Special thanks to candidate Kyle who shares his insight
There are two types of waivers: medical and moral
Medical waivers are only considered as you are in the process of being medically qualified to apply for OCS. Once you are deemed medically qualified, review boards don’t see your medical waivers. They only see that you are medically qualified.
Moral waivers are any waivers needed for speeding tickets (excessive), tattoos, drugs, etc. These waivers vary in their level of impact on your application in front of the review board. The first level is handled at your individual OSO office. The next is at the district level. There are 6 districts in the Marine Corps Recruiting Command. The third level is Regional (East and West) and the final level is “Exception to Policy” that is handled with the Marine Corps Recruiting Command itself.
The first and second level of moral waivers are only deal-breakers if you match evenly on all other levels with another candidate. The higher level of waivers will impact your image to the board significantly.
The OSO’s Unseen Influences
Also, consider that there is information in your application package that you are not privy to. Your OSO writes comments and ranks his/her candidates. If a candidate is ranked as #1 on his/her OSO’s list, those comments will most likely make any minor moral waivers unnoticeable. However, if you’re OSO’s comments are not as favoring, your moral waivers will stand out more.