Star Cadet and Competitive Marksman Rejected from the Army for Condition which Doctors Deem 'No Problem'

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Jacob's story:

“My name is Jacob Goss...

I am 18 and come from the island of Guernsey. In 2016 I applied to for Welbeck Defence 6th Form College but was rejected due to an underlying medical condition. - Alpha 1- anti-trypsin deficiency. 

I then completed 3 appeals up until 2018 whereby my GP sent me to see medical specialists in Guernsey who specialise in my medical condition. All see no case for the ban from the Army. The specialist saw no reason for their decision, then sent me to complete tests on my liver and lungs. All came back fine - my lung capacity and health all came back above normal.

Yet, despite all of my best efforts I was still rejected. All the doctors I spoke to said my condition would not be affected by my time in service if I joined and would not affect me in my time in the service.

I also have a sister who served with the same condition as me in the Royal Army Medical Corps attached to the Kings Royal Hussars. My Great Uncle also served in the Royal Marines with the condition and had a long career with no effect on his health or to his service. I also spoke to an officer, a full Colonel, at Westbury who has the same condition as me who has also been allowed to operate in all conditions.

I have the underlying version of my condition. I have never shown any symptoms or effects of my Alpha 1 anti-trypsin. I was only tested for it at birth due to my sister after she showed symptoms at birth. She is fine now and has served in Sierra Leone, Estonia and Canada. 

I have always wanted to join the army and was so eager to join at 16, even though my dream was to join a cavalry regiment - The Royal Lancers. After my failure with the appeal process, I applied for the Royal Navy as a Hydrographic specialist. After passing my exam, interview, and fitness test, achieving 8mins 10sec for my 1.5 miles, and my initial medical, the doctor that the navy supplied to me said that I would be fine and he was going to make sure that I was going to be able to join with my medical condition as it's only underlying and would not affect me in the Royal Navy. However, a phone call 2 weeks later said otherwise and his hands were tied due to the JSP 950 medical standards. 

I live a very active lifestyle running 3 times a week and attending a gym 2- 3 times a week. On top of all this I shoot .22 in the winter, and 7.62 target rifle in the summer. Where I have competed at the last 3 Bisley school matches, and 1 Imperial meeting and I am competing again this year. I have come 3rd in the Country in the Wellington cup which is shooting 500 yards and came 1st last year in the Schools pair. 

When I was 12 I was keen to learn more about the military so joined the Army Cadet Force Guernsey Detachment. I often came top of my detachment for physical training, shooting and military knowledge - reaching the rank of Company Sargent Major. I also went on to complete my Master Cadet Force and was awarded as ‘Highly Competent’. As I am unable to join I still want to give back to the ACF so I am now a CFAV while I finish my A-levels. 

On top of this, I joined my school’s CCF where I joined the RAF section as I wanted to learn more about the other services. I reached the rank of Warrant Officer and I was in charge of over 120 Cadets from the Army, RAF and Navy sections. Throughout my time in the CCF, I have won multiple awards for military knowledge, fitness, adventures training and drill. I was also chosen to be one of the Lieutenant Governors Cadets, to assist the Island's Governor on ceremonial and royal duties. 

At school, I am a member of the Shooting team where I am the Vice-Captain and the Adjutant. On top of all of this, while I am at school, I work 2 part time jobs, one of which is as a Kayaking and Coasteering assistant. 

I hope all this proves that I am more than fit to fight, all I want to do is to join the Lancers. It has been a dream since as long as I can remember and I still have not given up my dream. I hope one day in the future I will be able to serve my country and as I don't want to do anything else. I am still determined to join the Army.”

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