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October 14, 2002

Other Social Issues

Question from Indianapolis, Indiana, USA:

How can I enlist in the US military, despite my type 1 diabetes? I know that this disqualifies me, but I believe I am physically capable of being in our armed services. I also do not believe I should be discriminated because of my physical condition. I am a 22 year old honors college student who is independent, athletic, and self-motivated. I simply want the same opportunity as every one else has to serve my country. I have received the same response from several recruiters, but I don't want to know why I can't anymore, I want to know how I can. There are officer training programs that I am more than qualified for, and I know I can meet the physical training test standards. Through waivers, extra work, new medicines, whatever it takes, I want to try. Please help, and if you cannot please send this message to someone who can.

Answer:

As of October 2002, people with type 1 diabetes are not accepted into the US military. I suggest that you write to your Congressional Representatives and ask them to introduce legislation that would lift this ban. I personally agree with you that people with type 1 diabetes can and should be permitted to contribute to our nation’s defense.

JSH