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Crohn's Disease Forum » General IBD Discussion » Crohns and military


08-16-2010, 09:04 PM   #1
bradraz
 
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Crohns and military

I think its just [email protected]*!& that if you have crohn's you cant join any branch in the military no matter what job your doing. Even if your in perfect shape and show no symptoms you still cant. Do you think it would work if when I'm joining the military I just don't tell them i have crohn's disease? Or would that end in a dishonorable discharge if they find out?
08-16-2010, 09:33 PM   #2
Pirate
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Dishonorable discharge if I'm not mistaken. I'll try to find out for ya. I have a lot of friends that have or are serving plus my nephew is/was a recruiter for the Army.
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08-16-2010, 10:33 PM   #3
Manzyb
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My husband is in the military and I asked him. He said its quite possible you'd get dishonorably discharged. Also, if you lied you'd have to get medications and stuff from somewhere or see a doctor every once in a while, they would end up finding out one way or another.

I didn't know that you couldn't join at all. I have heard of people being in the military and finding out they have crohn's and haven't been discharged for having it, but have heard someone say they did get discharged for it.
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08-17-2010, 12:13 AM   #4
bradraz
 
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Thanks pirate, and manzyb i called up all 5 branches of the military, and all the recruitment officers said that crohns is automatically disqualifying, no exceptions.
08-17-2010, 12:22 AM   #5
scifi-enthusiast
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Several months ago I got a phone call from a recruiter. I told him, "Nothing would give me more pleasure than to serve my country in it's time of need, but I had major surgery several years ago and..." Then I hear is *click* then silence. He could have at least said something instead of just hanging up like that. A**hole.
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08-17-2010, 06:40 PM   #6
Pirate
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My friends all said you would be automaticly discharged dishonorable. Crohns is one of the diseases that are not allowed. Google Crohns and the military and you will get the answers you are looking for.
08-18-2010, 08:51 PM   #7
JMitch
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Crohn's is one of the disqualifying medical conditions where it's symptoms label you as unfit for duty. There are certain medical conditions, where if you have no problems for 7 years of greater, they will accept your enlistment, but Crohn's is not one of them. Last year I was medically separated for Crohn's and I hired a lawyer to fight and keep my enlistment. My lawyer tried everything, he even fought about the fact members were being retained and deployed after sustaining injuries that caused amputations. Nothing worked because it is considered (to them) to be debilitating, and will require an absence from work while experiencing symptoms and treatment. It's not that they don't want you, it's the fact that: 1, if you become deployed, not all facilities in the world will be able to treat your condition (Crohn's) thus making you undeployable, which is a major requirement with the US military today, and 2, even if you have no symptoms and have an exaberation while in the military, you can easily say you were fine, but your military service caused the flare thus costing the government money for medical treatment, meds, and va coverage for the rest of your life upon your separation. You can easily lie, but if will not benefit you at all. Not only will they do a complete background check, especially if you need a clearance (they interviewed people I would least expect), but when you go for a job interview, everyone will want to see your discharge paperwork. If you fail to mention your medical condition, it will warrant a dishonorable decision in the discharge box and it will be difficult to find employment.
08-19-2010, 08:36 PM   #8
mikeyarmo
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I was going to say that there may be a concession if you have not had symptoms for a period of time, but I guess JMitch has set us all straight on that!

I am sort of amazed how adamant the army is about not enlisting those with Crohn's Disease. I know that many people wish their employers were as considerate in taking this disease seriously.
08-20-2010, 11:01 AM   #9
YogaGirl
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I have never heard this. That is crazy. I mean, I understand that Crohns is very bad and can flare at any time, and that the military needs to depend on its recruits and their good health. But the government doesn't usually treat Crohns as a disability.

If this is the case in the military, then the U.S. government needs to recognize Crohns as a disability and provide disability pay to those of us with it. I looked into it several years ago when I was working but miserable with a Crohns flare and it appeared at that time that it is very tough for people with Crohns to go on disability. I had to keep working at a job even though I was in terrible physical condition because I needed the insurance.

Seems very contradictory.
04-30-2012, 03:49 PM   #10
Kryan02
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I am 23 years old and have been in the Marine Corps for 2 1/2 years now....i found out in January 2012 ( 4 months ago) that i have crohns and colitis. I finally went to the doctor after almost a year of trouble. I am a Marine Infantry man and even went through my first deployment in 2011 not knowing i had the disease. it was pretty difficult and not easy but i did it with no complaints...now that I have the diagnosis i was prettymuch given the choice to stay in or start a medical board process..just because you have the disease doesnt mean you have to be kicked out or leave the military...what ami going to do? i dont know yet, i have free medical right now so that a huge benefit considering the mediction is soooo expensive but its also not easy being a marine with crohns...maybe ill switch jobs or just cut my loss and get out but i hope my story helps a little bit
04-30-2012, 03:55 PM   #11
lisakuney
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KRyan02, Have you talked to your Career Planner to see what other MOS you can lateral into? Something non-deployable, perhaps? Even if you med board out, you still have your educational benefits to utilize. It's a tough choice, I know. I have a son your age in the Air Force (Chair Force lol) and he is in the middle of the med board process.

Are you getting your care at the Naval Hospital or out in town? I am in Jax (retiree spouse) and my GI is in Fayetteville.

Good luck to you, and if you need an "in town Mom", let me know. I'd be happy to meet for coffee.

Last edited by lisakuney; 04-30-2012 at 03:58 PM. Reason: Clarification
04-30-2012, 03:55 PM   #12
Josephine
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Welcome make sure you think and discuss your opinion with someone outsider. I total understand about free medical care.
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04-30-2012, 04:03 PM   #13
Manzyb
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My husband has a Marine in his company who has Ulcerative Colitis, he's an MP but hubbs said he doesn't have any medical restrictions.
04-30-2012, 05:54 PM   #14
Kryan02
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Thanks Lisa i didnt consider talking to the career planner...i was refered by the Medical officer to a doctor out in town(Jacksonville) who made my diagnosis but the MO does a lot for me since i cant go see my GI out in town all the time...i dont necessarily want to get out i was thinking more of going to the Air national Gaurd back in New York maybe but i dont know if they will take me. The marine corps isnt kicking me out but its too difficult to have crohns and be in an Infantry battalion... im gunna see what the career planner says but thanks so much for the advice
02-22-2013, 12:42 AM   #15
gingerkong
 
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I too have your same problem you should go talk to a recruiter and let him know you are symptoms free the catch is you cant be taking medication and have to been symptoms free for atleast 2 years. If he tells you know talk to another recruiter i went to all braches and the army is the only that offed any help. Best of luck
02-22-2013, 12:52 AM   #16
Kimberly27
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I have a lot of family in the military, but some of them are technically in the civil service. Could this option help fill the gap for you? I have a high "ranking" cousin who is an engineer, and she is definitely in the civil service at a naval base.

Kimberly
02-22-2013, 05:26 AM   #17
Jer
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I found out I had Crohns about the same time I was trying to enlist in the Marine Corps and was told I couldn't.
This was 10 years ago, I'm still bitter about it, but I do understand.
02-23-2013, 12:25 PM   #18
trajk1612
 
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I have been in the military 26 years. Right as I am about ready to retire I got my Crohn's diagnosis and now have to wait for the medical board process. It is definitely a frustrating process but even if you do end up getting out of the Marines you should be able to get your meds and care through the VA. There have been a lot of service members who have returned from deployments with GI issues Crohn's being one of them. I didn't start having problems until after my first deployment and was diagnosed a year after my second.
08-09-2013, 11:12 PM   #19
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I work separations in the Army and have Crohn's. If you were to lie (I am not saying to) and were in remission while training, you might get lucky and end up having the military re-diagnose you later on and receive a medical separation (honorable). If you flare while in training, or they found out you lied... one of several options. While in training they could say fraudulent enlistment, uncharacterized or failed medical procurement standards, uncharacterized. If it is post AIT... you are looking at a General or Under Other than Honorable conditions. You have to about kill a man to get Dishonorable. Most dishonorable separations spend time in military confinement prior to a court martial so you would be fairly safe if you went in. I started having symptoms while at the end of basic but luckily wasn't diagnosed until last year. Wish the LtCDR that performed my sphinctorotomy diagnosed me... Then I would have been retained on active duty orders at a WTU.
02-03-2014, 02:25 PM   #20
Dalton Knutson
 
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I am tryin to get into the national guard I was diagnosed with crohns 2 years ago I have never takin anyways for it and never will. I have wanted to join for a long time I have a clean criminal record good azvab scores and a will to win seeing some people have been able to get in gives me a sign of hope. If anyone has any advice on how to greater my chance on getting in I would love to hear them. Thank you to all who serve.

God bless America!!!!
02-03-2014, 02:51 PM   #21
Dalton Knutson
 
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Kyran02 sorry to hear that u will not be able to continue with marines but before you start takin prescriptions for it try do terra essential oils they are all natural and work very well. It sucks having huge aspirations for serving the country you live in and having something go wrong that is out of your hands that puts everything you dreamed of in jeopardy if you ever need more info about the oils let me know and I can give you contact information and we can discuss it more.
02-03-2014, 03:26 PM   #22
danieldresen
 
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Unfortunately you are not able to serve with any IBD Dalton. I am being chaptered out for Crohn's. If there is ever a cure, that might change but if the diagnosis exists and you tell them about it, no luck. If you hide it, it could bite you.
02-04-2014, 11:26 PM   #23
Dalton Knutson
 
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Well I'm not giving up we are pushing it as far as humanly possible I know there is a good chance for a dq but if there is a snow balls chance I hell I will find it. It just kills me to know out of all the people in the world why it has to be me but I'm not about to give up. The only way I can prove I'm worthy of serving is I'd they give me a chance.... But we will see. Thank you for replying.
02-05-2014, 02:03 AM   #24
danieldresen
 
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I wish you the best. If your state has a state military reserve program (not national guard, but a volunteer auxiliary of the military) you might be able to get into that. My advice, if you are not under the care of a doctor, haven't been evaluated in seven or more years, and are not flaring... I would just try to go through the process and go to meps. If you tell the recruiter outright though, they are not going to talk to you much. The worst part of my job is knowing that I will have to process my own separation order in the next few months but it has been worth it. If you have any questions about medical standards you can always check AR 40-501.
10-04-2015, 08:17 PM   #25
Goldmamba
 
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Does having crohns only limit you deploying? Could I choose to be something other than infantry?
10-05-2015, 09:00 AM   #26
danieldresen
 
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Does having crohns only limit you deploying? Could I choose to be something other than infantry?
If you are already in you will go through an MEB or MOS retention board. If you are not in then you cannot enlist.
06-23-2017, 05:30 PM   #27
Scm11478
 
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I have never heard this. That is crazy. I mean, I understand that Crohns is very bad and can flare at any time, and that the military needs to depend on its recruits and their good health. But the government doesn't usually treat Crohns as a disability.

If this is the case in the military, then the U.S. government needs to recognize Crohns as a disability and provide disability pay to those of us with it. I looked into it several years ago when I was working but miserable with a Crohns flare and it appeared at that time that it is very tough for people with Crohns to go on disability. I had to keep working at a job even though I was in terrible physical condition because I needed the insurance.

Seems very contradictory.
You've no idea how far downhill you gotta go, to get disability.

In 2004 I died for nearly 20 minutes from medication complications while super weak from a severe Crohn's flare-up.

In 2006, I went into a 3 year flare-up, catching MRSA & VRE, BOTH, while at my worst with Crohn's. I was a 6 foot tall, 28yr old guy, and my weight dropped down to 97lbs. I was given 3 months to live, because treating medication resistant infections, required boosting my immune system. Treating the Crohns required knocking my immune system out completely. I was so sick already, not doing either of those options, according to 15 doctors, 4 of which were specialists, was a guaranteed death sentence, since I was already so far gone..

It was then that my disability case was approved. It had been up for decision many times over the previous months, but my social worker from the hospital, recommended contacting my disability decision contact, Everytime I got put in the hospital again, so that they'd postpone my decision until receiving those records too. They had to postpone the decision 5 times, with the 5th time being when those doctors all said there was no way I could survive past 3 months. Then they approved my disability.

I guess they thought I wouldn't be around too long to collect. They, nor those doctors realized how strong my will to fight& live, is.

The military could use people with our kind of inner strength, but on the same token, even most Crohn's patients have no idea how bad Crohn's can suddenly get, without warning.

After losing my large Colon, and everything past that, making my ileostomy permanent, I thought that was bad..

Then one morning, I woke up with my upper lip as red as stop sign, and swollen out so far, I looked like Joe Camel with red face.

A week later, I woke up again, with what I thought was an STD, a severe ulcer, and swollen genital region.

They were both super crazy rare forms of Crohns disease. They're so rare, that even with my long history of severe, aggressive Crohns, it took doctors nearly two years to figure out that's exactly what it was. Once they increased my meds, put me on a Cimzia injection, and all the routine flare-up meds, everything went back to normal.

An STD test by an infectious disease doctor, showed I had no STD. WHEN that specialist seen my negative results, he said the kind of STD that presents with my symptoms, is the curable kind, and that he almost wishes that's what I had wrong with me, because if it's Crohns, he knew it could, and would eventually flare-up again.

... ...
As for the military, don't worry everyone.
As long as we're fighting the kinds of wars we are now, yes you're unable to join. If a real war ever breaks out, especially one where we're invaded, trust me they're gonna need every available hand to have a gun in it, and a willingness to sacrifice their lives if necessary, to fight back against the Invaders,.. whether they be North Korean, Chinese, Russian, or possibly U.N., which has become emboldened over the years, trying to place it's laws or treaties, above our Constitution.
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