Color-vision Deficiency Unraveled

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by NavyGenerationSkip, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. NavyGenerationSkip

    NavyGenerationSkip Member

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    Our DS did a pre-screen with a local optometrist before beginning the application process because we had read that eye issues can be cause for DQ and very few waivers granted. His test results including the color-vision all checked out well. After Ds's CVW October 5th he came back completely convinced that the Naval Academy was where he wanted to be and began to finish his punch list for the application. His physical went great. He then did his DoDMERB eye exam and failed the color-vision aspect. We were stunned since he had passed it with the local optometrist.

    Long story short, his BGO told him what that probably meant, but encouraged him to push forward anyway. After a couple of very down days, he went for a "3rd opinion" with a very respected optometrist and reported the information to DoDMERB. They issued a remedial and sent him to our 4th exam which he again passed. His status changed within a few days. He is now double-qualified with high grades and ACT score. (We hope that means he is triple qualified!) Last week found out Senator Corker nominated him. Now we wait and pray for what is right for him (either way) to happen.

    I post this simply to encourage future readers to seek second/third opinions if found medically DQ'ed. Be proactive with it. Don't wait for the academy or DoDMERB to do something to help you. You are applying to them, not the other way around. Color-Vision testing is an odd one. Lighting, age of the plates you view, etc can have an impact on how many of the 14 plates you will identify correctly.

    Best of luck to all who are waiting to find out. Hope this helps someone.
     
  2. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    Additionally, color vision should be tested with corrected vision (put your contacts back in or glasses back on for this part of the test).
     
  3. barkatraz LT

    barkatraz LT New Member

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    Persistence will pay off if you stay the course. Any waiver will take some effort, patience, and hard work. Just roll with the punches and PRESS.
     
  4. activedutymom

    activedutymom Member

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    Great advice! My DS also passed all his personal optometrist tests, but when he went for his DODMERB physical was found color deficient. Shortly afterward, he shipped out to Japan for his first duty station (USMC). He didn't have the opportunity to retest at another optometrist. He was fortunate to receive an LOA for the USNA, however, it was contingent upon a color blind medical waiver. The Superintendent of the Naval Academy issues those and waits until all the offers are decided before determining who will get the scarce color vision deficiency waivers. He rarely approves more than 12 per class. Due to limited availability, my DS was offered one, but for NAPS first. While he wishes he had been a direct entry from the fleet, we were both grateful that he received one of the waivers. If you can do something proactive to prevent being part of the waiting game and at the mercy of the waiver process and decision maker, then I also strongly encourage it.

    Occasionally Mids develop color blindness as they get older, which is why they don't issue the maximum allowed (around 20) per year... they save some waivers in case any are needed for established Mids down the road. My DS now has his guaranteed waiver for the USNA so he doesn't have to worry about not passing color vision testing again while at USNA, so we were lucky that it all worked out for him.
     
  5. New BGO

    New BGO Member

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    Active duty mom's post is spot on!

    Understand that incoming plebes are given another eye exam on Induction Day, including a color-vision test. The Supe can grant waivers, but there have been occasions where incoming plebes have been turned away. It happened in June 2011.
     
  6. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Just to clarify: people don't develop color blindness later in life unless it is associated with some other issue: trauma, glaucoma, optic nerve problems, etc.

    It would be extremely rare for a person of midshipman age to have any of these issues (other than trauma).

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  7. activedutymom

    activedutymom Member

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    Thanks for the correction. I probably should have verified that source, rather than relaying info that was provided to us during an explanation for why he received a waiver for NAPS rather than the waiver for a direct to USNA (per his LOA). Regardless, for the purposes of this thread, the point is there are very limited color deficient waivers and the Superintendent typically doesn't allot all of them for whatever reasons. Maybe because some plebes might arrive at I-day and test color blind and he might need to use the waivers then? Regardless, if you can do something proactive to clear up a color deficiency do so. If not, pray or wish hard that you are one of the lucky ones and do what you can to improve your application so you are more likely to be selected for a waiver.
     
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I suspect the reason not all allotted waivers for color-blindness are used is the limits on service selection. Those who are colorblind are basically limited to USMC ground and certain USN restricted line/staff corps slots. During their 4 yrs at USNA, some mids who were fully qualified on admission will become medically disqualified for various line billets. USNA wants to have as many grads as possible available to all warfare specialities. Limiting the number of waivers that reduce service selection up front helps achieve that goal.
     
  9. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    just to do a reality check here..(sorry because im typically a positive person).

    Unless you have some super major hook (IE: 90 mph fast ball pitcher who happens to be native american that can speak Arabic fluently) make sure you have plan B, plan C etc.

    Don't look at historical numbers of color blind admittance and be comforted. it is harder and harder each year... It was told to me that the class of 2017 has three colorblind kids. (NOT 3%, but three kids!)


    If you are highly motivated to serve, there are no colorblind restrictions (or even a waiver needed) for USMA or USAFA (not counting getting pilot rated)..Im not saying don't try, but know the odds and work with them.

    Vista123
    (carrier of the sad colorblind gene passed on to my #2 son :thumbdown:)
     

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