Among the most widely used and unquestioningly great excuses you could ever give for delays or tardiness in the modern Air Force (or likely any time since the Air Force existed) is "Medical is screwing up." Anytime your boss could doubt you, you can effortlessly say, "TSgt Awesome Pants was on leave so I had to work with A1C Snuffy who had no idea what the fuck he was doing and we ended up calling some other office and they're supposed to call me back later. It's such a dumb process anyway; I don't know why they couldn’t just clear me while I was there." See? Bulletproof.
However, there are two sides to every story.
Very frequently, a clearance or other request hits a snag (patient has a disqualifying condition and needs a waiver or somebody else’s case took priority or something else). Then a complaint of the bottlenecking effect of the Medical Group leads NCOIC's and Commanders to ask sharp, direct questions about a program. The answer that isn’t spoken is the member/applicant should’ve notified the MDG of the application/deadline as soon as they found out (AKA reading and following the god-damn instructions they're given in a timely manner). This would allow enough time to work around these bumps. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen and the problem is compounded by inexperienced or alternative program managers making bad decisions quickly OR failing to make any decision and letting work pile-up for when the other guy comes back. This isn't the case every time, but it happens fairly regularly.
The other common reason for your delay is that you’re broken. You shouldn’t be cleared for whatever it is you want to do and can anticipate a disqualifying recommendation in the very near future. Of course the only solution for that is to stop being broken—good luck with that.
The most important part that many people fail to see is how often patients and med techs ruin a wonderful program by cutting corners for the sake of the Mission (or because they're buddies). It creates a rippling effect through the entire Air Force of:<p id="blog_message" style="margin-bottom: 10px">
- Slightly broken people doing jobs they shouldn’t be cleared to do and taking time away from duty to manage their condition;
- Delays in finding replacements for those that are DQ’d; and
- Delays in processing the healthy people because the broken ones take up all the techs’ time (the 80/20 rule has never been more true than in the MDG).