Is the Military a Good Option for People With Autism? – The Elemy Learning Studio

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Some people with autism are extremely good at certain types of work and can be a great asset to society. However, the military is more often vilified than praised as an option for those on the spectrum because it’s not always easy emotionally or socially. What makes someone who has just recently been diagnosed feel confident in pursuing this path?

The “can you join the military with high functioning autism” is a question that many people ask themselves. The answer to this question is “yes, but be prepared for an intense and challenging experience.”


Although medical exemptions may be obtained, a diagnosis of autism might result in automatic exclusion from military service. 

The military, on the other hand, may be an excellent fit for certain autistic people with specialized skill sets.

Autistic People & the Military

People with autism, in general, are immediately excluded from serving in the military owing to their diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Medical waivers, on the other hand, are issued on a case-by-case basis. A medical waiver must be granted by a Department of Defense behavioral health adviser in order for someone with autism to serve in the military.  

If you have autism, your ability to serve in the military is dependent on a number of variables, including:

  • Your autism diagnosis is unique to you.
  • Which of the following autism symptoms do you have?
  • Which branch of the military would you want to join?

Individuals with autism are more likely to enroll in the following military branches:

  • Army: If you are clever and diligent, you may be able to get a medical waiver to join the United States Army, which is always searching for troops to serve on sites across the globe.
  • To join the Navy, you must first meet a specialist to assess where you fall on the autism spectrum and if your symptoms would likely influence your job productivity. Then you must show that you satisfy the Navy’s physical, moral, and mental requirements.
  • The Air Force needs better admission exam scores than other branches of the military, as well as good social and communication skills, making it difficult for persons with autism to be accepted. It is, however, still feasible to get a medical waiver.
  • Acceptance into the Marine Corps is difficult for anybody since it is one of the smallest and most selective branches of the military. Waivers for medical reasons are given significantly less often than in other disciplines. 
  • The Coast Guard’s recruiting procedure is exceptionally difficult and selective since it is the smallest arm of the military. Individuals with lesser autistic symptoms may be able to seek for a waiver while having developmental impairments, making the procedure even more difficult.

Autism’s Level of Severity

People with high-functioning autism, according to proponents of admitting them into the military, have a place there. The military may make “high-functioning autism” a condition that may be waived. Some contend that since the degree of autism varies greatly, not everyone with autism should be permitted to serve in the military. 

Some people with autism may be uniquely equipped to serve in the military. A blanket prohibition on persons with autism participating in the military inhibits many eager, intelligent, and competent people from doing so. 

Autistic people who do not have sensory impairments and have not had special education assistance in the last year, according to supporters, should be permitted to join the military. People with autism, like other Americans, may value the chance to feel a feeling of belonging and to serve their nation.

Autistic People Have a Place in the Military

While most armies across the globe offer little or nothing to help autistic persons in the military, the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF, devised a program that takes use of autistic people’s particular talents. Watching the Horizon was founded in 2013 with the purpose of integrating young people on the spectrum into the military. It was the first program in the world to teach persons on the spectrum to analyze and decode satellite imagery. 

The program is designed to help persons with autism improve their analytical abilities, memory, and attention to detail. Not just the troops with autism, but also those without, have benefited from the program’s effectiveness. 

The program’s officers praise the troops with autism as some of the greatest they’ve ever had.

How to Tell whether a Career in the Military Will Be Fulfilling

To assess if the military will provide you with a rewarding career path, you must analyze all facets of what such a profession may entail. Working in the military has both advantages and disadvantages, whether you have autism or not. 

Before entering the military, keep the following items in mind:

  • The importance of being in top physical condition is emphasized.
  • Your self-esteem will most likely improve.
  • You will be taught how to take action.
  • You’ll learn leadership, collaboration, and fighting abilities.
  • The need of self-discipline is highlighted.
  • Physical dangers exist.
  • You work in a highly organized setting.
  • It is normal practice to break down new recruits and reshape them to match the military.
  • The stringent Uniform Code of Military Justice applies to you.
  • After you depart, you can be summoned back into duty.
  • The military is heavily influenced by politics.

Consider the benefits and drawbacks of military service to see whether it’s a suitable fit for you. Pursuing a career in the military may have both rewards and drawbacks for those with autism. 

However, no one is promised a spot in the military. For those with autism, the enlisting process might be considerably more difficult. Your particular abilities may be of tremendous benefit to the military and your nation if you are able to get a medical waiver to serve in the military.


The “can you join the national guard with autism” is a question that has been asked many times. The answer to this question is yes, but there are some things to keep in mind when joining the military.

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