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The real deal on waivers

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  • The real deal on waivers

    Here's a VH-1 Behind the Music peek at waivers, from a former OSM who had to deal with them.

    1. Waivers are not a civil right. They're a judgment call by certain authorities that it is the best interests of the Guard as a whole to take a risk on an individual who does not meet standards.
    2. Read that bit again: in the best interests of the Guard.
    3. Waivers, therefore, really aren't about you, they're about the Guard.
    4. Waivers are time consuming, and I only have so many hours in the day. If I have an applicant who needs a waiver, and an applicant who doesn't, guess which one is my highest priority? Since a waiver authority doesn't want to grant a waiver just to find the applicant is DQ for some other reason, I must do about 70%-90% of a complete appointment packet just to submit a waiver request. Why would I do this when I have a far better chance of success with someone else? Why would I do 90% of the work with a 50% chance of success, when I can do 100% of the work for a 95% chance at success? I get no credit for the applicants I almost put into the Guard.
    5. I don't sell lottery tickets. If you want to take a chance on a longshot, go to the horse track, and leave me out of it. Do not come to my office.
    6. Needing a waiver doesn't make you a bad person, neither is it a moral judgment when I refuse to process your paperwork. Nothing personal, it's just business, baby. My job is to fill units with qualified Soldiers, not to fulfill your dreams. Obviously I can do both most of the time, but ultimately, I've got to take care of the needs of the units first.

  • #2
    Re: The real deal on waivers

    Special category Applicants have a very high rate of approval. (JAG, AMEDD, Chaplain) If you really wish to be a military chaplain, try another service.

    The service waiver authorities make decisions based on the needs of the respective service at that point in time. You still have a chance.

    If I have a board certified neurosurgeon with a fellowship, believe me melanoma history or not I want that individual.

    The benefits outweigh the risk to the service.

    However, I will mention that dermatologists are very rare on active duty. An individual with hx of skin cancer needs periodic check ups. I have disqualified individuals for active service based on the fact that we could not perform those checks on individuals with a hx of less aggressive skin cancers.


    • #3
      Re: The real deal on waivers

      The LTC is accurate in his post not because of his own personal experience but because that is how it is across the board. This article proves it alone.

      Quality of U.S. military recruits rises

      By Jim Michaels, USA TODAY

      Updated 4/8/2011 12:06 AM

      The quality of military recruits has increased to its highest level in almost two decades partly because of a tough civilian job market and a more stable Iraq.

      Last year, 99% of recruits had a high school diploma before entering the service, up from 91% in 2006, when fighting in Iraq was near its peak and the economy was stronger.

      The increased interest in the armed forces means recruiters can be choosier about whom they let into the military.

      "We turn away a lot more people than we have in years past," said Army Staff Sgt. David Harris, a recruiter in Roswell, Ga.

      The military has dramatically cut the number of "waivers," which allowed people to join the military despite past misconduct or medical reasons.

      The Army granted waivers to 8.7% of the recruits entering the service last fiscal year, down from 15.6% the previous year. Most of those waivers were for medical reasons.

      The services said waivers allowed recruiters to make exceptions if they thought a recruit deserved a second chance for a youthful indiscretion or minor health issue.

      But the decrease in waivers is an indication that demand among young people for the military has increased so that recruiters are less willing to make exceptions for recruits who don't meet standards
      "When I started (recruiting) in 2006 ... we still had restrictions, but not nearly to the extent we have now," Harris said.

      The Army this year also returned the maximum age for enlisting to 35. It had been raised to 42 in 2006. The money available for bonuses has declined in recent years.

      Officials say recruits join the military for many reasons, but a lack of jobs has forced many young people to take a harder look at the armed forces.

      "That has played a significant role," said Curtis Gilroy, a Pentagon personnel official.

      Brett Miles, a 26-year-old from Indianapolis, has a college degree but decided to enlist because it would get him in the service faster than if he had gone through officer training school. "It's something I always wanted to do," he said.

      La'Bianca Stitt, 20, said she joined the military for the opportunities. "I'll be traveling the world, learning different languages," she said. "You don't get to see stuff like that every day."

      "My mom, of course, really doesn't like it at all," she said.
      Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; July 5th, 2011, 02:07 AM.


      • #4
        Re: The real deal on waivers

        Originally posted by Theone
        Thats a pretty self absorbed post by Matt richie. Sounds like he doesn't like waivers because he doesn't want to do more work.
        What I don't want to do is waste time and effort on a fruitless venture. A recruiter works for the military service, and not for the individual applicant. Thus, my job as a recruiter is to fulfill the needs of the service, and not necessarily the needs of the individual. Most of the time the needs of the service and the needs of the individual can be meshed. On the occasions where this isn't possible, the needs of the service come first. A recruiter's job is to fill the ranks, and not to put any particular individual into those ranks.

        Readers may not take into account the concept of opportunity cost. Since there are only so many hours in the day, the fact that I'm working one case means that I'm not working on other cases. If it takes twice as long to process a waiver case, that means that theoretically I could have put in two other people for the same time and effort. Since waiver cases always have some level of uncertainty, it stands to reason that a recruiter would prefer to process the non-waiver cases first. Metaphorically speaking, recruiting is a pass/fail course, and 100% is the minimum score -- a recruiter gets no credit for the people he "almost" puts in uniform.

        Readers should ask themselves the following questions:
        If it was your job on the line, would you rather spend twice as much effort on a case with an uncertain outcome, or half as much effort for a sure thing? Does your answer make you self-absorbed, or does it make you a wise steward of limited resources? Which option would you, as a taxpayer, want your government employees pursuing first?

        Of the hundreds of Soldiers I've put into the Guard, a number of them have had waivers. I've processed a number of quite complicated cases. In over three years in recruiting, I never really had a day off -- I had days where I didn't go into the office, but not a day where I didn't do some level of work towards my job. I've put Soldiers into the Guard while on leave, in a damp swimsuit at the beach. I've taken phone calls from applicants on Christmas Day. Once I won a free trip to Denver in a contest, and I didn't go because I had a mission to keep. I did, however, take it easy on the day I went to Arlington when the Chief of the National Guard Bureau presented me with an award for success in recruiting.

        A job always looks easy to those who aren't doing it, so I recommend to everyone who lacks appreciation for the difficulties of recruiting spend some time with their local recruiter and gain a bit of perspective.