Another color blindness test question.

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by proud dad, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. proud dad

    proud dad New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    First, I have to say I've gotten so much information from here that I almost feel like an expert. Thank you.

    My son is a junior in high school and is very excited about applying to the service academies for the class of 2012, and I fully support him in his effort. As we looked through the forum, we realized color blindness is a DQ factor, something we didn't see in any of the catalogs or from the service academy websites. He was told by elementary school that he was color blind.

    Anyway, we browsed several websites containing Ishihara tests, and my son actually did very well, 14 out of 14. A big sigh of relief thinking he is not color blind. We realize these tests on the internet may not be accurate, but didn't realize to what degree. During his routine eye exam yesterday, we requested and received color blindness tests. We wanted to make sure before starting his application process next year. The first test given him was called HRR test, which came back with "Mild" color blindness. For the Ishihara or PIP test, my son got 3 out of 14. This looks pretty bad.

    If he moves forward and is DQ'ed for color deficiency, will they request further tests using method other than Ishihara test to determine the severity of his color blindness? He can definately see the solid colors and shades, just not very well when red/green are mixed together. From reading in this forum, looks like he may have a shot at West Point, but what about the AFA and Naval Academy? He was told he was very competitive, until this.

    Thanks for any input.
     
  2. RetNavyHM

    RetNavyHM USN (RET)

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,270
    Likes Received:
    2
    proud dad,

    For the sea services (Navy, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines) color vision deficiency is a disqualification that is very rarely (for Coast Guard and Merchant Marines pretty much never) waived. For the Marine Corps color vision deficiency is not a disqualification (so for navy ROTC Marine Corps option he would not have a problem from a color vision standpoint), and the US Naval Academy commissions a percentage of the graduates as Marine Corps officers so they do issue color vision waivers (usually only a couple, about 10-15 a year) mainly for those applicants who state the Marine Corps is their desire.

    For AF, color vision deficiency is not a disqualification, but it would place your son into a more competitive applicant pool.

    For Army, your son only needs to be able to distinguish vivid red and green (hold up a red piece of paper and green piece of paper and see if he can tell the difference) to be found qualified. color vision deficiency waivers are granted by the Army all the time.

    If/when your son does his DoDMERB physical exam, if he is in for AF there will be no extra tests required, for Army they will require a vivid red/green color vision test, and for the sea services they will request a Farnsworth Lantern test (FALANT) that must be done at a military treatment facility. From what you have told me, and from my experience with people who score as low on the PIP test, he will not pass the FALANT. The FALANT tests for red/green deficiency, so if your son has problems with his red/green color vision it will be a problem.

    My suggestion would be to apply to the schools that he wants, and if found disqualified to request a waiver. The worst thing they can do is tell him no, and if he doesn't apply he'll never know.

    If you have any other questions please feel free to ask away!
     
  3. proud dad

    proud dad New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you very much for your thorough answers, you gave my son a renewed hope. We've discussed his options, and, although the Naval Academy appears to be no longer an option, he is very happy he can still pursue either the AFA or the West Point appointment. Now, I'm hoping I will be one of the proud parents with great news about this time next year. Again, thank you.
     
  4. RetNavyHM

    RetNavyHM USN (RET)

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,270
    Likes Received:
    2
    If USNA is one of his options, I'd still go ahead and apply. Even if the USMC isn't one of his choices as a career, you never know what may happen. It could be that your son has just the right combination of scores that USNA is looking for and they may grant him a waiver, you just never know.

    The only constant in this whole process is if you don't apply you'll never have the chance to get a waiver! When I was a reviewer at DoDMERB I was surprised all the time with waivers that were granted. So you just never know, and if there is interest in a service academy, apply. It doesn't cost much (postage and time getting all the information put together), and the rewards are incredible!
     
  5. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,771
    Likes Received:
    0
    Glad you never said never, RetNavyHM. Just had a USNA candidate flunk the pip test and pass the follow-up FALANT. Incidentially, his dad is a retire Naval Aviator still flying who has, over his career, had exactly the same problem. I couldn't understand why neither of them seemed as concerned as I was over the fact that he failed the PIP test.
     
  6. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,634
    Likes Received:
    1
    69 ... what's the PIP test? Sorry to be stupid. It's genetic. Another victim found out.
     
  7. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,771
    Likes Received:
    0
    RetNavyHM could probably help a lot more on this. It is the book of colors that the contract doctors use for the color blindness test. Contractors are not qualified to do the FALANT test which is a follow on and must be administered at a military facility.
     
  8. RetNavyHM

    RetNavyHM USN (RET)

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,270
    Likes Received:
    2
    The PIP and Ishihara color vision tests are almost equal (there are some differences in the way the colors and numbers are laid out, but mostly they are the same). The PIP test is the book that has a bunch of colored dots seemingly placed randomly with a number, made up of more colored dots, in the middle. the applicant must pick out the number. the test progressively gets harder as the colors become more similar.

    There are applicants who have a hard time with the PIP plates and do well with the FALANT (a series of red, green and white lights against a black background).

    The PIP test checks for a general color vision deficiency, while the FALANT tests for red/green deficiency. It is possible to barely fail the PIP, miss between 3 and 5, and pass the FALANT (PIP is 14 plates, must pass 12 to pass for sea services, any less and you must do the FALANT, FALANT you can not miss any in a series of 9, if you miss any the test must be done twice more and you can not miss more than 2 out of the last 18). Applicants who miss more than 5 on the PIP normally will not pass the FALANT in my experience.

    Hope this clears it up a little more...
     
  9. justawife

    justawife Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    My son didn't get many of the PIP plates right. I took him to Andrews AFB to find out why. After he got 4/14 correct on the PIP, they gave him a D-15 test where the they give you 15 bottle caps each of a color that has to be put in order from blue to green to yellow to orange to pink/red. They told us that this test will generally show where the weakness is in the color vision. Well he pass the D-15 no mistakes, so they can not tell us why he can read the PIP plates. He also passed the Falant test also.

    The Doctor who did my son's first eye exam was bad. I came on this board and asked questions about it what to do. She only showed him passing 1/14.

    The tech at Andrews told us that he missed 3 or 4 because he only got one the of the 2 numbers in the plate right. ie only saw the 7 in 47.

    So we are fighting the paperwork because the eye doctor who only spent 12 minutes with him and made remarks about how he was going to get in to any academy if didn't pass this test. DODMERB is making us repeat the eye tests.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2006
  10. proud dad

    proud dad New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for your encouraging words. He would love to still consider the Naval Academy as one of his options, just a bit discourged because of his test results. I would like to have him take the FALANT test to see how he will do, but since its only available in a military facility, it's not an option. It looks like the best course of action is to apply and just go through the process.

    After reading justawife's post, I'm curious. If he can see one of the two numbers on the plate, is that considered getting it right or failing?
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2006
  11. justawife

    justawife Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is a miss.

    Son just retook the PIP and FALANT today. 7/14 on the PIP but passed the Falant AGAIN.
     

Share This Page