Barred from joining the military because of my ADHD. I really wanted to serve. I’m trying to leave consulting. What do I do now? I’m angry and frankly I feel emasculated

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Don’t feel bad, only about 23% of people aged 17-24 are eligible for military service


What you want is irrelevant. Reality is what it is.


Well if you can't function without the medicine probably for the best.

If you don't need it, I just wouldn't bring it up and pretend I never had it.

If you already told them and can go without it, then keep calling recruiters until one gives you a waiver. Recruitment is way down. You can get one, but a lot of recruiters don't want to do all the extra work.


I don't think anyone is going to read up on your sources here OP. Just giving you some insight. Take it or leave it.

If you want to join the intelligence community don't bring up someone who stole and published sensitive materials. You don't understand the ramifications of something like that, no matter how much you, a 23 year old with no experience in the space, read or pretend to know.

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What branch and what did you want to do in the military? Tbh from a veteran it wasn't what it was all cracked up to be. You kinda dodged a bullet.


Lots of military demand in cyber. I’d say get technical expertise with security and might be able to make the transition is your still young enough.

“Emasculated”? That’s weird. Anyway, for adhd, if you can survive without meds for a little while, you can join. My nephew dropped his adderall and was able to join navy. It might have been required for 6 months off or something like that. I don’t recall the length.


Emasculated because I feel like less of a man because I can’t join. But yeah anyway is 2 years according to what my recruiter told me. So that’s out and I barely take my med anyway. It’s mild

First and foremost, don't tie your masculinity to serving in the military. It's literally just a job, not a defining feature of what it means to "be a man"


Shhhh I’m tryna sell some ish on ig why you messin with my business model?

Unofficial advice sooo I was in the military and had ADHD and just never reported it but got it treated after the military. I was in air force Intel working with the NSA as a 14N. I would look into nasic, GIS, the FBI (who needs people badly) yes the FBI does intelligence work, OSI, and the CIA.


Curious..D1why or how was the poly a joke? Assuming you’re referring to the FS.

Air Force Veteran currently in consulting but joining the DoD as a federal employee next year. If public service is a calling you have, there are still ways to serve and make an impact outside of joining the military. A couple of fellowships you might look into are the Presidential Management Fellows and McCain Strategic Defense Fellowship. The Intelligence Community could be another great route to serve. Also just browsing USAJobs for fed roles could turn up opportunities you might be interested in. Feel free to DM if you have questions though.


This is true for me as well. My rationale came down to long term aspirations for a public service/natsec career. I negotiated my salary up but still taking a slight pay cut upfront to go back to govt. Ultimately, will spend a stop-gap year in consulting while waiting to clear the hiring process for an intel role.

Should have lied


Yeah that’s not today unfortunately haha

Sorry you couldn't do what you wanted, but it's ok. What about other ways to serve, like police, fire, etc? A lot of people go into that as well


I’d start with CI first - easy to get into at Deloitte as long as you get a clearance sponsored. Wasn’t hard for me - just networked and got it although I didn’t use it

Whoops wrong acronym - IC - intelligence community


Try the National Guard they have different recruiting standards and can waive things the Reserves and Active Duty cannot (used to be an Army Recruiter).

Just talked to him and the NG standards for ADHD are the same as active component. No waivers.

CIA would likely still take you. Still get to serve your country but won’t be able to talk much about it. Give them a look.

I feel like half the people I served with had ADHD.


I guarantee a not negligible percentage of the military intelligence corps is on the spectrum. And they all have TS 🙄

But no.

Instead of recognizing the persec problem, DoD is like “You need to write your troop up because he didn’t file the proper forms to have his fitbit in here even tho two hundred other people walk in and out with the same damn thing every day.” 🙄

Selection is far from a sure thing even if you pass the physical portion if you want to be an officer…

I feel your frustration but admission to military requires high standard qualifications. You know what the role entails. If you on your meds and you can't have a normal day without taking it, then I think it was better that you are not able to join.

I would, in this order, consider the following:

1. There’s a waiver for everything. Go to an OSO and ask him to tell you the governing regulation & who the waiver authority is — if they can’t do that, they’re useless. If they aren’t useless, they’ll give you all the information you need to work through that process. That said. It’s DoD. Nothing moves fast until it has to so just be prepared for that.

2. Talk to a Natty Guard recruiter. There are plenty of unfilled active billets in Army and Air guard units (essentially: you’ll be in the National Guard, and so answer to both a Governor and the President, but your commission is still federal, and you’d still be working in the military full time — plus you get state benefits and won’t ever have to PCS if you don’t want to. Tradeoff is promotions past a certain point — probably O3/4 — will not be easy to come by.

3. Consider civilian federal service. Law enforcement agencies in particular are hurting for recruits. IRS is beefing up. I would avoid the military investigative services, personally. NCIS is a cool tv show but it ain’t all that for 98% of their dudes. If your goal is to get ripped, cool training, travel, and perform a meaningful mission, you’re more likely to get to do that working as a civilian in many different agencies than you are by wearing a uniform.

But that’s my perspective after 7 years in, so there’s always a “grass is greener” syndrome.


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