AFSOC enlistment and waiverability

Here is my situation:
I am currently a civilian contractor (unrelated to afsoc) with a security clearance. On that security clearance sf86 i truthfully disclose a single experimental use of LSD in college. It did not prevent me from getting the clearance. I am now seeing that the Air Force permanantly disqualifies anyone with any history of LSD use, no matter the amount/frequency/recency. This is incredibly disappointing to hear, especially considering other service branches offer waivers for this. I am now wondering how strong of a “no” it really is for the Air Force. It seems there must be a way to overcome this obstacle, whether it’s through a petition or trying to escalate up a chain of command or something. It just seems like something too inconsequential for me to accept the “no” without a fight. Am I off bass here? Will i be wasting my time?


Staff member
Hmm, last time I checked AF policy was pretty much a mirror of the policy of the other services. However, security clearance and medical qualification for classification into a occupational specialty are two different concerns. Do you have a link that gives info the Air Force permanently disqualifies anyone with any history of LSD use, no matter the amount/frequency/recency?


Staff member
Looking at AFMAN 36-2032, there is no reference to permanent disqualification for drug use. The AFMAN makes reference to DoDI 1304.26 in which the MEPS chief medical officer makes a determination on a case-by-case basis.
So, I'm with Yukon on this. I don't see what you're seeing on the permanent disqual.

I had been looking at AFRSI 36-2001 which says "if an applicant...Self-admits to, was convicted of, or was adversely adjudicated for illegal possession, use, sale, or transfer of narcotics, cocaine, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), phencyclidine (PCP-“angel dust”), or any other hallucinogen or illegal drugs...a waiver is not authorized" , but then had also asked both a regular AF recruiter and a Spec War recruiter, and both said that it is disqualifying.


Staff member
AFRSI 36-2001 Recruiting Procedures for the Air Force is obsolete. It was replaced by AFI 36-1901 which is also obsolete. The current policy is found in AFMAN 36-2032. The actual qualified/disqualified policy is pushed to DoDI 1010.01. It is essentially the MEPS medical examiner making the call for all the military services. Lacking any specific guidance it appears the determination has connection to "A26.4.5. Habitual alcohol misuse or drug abuse which exceeds Air Force standards is disqualifying." This habitual policy position has existed since 1980 and I know waivers were given from 1980 thru to 1996 (when I retired) for those who voluntarily disclosed during the enlistment process. I have no means to find out how conservative or liberal waivers are given these days. Also none of the waivers I'm aware of was connected to LSD, but if you have any mental or emotional fitness problems the one time use of LSD is not going to bode well in trying to enlist.

If you were trying to get into some nuclear weapon occupation then I would suggest Personal Reliability Program (PRP) would put you in a permanent disqualified status. They give security clearances to everybody and anybody these days, getting a security clearance is a joke process IMO these days.

Long term psychological effects of LSD use
The long term effects of LSD vary depending on the amount and length of use. Counted among the identified long term psychological effects of LSD are:
  • Flashbacks – also known as acid flash backs these are hallucinations that occur long after the actual drug has left the body. These hallucinations can occur without ingesting the drug again.
  • Loss of or inhibited ability to communicate – this is commonly thought to be due to an issue with the speech centers of the brain.
  • Reduced reasoning capacity or reduced ability to think rationally
  • Persistent psychosis and Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder
  • LSD may increase risk of mental illness and the emergence of a latent mental illness.
  • LSD increases the occurrence of psychosis according to the California Courts Juvenile Justice Center.
  • People who use LSD frequently may experience anxiety, depression, and panic attacks.
  • There are some reports of suicidal thoughts and feelings according to the University of Hawaii.

3.6.10. Drug Use Alcohol dependence, drug dependence, alcohol abuse, or other drug abuse is incompatible with military life and does not meet military standards. The pre-accession screening process is structured to identify individuals with a history of drug (including pharmaceutical medications, illegal drugs and other substances of abuse) and alcohol abuse. Drug use (to include illegal drugs, other illicit substances, and pharmaceutical medications), drug abuse, and alcohol abuse may be self-admitted by an applicant, discovered during the medical screening process, or identified by the drug and alcohol test in accordance with DoDI 1010.01, Military Personnel Drug Abuse Testing Program (MPDATP), which is administered at the Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) or other approved military processing facility.

5.4.11. Drugs. Air Force policy is to prevent illegal drug use and eliminate alcohol abuse. The illegal or improper use of drugs and alcohol is not condoned and, in most cases, renders an applicant ineligible for accession. Applicants with a current or history of Alcohol Use Disorder or Substance Use Disorder may be medically disqualified in accordance with DoDI 1010.01.

A26.4.5. Habitual alcohol misuse or drug abuse which exceeds Air Force standards is disqualifying."
Ineligible is this use has same meaning intent as disqualified, but the verbiage doesn't explicitly indicate cannot or will not be considered for a waiver.

3. COMMANDER, USMEPCOM. The Commander, USMEPCOM, as authorized by DoDD 1145.02E (Reference (p)), shall implement policies that direct the conduct of mandatory drug testing and evaluation of applicants prior to entering military service as required by References (d) and (f). Actions pursuant to applicant testing are outlined in Reference (f).
Reference (f) is (f) Sections 801-9401 and 978 of Title 10, United States Code.
I greatly appreciate this digging. It does seem, based on the differing pieces of information, that I will just have to get to MEPs, hear a response, and then try to submit a waiver regardless of what anyone says. and if it’s denied, then i move on from there.
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