You are probably not going to get anywhere because the government has a justification for requirements based upon mission needs. However, you can always try to find a civil rights Attorney to take on this type of action.
I am a California attorney and not eligible to give legal advice in your state. The following is information only, based on federal law and general legal principles. YOUR STATE MAY HAVE ITS OWN LAWS THAT PROVIDE SIMILAR OR GREATER PROTECTION. If I refer to your state's laws, that only means I did a quick Internet search and found something that appeared relevant. However, you should not rely on any comment I make regarding your state's law. You MUST check with an attorney licensed in your state.
I've shared your question with the Military Law Forum, where you might receive appropriate answers.
I understand and sympathize with your perspective. However, the United States has exempted itself from certain types of lawsuits. Consider the efforts women have had to make, for decades, to be allowed to serve in all levels of the military. They still don't have full rights for combat duty. Look at the efforts lesbians and gay men have made, and they are still not allowed full participation in the military. And in the not-too-distant past, African-Americans were not allowed to serve in all levels of the military,
Your fight will require much more than a lawsuit. You will need to fight this in the legislative arena. And you will need a lot of money and a lot of time.
I share your concern about discrimination against people with disabilities and older people, and I wish you success.
*** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***
A couple thoughts pop into my mind as I read your post:
You have no RIGHT to serve.
Title I of the ADA applies to state and local governments only.
The Department of Defense (DOD) is part of the executive branch of the federal government.
Therefore, the DOD is not required to adhere to the ADA, and there is not violation upon which you could bring a claim.
However, it is the goal of the DOD to make its facilities accessible to persons with disabilities and go beyond legal requirements, even for facilities exempt from coverage under the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (ABA). However, those attempts to comply do not extend to personnel enlistment. The military is NOT an equal opportunity employer–a fact that has upheld by the courts.
There is no 'right' established in the law for any particular individual (including you) to sue and were you to attempt such a suit, I believe you would have a zero percent chance of winning.
You did not describe your disability, however, I can tell you from over 20 years active military duty that individuals with even light asthmatic conditions can suffer greatly when required to wear chemical gas masks;
individuals with mild sinus and ear issues can writhe in pain when in a decompression chamber, or at altitude in an unpressurized aircraft;
individuals challenged with slight hearing or vision difficulties are killed every year on flight decks, forward deployed bases every month; and age DOES have a bearing on physical capabilities.
It wouldn't make economic, tactical, or strategic sense to bring in more physical disabilities to the battlespace--there is at least a plausible arugment that that the qualification standards should be made even more stringent.
READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to apractice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. Addressing your issue does not create an attorney-client relationship and I AM NOT providing you legal advice. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.