US Army Medical Services Standards of Medical Fitness

Standards of fitness for service are very clear with respect to all manner of illnesses and conditions. Sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing are no different. Following are excerpts from the army standards manual. A diagnosis of OSA can affect deployment, retirement and can even stand in the way of enlistment. The link to the entire manual follow the excepted passages.

“Medical Fitness Standards for Retention and Separation, Including Retirement

c. Sleep apnea.  Obstructive sleep apnea or sleep-disordered breathing that causes daytime hypersomnolence or snoring that interferes with the sleep of others and that cannot be corrected with medical therapy, nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), surgery, or an oral appliance. The diagnosis must be based upon a nocturnal polysomnogram and the evaluation of a pulmonologist, neurologist, or a privileged provider with expertise in sleep medicine.

(1) A 12-month trial of therapy with nasal continuous positive air pressure may be attempted to assist with other therapeutic interventions, during which time the individual will be issued a temporary profile. Soldiers with severe sleep apnea and/or symptoms may be referred directly for an MEB. If nasal CPAP is required for longer than 12 months, the Soldiers should be profiled as a permanent P2.

(2) If symptoms of hypersomnolence or snoring can not be controlled with medical therapy, nasal CPAP, surgery or an oral appliance, the individual should be referred for a MEB. If the use of nasal CPAP or other therapies for sleep apnea result in interference with satisfactory performance of duty as substantiated by the individual’s commander or supervisor, the Soldier should be referred to a MEB”

(6)  Sleep apnea.  See paragraph 3-41c  for profile guidance and for MEB processing criteria. The Soldier can be deployed if nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is required and can be supported in the area of deployment. Criteria for the ability to use nasal CPAP in the area of deployment include the following: availability of a reliable power source; absence of environmental factors that would render electrical equipment inoperable or unreliable, and the availability of a reliable source of replacement supplies such as masks, harnesses, and filters. A Soldier that requires nasal CPAP should not be deployed if these factors cannot be assured and the absence of nasal CPAP would hinder the Soldier from performing his/her military duties

Complete Document

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