Moves like JAGger wrote:so ambivalent wrote:this is only for people who have been thru the JAG acceptance process before or know people who have.
i got medically disqualified based on seeing pscyh services while in law school and taking medication to deal with anxiety/stress after first semester grades came out (it's not like i was gonna kill myself or anything, i was just super disappointed and couldn't talk to any classmates about it because you don't talk about grades). even though i stopped being as upset as law school wore, on i decided i didn't want to go off medication until i got a job, because the idea of graduating with debt and no job is pretty stressful and i felt like taking medication made that easier. when i got my JAG offer i started going off the medication (which usually takes a month to taper down and get out of the system). so i was totally honest on my medical form about medication being in my system and going off of it and my reasons for taking it. obviously i'm doing the waiver process but the whole thing has kind of turned me off JAG, especially after i had a convo with the recruiting person who seemed uneducated and unpleasant.
my questions for people are:
1) how hard is it to get a waiver? anyone had experience with it before?
2) even if i get through this process what is the rest of it like? like will they ask me even more medical info and how about the background check and stuff involving drugs or international travel? i am worried i will get flagged for the travel thing because my parents were posted overseas alot and so i would go with them and then just travel on my own to reconnect with my friends in those countries. which is absurd since the reason i had exposure to those places was because of my parents' service, but i've heard it can be an issue.
3) how long does all this shit take before i know if there will be some disqualification?
4) i hear it just gets worse and more invasive the further along in the process it goes. i really don't want to hate my job and not be able to get out for 4 years. better to just get out now? did anyone find some other job during this process and accept it and, if so, did you tell people you got JAG and decided not to take it or were medically disqualified?
I can't speak to waivers. But medical screening is a pain in the ass. For the most part, you're on the honor system. You are expected to disclose everything and the AF will determine if what you disclosed is disqualifying. JAGs are screened by the same initial standard as every other service member. When at MEPS, I was with mostly 17 year old kids who signed up to be Marines. What I do know about waivers is that they're highly individualized. Bottom line is that the military can afford to be picky because they're receiving record numbers of applications during a period of downsizing. It is what it is.
Once you get medically qualified, you will have to fill out an SF86 (security clearance application) and this will require you to list everywhere you've lived for the past 10 years, plus references who can verify that everything you said is true. Another major PITA. Takes about 4 hours. I went through training with some people who lived abroad. It should not be a huge issue. Some of them had to speak with an investigator individually about the information they provided in their SF86.
The process of getting in sucks. But once you're in, it's pretty great. The application process is by no means a reflection of the job or the type of people doing it. I've only been in for a few months, but everyone I've encountered in the JAG Corps so far is pretty awesome in his/her own way.
I'd press forward. If you got the offer, you have what it takes.
I had the same waiver problem. I was on anti-anxiety medication for most of my 1L year. It was not really a problem, but I thought I was calmer on the medication. When I realized how prohibitive medication is in terms of the medical process, I spoke to my doctor and stopped taking medication. The bad news: you need to be off medication for TWO years before you can get a waiver. Some things are not waiverable. So, yes, you can get a waiver IF you WERE on medication, but right now they won't even consider a waiver if you were on medication (for psych stuff) within the past two years. When I went through the waiver process with the Navy, I was not aware of this regulation. I went through the waiver process during the first semester of my third year and did not get a waiver because I had only been off medication for one year. While it is theoretically possible for a waiver to be granted as long as you are off medication, based on internal policy, two years is the cut off.
I went through the same process with the Army when I had been off of medication for 2.5 years. I received a waiver.
If you have any specific questions about the waiver process for the Navy or the Army, I have way too much experience with the entire process so feel free to contact me.