Color Blindness -- Careers in Navy?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by rayquad, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. rayquad

    rayquad Member

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    I am colorblind (red-green deficient), but my waiver was approved for USNA. What jobs does color blindness restrict you from in the navy? Would I only be able be a restricted line officer? I have been accepted at West Point as well, and even though I am fully medically qualified, would I be restricted from becoming a pilot in the Army as well? I am trying to decide between the two academies, and I am just curious if I would be more restricted in one than the other (career-wise). Thanks!
     
  2. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Not sure about the Army. At USNA, the only service selections you could do would be Navy Restricted Line/Staff Corps (Intel, Information Warfare, Civil Engineer Corps, Supply Corps, etc) or Marine Corps ground, with (I think?) some limitations on jobs.
    Colorblindness is a no-go for flying in every service.
     
  3. 1964BGO

    1964BGO Member

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    A real problem for the aviation and surface warfare folks in particular is the fact that ships and aircraft use red and green lights to denote port and starboard on their craft. This provides other ships and aircraft to determine the aspect of other craft in the vicinity, thereby guiding evasive maneuvering that may be necessary. Red and green also is prominent in navigational aids, to help ship and aircraft drivers to enter and depart ports etc. Do not get too wrapped up in what you can do with this condition, give it your best effort. The staff corps and restricted line folks are very important and necessary to the operation of the Naval Services.
     
  4. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    At USNA you will be limited to restrictred line Navy or USMC. I had a company mate who was color blind and went Navy Intel. He was a prior enlisted Marine! In the USMC, if I remember correctly, you can pretty much do any of the Marine Ground MOSs. Not sure about Communications Officer as being able to see colors of wiring is pretty important. Also I think Air Traffic Control might be another you might not be able to do. But any of the other ground MOSs I think are open to you, which is about 20 or more MOSs. Alot of these are similiar to Army branches, but there are some differences and also the number of billets available will vary because the services vary (for instance Armor... the USMC has very tanks in comparison to the Army). The process is also different for selection of an MOS/branch. At West Point you will know your branch when you graduate. In the USMC you will not get your MOS until you are abut 2/3 complete with TBS. As mentioned above, these positions are critical to the services. Also do not get to wrapped up in the "Restricted Line" terminology. Navy Intel may be classified as that, but the Army and USMC do not call them that and are highly sought after billets. And remember even as a Navy Intel officer you will go on deployments, be on ships, etc.
     
  5. travelalot

    travelalot New Member

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    So, if it’s not a secret, what have you decided to do?
     
  6. rayquad

    rayquad Member

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    I am still not entirely sure what I will do. I am leaning toward West Point because I am much more familiar with it and because it seems to me that I would have more career opportunities (and fewer obstacles) there. Is that assumption correct though, would I really have more opportunities at West Point? I have found it difficult to find information on medical restrictions in Army jobs...
     
  7. classOf2016

    classOf2016 Member

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    Be wary

    Just be mindful of the fact that with USNA, you already possess a waiver, therefore if any difficulties arise in the eye test on I-Day, you have your waiver to show for it. USMA doesn't prevent admission due to color blindness, but you never know what they'll say when you fail the color test on R-Day. Beware the unknown!
     
  8. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    I can't imagine a naval aviator (particularly, a carrier aviator) being color blind - especially with red/green issues. The waveoff lights are red and the datum lights and "power" lights are green.

    "Is the LSO (Landing Signal Officer) trying to tell me to add power or go-around?"

    Many of the warning and caution lights that display in the cockpit are also red/green.

    "Is my landing gear down -or- am I on fire?"

    I'm surprised none of this was explained to you along with your notification of a medical waiver. You would think a letter informing the candidate of the ramifications of the waiver would be sent out.
     
  9. rayquad

    rayquad Member

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    Update

    I actually just received a letter a few days ago, but it came well over two weeks after my waiver was granted. It stipulated that my career options in the navy would be "extremely limited" (limited to restricted line officer) and also that, unless I graduate high in the class where I would almost certainly get my first choice of job, an assignment as a Marine Corps ground 2nd Lt might be my only option.
     
  10. jesse.rogers

    jesse.rogers New Member

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    I can't speak intelligently on West Point, but I can tell you that I had plenty of friends both at USNA and now in Marines that are color blind. First off, I have a close friend that was nowhere near the top of his class and went restricted line Navy out of Annapolis. Secondly, as a Marine Officer you are barely limited at all. The only MOS that comes to mind that you couldn't do is Amphibious Assault Vehicles. Probably tanks as well, sorry I dont quite remember. A lot of people don't realize the flexibility that being a Marine provides you. There are around 22 MOS's to choose from. You can be anything from an infantry officer to a financial management officer to a signals intelligence officer, etc. Find out more about West Point, but if you want to serve with the best both at school and as an officer, don't count out USNA just because you are color blind.

    (keep in mind that this post is fairly biased, get opinions from USMA cadets/graduates too)
     
  11. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    The Naval Academy is actually quite selective about who they allow to go into the Marine Corps.

    A highly acclaimed, scholar football player who was highlighted on the documentary "A Game of Honor", who majored in Mechanical Engineering (nearly unheard of on the football team) and had a near 4.0 GPA - did not get selected for Marine Corps even though that was his first choice.

    If you're OK with being a ground-pounder, if I were you, I would go to West Point. And this is coming from a USNA grad.

    With your color blindness, it seems you are too pigeon-holed if you go to the Naval Academy.

    However, if you wouldn't mind getting one of those restricted line billets in the Navy - USNA would be an excellent choice. But, it doesn't sound as if that is what you want. If you want to be at the "tip of the spear" - you're not going to do it as a restricted line officer in the Navy.
     

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