy, also no issues with working as a crash rescue firefighter. I went to a optometrist, for eyeglasses technically they have to run many tests and blood work to officially diagnosed with RP, so I've been told. Witch doctor would you suggest trying to get clearance from? The eye doctor I saw for glasses took a picture of my retina and noted RP. And reffered me to find out about genetic testing! Thanks for the help!
        A general rule of thumb is to use the doctor that specializes in the condition you're needing a letter for. So, in your case, that would be your optometrist; specifically the one that diagnoses you with RP. This will give the most credibility if you need a waiver.

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        • #5
          Re: Retinitispigmentosa found out I have this today

          Makes sense, what odds do you personally think I have? Or any other advice? This is something Ive always wanted so I'm going to give it everything I possibly can. I can't find any other casses similar to mine on the Internet. My recruiter told me has gotten people in on waivers. But nothing ever similar to my case. This situation went from being the Most excited I've ever been to extremely stressful. Thanks for the advice and help.

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