Military Medical Standards for Enlistment & Appointment

Ears and Hearing

The disqualifying medical conditions are listed below. The International Classification of Disease (ICD) codes are listed in parentheses following each standard.

The causes for rejection for appointment, enlistment, and induction (without an approved waiver) are an authenticated history of:

External ear.

Current atresia (744.02) or severe microtia (744.23), congenital or acquired stenosis (380.5), chronic otitis externa (380.2), or severe external ear deformity (744.3) that prevents or interferes with the proper wearing of hearing protection is disqualifying.


Current or history of mastoiditis (383.9), residual with fistula (383.81), chronic drainage or conditions requiring frequent cleaning of the mastoid bone are disqualifying.

Marked external deformity that prevents or interferes with wearing a protective mask or helmet (383.3) is disqualifying.

Ménière’s syndrome. Current or history of Ménière’s syndrome or other chronic diseases of the vestibular system (386) is disqualifying.

Middle and inner ear.

Current or history of chronic otitis media (382), cholesteatoma (385.3), or history of any inner (P20) or middle (P19) ear surgery (including cochlear implantation) is disqualifying.

Myringotomy or successful tympanoplasty is not disqualifying.

Tympanic membrane.

Current perforation of the tympanic membrane (384.2) or history of surgery to correct perforation during the preceding 120 days (P19) is disqualifying.


Current hearing threshold level in either ear greater than that described below is disqualifying:

(1) Pure tone at 500, 1000, and 2000 cycles per second for each ear of not more than 30 decibels (dB) on the average, with no individual level greater than 35 dB at those frequencies.

(2) Pure tone level not more than 45 dB at 3000 cycles per second or 55 dB at 4000 cycles per second for each ear.

(3) There is no standard for 6000 cycles per second.

Current or history of hearing aid use (V53.2) is disqualifying.

Derived from Department of Defense (DOD) Directive 6130.3, "Physical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, and Induction," and DOD Instruction 6130.4, "Criteria and Procedure Requirements for Physical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction in the Armed Forces."

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