Getting Denied From The Air Force


One of my weaknesses is that I am incredibly impulsive. Once I get an idea, I tend to run with it. The decision to try and join the U.S. Air Force was definitely one of those decisions made on impulse.

I decided I was going to try to be in the Air Force after I went home to Indiana in late December. My boyfriend and I had just gotten into a huge fight, and I was DONE! I was going to move back home and never return to San Francisco, (so I thought.)

Plan A

When I got home, I was weighing my different options. I consider switching schools and moving to Chicago to finish my degree in visual communications. That was my first choice. I would be closer to my friends and family. The downside was I would be completely starting over again in a big city.

Plan B

On the other hand, I didn’t want to live at home until I could make enough money to support myself and get a place of my own. I had a friend who was in the Air Force. After talking to him, the military seemed like the perfect option! I would join, and I wouldn’t have to worry about housing or food, and I would get to travel! A couple of days later I contacted the recruiter’s office in my hometown and began the process of joining the Air Force.

I set myself up to fail from the very beginning. Both my Air Force friend and my dad told me not say anything when the recruiter asked questions regarding my medical history. I wasn’t sure why, but I took the advice and kept my mouth shut. This caused a HUGE problem for me when it came time to turn in my medical documents.

By me not saying anything about my history, it put me in a tough spot trying to find paperwork that didn’t have depression blasted all over the place. Most people end up turning in a huge stack of medical documents. My stack was only 15 pages long.

The recruiter went ahead and submitted everything but guess what? I missed a spot. On one of the papers, it had mentioned a prescription to Lexapro, which is an anti-depression medication.

He said the doctors are probably going to ask me about the depression and he was confused why it wasn’t on any of my other documents. I tried to blow it off by saying it was just a one-time thing when I was 16 years old and going through a phase.

The recruiter was skeptical but went ahead and submitted my paperwork. A few weeks later I scheduled a time to go down to MEPS (which is the Medical processing for the military,) and take the ASVAB, (which is like the SAT.) This was my final step before being sworn in and shipped off to basic training.

I arrived in Indianapolis and took the grueling three hour ASVAB test. I ended up doing better than I thought and scored a 86. I was so excited! I could get any job I wanted in the Air Force (for the most part.) I had medical processing at 6:00 am the next morning, so I stayed the night in a local hotel with all the others applying for the military.

At this point, I was feeling good. There were two other girls who I friended at breakfast, and they were going to be with me through my physical. Five hours later after eye exams, hearing checks, blood work, and showing my lady parts, the doctor points out the depression on my medical history and tells me that I don’t have enough paperwork and to come back when I do. Needless to say, I was pissed! I didn’t have any more papers I could turn in without drawing more attention to my pretty extensive history with depression. This was it for me, my dreams of joining the air force were crushed.

I called my mom crying in frustration. I had this massive plan. I had watched YouTube videos and done countless hours of research. I was excited to join the Air Force and just like that my dream came tumbling down. I was now back to square one.

Plan C

I had been talking to my boyfriend, Paul, for the past couple of weeks before MEPS and we got on good terms again. He missed me, and I missed him too. I decided to give San Francisco another shot. (My mother was not thrilled by this decision.) Paul bought my ticket back to SF, and that was that. I came back to San Francisco. Looking back now, I am ultimately relieved I got denied. I am not exactly “military material, ” and like I said before, I made the decision on impulse. As far as coming back to San Francisco, I am happy being back in the city I love and call home.

Moral of the story: If you want to join the military don’t lie to your recruiter. Not only will it cause you problems later on down the road, but it could seriously ruin your future if you get a dishonorable discharge, and nobody wants that. So please take my advice, I have also provided links below on other reasons you may get disqualified and also some tips if you are trying to join.

Military Entrance Process At a Glance

Medical Conditions That May Prevent You From Joining the Military

10 Tips For Visiting the Recruiting Office


How to Join the Air Force Quickly


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