Color deficient at USNA but not USAFA

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by pazzari, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. pazzari

    pazzari Member

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    I received a letter from DODMERB today. Unfortunately I am not qualified to attend the USNA due to a color deficiency(USNA is by far my first choice). However, I am qualified to attend the USAFA. I have a few questions. What are my chances to get a waiver? Also, I believe that if I took the Farnsworth Lantern test I would pass with no problem. How can I take this test to improve my chances of a waiver?
    Lastly, with such a small deficiency( remember i am qualified to fly in the Air Force). What are my chances of becoming qualified to enter BUD/s as an enlisted sailor?

    I understand these are not easy questions. I've asked my BGO, USAFA liaison officer and virtually anyone who I think might have answers for me. I really appreciate any help.

    One last piece of info: I got 11 out of 14 correct on the Ishara color vision test( the colored dots on the plates)
     
  2. MMMom

    MMMom Member

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    Did USNA not request a remedial? My son failed the Ishara and was immediately issued a remedial to take the Farnsworth Lantern. He passed the Farnsworth, so no waiver necessary, he was deemed qualified.
     
  3. 2017MarineDad

    2017MarineDad Member

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    Same happened to my DS. He called the DoDMERB and was informed that starting 1 September the DoDMERB stop sending remed for Color Deficient. I believe the issue is the problems the DoDMERB was having finding a facility with a Farnsworth L, and the logistics of getting the canadidate on base and scheduled for the test.

    If I were guessing, they are awaiting to see if the candidate is going to get a conditional appointment, and then request the testing for consideration of a waiver.

    We have access to a NAS and had the flight medical office perform a color vision test (which he passed the PiP 100% correct eventhough he failed the one at the Concordia contractors facility), and submitted this to the DoDMERB for addition to his file.
     
  4. MMMom

    MMMom Member

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    WOW Pazzari... that is unfortunate and I'm feeling very lucky that DS got his stuff in early and went through Dodmerb over the summer! The only place we could find to do the test were military facilities, and the ONLY way were were allowed on the Naval base in Corpus and issued the test was with that remedial letter, otherwise we would have been OUT of luck. Yikes... guess timing really is everything. :eek:
     
  5. pazzari

    pazzari Member

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    Bummer

    That is some disappointing info. So basically what I should try and do is get DODMERB to let me take the Farnsworth test somewhere? Or possibly find another doctor with a lantern to administer the test? (Which seems impossible).

    Are those really my only options?

    I'll definitely be calling the DoD today. To try and convince them to let me take a remed test.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  6. 2017MarineDad

    2017MarineDad Member

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    What area of the country are you in? If you are interested, there are a few (very few) eye doc.s that have the Farnsworth. Example there is a FAA filght doctor in Az. that performs the Fransworth Lantern to help people that have simular issue with the FAA. Also, the University of Houston Optometry department has one. You may also checkout the following link that may point you to a doc with one:
    http://www.leftseat.com/falant.htm

    Lastly, when my DS was at the USNA for a CVW, we were told that if you are competitive and they want you, they will get you the test. But you want know that until as late as March/April:unhappy:.
     
  7. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    Illinois school of optometry has the Farnsworth Lantern. I am not sure if usna will accept that though. We are one year behind you in this process, so if you dont mind can you update us on the forum? Thank you for your information.
     
  8. MMMom

    MMMom Member

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    Dang 2017Marinedad... I researched and researched, did not find that UofH had one! We are in Houston and drove to Corpus to go to the Naval base to have him take it. Oh well... it was a fun little road trip anyway and we ate some great seafood to celebrate after he passed. :shake:
     
  9. Ivydad

    Ivydad Member

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    My son was able to take Farnsworth Lantern test at SUNY College of Optometry in Manhattan, NY. I believe it cost $250 at that time (2010).
     
  10. 2017MarineDad

    2017MarineDad Member

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    $250 yikes!, At U of Houston Med school it is $60 (but we did not try it, as he passed the PiP at the NAS).
     
  11. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    private farnsworth

    Did USNA accept private farnsworth testing?
     
  12. 2017MarineDad

    2017MarineDad Member

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    MMMom, Under the U of H they list the clinical services, and my DS called about 6 weeks ago. They stated they still provide the Farnsworth Lantern testing on Thurs morinings for $60. Also, you can get the testing in College Station, but you have to schedule well in advance, as I believe they use U of H's machine.
     
  13. pazzari

    pazzari Member

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    I live in south New Jersey. I am a pretty competitive candidate but they aren't banging down my door to get me in (SAT 1320/1600, 3.9 GPA, and lots of ECs . I would drive a few hours and pay 250 if I really had to (if a pass would still grant me a waiver). Btw, thank you all for the info
     
  14. MMMom

    MMMom Member

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    Pazzari... if you pass the FALANT, there is no waiver needed, you are just deemed qualified (I know, because this is what happened with my DS this summer). So, in that regard, if they will let you proceed with the FALANT, either privately or otherwise, I would think it would be worth it. If I were you, I would contact Dodmerb and discuss the situation and find out if that's an option. They have been very helpful anytime I have called their office, and truly seem to want to do whatever necessary to help.
     
  15. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    I cannot answer your specific question about the details of getting a waiver but, as a former carrier aviator, I know the Navy has always been more strict and unyielding about eyesight requirements for its future aviators. I think I have an explanation for why this disparity in eyesight standards exist.

    When you begin flight school as an SNA (Student Naval Aviator), it is not known at that time which of the pipelines you will eventually enter. You may end up flying jets off-and-on a carrier. You may end up flying helicopters. Or you may end up flying a non-carrier based aircraft, like a P-3. They have to assume the "worst case scenario" - that you will fly jets on carriers.

    Imagine your glasses breaking or your contacts popping out on a catapult shot and now you have to make a night carrier landing to get back to the ship. Or, imagine you often get confused between red and green. The optical landing system (the Fresnel lens) used for carrier landings uses the colors RED and GREEN to send visual signals to the pilot about their approach. For instance, a quick flash of green means "add power". Flashing red means "wave it off!". There can't be any confusion on these matters. Plus, much of the internal symbology and lights in the aircraft depend on pilot's correct interpretation. The color matters and misinterpretation can be critical.

    In short, naval aviation (particularly carrier aviation) is much less forgiving than Air Force flying.
     
  16. pazzari

    pazzari Member

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    I have an appointment to get tested by the FAA for my deficiency( it ended up being $120 and is four tests including the FALANT lantern). I also contacted USNA. They told me that if I were to be offered an appointment I woul then be put through a waiver process. I have the appointment anyway though, just to get it over with now and submit it to DoDMERB. In the letter they sent me they stated that any additional paperwork would be considered so maybe a passing FALANT from an FAA approved optometrist will do me some good. If not, than at least I'll know the extent of my deficiency for future reference.

    Thanks to everyone who posted. This is absolutely the best place to get answers.
    -Phil
     
  17. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    Piazzari, if you don't mind can you keep us updated on your progress? My son is one year behind you with the same challenges.good luck!!!
     
  18. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    I may be wrong about this but I believe a waiver from the FAA regarding color blindness is different than receiving a waiver from USNA for color blindness.

    I think the FAA waiver allows you to fly despite your color blindness.

    I think the USNA waiver allows you to receive an appointment despite your color blindness, but I do not think the Navy will allow you to fly. From what I understand, the midshipmen who are at the Naval Academy on a color blindness waiver understood from the beginning that flying was not an option.

    Somebody can correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  19. pazzari

    pazzari Member

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    I wouldn't be surprised if that was true. Policy has apparently changed this year however on certain things so its hard to say. Flying isn't really my dream though(not saying I would turn down the opportunity if my first choice doesn't pan out). But If I were given the opportunity I would want to go SW. However, if I do not qualify for SEALs because of my vision I will probably look into army SF or go to USAFA if I get an appointment.

    Also, the letter I receive stated any additional info will be considered and I really wanna see if I could pass the FALANT. If I can't I know a SW contract with the navy will be almost impossible even if I were to enlist after college. So I would start to turn my focus to USAFA and possibly complete my West Point app....

    A lot of important decisions to make so as much info I can gain on my future possibilities the better. If I cant fly or fight in the navy than so be it. Even though its a heartbreaker everything happens for a reason I suppose.
     
  20. pazzari

    pazzari Member

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    Vista, I'll make sure to keep you updated as well.
     

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