Can I join the military? (air force)

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 12/19/2011 10:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Ugh. I dont know why I overlooked this...

I was just accepted to the dental school of my dreams. Couldn't believe it- I have never been so excited. However, the expense of the schools are so gargantuan, that I have decided to become a dentist in the air force by applying for a scholarship.

...I am very functional with my UC. I was flaring this summer while in between meds, but now things are relatively good. I just... never imagined it would interfere with military service, but I found something online that said otherwise... and I don't know if I have ever been so disappointed.

has ANYONE joined the armed forces successfully EVER with UC?! Please help.

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 12/20/2011 4:04 AM (GMT -7)   
A long time ago I was trying to join the air force. On the day I was suppose to ship out they discovered I had an ingrown toenail and sent me home. They ended up telling me I had to get it fixed before I could go to boot camp, which was understandable I guess. I got it fixed but never tried to rejoin. If I remember correctly, they gave me a medical discharge.

about 5 years ago I talked to a navy recruiter that wouldn't stop calling me. I told him about my UC and he said I would have to go symptom and medication free for a year before they would be able to enlist me. I asked him if he thought the air force would take me and he said they were the most unlikely branch to take me. He told me the Army would be my best option but couldn't guarantee they would even take me. One things for sure, you can get a navy recruiter to quit calling you by telling him you have UC.

You never know though, they may need dentists and may be willing to overlook the colitis.

Sorry, I know this doesn't answer your question but good luck!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10405
   Posted 12/20/2011 6:44 AM (GMT -7)   
From what I've seen on this forum over the years, my guess would be no. We've had a number of active-duty military who were facing discharge because they had developed UC. Their remission status seemed irrelevant; if the military knew they had UC, they were evaluated for discharge. Almost all of these eventually were discharged on partial disability, even though that was not their wish.

Good luck with your attempt, I'll be interested in hearing what you find out.
Ulcerative colitis diagnosed in 2001; symptoms as early as 1992. In remission since 2006 with Remicade.
Inflammatory osteoarthritis; osteonecrosis from steroids
Grave's disease successfully treated with radioactive iodine and now on Levothyroxine.
Type II diabetes induced by steroids.
Meds: Remicade, Colazal, Levothyroxine, Mobic, Metformin

Moderator, thyroid forum

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 3316
   Posted 12/20/2011 6:55 AM (GMT -7)   
No son is trying to get into the military and is having problems from a cut he needed staples in his head for when he was 3!!! Like we have records of cannot be on medications. Sorry I'm sure this isn't the answer you wanted to hear.
Diagnosed April 2009

Currently taking Lialda 2 tabs in am, Protonix 40mg every day, Xyzal, Zyrtec, Probiotics, and Rowasa enema once a week.

Currently in Remission since June 2011.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 147
   Posted 12/20/2011 7:21 PM (GMT -7)   
It must suck to hear this. Can you get scholarships elsewhere? What about student loans? Talk to someone who knows more about dental schools, maybe they'll be able to point you in the right direction if the military isn't an option for you.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 12/21/2011 11:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, all..

It definitely is a bummer to hear.. and i haven't quite accepted it yet... but everything happens for a reason, right? I'm still a firm believer.

I may not be able to go some expensive, ivy league school.. or at least maybe I will and will be in debt til im 60?? :-S... scholarships elsewhere are not prevalent, while student loans accumulate and snow ball at an alarming rate. Too bad the military is so strict. Figured if I could run every day and keep up with everything else physically, i'd be fine. plus, im pretty dang good at hiding any sort of gut pain sometimes!

BUT, at least i'm living. and very willing to make the most of it.

happy holidays
21-year-old college student
5 years symptoms before diagnosed in '10

Formerly Lialda 4.8, now Asacol HD 4.8 (but flaring.)
Canasa 1000 mg, basically daily. (supposed to be tapering off)
Fish Oil, multivit, vit D

Flare starts with F for a reason.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 152
   Posted 12/21/2011 3:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Unfortunately what the others said is correct. I'm in the Air Force and developed UC during my service. I've been evaluated and referred to a medical board which will determine if I am to be discharged or not. Since mine is controlled well with meds I'll likely stay in but will only be able to deploy to places where sufficient medical resources are available in case my colon misbehaves. If it's preexisting the USAF will not take you regardless of what shape you're in or what profession you're entering. The Army may be worth a shot. Also look into the United States Public Health Service. It is an actual uniformed service, officer ranks and all! Like you said things happen for a reason. Maybe it's the dental gods and tooth fairies making sure that you really want to go down the DDS road. Good luck to you! -- Rich

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1766
   Posted 12/21/2011 7:56 PM (GMT -7)   
We also canNOT apply to the Public Health Service: Anyway, I think you have to already have your graduate degree (MD, DDS, MPH, etc).
Female, Age 23
Remicade, Lialda, VSL #3, Vitamin D, Prozac, Zyrtec
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