What’s the Deal With Waivers?

Thank you to Candidate Kyle for sharing:

There are two types of waivers: medical and moral medical

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.

USMC sleeve tattoo
Hope you’re going to get grandfathered in, Devil Dog, because that tattoo isn’t getting waived these days

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.

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.

Hope this helps. I am in the same boat as most of you. This is my second time applying and my PFT, GPA, volunteer and leadership experience is comparable to most of yours. Best of luck to all candidates.

6 thoughts on “What’s the Deal With Waivers?

  1. I thought they used to be an age waiver as well? I want to apply to OCS, but I’m currently 30. I had hoped to apply after college, but I got a scholarship for a prestigious Ph.D. program. I’m finally finishing the degree that I started, but realizing maybe I’m too old for a downsizing Corps, Can I still get an age waiver? Even with a Ph.D. and 250-260 PFT?

    1. I am also 30. I don’t have a Ph. D., but I have an MBA and a GS-13 job that supports the USMC. Even still, an age waiver is possible as mine is still in the works.

      Any OSO will tell you that a 260 is far too low. Competitive selection is currently around a 285. So get to work.


  2. How long does it typically take for a medical waiver to get approved? I’ve broken a few bones playing football in high school.

    1. That’s a very tough situation and you should work with your OSO, but there isn’t a ton they can do for you.

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