Military and Diabetes

Frustrated mom
By Frustrated mom Latest Reply 2018-04-26 11:09:57 -0500
Started 2009-09-23 13:44:06 -0500

Does anyone know if there is a branch in the Military that a diabetic can join? My son would love to join the Military like his older brother, but has found out that he can not join the Army or Airforce.. What about the Navy? If anyone has an answer please let me know…He is T1…Thank you!

99 replies

Summer9975 2016-12-01 18:37:38 -0600 Report

I am all for equality and understanding in this world. I am a liberal, highly educated woman. Some of your replies are just ludicrous. The military is not being discriminatory by not allowing diabetes in the military. My step daughter is a type 1 diabetic and in ROTC at her high-school. While I want her to be all she can be, this will not be one of them. That is life and the cards she has been dealt. While I wish she didn't have to deal with diabetes, she does and her life will still be amazing. While there are other positions in the military she could do she would not be combat ready. It is just insane to start a waiver, the military is not singling diabetics out. DIABETICS CANNOT BE COMBAT READY AND THAT IS THAT. I am not an "every child deserves a blue ribbon supporter". Some things in life will not be obtained and…thats ok, happiness is around another corner. If in combat a soldier had a low glucose or couldn't eat for a day, drink water or take insulin their life would be in danger. This is not to mention the soldiers next to them depending on their orientation to the surroundings. What I am saying is the military is not trying to do you wrong. They are protecting the individuals in this country, their soldiers and even if you dont see it this way…YOU!!!

Anonymous 2017-07-20 01:02:26 -0500 Report

For a liberal you're very level headed. I totally agree with you. I am diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and I very badly want to join the military, but having diabetes made that impossible. I do understand that having diabetes can put me and other men in danger but that doesn't ever quench the thirst I have to serve my country. It is especially hard because my family has all served in the army for generations (excluding my father) and I wanted to follow in their foot steps.

Livabetic 2017-01-11 19:12:06 -0600 Report

The problem with this response is non-diabetics can join and receive money for college, and a slew of job opportunities open to them, opportunities that diabetics don't get. That is discrimination.

JayRD 2017-10-01 17:32:38 -0500 Report

Really? So…Is it discrimination that we don't have blind pilots? That's limiting what blind people can do! How dare they! Right? Except, we ALL have limits and things we really can't do no matter how much we may want to. It's not discrimination when it's done for safety rather than 'ew that person has a disability' or 'I'm sure that person couldn't handle it'. We've seen it's not safe and therefore it's not done. You wouldn't have a deaf air traffic controller or a blind pilot and you don't consider THAT discrimination. Just because our diabetes is 'invisible' doesn't mean it can't also be harmful in the wrong/right situations. Do be smart and not so easily offended. Us reason and logic and objectivity.

Anonymous 2016-09-30 13:11:17 -0500 Report

I know the pain. I wanted to join since i found out what the military does, protect the country. But, that all changed when I was eight. From what I understand though, the border patrol accepts diabetics, and they do essentially the same thing, just on american soil. All be it, through extensive hoop jumping. There's some hope after all.

KIERANTP1 2015-12-09 19:51:48 -0600 Report


Anonymous 2015-10-28 21:43:53 -0500 Report

Hey well, im new to this and my name is Tashy i am 15 years old. I had thought of going to bootcamp and going to the marines since i was 7 years old. Sadly, when i turned 9 I was diagnosed with Diabetes t1. I had cried so much for the past few weeks, every night i cry because its been really hard on me. My friend who was really closed to me left a week ago to MCT and she told me that the training she did at bootcamp was amazing and that she loved it. However, now she's gone, living the same dream as me. It makes me cry a lot because that is my dream I want to graduate and go to bootcamp and be a marine and live MY dream, but I cant cause i have diabetes t1. It sucks very much cause i like can think about is the military and me not getting accepted cause of my diagnosis. That's MY DREAM ! and I WANT TO LIVE MY DREAM! I want to go to the marines and be part of it :(

Badger819 2016-09-22 13:25:58 -0500 Report

I hear ya, I was 17, in my senior year, and just months away from achieving my life-long goal of a military career when I was diagnosed with Type 1. It hit me like a ton of bricks, and I'm still kinda reeling. Unfortuantly the military won't change its policies soon, but perhaps we can lend our voice to getting blanket disqualifications like this one overturned for any future type 1 diabetics with the same dream as us.

Dabsher 2016-06-05 18:53:23 -0500 Report

Literally the exact same thing happened to me. I have been wanting to join the military since 5th grade. I was diagnosed in October and its been hard to find a new path. I would love to chat some time.

Flynn1346 2015-08-10 08:41:28 -0500 Report

Don't worry I know your sons pain I'm 15 and since I was seven I wanted to join the navy but I can't cause I got t1 I think it's complete rubbish that they won't let us join

juliette99 2015-06-10 07:58:13 -0500 Report

Zman9797 2015-06-12 23:27:14 -0500 Report

Where do I sign because I have always wanted to join the military

juliette99 2015-06-15 07:31:51 -0500 Report

When you click on the link, next to the information on the right side of the page theres a box that says "Add Your Name" and you give your name, zip code, and email address and hit sign now.

T1D 4Life Jr
T1D 4Life Jr 2015-05-26 22:01:40 -0500 Report

WOW is all I can say after reading all this about Low And High Blood Sugars… Diabetes is still in Fact something very hard for me to get accustomed living with, and I have been living with it for soon to be 13 years now. #1 The way diabetes effects one person doesn't mean it would effect the other person the same way and that is for the simple reason being, EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT!

The Majority of the people who have commented in this discussion (Military and Diabetes) and have this illness hold actually a common personality and that is obviously people who are classified as having a "Dominant Personality", so obviously this discussion isn't Desk work and Diabetes. This in fact could be compared similar to when you're looking for a mate, you want to find a career that complements your character, not conflicts with it.

When I type in Dominiant Personality the advise I get is to Quote search for "Medical or legal professions. Other careers you may consider: engineer, and law enforcement."

Me having a Dominiant personality and in search of a Job that matches to my true success and passion in life in reagrds to employment I have to say Its been a Battle. Military - I have personally went to every branch and have asked the same question already knowing the answer that Diabetes was an illness they stress is not allowed to take part of the U.S Armed Forces. This temporarily smacked me emotinonally when I was in my teens, making me feel at the time like I have rather jump on an enemy gernade to save my unit then to hear that statment over and over again. But hey it was wourth the try and still to this moment I hold hope and that is why I am reading everyones comment cause It shows that I really am not alone, so I thank whoever started this and to all your thoughts.

I am currently an EMT in a private company and persuing the medical field as much as I am allowed to, for Diabetes is also known to be a disability here in NY which hinders me a bit when wanting to advance towards the state jobs which are known to have better benefits. I am currently paying off medical bills in relation to my diabetes ever since my insurance went 80/20 after obamacare went into effect, not including all our constant copayments we all have to pay as well making diabetes YES Like i said earlier somewhat of a struggle.

So all this just to show where I derive from and my feelings to why I kind of disagree with being unable to join the U.S armed forces, But at the same time i undersatnd not being in the front lines, hence fourth, if you read carefully I haven't seen No One ProMilitary and Diabetes ever say they want to be in the front lines but rather be part of the military. Helping in any way that deems fit for a diabetic to serve his country as titled in any of the U.S Armed Forces branch, even if its a Chief, Nurse, National Guard or one who cleans Secretions for all I care. Our Personality holds us for it and thats why I agree with Viceroy68 when he said quote "Frustrated Mom tell your son to never give up, everyone says if you set your mind to something you can do it. So i guess we should prove them right or wrong. The one who tries and fails earns more respect than the one who never tried at all"

If I understand correctly Diabetics could be Chief's Nurses and also in Law enforcement, then why can't we be those for the Military?? Once again not talking about heading to iraq to be with a unit under extreame heat (PS which I believe I am very well able to accomplish but hey who cares thats just my opinion) the point is being in the miliatary holding minor roles that doesnt conflict for what's best for a diabetic.


Anywho guys keep doing what you need to do, making a difference, that is all we can do atm, do not get discouraged remember we have a trait for being dominant which means we have a ton of Self confidence, and like viceroy stated again if we set our minds to it you can do it. So Lets do


svatko12 2015-06-11 15:00:46 -0500 Report

I recall making this post some time ago. It's interesting to see all the people who have the same problem that I have. Emt is a possibility and so is going is as a pmc or cop. I have also looked into welding as well. It's just hard what to do.

jayabee52 2015-05-27 10:00:31 -0500 Report

Howdy Jay
Thanks for sharing your input. However it is a fact of military life that THERE ARE NO FRONT LINES in modern war.

The incident in Iraq where a lady who was a truck driver was taken captive and held for a while indicates that. She had not been thought of as a front line person, but she was taken captive. Fortunately she was rescued. It would have been even worse if she had insulin dependent diabetes on top of everything else.

That is what comes from fighting in an "asymmetrical conflict".

Perhaps in a conflict like WW 1 or 2 where there were clear battle lines drawn, but not in today's conflicts.

Just saying.


T1D 4Life Jr
T1D 4Life Jr 2015-05-27 11:56:36 -0500 Report

Jay thats actually really true when it comes down to Modern War. But once again that is a hard driven fact that not only applies to Diabetics but to all. When we join a Branch we are interested in, for whatever the reason is at the end we Join "The Service" which means we join for what we can give, not what we can recieve. So they are highly aware that there life comes second and the safety and life of others is at a priority, even it costs them there life. So that lady who was a truck driver wheather she was a civilian or in the Force she knows the risk she is taking to do her job as well as anyone else taking that road. Now putting myself as the truck driver, I am highly aware of the possibilites of being captured along with being a diabetic which at that point would not have nothing to do in relation to a diabetic jeopardizing his fellow brothers or comrads but more for bad judgment of taking the road or simply putting yourself in that situation.

At the end its all just thoughts put into conversation, which might give another an incentive to do something meaniful for himself/herself in lIfe.

Goblin Sniper
Goblin Sniper 2015-04-23 06:21:09 -0500 Report

None it is deemed not compatible for a diabetic to undertake the military lifestyle I know because I have applied to join every single branch of the UK military both regular Military and the Reserve forces have replied in the same fashion "I am sorry but you would not be compatible" I was a member of the Air Cadets Organisation in the UK for Five years and I became a qualified shooting coach and a Teacher in outdoor survival and completed level 3 first aid and emergency first aid as well as achieving Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards additionally I completed the three stages of the ten tours challenge 35 mile,45 and 55 mile and I have completed various sports competition's and several marathons but despite this I am not compatible for the Armed Forces.

Mike1701 2015-03-01 14:59:05 -0600 Report

I was going through Basic Training for the Army at Ft. Sill, OK starting in November. In January, I had an episode of DKA and was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes with a blood glucose level of 718 with 4+ ketons in my urine. The funny thing is I had NO IDEA I was a diabetic. I was discharged a little over a month later. Im not sure if there is a waiver process, but even then I doubt the military will let a diabetic in.

tommyp387 2015-01-25 17:33:17 -0600 Report

I am a third year law student. I was diagnosed with type 1 when I was five. I have been interning with the U.S. Air Force JAG as a civilian and applied for the direct appointment program after graduation. I have been accepted but I am fairly certain I will be disqualified during the medical evaluation due to my diabetes. My A1C was 6.6% last time it was checked. I ran 12 half marathons in 2014. And I will make a damn good lawyer once I graduate this Spring. Just wish I could be doing it as an officer in the air force. I'll seek a medical waiver but it appears that's not likely going to be successful from what I have read.

Cmirch 2015-04-19 23:36:17 -0500 Report

Were you able to get a waiver? Did you join?

tommyp387 2015-04-20 15:54:44 -0500 Report

No such luck. Spoke with the person who was supposed to setup my physical, asked if there was any possibility of a waiver. He said he didn't think so, and checked with the Air Force Surgeon General to confirm.

drewrrt6203 2015-01-15 15:28:03 -0600 Report

I am seeing all of these posts about diabetics in the military and LOW blood sugars. One issue I am not seeing any comments on is a diabetic's MAIN problem of HIGH blood sugar. I believe that both are issues as far as diabetics in the military. How, in the field of combat, would a diabetic be able to secure insulin and syringes to be able to take their insulin? There ARE many jobs we can do here in the states as diabetics that contribute to our society and fellow Americans. The medical field is one great thing we can be a part of. I am a Type I diabetic. I also serve as the assistant chief of my local volunteer fire department. My actual financial sustaining career is a Registered Respiratory Therapist. I fly with a medical jet and transport patients all over our country. While I do wish there was something more in depth that I could do for our country, I realize the burden I would put on fellow soldiers and my liability. Working in the medical field, I have seen many different diseases and disabilities. There are just some things that we cannot do for risk of allocating resources that are needed elsewhere.

,Andrew Young, RRT, EMT
Boaz, AL

cowman12 2014-09-11 12:05:49 -0500 Report

Question for this board.. I am an AF pilot who just completed pilot training in April. After I went through SERE (survival taining) I found out I was type 1 after a trip to the hospital. I have not gone to a review board yet since I am waiting to get my A1C until I am at least 3 months out of the hospital. I understand type 1 is a disqualifier for flyers and military members in general. However, I found that after I got out of the hospital I required less and less insulin to keep a normal level. I have been completely off insulin for almost a month and my numbers are still fairly low. I occasionally get a sugar high in the low 200s if I eat something I know I'm not supposed to. But between exercise and diet it has been low and I am expecting an A1C in the 5-5.5 range based on my numbers and the fact that my A1C a month ago was 6.3 when I was only 2 months out of the hospital. I decided on day 1 that I would do everything I can to stay a pilot and find any loophole possible to stay in. So my question is.. has anyone ever heard of an insulin-dependant type 1 diagnosis being switched to a non insulin dependent status? Also if this is possible would it allow me to fly again? I'm not looking for false hope since I know it's a shot in the dark. I'm just trying to figure out where I need to be putting my effort.. staying a pilot, staying in the AF with a different AFSC, or looking for a new job.

Jo-Jo Domke
Jo-Jo Domke 2014-09-17 10:48:23 -0500 Report

You do not have Type 1 diabetes then. It must be Type 2. Type 1 Diabetics depend on Insulin to keep them alive.

benjigoldman 2014-11-14 19:00:34 -0600 Report

It is possible to be type 1 and take little to no insulin. He explained that he is very rigorous in his diet and exercise and with that you can theoretically live without insulin. Diet and exercise alone can keep type 1 or 2 diabetics alive but as type 1 there is always a chance he may need insulin. Day to day though, with proper and RIGOROUS diet and exercise he/we can limit how much insulin is needed, if any.

Kikitype1 2015-12-01 03:47:51 -0600 Report

Elizabeth Hughes one of the first type ones to receive insulin lived on the Allen starvation diet without insulin but she resembled a walking skeleton. So it would be very difficult for a Type 1 to eliminate/limit insulin for any substantial length of time without affecting quality of life or risking a DKA episode.

mcolon78 2014-11-04 12:04:34 -0600 Report

if he has just been diagnosed, it is very possible that with diet and exercise he has not needed insulin. When my son was first diagnosed he was in honeymoon phase and for several weeks we had to stop giving him insulin because even the slightest extra insulin was causing severe Lowes. Once the honeymoon phase is over then insulin will be required again

benjigoldman 2014-11-14 19:05:59 -0600 Report

That is true about the honeymoon phase but again I'll say that with intense and thorough diet we can limit our insulin requirement, even eliminating it on day to day basis if done properly. Or at least limit to one injection of lantus/levamir (any long lasting) a day with no fast acting required.

cowman12 2014-09-17 11:30:27 -0500 Report

It happened in the span of a week. I went from completely healthy to every symptom of diabetes almost overnight. They say it may be type 1.5 that was just accelerated by the stress of SERE. Still not sure if thats enough to get me back to flying though. Im waiting for the GAD test to come back (or whatever antiboby test I can't remember which one) to see if the numbers have come down since the last time. But it's definitely an autoimmune thing based on the results I had the first time with that. I was really just curious if anyone had ever heard of something similar happening. It's just that ne need for insulin (which I needed a lot of for a month after the hospital) has been decreasing.

jayabee52 2014-09-11 12:31:19 -0500 Report

Howdy Cowman
That really sucks to have your whole life in the service ahead of you to be threatened by diabetes.

You could try to continue without insulin as what you seem to have may well be Type 1.5, aka Latent Autoimmmunet Diabetes in Adults (LADA).
You may be able to use meal planning to manage your Blood Glucose or you may need an oral anti diabetes medication, but eventually you will need to return to insulin, and then you will be out of the running for piloting an aircraft. If I am correct about the LADA, you never know how long the honeymoon period will last and when you will need insulin.
Do you really want to chance your and others' lives by piloting a plane? That is something which I cannot answer for you.

Thank you for being willing to defend our nation in the armed forces!
God's best to you and yours

MrsWilson2012 2015-01-29 21:42:16 -0600 Report

I was diabetic for 8 years (well past the honeymoon stage) and had to stop taking insulin. Upon further testing, they discovered that after MONTHS of taking no insulin, my A1C was within normal parameters, and that my pancreas is indeed making insulin. Now they are saying I am type 1.5. I'm wondering the same thing- since I don't need insulin, I'm not seeing any reason I can't enlist.

Kooper14 2014-08-29 23:39:35 -0500 Report

A diabetic can join the coast guard auxiliary it's no pay but at least u get a uniform and a role in the military

GabbyPA 2014-08-31 07:10:44 -0500 Report

This is good to know. I know people want to serve the country in anyway they can. This is a good option. Thank you.

macster111 2014-08-14 15:33:18 -0500 Report

hey everyone I'm t1 and I'm reading all these things about being a liability on the front lines and having another solider having to help you and risking more lives, but i would like to join the navy as a chef so I wouldn't be near the front front lines… so would i be able to join the navy as a chef with t1 or is it still a big no no

GabbyPA 2014-08-16 05:40:44 -0500 Report

I don't know for sure on that. Even a chef has to go through the basic training. I would ask a recruiting office about that.

Jford232 2014-07-13 01:14:40 -0500 Report

I think anyone with t1d or t2d should be able to be in the army but the army or military doesn't want to be responsible for you forgetting to do your insulin and then if you do that they not only don't want you shot dead they don't want you diabetic ally dead but then again you can at least give people a chance to try out if you can't try out than what's the point of letting people with other health defects, but hey I was diagnosed march 13 2013 so I only am about 1 year in

BOOLZEYE 2014-06-06 12:16:42 -0500 Report

In 2002 I I took the ASVAB in my high school junior year, I came out with the highest test score in my entire school. The following months I was hassled by phone calls from recruiters from every department trying to recruit me to their branch. I was always interested to enlist with the USMC yet denied for type 1 diabetes. I totally agree with the statements below that I am physically unable to march mile after mile or withstand the desert heat and may become a liability due to lack of insulin or food. I never once was asked what job I was interested in when all I wanted was to become a computer engineer. This does not require extreme physical conditioning or risking anyone else's life. Yet the Denial was the same DIABETIC your like the plague. So here we are 12 years later I currently work as a medical biller with a computer technician certification I can use for toilet paper as ATI ITT and all those killed the demand. My computer engineering dreams crashed once I realized I could not afford to live sustain myself & push thru years of school financially and physically devote to a full time job & schooling. We have a "disability" yet I have applied for "disability" 3 times but I am not dead so I don't qualify. Even though a couple years ago I was in ICU 7 times in 6 months due to insulin was being regulated and I tend to develop a resistance or adaptation to the insulin. I work 25% of the time sick because since I don't qualify for disability I have to work sick or go homeless. My dad went as far as taking me to 2 congressmen (Lincoln Diaz-Balart , Ileana Ross) and they stated nothing can be done. We need a Diabetic reform. If we Can not have the same opportunities in the system we need the same handicaps to survive it.

My name is Omar Anthony Ruiz from Pompano Beach, Florida

Viceroy68 2014-05-28 00:05:35 -0500 Report

i was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when i was 7 years old. i am now 15. ive wanted to join since i was 2 years old. I have gotten my a1c down to 6.1. I understand the liabilities us diabetics present, but i do not believe that we shouldnt be allowed into the military. i am the healthiest person you will ever meet, im perfect weight and im in sports. i have played 12 different sports and have never been unconcious do to a low or high bloodsugar. I believe that we should be able to go through basic military training with only our long lasting insulin. No fast acting. We should be able to take it every 12 or 24 hours, depending on your schedule of delivery. i take my long lasting every 12 hours. I believe that if we pass BMT with only this accomidation we should be allowed to be in the military. I understand that i am young, and have a lot of growing up to do but my opinion should still matter. i believe that we should be given a chance. if we cant make it then we dont deserve to be in the military. that is the point of BMT, its a test, and like every test, if we pass we pass, if we dont we dont. We atleast deserve a chance, im not a radical person. i wont go crazy and protest. but i am a realist. i believe we should be given a chance. And i will do everything i can to join the military. if i am rejected i am rejected, but Frustrated Mom tell your son to never give up, everyone says if you set your mind to something you can do it. So i guess we should prove them right or wrong. The one who tries and fails earns more respect than the one who never tried at all. I wish your son the best of luck and God bless yall :)

Anonymous 2014-05-21 19:47:30 -0500 Report

I was an infantry officer in the Marine Corps and was diagnosed T1 while on my second deployment and later medically retired. I do not believe T1′s should be allowed to enter the military or remain in the military for that matter. It is challenging enough to control this disease in a controlled enviroment(ie: being a civilian). The stress of any type of deployment for any MOS exposes service members to uncontrolled environments that potentially put the diabetic in a situation of “sugar vulnerability” thus putting his/her fellow service members at risk while changing a mission from the task at hand to the diabetic and their sugar issue. Also to be “in” the military but not deploy as a diabetic means you take a slot of non deployability permenatly away from healthy service members who may end up deploying twice because the diabetic can not deploy, that means time away from their family and inherant risks all because the T1 with their known condition stays in. The military is about evaluating and mitigating risks and ultimately us T1′s are a risk that can be avoided. I would not want my Marines to be at potential risk and have to be taken away from a mission to attend to me on a low BGL and potentially get killed when it could have been avoided by me not participating. We are a risk and should not be in an occupation which requires that a it’s amount of detail to ensure the safety of other service members. The comparison of professional athletes is not even compatible, a pro athlete with T1 has a dedicated medical staffer solely to monitor that athlete and is always in a controlled environment under constant supervision. On the battlefield or on a long convoy in the middle of Northern Africa…. That is not the case. That’s my perspective as a former military officer and T1 and to me it is selfish to remain in the military with T1 as you put others at risk and/or take away time if you are in a non-deployable from others who have to deploy twice in your place.

Military Diabetics
Military Diabetics 2015-02-27 06:37:56 -0600 Report

That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard! Do you really believe that there is not a single position in any branch of the military that someone with type 1 diabetes could occupy? That there is not one single person with diabetes that could occupy one single position in any branch of the armed services? I have no patience for blanket statements that allow zero room for logical and intelligent thought. Let us not forget that the military is a large institution with numerous and diverse roles. Not all members of the military serve as combat soldiers in combat zones. Can you tell me that a type 1 diabetic with excellent control of their disease could not operate as an attorney, physician, or nurse in the military just like they do so frequently in the private sector. Medical professionals serving at a medical facility would literally be surrounded by other medical professionals that could assist if a situation were to arise. Before you tell me that if they were to have a hyper or hypoglycemic incident while on duty that they could jeopardize patient care realize that every other major healthcare institution disagrees with you. Should everyone with an illness or disability be allowed to join the military? No, of course not. Should they be allowed to serve in any position? Again, of course not, but these sort of decisions should not be made by a blanket veto. My wife is a perfect example. She is a type 1 diabetic who is excellently controlled. She is an experienced nurse, and she wishes to join the Navy. The vast majority of Navy nurses never see the outside of a Naval hospital. Their Naval careers are essentially the same as any other nurse's career in the private sector. Why should she, or any other nurse, be denied the opportunity to serve in the Navy Nurse Corps?

Salty Chief
Salty Chief 2014-11-15 15:47:28 -0600 Report

Certainly entitled to your opinion but I believe one of the reasons for the blanket ban is that the Military doesn't want the burden of medical retirements such as the one you're now receiving. The Department of Defense will employ T1 civilians and some of these diabetics have deployed to the sandbox in support positions. The difference is that there is that there is no lifetime medical benefit that they would have to be paid if they claim they can no longer perform their duties. They would be reassigned to another position like any other federal employee. There are hundreds of MOS's and certainly a diabetic paralegal or diabetic intelligence analyst could deploy and not march through the "middle of North Africa".

Salty Chief
Salty Chief 2014-11-15 15:46:25 -0600 Report

Certainly entitled to your opinion but I believe one of the reasons for the blanket ban is that the Military doesn't want the burden of medical retirements such as the one you're now receiving. The Department of Defense will employ T1 civilians and some of these diabetics have deployed to the sandbox in support positions. The difference is that there is that there is no lifetime medical benefit that they would have to be paid if they claim they can no longer perform their duties. They would be reassigned to another position like any other federal employee. There are hundreds of MOS's and certainly a diabetic paralegal or diabetic intelligence analyst could deploy and not march through the "middle of North Africa".

NickF 2014-03-11 01:05:59 -0500 Report

Why do people ignore(or some word) others? That one person with diabetes or some other disease might be the one to win the war

jayabee52 2014-03-11 05:38:20 -0500 Report

or more likely, Nick, the person with diabetes has a low and passes out and requires at least another soldier to look after him and get him to safety, In that way that soldier with diabetes could be responsible for losing the battle and perhaps the war.

Or do we want to leave the soldier with the low to fend for himself where he falls and not be cared for by his fellow soldiers? That would not be the military that I grew up believing in.

svatko12 2014-02-07 11:59:59 -0600 Report

hi my name is josh svatko I am a type one diabetic. sadly no one wants a diabetic in the front lines. that's just dumb. sorry to break your dream's. but martin luther king jr had a dream that all people would be treated equaly. well as a diabetic I am willing to fight even if its a desk job I take it winning a war is not all guns and front lines but also support to. I willing to bet if we all stand up together and say something whether its write the president congress or the supreme court. we can make something happen. diabetes should not stop ones dreams but only provide a stepping stone. we once said man cant go to the moon and we proved it wroung I am willing to take action and do something."We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." we as a people are being denied are writes to join and serve are country. all men are created equal and must be given the same chance. if any one agrees messege me and let are messeg be herd. flow me on twitter or face book I will be writing the supream court and the president as well as congress men.

Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2014-04-01 10:09:43 -0500 Report

Hay, svatko12 run for congress and use diabetics who want to serve as your compaign slogan. It wouldn't hurt to try. I am sure there are more diabetics who would like to serve, and I know there are those of us who served and are now diabetics that would be sympathetic, and support you. Especially if it was a desk job, we did have a president that had polio, and he did a pretty good job too.

GabbyPA 2014-04-01 09:16:45 -0500 Report

I was speaking with a retired army soldier yesterday and she told me that even previously broken bones will keep you out. They just need to make sure that the soldiers are in top shape to be able to fight. Physically and mentally. And even with those strict guidelines, some get in who shouldn't and have caused great loss of life either by accident or on purpose.

My husband wanted to be in the Navy, following in his family tradition, but he is in a wheelchair. Would it be any more right for him to serve or anyone with a chronic condition? I would not want a mentally ill person in the fox hole with me. There are too many "what if's" that surround that issue. I could not really expect a blind person to hit their target or a deaf person to hear someone sneak up on them. If someone has a heart condition, would I have to carry them through a mission march? In the same light, if you don't have your insulin or can't eat to prevent a low or have something to get you out of one, how can you be depended on to preform your duties? It is the loss of two soldiers in that case, as you will need one to aid you.

I think we confuse equal with same. We can be equals, but we don't have to be the same. If we all did the same things, there would be no diversity. Even just the basic make up of a family or society demonstrates that. Not all can be business owners or garbage men. If we all were moms what would life be like? I know that seems very elementary, but its the way it really is.

If you have a desire to serve the country, there are many, many ways to do that. The military may just not be accessible for you. When one door is closed, find the open one instead of banging your head on the closed one.

dwadavis 2014-03-31 10:04:30 -0500 Report

Hey Josh, I'm Dwayne and I have already wrote the president about the same issue you brought up in your long response. I'm also type I diabetic, and go through the same, constant battles of dealing with our government holding us back from achieving our dreams and pursuit of happiness. I mentioned pretty much those same arguments to the president and he actually emailed me back believe it or not! Or at least it was signed: Barrack Obama. The president simply went on and on how he was trying to help all Americans with problems and how he and his administration is working so hard to try and make this country and the entire world a better place to live. But, lets be clear about something: everyone will never be equal as long as the government puts limits on our ability simply because our pancreas can't make insulin anymore. Our disease holds us back from serving our country and from many jobs like truck driving, flying airplanes, driving a bus, and of course joining the Air Force, Navy, Army, National Reserve, etc. The Gov. does not care about you: Obama said: "we have free eye exams for you." Yeah, and that's true. But we all simply just want to be equal like everyone else and have the chance to do what we want to do in life and not let the government hold us back. Do we not pay the same amount of taxes as those who are not afflicted with type I or II diabetes? Yes, we are all vulnerable to high taxes both state and federal like "normal" Americans, but we are taxed without real representation b/c we are limited. I can go on and on Josh, but I'm with u.

jayabee52 2014-04-01 14:44:45 -0500 Report

Howdy Dwane
I really don't follow the thought ". . . we are taxed without real representation b/c we are limited" Do you mean that you don't have a congressional representative for whom you are able to vote (whether or not you do vote - you have the opportunity)?

There are certain things that various people are unable to do. Do you want a blind man driving the bus you are on? I would not. It wouldn't be safe for me or the bus driver or anyone on the bus or even nearby. (I am not predjuced against blind people for my 2nd wife, now disceased, was totally blind). Because we have physical or even mental difficulties does not
make us disabled, it makes us "differently enabled", and while we may not be able to do what we would want to do, we can play a part in the larger scheme of things. You may not be able to fight in a war, but you could join the USO and help the troops with their morale. The reasons a T1 (or even a T2) could not serve in the armed forces is listed on other places on this discussion, and won't be listed here. But seek out ways in which you CAN support the men and women who serve our nation for our defense.

God's best to you and yours

James Baker

dwadavis 2014-04-02 08:41:01 -0500 Report

Hey James, thanks for responding to my post and offering your opinion on it. I have to say you made some really valid points in both posts that I read from you. The statement that I made about being taxed without being represented was my way of saying the government still expects us to pay the same high taxes and produce the same amount of revenue for government spending, but then they limit what we can do. If a person is hindered from working certain jobs or joining certain organizations that can give him/her a jump start in life I think he/she should not be required to pay the same amount as a person who can participate in the Navy or Army in order to help pay for college, get a nice car, and get a great start on life. For what its worth: its like they throw diabetics on an island and say make us some revenue but you can't do this, this, oh and this. But you can dig a ditch.

When it comes to blind people they have a well documented disadvantage in life and I feel for them, but since you brought up the blind we have to look deeper into what they get for a comparison to diabetics. There is a way the blind can save on their taxes because the government gives the blind a tax credit because of their disability. I'm all for the blind getting their disability tax credit, but are diabetics not disabled also because the government does not allow us to drive a bus or plane as if we were blinded as well? And that also goes hand in hand with being taxed without real representation: if we were really represented, would we not also get a tax credit due to our disadvantage like the blind and deaf? There isn't any programs available to help diabetics: the blind get help finding jobs so they can remain independent in life, and its a great program b/c most real adults do not want to be dependent on others. But what does a type I diabetic get when he/she tries to take on the world as an adult: a free eye exam as mentioned by President Barrack Obama.

For what its worth: do we really want the guy who has low blood sugar on the battlefield or in the driver seat of a bus in ICU when a patient is about to die on the emergency room table? If the government and society is going to put the worse case scenario in a situation to hinder and limit a diabetic's quality of life we should add it to everything because every person makes decisions in life. The truck driver who gets high and cause a major accident, or the pilot who gets more drunker than a Georgia Southern freshman and crashes a plane make the negative decision in life to get drunk and high. Therefore, a diabetic may take too much insulin and his or her sugar might get too low while driving the mail truck for the post office; sugar might get too low while driving a powered lift at Lowes and run over a two customers; sugar might get too low at Pizza Hut and burn the whole building down and kill six other employees; sugar might get too low while working for FedEx and run the FedEx truck into a school bus killing the driver and six students; sugar might get too low while bathing an infant in the infant center at a local hospital and the baby drowns.

I'm Dwayne Davis

Ilovemel09 2014-02-14 13:04:48 -0600 Report

I'll join u my daughter apply for the marines and the navy and the marines just denied her she Ben working hard in school and collage at the same time in nursing. She goes to HS for her diploma and going to college for nursing at the same time do to her gift of knowledge she will graduate a head of time with two graduation her HS and college as well in the state of PA. I know how hard it's is because when I singed up I got denied because of my hemophilia and that's was in the early 90s, all she wants it's to go in as a medical tec to help the need that fight our country so for my kid dreams and everyone else that have a dream of going I will fight as well for our rights and dreams.

exposer 2013-11-27 11:55:10 -0600 Report

I have found that diabetics who wish to give military service should fight for there right to do so. I just found a Marine captain who became a double amputee was allowed to continue with a combat Unit after his rehabilitation and receiving high ended prosthetics. So I urge any Diabetic to fight for enlistment into the armed services and go for a non deployable status and work home side or they can open up the national guard and Air national guard to Type 1 Diabetics to serve their country. I'm looking to possibly bring charges up for me being denied yet special previsions was made for another double amputee.

FFsmokeEATER 2013-11-27 01:33:31 -0600 Report

I am a type 1 diabetic also…sadly your son will not be able to join any branch of the military. I tried enlisting several times, I even went as far as to research the SOPs for enlistment. As stated already a diabetic can not enlist, but if diabetes is developed while in the military they may stay in if their A1C is below 7.1% 3 months after diagnosis I think. When I found this out, a friend of mine that is a marine told me to check out the fire technology program at a local tech college. Tell your son he can still serve his community as a firefighter, law enforcement, border patrol, or something along those lines. Best of luck!

Pschlesiona 2013-04-19 12:01:46 -0500 Report

Actually, that is not correct. I'm a former Marine and my son has always wanted to join so I double-checked with contacts I still have in the Corps. At the discretion of the service branch, a person who contracts diabetes while already serving may be allowed to remain on active duty (no guarantee). However, DoD policy is that diabetics cannot be accepted for (new) enlistment or commissioning.

jdfr 2013-01-23 23:21:59 -0600 Report

Actually everybody a diabetic can join the marines if they get a pump. Look it up USA marine captain nick lozar was diagnosed with diabetes in 2009 and came backwith pump this just goes out there that us diabetic can anything a normal person can do

Anonymous 2013-11-09 21:02:28 -0600 Report

Actually, they cannot join the military with a pump. Only if they were already in the military they might under some circumstances stay.

Hurricane1992 2012-11-29 13:50:48 -0600 Report

There is no reason why we diabetics at what ever stage or type can not join the military any branch any speciality!!! We are no different thatn anyone else!! If I can be a Medic in the civi world I should be able to be one in my Beloved Marine Corps!! If I can be a Police Officer in My state then I should also be able to join the Marine corps to be an MP!!! It is discrimination… Point blank!! I plan to fight it! anyone else???

GabbyPA 2010-07-25 08:45:36 -0500 Report

Unfortunately, there are some jobs that it is just not safe to do as a diabetic. Not just for you, but also for those around you. My brother used to drive a big rig. His diabetes was a huge issue with that. Not so much because of the schedule, but if he would have had a sudden low while driving, he would have become a danger to so many innocent people on the road.

The same for the military. When you have to march for miles, be at your best and always be alert, diabetes can be an issue. As we all know, lows can hit without warning and then you become the one who needs help instead of being there for your unit. It is a risk that soldiers cannot take.

I don't know if there are places that you can be that are administrative that you don't have to go through boot camp to get there.

Neverquit155 2014-04-15 22:37:59 -0500 Report

Gabby you only look at Diabetes in the negative view. As diabetes we know that we will face problems with our blood sugar ,like your brother who drive the truck,. But if you really only look at the negatives you could say "that diabetics should be banned form shooting ranges because they might hold a gun and pass out and shoot someone." The truth should be that the military should have test to see how well your diabetes is and to find solutions for the low blood sugar in the battle field problem. This is my point of view [the positive :) ]

Roy531 2010-03-14 13:26:13 -0500 Report

One problem a diabetic would have with the military, you do not always get to eat when you should, plus if in a combat situation and need to eat something, you can't stop to eat. That could put your life at risk because of low blood sugars let alone everybody that would be with you trying to help you.

officervanessa 2010-03-14 11:31:58 -0500 Report

in highschool i was recruited to join the army as an army nurse. i was so excited because they were going to pay for all of my schooling and i really looked up to the military. well… as soon as my physical came around and they found out i had type 1 diabetes… that was the end of that. i tried to fight it- i was saying "well- i will be a nurse! im not going to be on of the soldiers!!" they said anyone associated with the military had to have certain standards of health… and diabetes was not within the "standard"… my little brother has since joined the army and is an airborne army ranger… i live through him… haha… unfortunately, your child with diabetes might have to live his military dream through the other son who is in the army. i know it sucks… sorry :(

Angie Rae
Angie Rae 2009-09-24 02:56:08 -0500 Report

I know it doesn't seem fair, but if you are on insulin or taking oral diabetic medications, you cannot join the military. I work for the military as a civilian and have type 1 diabetes too. The military won't let diabetics join because they can't have a diabetic with hypoglycemia using firearms, or being in a dangerous situation. I have done some pretty goofy things when I was hypoglycemic, so kind of understand where the military is coming from. It's great he wants to join, but unfortunately, us diabetics cannot have any job we want. We cannot be police officers or fly airplanes either, among a lot of other jobs which would put us or anybody else at risk. Hope you understand.

jrock50 2014-02-27 04:41:28 -0600 Report

I agree with some of what your saying but also have to disagree with some. I am a Type 1 Diabetic and also wanted to join the military. My whole life I have stayed active in the gym and constantly training in some fashion. My A1C stays 7 or below and always has. Here is where the disagreeing begins. I have been a full time police officer for nearly 14 years and 11 of those years have been an active member of our SWAT team. My entire team is aware of this and only occasionally do I get a wisecrack calling me handicapped or something else to be funny, cops must have thick skin as we are a hard crowd. On top of all of this I also spent one year working for a company named, or formerly named, Blackwater. I just think when you have something as we do it should motivate you and make you use your imagination more in order to fulfill the desire I have always had to help and serve others.

briankdavis 2014-01-14 08:02:30 -0600 Report

The Sheriff of my county is Diabetic. I have been in law enforcement over 20 years and have worked with many fine Diabetic Type 1 and 2 officers

amazinglycrazie 2012-04-04 09:35:42 -0500 Report

we r in dangerous situations everyday and in situations where our sugar effects others but yet when we want to join the military thats thier excuse to not let us in!? is it wrong for me to be angry , hurt and confused ?

kevin94 2012-07-24 05:11:25 -0500 Report

No, I don't find it wrong at all, I am diabetic although its type 2 not 1 I'm guessing they would'nt let me join either I'm gonna call a recruiter this morning because I've been wanting to join pretty much all my life and just in the last year I find out I'm diabetic but I do understand their reasons, I know I have been low and passed out or not been able to opperate at full capacity because of it and putting myself in another soldiers boots, I wouldn't want someone beside me that I didn't know will be able to have my back as well as me his/hers, not just me watching over him/her making sure they didn't fall out. So I hate it myself but if I can't, I can't, gotta find something else to do.

GabbyPA 2012-04-04 16:30:49 -0500 Report

It is not "wrong" for you to be angry or have strong feelings about this. Wanting to serve is a very heart felt thing. But there are things that you have to accept in the safety of the group, and a diabetic is not really a safe person in the battle field. They need to be focused on the enemy, not worried about you.

I am taking a Citizen Emergency Response Team class and one of the things they teach us first is that we don't need to ADD to the problem at hand. We have to know our limits. There are other things you can do to serve. You just have to find your niche.

H.D. 2009-09-24 05:03:14 -0500 Report

I'm not sure what state that you live in but you can have diabetes and still be a police officer in the state of Texas.

Harlen 2009-09-24 14:59:26 -0500 Report

But not on S.W.A.T team

DeputyDan 2010-07-24 21:55:19 -0500 Report

Wrong I am a current police officer on a S.W.A.T team it is possible. Also know people with type II diabetes who have joined military by proving their diabetes was under control through diet and exercise.

rcmodelr 2009-10-04 00:02:50 -0500 Report

Since at least 2003, if not longer… a Diabetic (even one using Insulin) CAN get an FAA Class 3 Medical Certificate AND become an aircraft PILOT…

Problem is, with the restrictions placed on Diabetics using Insulin, you're limited to ONLY being able to pilot a private aircraft, with NO way to legally make any income from flying.

If you use Insulin, the FAA won't let you become a Flight Instructor, Airline Pilot, or many other flying occupations.

However, in the USA, there is at least ONE Insulin Dependent Diabetic who s an air show aerobatic demo pilot, (He is shown flying his plane on a YouTube Video) and I think you could MAYBE also find an income providing flying job such as towing advertising banners or flying for arial photography… But I'm not sure on that.

If site handles links correctly, here's a link for the video of the Type 1 Diabetic Pilot…

rcmodelr 2010-03-13 22:05:48 -0600 Report

Actually, even in the USA… There is AT LEAST ONE Type 1 Diabetic PILOT performing in public AIRSHOWS!!! Performing aerobatic maneuvers that, at present, are considered to be the "Most Dangerous" aerobatic performances for ALL PILOTS… ESPECIALLY those with Diabetes…

rcmodelr 2010-03-13 22:20:17 -0600 Report

IF my finances would allow, I'd LOVE to become a FAA licensed Pilot WITH Diabetes… And based on how much I've always LOVED roller-coasters, and unusual attitudes of my body… IF allowed the chance, I'm sure I could fly virtually ANY currently available aircraft…

When my brother rented a Robinson R-22 Helicopter in MN… The contract he signed stated he'd not allow anybody other than HIM to touch ANY controls unless ALL MOVING PARTS had STOPPED MOVING!!!

The person who checked him out told him "This is purely company policy… You are rated as a Helicopter Instructor… Whatever you do away from the public airport is up to you!!!"

When he took us for rides… I was the ONLY ONE with Diabetes that he took for a ride… I was ALSO the ONLY ONE he took for several rides, and was able to hold the rented helicopter in a "Rock Solid HOVER" to point where my brother commented that I had acquired the feel for hovering a helicopter SOLIDLY… MORE CONFIDENTLY than ANY Military student he had instructed could do within 6 WEEKS of DUAL INSTRUCTION!!!

I had fewer than 5 MINUTES Instruction, and was able to hold the Robinson R-22 Helicopter in a SOLID HOVER, transition into Forward flight, and return to SOLID HOVER with literally less than TWO MINUTES of flight instruction!!! ALL (100% of my relatives), were COMPLETELY UNABLE to hold the rented helicopter in ANYTHING resembling a "SOLID HOVER" condition…

Diabetes, at least in MY situation, presents NO LIMITS!!!

It is the Federal and Local Government regulations that place the IRRATIONAL LIMITS upon what I can do in my life!!!

DeputyDan 2010-07-24 21:53:54 -0500 Report

I am a diabetic police officer and know many others. I also am a former Federal Law Enforcment Officer with the U.S. Dept. of Justice all with diabetes.

briankdavis 2014-01-14 08:05:40 -0600 Report

The Sheriff of my county is Diabetic. I have been in law enforcement over 20 years and have worked with many fine Diabetic Type 1 and 2 officers. My son is diabetic Type 1. Stay Safe Brother

Next Discussion: getting control »