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Can someone with Asperger's Syndrome join the military?

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No. An individual with Asperger's Syndrome will not be accepted into the American military. Asperger's is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and motor skills issues, which are important in the military. The military has physical, mental, and education standards that must be met, and someone with Aspergers is typically unable to meet them.
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Contradictory responses by WikiAnswers contributors:
  • For the United States, more than likely No.

  • I have to agree with the No. I have researched this as I had an applicant with this high form autism. The person will not even make it to the physical.

  • I disagree... It all depends on the individual; the military looks at each person on a case-by-case scenario. It mostly depends if the person applying had special accommodations and also treatment. If they have, then Yes, they would be disqualified and if still have Asperger's and are not receiving accommodations or treatment, then they can join the military.

  • Yes. I know someone with Asperger's syndrome who was recently admitted into the Air Force and will leave to join it in a couple of months. As long as a person can pass all the tests and has the necessary skills for the branch of the military they're trying to get into, they will get accepted.

  • Hey, I'm from Canada, and I've been diagnosed with a slight case of aspergers. I've aspired to enlisting since I could remember, and have recently continued on to do so. I've passed the Physical, Aptitude and the Medical. My last step was to complete the final interview, but I had a debt mixup, and outstanding criminal charges (no, I'm not a psychopath, I just got a bit rowdy while drinking). Now that I think of it, after a bit of research, it may have been a bad idea to exclude my "disability" from the medical questionnaire. The problem here, is that doctors have always told me I had ADD, which I told the military physician. However, during the last "just incase" test my mother had forced me into, I was told that I had a few symptoms of aspergers, not really enough for diagnosis, but they would diagnose me anyways, so it would be easier to get a job... A lot of help that did, huh? Anyways, I hope this has helped in one way or another, and I wish anyone thinking of military service, luck in their indeavour's.

  • Unfortunately not. Not in the United States, at least. The Armed Forces of the United States adhere to almost inflexible regulations known as the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and that code does not recognize the ability of ANY prospective aspirant who is NOT of perfectly sound mind, nor does it recognize the confidentiality of doctor-patient relationships; Asperger's disorder is still officially considered a mental deferment.

  • The United States Military will accept people with Aspergers on a case by case basis. It all depends on what doctor that you see while at MEPS. I am a Legalman in the United States Navy with Navy Legal Service Office North Central, Detatchment Great Lakes, and I have had this question posed to me before. I discussed it with a few of the JAGs in , and after reviewing the UCMJ, they found that there is no Artical forbidding it.

  • Ok, lets beat the dead horse one more time. The UCMJ has nothing to do with medical clearances into the military. This is a MEPSCOM function that falls under the department of the Army. The person will not get cleared by a MEPS Dr. because their MEPSCOM regulation forbids it. The best they could hope for, if the sun is shining particularly nicely that day, is to get a mental evaluation and then get disqualified. The branch of service that is attempting to bring them in can try for a waiver but once again, it's ultimately up to a Doctor, now that branches surgeon general, to put their name on this.

  • Wow, a bunch of people who are GUESSING. That's what's wrong with these types of sites (any Wiki site, Yahoo answers, etc.), they are loaded with a bunch of unqualified opinions. Yes, someone with Asperger's can get into the military. The person above who spoke of the UCMJ and MESPCOM is partially right, but mostly wrong. Asperger's does NOT fail you during the mental evaluation. However, if you're taking any medication for it or any other disorder then you have to be off of them for at least a year.

  • YES. My husband has AS and he is doing very well in the military. Some do and some don't. The decision is on a case by case basis. If you would like more info about Asperger's Syndrome in the military check out this web site I just found http://www.aspires-relationships.com/articles_as_in_the_military.htm

  • After 50+ horrible years, I was diagnosed as Aspergers/High Functioning Autism incidental to an Aspergers diagnosis for my daughter. Can one do the military? The answer is a "qualified" yes. I did two years in SouthEast Asia and came away with the Distinguished Flying Cross even though essentially I was 12 in many ways, not counting I was behind that far biologically. Later, I made it through the commissioning program. At a later junior officers leadership course, they tested and retested my physical coordination skills for placement on competitive teams (everyone had to compete) thinking I was playing uncoordinated as a "ringer. I was almost passed over for 1st Lt, was passed over for Captain, but pulled data together that clinched it, then despite my technical efforts leading to officer of the year two years in a row, was passed over for Major. Years later I was able to secure a reserve position, and it was my Aspergers skills that led to a recall to active duty and my eventual retirement as a Lt Colonel. I had a habit of placing myself in situations that were beyond my comfort level, but to be truthful, leadership and socialization is not the strong point of Aspergers. Technical skills however, is where we excel. As a junior officer in charge of 150 people I was a flop. Later as a technician, I was great. At least for the Air Force, however, there is an up or out policy, which means you have to compete for and be promoted. As a SSgt and later a Captain, I was right where I should have been and that would have been fine. But to answer your question, with enough drive and by creating the right sense of circumstances, Aspergers/HFA may have a successful career if they can avoid the leadership situations. By the way, there is a quote: "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," out of the scriptures, I believe. Knowing I'm Aspergers has allowed me to more successfully (and more happily) deal with life than ever before.

  • According to at least one person in recruiting, United States military rules prohibit enlisting a person who has a mental disorder (including autism spectrum disorders) that interferes with school or employment, unless that person has not required special accommodations for school or employment for 12 months.


I actually checked on this a few years ago, when my son was old enough to start thinking about enlistment. He has an autism spectrum disorder and, as it turns out, that did not render him ineligible. The medications for his condition, however, made him ineligible.
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