Medical Eligibility

Navigating the initial qualification requirements for AFSPECWAR jobs can be confusing.  Most recruiters lack knowledge and MEPS stations are difficult to get answers from.  In general, if you are a healthy individual with no known abnormal vision, heart issues, asthma, etc, you will most likely pass the flight physical.  For those that have questions regarding their prior medical history and whether it may be disqualifying, we offer the information below for reference use.  

In an effort to supply you with the knowledge available regarding your FCIII (Flying Class 3) medical evaluation, below are the documents that military physicians refer to for determining medical eligibility and waivers. 

Career Field Medical Requirements

At this time, all AFSPECWAR airmen require a Flying Class III physical to be eligible for entry.  A few documents to have in your hip pocket if you have medical concerns:

1)  The Air Force MSD (aka Medical Standards Directory)- PDF.
The MSD is the first place that military physicians will go to for determining your medical eligibility. The 2019 update to the MSD has a specific column for Special Warfare Airmen. Regardless, applicants applying for Special Warfare career fields will initially have a FCIII physical. In the MSD, any box that has an X in the FCIII column means the standard applies. In layman’s terms, if there is an X in the box and you have the condition listed, it is disqualifying and you will need to seek a waiver for that condition or be medically disqualified from the job.

2) The USAFSAM Waiver Guide- PDF. This guide helps Air Force physicians and waiver authorities further clarify disqualifying conditions and what the thought process should be to consider a waiver if the medical standard has not been met.  Although this waiver guide is utilized primarily for trained assets (i.e. current operators or pilots), the same thought process could be utilized for untrained assets as well when determining whether to grant a waiver.

3) Air Force Instruction 48-123 Medical Examinations and Standards gives general exam information and most notably, waiver guidance.


For additional information and/or questions regarding medical eligibility, check out the Medical Eligibility section in the AFSPECWAR Forums.