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#2980 - 07/08/17 07:51 AM Torn pec muscle disqualification?
Danimal Offline
FNG

Registered: 06/29/17
Posts: 3
Loc: FL
I realize that that is a somewhat loaded question and that no one here is qualified to give me a definitive answer, but I was hoping that someone’s prior experience could provide some insight. I will be posing this question to a recruiter as well in the coming months. I apologize in advance for being long winded, but I like to be thorough.

I am 22 years old and going into my senior year of college. I have been interested in special operations for some time, and Pararescue has been increasingly on my radar, since I took an EMT course this summer.

About a year ago, I partially tore my right pec major (Dr's diagnosis) while bench pressing. Since the tear was partial, the Orthopedic specialist did not recommend surgery, and after several months of rest and many months of slow rehab, I am confident that I have made a full recovery. I have full range of motion and strength to do pushups, pull ups, chest flies, etc. However, there is a visible asymmetry on the right side of my chest, below the shoulder, where some of the superficial muscle fibers detached. Which brings me to my question.

Will this deformity medically disqualify me from PJ selection? My two major areas of concern are the PULHES, and the Class III Flight physical. I understand that all AFSOC positions require a PULHES score of 111111, so I am concerned that on the “U” (Upper Extremities) I am likely to score a 2. [i](1. No loss of digits or limitation of motion;[b] no demonstrable abnormality[/b]; able to do hand to hand fighting. 2. Slightly limited mobility of joints, muscular weakness, or [b]other musculo-skeletal defects that do not prevent hand–to–hand fighting and do not disqualify for prolonged effort[/b].[/i])

As optimistic as I would like to be, a score of 121111 seems probable, so would it be possible to obtain a waver, assuming my PAST and ASVAB scores were extremely competitive? Also, if I was ineligible, would I find out before actually signing, or would I just be sent somewhere else in the Air Force? I am also concerned that this could complicate the Class III flight physical, as the Extremities section of that document contains a similarly worded section about muscular deformities.

Honestly, my greatest concern is that I sign 6 years of my life away to the Air Force and not even get a shot at Indoc, due to something I could have seen coming. Committing myself to something as arduous as becoming a PJ is not something I take lightly, so I would prefer to shift gears while I’m still over a year out. Pararescue is by far my first choice, but there are other programs that interest me (specifically SARC in the Navy). I realize that nothing is set in stone in the military, “needs of the [Insert Branch],” etc, and that odds are heavily against me once I enter any SO pipeline. However, in your opinions and based on your experiences, do I have a realistic shot with the Air Force? Thank You.

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#2981 - 07/08/17 12:00 PM Re: Torn pec muscle disqualification? [Re: Danimal]
Yukon Offline
Operator

Registered: 11/16/14
Posts: 863
Loc: Anchorage AK
MEPS is your definitive answer. Most of the info dealing with waivers of pectoral muscles is associated with breast implants/augmentation and after surgical procedures of the chest.

As pectoral muscles are considered a major motion muscle it would fall under general qualification/disqualification/waiver concerns of range of motion, muscle strength, activity level, limitations.

FYI: Your medical concern also fall under the P factor of PULHES profile. Which considers Organic defects, strength, stamina, agility, energy, muscular coordination, function, and similar factors.

A 1 in the P element is Good muscular development with ability to perform maximum effort for indefinite periods.

A 2 in the P element is Able to perform maximum effort over long periods.

FYI 1: Not all military classifications (predominantly the Navy) mention specific PULHES requirements as the entry and retention qualification requirement. It is actually the medical examinations for performing certain duties such as aircrew, parachuting, military freefall, combat diver and diver that set and establish the medical fit to perform duties standards. These medical fit to perform duties medical standards mirror each other throughout the military departments which for this purpose includes the Coast Guard.

FYI 2: Navy NECs, or more specifically rating Series NEC Codes are subsets of a rate identifying certain skill sets or special or unique qualifications necessary for detailing (assignment) to a billet (duty position) requirement. Rating series NEC codes identify billet requirements (skill/knowledge requirements) beyond the skill and knowledge that the general rating would provide. Consequently the Navy SARC is a subset of the HOSPITAL CORPSMAN Rate. Although MARSOC marketing advertises --(Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman/FMF Reconnaissance Corpsman HM8427), the official Navy Enlisted NEC (Apr 2017 and previous) designation is 8427 - Fleet Marine Force Reconnaissance Corpsman.

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#2982 - 07/09/17 09:45 AM Re: Torn pec muscle disqualification? [Re: Danimal]
Danimal Offline
FNG

Registered: 06/29/17
Posts: 3
Loc: FL
Thank you for your time and detailed response. I guess my gameplan for the time being is making sure I'm in the best shape possible, so that I can prove no loss of strength or function. Is there anything else, in general, you could recomend that might boost my chances of being cleared?

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#2983 - 07/10/17 08:00 AM Re: Torn pec muscle disqualification? [Re: Danimal]
Yukon Offline
Operator

Registered: 11/16/14
Posts: 863
Loc: Anchorage AK
If you believe you have made a full recovery from the injury, then proceed to process through MEPS. It's not a matter of best shape as if the medical issue is proving no loss of strength, range of motion or loss of function then you do have some lingering defect imagined or actually existing that is causing you concern.

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