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Inhalers a bar to entry?

I've wanted to join up to the Navy for about 3 years now. I've currently started sixth form and was thinking about going down the officer route, but I've become increasingly concerned for my past of "asthma". I have had extremely mild asthma as a child and to my knowledge I'm no longer on the asthma register. I've never experienced an asthma attack and I have used the blue and brown inhaler. I last took an inhaler out of April 2017 when I was 14, I'm now 16, I currently have had no issues since I've started training to get in and by the time I join up I would not of taken out an inhaler in 4 years. I want to go to see my GP to see if they can write a note that I am 100% clear of asthma. However I need to rest my mind and want other opinions as to whether I will be barred from entering because of it or not? Thanks.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
You're right that you need to be clear of inhalers for 4 years, but not before joining, before your medical. That's according to the medical standards for entry.
Having said that, I'm no expert and the only way to find out for sure is to ask your AFCO.


War Hero
Go to your nearest AFCO. Be honest and truthful as eventuality everything will come out. So if your mild isn't as mild as you say you will be rumbled.
You need to talk to actual recruiters not take advice from forums as we are known to be sarcastic and lack empathy!!!!!
The son of a work colleague went on the PRNC at Collingwood, he was as fit as a butchers dog and aced all the physical stuff, However about 5 years before he had used an inhaler, he hadn't been to see the doc for a new one and didn't use it or need it anymore. He stupidly put it in his bag "just" in case he may need it, it was spotted by the staff and he was sent home. This was about 5 or so years ago now.


I'm towards the latter end of the officer application process and have been through the medical stages. I also had "mild childhood asthma" (as I described it on my forms). I always took the view that the four year rule was a minimum threshold below which you would be automatically excluded. Definitely check this with your AFCO as Waspie has suggested. Giving them a ring is simplest, the answer will either be "yes" or "no". You've got less than two years to wait if need be; patience is key with any application (and definitely the senior service).

I would add that when it came to my triage call I told the nurse that I had last been prescribed an inhaler about six-seven years ago. They told me regardless of the time frame, the GP of all candidates with a history of asthma would be requested to fill out an additional assessment form in regards to their historical and present condition. If GPs were required to undertake this process regardless of the four year rule, the rule would be somewhat redundant. In any event, they will absolutely find everything out at some stage so there is no reason not be fully candid about it now.


Look at this document: JSP-950

For Asthma, PDF page 72, which is Annex D (4-D-1 is the document's internal reference).

JSP-950 is the starting point for any medical issues and if you are regarded as unfit for any reason listed within it Capita will almost certainly grade you permanently medically unfit (PMU) and you'll have to appeal to the single service doctor.

The Navy Dr will also not normally deviate from JSP 950 but if you fall into the "borderline" category as defined in that flowchart then they'll take a view based on your records and their medical opinion.
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