Army Recruiting - Theory, Practice, and asthma

My kid just left his junior year of high school behind, so now technically a senior even though still 16 y.o… He got a call from an army recruiter who just wanted to “touch base” with him. Kid was out, so I chatted with the guy awhile. During the conversation, I mentioned that the kid has asthma and occassionally uses an inhaler. Recruiter said words to the affect that this would make him ineligible and recruiter would therefore scratch him off his list.

HHHHHmmmmmm, that seemed too easy. With all the reports of how tough a time recruiters are having recently, with some recruiters saying or doing things that aren’t (ahem) necessarily true, ethical or even legal… does anyone know FOR SURE if the army can’t go after kids that do indeed have asthma and occassionally use an inhlaer? What about other branches of the service? Certainly not my choice, but what if the kid reaches 18 and -wants- to sign up with some branch of the service?

This is not intended to start a debate, just general questions about what does and doesn’t get one on or off a military recruiting list. Or would permit or deny one entry into the service.

I was told by a recruiter I once knew that serious allergy to bee stings (requiring one to carry an epi-pen) is also a disqualifier.

Apparently, they won’t take anyone who might need immediate critical medical attention because they can’t guarantee it will be available “in the field” during combat.

Not really on topic, but our “boot camp” prison incarceration program for young drug offenders excludes people with any history of asthma. We really don’t want them dying out there doing extreme physical work.

If one has a history of asthma, the only way to qualify for our program is to pass a “methacholine challenge test” which is designed to trigger an asthma attack if a person does truly have asthma. And I only order it on those patients who have a truly questionable history of asthma. Not on anyone where the diagnosis is pretty clear cut.

I failed a Marine corps flight physical because I get hay fever a few days a year. This was labled a “respiratory problem” and disqualified me for pilot training.

They still wanted me REALLY bad for anything else though.

Here’s a (long) list of disqualifying medical conditions.