Veteranclaims’s Blog

January 28, 2017

PULHES; Military Physical Profile Serial System

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — veteranclaims @ 4:29 pm
PULHES is a United States military acronym used in the Military 
Physical Profile Serial System.  
It is used to qualify an enlistee's physical and psychiatric 
profile for each military skill.  Each letter in the acronym 
"PULHES" is paired with a number from 1 to 4, with "1" indicating 
essentially normal functioning, with each increasing number 
indicating increased impairment or potential for elevated impairment.  
The basic purpose of the physical profile serial is to provide an 
index to overall functional capacity.
  • P: The “P” relates to general physical capacity. This category encompasses organic defects or illnesses that affect overall general physical capacity which do not fall under other categories (i.e., conditions of the heart, nervous system, dental conditions, and respiratory system).
  • U: The “U” of the P-U-L-H-E-S system covers the upper extremities. This includes the functional use (i.e., strength, range of motion, general efficiency) of the upper extremities, including, the hands, arms, shoulders, and spine.
  • L: The “L” comprises the lower extremities. This includes the functional use of the lower spine and back musculature, feet, legs, and pelvis in relation to strength, range of motion, and general efficiency.
  • H: The “H” includes hearing and ear defects. This category represents the clarity or clearness of hearing and any diseases or defects of the ear (e.g., tinnitus, Meniere’s disease).
  • E: The “E” represents the eyes in the physical profile system. It encompasses visual acuity or clearness of vision and any diseases or defects of the eye (e.g., corneal ulcer, night blindness).
  • S: The “S” in the physical profile system is not as obvious as the others. The “S” stands for psychiatric conditions. This entails personality problems, psychiatric disorders, and questions regarding emotional stability. It is often the least clear-cut category when it comes to assigning a level of functional capacity.

Numerical designations from one to four are used to reflect different levels of functional capacity within the P-U-L-H-E-S system. These numerical designations allow a physician to rate service members’ functional capacity within each category and make recommendations for duty limitations based on current problems or defects. Each number corresponds to the following:


An individual with the designation of a “1” in all of the P-U-L-H-E-S categories is considered medically fit, with no limitations regarding duty, mobility, or deployments.


A military member with the designation of a “2” in any of the P-U-L-H-E-S categories indicates that the individual has a defect in that particular category that is likely to be mild but may require some activity limitations.


A “3” in any of the P-U-L-H-E-S categories indicates an individual who has a medical condition or defect that requires significant duty limitations. An individual may need to be retrained and enter a new career field due to the defect.


A military member with the designation of a “4” in the P-U-L-H-E-S system is considered non-deployable due to physical illness or defect. The service member is unable to complete most tasks related to military duty. Having a “4” in the P-U-L-H-E-S system is inconsistent with continued military service.

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