This is a question that comes up often. It especially breaks my heart when the question involves an older child who has dreamed of joining the military. I wish I was able to answer anything besides what will follow.

The short answer is no.

I truly hate saying that, especially you found this page in hopes of finding otherwise.

I’m not going into the why behind it not being allowed… I honestly don’t have the answer, but…

…my best guess is that it has to do with this listed in DODI 6130.03

(4) Medically adaptable to the military environment without the necessity of geographical area limitations.

Listed are the policies that define Diabetes as a restriction or, as in the case of the Coast Guard, subject to further review.

Department of Defense Instruction 6130.03: Medical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction in the Military Services

It is a comprehensive medical list that are grounds for rejection for military service.

Specifically for diabetes is found on page 40.

25. ENDOCRINE AND METABOLIC

b. Diabetes mellitus (250) disorders, including:

(1) Current or history of diabetes mellitus (250).

(2) Current or history of pre-diabetes mellitus defined as fasting plasma glucose 110-125 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and glycosylated hemoglobin greater than 5.7 percent.

(3) History of gestational diabetes mellitus.

(4) Current persistent glycosuria, when associated with impaired glucose tolerance (250) or renal tubular defects (271.4).

Army (Active Duty, Reserves & National Guard)

AR-40-501 (Standards of Medical Fitness) (page 6)

2–8. Endocrine and metabolic disorders

b. Current or history of diabetes mellitus (250) does not meet the standard.

Navy (Active Duty, Reserves & Marines)

NAVMED P-117

15-56 – Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders

(2) Current or history of diabetes mellitus (250) is disqualifying.

Air Force (Active Duty, Reserves & Air National Guard)

AFI 36-2002

Section 1B – Minimum Eligibility Standards

1.4. Enlisted Program Requirements. Applicants must meet specific enlistment program requirements announced by HQ AFRS, and:

1.4.1. Meet physical standards in Army Regulation (AR) 40-501, Standards of Medical Fitness, and AFI 48-123, Medical Examination and Standards.

AFI 48-123, Medical Examinations and Standards

5.3.16.4. Diabetes insipidus, requiring antidiuretic hormone replacement therapy.

5.3.16.5. Diabetes mellitus, diagnosed, including diet controlled and those requiring insulin or oral hypoglycemic drugs. Note: The criteria for the diagnosis of diabetes consist of (a) diabetic symptoms with a casual glucose greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl, (b) Fasting plasma glucose greater than or equal to 126 mg/dl, or (c) 2 hour plasma glucose greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The diagnosis is considered provisional until confirmed by any of these methods on a subsequent day. Values for fasting plasma glucose greater than or equal to 110 but less than 126 mg/dl are considered to represent impaired fasting glucose; 2 hours post-prandial glucose levels greater than or equal to 140 but less than 200 mg/dl represent impaired glucose tolerance.

Coast Guard

NVIC 04-08 Medical and Physical Evaluation Guidelines for Merchant Mariner Credentials

193 Diabetes Mellitus requiring Insulin or history of DKA: Internal Medicine consultation documenting interval history, blood pressure and weight, evaluation of fasting plasma glucose; and, two current HgA1C’s (<8.0) separated by at least 90 days, the most recent no more than 90 days old, ophthalmology consultation, graded exercise test.

194 Diabetes requiring Oral Medication Internal Medicine consultation documenting interval history, blood pressure and weight, evaluation of fasting plasma glucose; and, two current HgA1C’s (<8.0) separated by at least 90 days, the most recent no more than 90 days old, ophthalmology consultation.

But in the admissions for the Coast Guard Academy, diabetes is listed as a “common disqualification”

Service Academies

Army: Must pass a Department of Defense qualifying medical examination.

Air Force: Must meet the medical standards of the United States Air Force

Navy: Listed as a disqualifying condition in Appendix A: Medical Considerations for Admission

Coast Guard: Diabetes Mellitus is listed as a “common disqualification”

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