Can You Join the Army with Flat Feet?

Can You Join the Army with Flat Feet?

Flat feet or Pes Planus is a condition where the feet are almost completely in contact with the ground. Many people believe that having flat feet could jeopardize the chances of enlisting in the army. This may leave you wondering whether you can join the army with flat feet. The truth is that having flat feet is not an automatic disqualification from the military, but rather, it depends on the degree to which the condition affects you. Keep reading to find out more.

What are Flat Feet?

Flat feet or Pes Planus is a common condition where an individual’s feet lack the usual arch. This means that when someone with flat feet stands up, their feet will be nearly or completely in contact with the ground, from the heel to the toes.

The condition can be caused by various factors, such as injury, genetic predisposition, birth defects, or certain medical conditions. Flat feet can result in discomfort, pain, and difficulty walking or running, especially for those who have severe cases.

Flat Feet in the Military

Having flat feet should not deter you from your dreams of joining the army. The US army has strict medical standards, and soldiers with flat feet are evaluated individually to determine the extent to which the condition affects their ability to perform military duties.

Moreover, enlistment standards for flat feet have evolved in the past years. In the past, recruits with flat feet were often medically disqualified, but currently, people with flat feet can still be admitted into military service regardless of the severity of their condition.

Joining the Military with Flat Feet

Joining the military with flat feet is possible, but there are certain considerations you need to make. Recruits with flat feet must undergo a medical examination, which includes a foot examination, to determine whether the condition would affect their ability to perform military duties.

The examination seeks to determine the degree of your flat feet as well as any other related medical conditions. If your flat feet condition causes pain or limits your mobility, it may lead to disqualification.

Can You Join the Army with Severe Flat Feet?

The severity of your flat feet is a crucial factor in your eligibility for service. If you have severe flat feet, there are slim chances of being allowed to serve in the military as the condition may hinder your ability to perform physical activities that are essential to military service. However, a waiver may be granted for individuals who can demonstrate their ability to meet physical activity standards despite their flat feet.

Do I Need a Waiver for Flat Feet?

A waiver is not necessarily required for enlistment even if you have flat feet. Most cases of flat feet do not require waivers and do not expose the recruit to medical risks. However, in some cases, waivers may be necessary if the condition affects the ability to do physically demanding tasks.

Can I Serve in Special Forces with Flat Feet?

Serving in the Special Forces can be a bit challenging for those with any medical condition. However, having flat feet may not be an automatic disqualification from joining the Special Forces. When assessing the eligibility of recruits for special operations, the military evaluates a lot of factors, including physical fitness, mental ability, and past disciplinary issues.


In conclusion, having flat feet does not pose as much of an obstacle to joining the army as you may think. The condition’s severity and how much it affects your mobility are the critical factors that determine eligibility. Always remember that the final decision lies with the medical personnel in charge of the examination.

If you have a passion for service, do not let flat feet stop you from pursuing your dreams. Take the necessary steps, undergo the medical examination and make the best of the opportunity if you are deemed fit for service.

FAQs About Joining the Army with Flat Feet

  • Is flat-footedness a medical disqualification for military service?
  • No. Currently, having flat feet does not automatically disqualify you from joining the military.

  • Does flat feet require a waiver for enlistment?
  • Most cases of flat feet do not require waivers. However, some severe cases may require waivers, mainly if the condition presents a risk or limits your mobility.

  • Can I join special forces with flat feet?
  • The decision to enlist in special forces is not often based on physical ability alone. Your overall fitness, mental ability, and past record are also evaluated to ensure you are fit for service. Having flat feet may limit your chances, but it’s not an automatic disqualification.

  • What happens if I am medically disqualified?
  • All medical disqualification goes through a review process to decide if a waiver can be granted. However, if your disqualification is permanent, you will not be eligible for military service.


  • U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command. (2021). Medical Standards.
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (n.d.). Pes Planus (Flatfoot) and PTTD.
  • U.S. Army. (2021). Army Regulation 40-501 — Standards of medical fitness.

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