Royal Navy Medical


Hi there

I have my Navy Medical coming up soon but am worrying about failing it for some reason!

Just what is involved in the medical? Are there any blood/urine tests at this stage? If I have had a previous football injury which has not reoccured in 3 years will this be discussed? Do they look into your complete medical history to see if any illnesses will also reoccur?

Any answers to these points would be really helpful!




War Hero
To clarify the medical standards laid down to all applicants joining the Armed Forces:

In general terms if an individual fails to meet the medical standard for a specific trade in one of the services, they will most likely do likewise in the equivalent trade in one of the other arms of the Services.

Despite individual experience expressed to the contrary, the medical standards for entry are different for those currently serving personnel who may develop a condition “in service†which precludes entry, but does not always stop them continuing to serve after they have joined.

Rather than enter into the semantics or “fairness†of the standards outlined below, those wishing to complain about it would be better off directing their complaint at the medical authorities who set the standard – they get paid a lot more than me anyway. The following is an extract from the AFCO Form 5, Application Form Information and Guidance Booklet that is given to every applicant (which invariably remain unread!). Any spelling errors are mine, my apologies:

AFCO FORM 5 Revised Mar 07



Fit to Serve. The Armed Forces require anyone who enters to be medically fit to serve world-wide.

New entrants to the Armed Forces undergo Intensive training which is physically demanding and mentally taxing, therefore the Service medical authorities have to be made aware of your medical history. Your application will be rejected if you fail to meet the minimum acceptable medical standard for entry. Your medical history is confidential and is not disclosed to those not authorised to hold this information.

The following initial medical examinations will take place for the:

(1) Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. It will take place locally as arranged by the Armed Forces Careers Office.

(2) Army. It will take place in an Army Development and Selection Centre. For that reason the Army additionally uses a detailed questionnaire to be completed by your Doctor as part of the eligibility process in order to help avoid unnecessary travel away from home.

(3) Reserve Forces. Under single service arrangements as notified by the recruiting personnel.

Unsuitable conditions.

The conditions in the table on below and overleaf make a person permanently unsuitable for entry into the Services.
Please also note:

(1) Height and weight Height should be within normal limits for the recruit’s age and weight should be in proportion to height (see also paragraph 1.8b).

(2) Visual standards: The minimum standards for both uncorrected and corrected visual acuity on recruitment are determined by single-Service authorities and are dependent upon the proposed employment and trade group. Spectacle or contact lens correction must not be greater than -7 dioptres or +8 dioptres in any meridian. Impaired colour perception (colour blindness) is not a bar to service but may limit career choices.

This table below and overleaf is not exhaustive and is for general guidance only. Many conditions that are compatible with civilian employment and sport may be considered incompatible with military service. If you have a medical condition that is not mentioned below, or you are unclear about the impact of your medical
history, you should seek further advice from the AFCO staff. Please note that the AFCO staff are not medically qualified and that the decision regarding medical suitability for enlistment is determined by selection medical staff.

Eye Disorders

Eye disease e.g. glaucoma, keratoconus, retinitis pigmentosa. Double vision.
Visual field defects. Corneal grafts or recurrent corneal ulcers. Cataract or cataract surgery. Detached retina. Vision only in one eye. Squint surgery in the previous 6 months. Laser eye surgery in the previous 12 months.

Ear Nose & Throat disorders

Ongoing ear, nose, throat or sinus disease. Deafness. Presence of grommets.
Current perforated ear drum. Certain surgical procedures.

Heart and Cardiovascular disorders

Heart disease. Certain congenital heart conditions e.g. repair of tetralogy of Fallot, coarctation of the aorta. Certain heart valve abnormalities. High blood pressure. Reynaud’s disease.

Respiratory disorders

Asthma, wheeze or asthma symptoms or treatment within the past 4 years. Lung
disease Including chronic bronchitis, emphysema, bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis.
Active tuberculosis.

Abdominal and digestive disorders including diet

Ongoing abdominal, digestive or liver disease. Crohn's disease. Ulcerative colitis.
Loss of spleen (splenectomy). Chronic hepatitis. Untreated hernia. Requirement for specific dietary restriction.

Neurological disorders

Ongoing nervous system disease. Epilepsy or more than one Seizure/fit after
the age of 5 (although Benign Rolandic epilepsy is acceptable). Single seizure/fit
within the last 5 years. Multiple sclerosis. Complications following head injury.
Hydrocephalus (with or without shunt). Severe or recurrent headache (including

Endocrine Disorders

Diabetes. Adrenal disorders. Pituitary disorders. Certain thyroid diseases.
Abdominal and digestive disorders

Skin disorders

Chronic eczema or dermatitis. &ere psoriasis. Severe acne.

Female reproductive disorders

Chronic breast pain. Chronic pelvic pain or Inflammatory disease. Endometriosis.

Male reproductive disorders

Current cancer of the testicle or prostate gland. Chronic pelvic pain.

Musculoskeletal disorders

Any abnormality that interferes with the ability to undertake military training.
Spinal abnormalities. Certain spinal operations. Recurrent back pain or sciatica.
Joint disease, pain or limitation of joint movement. Hypermobility (laxity)
of the joints, Bone or joint operations within the last 12 months. Anterior
cruciate ligament reconstruction (subject to single Service policy). Recurrent
joint dislocations. Severe deformity following fractures. Loss of a limb. Foot
abnormalities (e.g. club foot, hammer toe). Complete loss of either big toe.
Complete loss of either thumb. Arthritis and similar conditions.

Blood disorders

Certain blood diseases, such as G6PDD, sickle cell disease, congenital
spherocytosis, haemoglobinopathy, Any bleeding disorder or abnormality or blood clotting.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HN) / acquired immune deficiency syndrome
(AIDS). Carriers of hepatitis viruses.

Malignancy (cancer)

Most cancers are considered to place an applicant below the medical entry standard. Exceptions - some cancers in childhood or early adult life that have
been successfully treated and are regarded as cured.

Allergic disorders

Severe allergic reactions and/or anaphylaxis. A need to any adrenaline
injections (EPIPEN etc.). Nut and peanut allergy. Egg allergy. Latex allergy.
Vaccine allergy (including Tetanus allergy). Gluten sensitivity (Coeliac disease).

Conditions resulting from exposure to extremes of temperature

Heat illness. Frostbite and non-freezing cold injury.

Psychiatric disorders

Ongoing psychiatric illness. Psychosis. Schizophrenia Obsessive-compulsive
disorder. Autism. Personality disorder. More than one episode of deliberate
self-harm of any type. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Alcohol, drug or
substance dependence. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) unless
free of symptoms and not requiring treatment for at least 3 years. Anorexia and

Kidney disorders

Ongoing kidney disease. Polycystic kidney disease and kidney stones. Donation
of kidney in the past 6 months.

Other - Transplanted organs.

Temporary conditions.

The following conditions Incur a temporary hold on the selection procedure and or entry/attestation until fully recovered, discharged from hospital follow-up and fit to undergo arduous training:

Waiting list for an operation

Temporary illness or injury


Your application may be rejected due to other medical reasons, which are subject to the discretion of Service Medical Authorities.


Royal Navy and Royal Marines. There is a minimum height requirement of 151.5cm. Naval Airman aircraft handlers must be between 166 and 193 cm. The Royal Marines also have a minimum weight requirement of 60kg.

Army. There is an overall minimum height requirement of 148cm except for driver trades when the minimum height is 158cm. This will be indicated when those specific jobs are discussed as an option along with other selection criteria.

RAF. There is no overall minimum height; however, certain trades have a minimum height requirement. This will be indicated when those specific jobs are discussed as an option along with other selection criteria


The Armed Forces have a policy on Tattoos and Body Piercing as follows:

a. Tattoos. Any tattoo(s) which is/are offensive or obscene will be a bar to entry or re-entry. Additionally tattoos should not be visible on the head and neck. Furthermore any tattoo(s) excessive in size or number may be a bar to entry or re-entry. You may be asked to complete a form describing your tattoos.

b. Body piercing. For Health and Safety reasons you will be asked to remove certain items of body piercing jewellery before undergoing physical activity as part of the application and selection process. You will not be allowed to attempt the physical activities if you do not remove the body piercing jewellery as requested. . If you are successful in your application you will be advised by
Service authorities on what the rules are for wearing body jewellery when on and off duty.


Rather than enter into the semantics or “fairness†of the standards outlined, those wishing to complain about it would be better off directing their complaint at the medical authorities who set the standard.


Lantern Swinger
Just curious, but where does lactose intolerance fit in this? Is this something that would stop you joining, or get you released once in?