Military Disqualifications

This week is week two of A Girl’s Guide to Military Service series and we are focusing in on things that can disqualify you from military service. Most often when people think of military disqualifications they think of medical disqualifications but that is only one aspect of why people are not eligible to serve in the military. Besides covering the most common military disqualifications I also talk to Tess Robinson about her experience in ROTC and how her military career ended before it began with a medical disqualification.

military disqualifications

A Girl’s Guide to Military Service Part 2: Military Disqualifications

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The first thing you should know about joining the military is you have to pass various tests, background checks, and a medical physical. Not passing or getting a high enough score on any of these can lead to a military disqualification. First, let’s talk about military tests. If you are enlisting you will likely take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery commonly referred to as the ASVAB.

The ASVAB is a series of tests that measures developed abilities and helps predict future academic and occupational success in the military. The various test will give you a number as a test score. Besides having a minimum test score requirement for each branch. The score will also determine if you can apply for various jobs or as the military calls them, career fields. If you are an officer candidate you will also take a military test. It might be the ASVAB or it may be your own military-specific test. With all these tests you can only take them twice and your final score, not your highest will be the score used.


The most common military disqualification is medical. There are a number of military medical disqualifications and while you can go to a website and learn about different military disqualifications the best option is to talk directly to your branch recruiter. They will know common disqualifications and can help you determine if you will need a waiver to serve. Because this series is focused on girls joining the military, it is important to note you cannot be pregnant when going through your military training. You will take a pregnancy test at MEPS to ensure you are not pregnant.

Mariah Hammond shared her experience of going through MEPS in episode 34 and she was able to overcome the challenges she faced and is currently serving in the Air Force. You can also learn more about MEPS here in the video I did about the MEPS process. I interviewed Tess Robinson who began her military career through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. She was medically disqualified from service due to an unknown medical issue that was discovered during her time in ROTC.

Other reason

Lastly, there are also other disqualifications. If you test positive for marijuana or other drugs during your medical evaluation you will be disqualified from military service. The military also does a background check. A past criminal record could disqualify you from military service or require a wavier to serve. There are also limitations based on age, prior service, and more. Check out the links below for more information.


Four common military disqualifications

3 Tips for preparing for MEPS

The MEPS physical

MEPS Disqualifications Medical

Drug and Alcohol Disqualifications

Legal Disqualifications

Other Disqualifications

Want to learn more about joining the military? Check out the whole series here.

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