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Medical conditions

Army life can be mentally and physically demanding. That’s why some medical conditions and ongoing illnesses can stop you from joining. A full medical examination is part of the application process, but it’s worth checking this list before you start to see if you are eligible. Contact your Careers Adviser if you need more information.

Chest disorders

Asthma, strong asthma-like symptoms or treatment for related illnesses within the last four years.

Chronic lung diseases such as emphysema, bronchiectasis or cystic fibrosis.

Active tuberculosis.

Back problems

Spinal surgery (including internal fixation or fusion).

Recurrent lower back pain.

Spina bifida.

Bone or joint problems

Meniscectomy (knee cartilage operation) within the last year.

Lower limb fractures with internal fixation (metalwork) within the last year.

Loss of a limb.

Complete loss of a thumb or big toe.

Clubfoot (including past surgery).

Chronic joint diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

Reiter's disease within the last five years.

Osteochondritis dissecans.

Eye disorders

Chronic eye diseases such as glaucoma, keratoconus and retinitis pigmentosa.

Surgery for a squint within the last six months.

Corneal problems such as a corneal graft or recurrent corneal ulcers.

Loss or dislocation of an eye lens.

Cataract or cataract surgery.

Detached retina.

Ear disorders

Current perforation of ear drum.

Chronic ear diseases such as cholesteatoma.

Presence of eardrum 'grommets'.

Abdominal problems

Chronic abdominal diseases such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

Kidney disorders such as polycystic kidney disease or kidney stones.

Donation of a kidney within the last two years.

Kidney disease within the last two years.

Neurological disorders

Epilepsy or more than one seizure or fit after the age of five.

Any seizure or fit within the last ten years.

Multiple sclerosis.

Skin problems

An active skin disease such as eczema or widespread psoriasis.

Blood diseases

Sickle Cell disease.

Congenital spherocytosis.


HIV seropositivity / AIDS.

Being a carrier of hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

Past history of leukaemia or malignant lymphoma.  Must be disease, treatment and review free for five years.

Psychiatric problems


Obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Alcohol or drug dependence.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Other conditions

Loss of spleen (splenectomy) .

Having received transplanted organs.

Severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis requiring adrenaline injection.

Severe nut allergy.

Circulation problems such as Raynaud's phenomenon.


Diseases requiring long-term medication or replacement therapy.


Current pregnancy or childbirth within the last three months.

Passing a medical and being under a certain age are entry requirements. After that the rest is up to you.

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