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Celiacs In The Military
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I had been looking for this info and finally found it.

The Summer 2003 edition of Lifeline (put out by Celiac Sprue Association USA Inc.)

Article written by John Himberger, Capt. U.S. Air Force (NC)

Capt. Himberger explains that "rapid deployment requires prepackaged foods

Many assignments are isolated and far from medical facilities" (or fresh food).

"The Armed Forces varies its policy on individuals with medical conditions depending

on the mission and the branch of the service."

"officials (of military) decide on whether the individual will be retained in the military in the military

or released to the civilian community."

Basically he says that if you've been in for some time, they evaluate the situation, but if you're

fresh out of basic training or officer training school they may not want to retain you. It also

depends on how indispensable you are.

At the time of this article the Capt. stated that there were 6 persons on active duty in the Air Force with celiac disease

and report of about 1 in the Navy; "Army and Marines maintain tighter medical standards and would not tolerate the restrictions of celiac disease on active duty."

If anyone has info since 2003 which changes the military's position from what the Captain states, please fee free to share it.

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i ALWAYS WONDERED ABOUT THIS! Thanks for sharing!

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I had been wanting to join the RAF for ages. I got my fitness up,did loads of research,practice aptitude tests and 2 days before my interview i found out i had celiac disease. It was soul destorying to find you cant join, yet the armed forces will cater for vegitarians, vegans and provide halal meat. My next choce of career was police but that is also unatainable,

Does anyone else think this is rediculas?

With 1 in 100 people having the disease this has too be sorted. And i pray to god its soon!!!

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Hi, well, I have some new information. I'm currently serving in the Navy, and I was diagnosed with Celiac about 2 and a half years in. I know of atleast 6 or 7 people just in the San Diego area who have Celiac and are still in. When I talked to some of my superiors about it, they said that it all depends on what type of job position you hold in the military. As for me, I am an Air Traffic Controller, and they are letting me stay in, because there aren't very many deployment billets for my job. But for someone who is mostly on a boat, they would not be able to stay in. It also depends on how much money they have already spent on you. My A school for my job costed over $30,000 for only 16 weeks of training, and that was just the basic stuff. so you can see how they would factor that in. But if you have celiac before you join, they won't let you in. Now this is just the Navy, I don't know how the Marines, Army, or Air Force are handling situations with Celiacs, but I know the docs in the military are starting to try and find ways to help us out!

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It makes me furious that vegans are catered to but not Celiacs. I was in JROTC for three years than quit because I knew there was no way I was getting into the Air Force.

Well, thanks for the info, Debmidge. It's interesting to keep up with.

-Ash

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Hi, well, I have some new information. I'm currently serving in the Navy, and I was diagnosed with Celiac about 2 and a half years in. I know of atleast 6 or 7 people just in the San Diego area who have Celiac and are still in. When I talked to some of my superiors about it, they said that it all depends on what type of job position you hold in the military. As for me, I am an Air Traffic Controller, and they are letting me stay in, because there aren't very many deployment billets for my job. But for someone who is mostly on a boat, they would not be able to stay in. It also depends on how much money they have already spent on you. My A school for my job costed over $30,000 for only 16 weeks of training, and that was just the basic stuff. so you can see how they would factor that in. But if you have celiac before you join, they won't let you in. Now this is just the Navy, I don't know how the Marines, Army, or Air Force are handling situations with Celiacs, but I know the docs in the military are starting to try and find ways to help us out!

Hi Pinkscooby6-

I know it's been over a year since this post, but I was wondering how you're still doing with everything and if you have any dependents with Celiac since it tends to be hereditary. If so, did you have to enroll them in EFMP?

Thanks in advance!

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Wow, this is interesting. I'm in the Air Force and I was diagnosed with celiac over a year ago. Your research stated in 2003 there was only 6 people in the Air Force diagnosed. I wonder what the numbers are now? Only 6 makes me feel a wee bit lonely. :blink:

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The sad thing for me is that I wanted to become a chaplain in the army. The recruiter wouldn't even let me get the MEPS physical since he knew about my celiac. I mean, sure chaplains get deployed, but there are plenty of them on bases, too. It broke my heart. My brother just joined and I wanted to go through it at the same time as him.

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The sad thing for me is that I wanted to become a chaplain in the army. The recruiter wouldn't even let me get the MEPS physical since he knew about my celiac. I mean, sure chaplains get deployed, but there are plenty of them on bases, too. It broke my heart. My brother just joined and I wanted to go through it at the same time as him.

Welcome to the board.

Coming from someone who had an undiagnosed celiac in the military I can tell you that you would never make it through basic. They simply can't feed you safely. I am sorry that your plans didn't work out but there are plenty of folks that could use your services outside of the military. It will work out in the end. Since you were planning on being a chaplin I feel it safe to say that God has other plans for you. You'll figure out what they are when the time is right.

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I still can't believe it. Most of my family was in the armed forces. I was a member of Air Training Corps for fours years then my mum told me the bad news. Gutted isnt the word... I'm currently studying for my operational department practioner (Surgical nurse)... I was just wondering as i saw it apply to certain job types. As i wouldn't be on the front line and would most likely be on base does it still mean that i can't join the Royal Air Force? [been diagnoised for 11 years]

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I still can't believe it. Most of my family was in the armed forces. I was a member of Air Training Corps for fours years then my mum told me the bad news. Gutted isnt the word... I'm currently studying for my operational department practioner (Surgical nurse)... I was just wondering as i saw it apply to certain job types. As i wouldn't be on the front line and would most likely be on base does it still mean that i can't join the Royal Air Force? [been diagnoised for 11 years]

Have an honest talk with a recruiter. They can give you the answer you are looking for. If you can't serve in the RAF you can still work as a nurse in a hospital.

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