Deployment-Limiting Conditions

DoDI 6490.07, Deployment-Limiting Medical Conditions for Service Members and DoD Civilian Employees, Feb. 5, 2010 "establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides procedures for ensuring that service members and DoD civilian employees, including Coast Guard service members and civilian employees at all times, including when the Coast Guard is a Service in the Department of Homeland Security by agreement with that Department, (hereafter referred to collectively as “DoD personnel”) deployed and deploying on contingency deployments are medically able to accomplish their duties in deployed environments." "The medical standards in this Instruction are mandatory for contingency deployments, and permissible for any other deployment, based on the commander’s decision." This policy does not apply to contractor personnel (refer to DoDI 3020.41 Operational Contract Support) or to shipboard operations that are not anticipated to involve operations ashore (follow service-specific guidance). The guidance in DoDI 6490.07 is the minimum medical standard, but it does not change or replace specific or more stringent individual DoD policy guidance or service-specific readiness requirements.

Clarification regarding mental health conditions was provided in the October 2013 Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs memorandum entitled Clinical Practice Guidance for Deployment-Limiting Mental Disorders and Psychotropic Medications (cancelling the November 2006 Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs memorandum entitled Policy Guidance for Deployment Limiting Psychiatric Conditions and Medications.)

In general, individuals with any of these mental health disorders, based upon medical assessment, shall not deploy without a waiver:

  • Psychotic and/or bipolar disorders
  • Psychiatric disorders under treatment with fewer than three months of demonstrated stability
  • Clinical psychiatric disorders with residual symptoms that impair duty performance
  • Mental health conditions that pose a substantial risk for deterioration and/or recurrence of impairing symptoms in the deployed environment
  • Chronic medical conditions that require ongoing treatment with antipsychotics, lithium or anticonvulsants

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Memorandum, Clinical Practice Guidance for Deployment-Limiting Mental Disorders and Psychotropic Medications, Oct. 7, 2013

This memorandum supplements DoDI 6490.07 but does not alter its procedure for obtaining waivers for deployment-limiting medical conditions. It covers:

  • Deployment limitations associated with mental disorders
  • Deployment limitations associated with psychotropic medication
  • Assessment and disposition during deployments