Colorblindness

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by brettski777, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. brettski777

    brettski777 New Member

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    I am a colorblind high school student that would like to go to the Air Force Academy. Will I be able to go with my disability and if I do go to the academy will I be able to eventually fly?
     
  2. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    I won't comment on the Academy portion; however, unfortunately being color blind will prevent you from flying in the military.
     
  3. cmccollum4693

    cmccollum4693 USMA 2015 Appointee

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    Your best bet to fly is in the Army, Navy, or Marines, though you still may not be able to in those branches. The only reason I say you have a better chance there is because they offer another "color-blind" test called the "Falant" if you fail the Isihara dot system(which most color blind people do, even if you're slightly color-blind). You have to pass the Falant or the Isihara just to serve in the Navy, and both will qualify you to fly, even if you fail the Isihara. The falant will also be giving as a remedial test in the Army and Marine Corps(for aviation), if you fail the Isihara. If you still want to join the military and not fly, then the Marines and Army offer the vivid green, vivid red test, which will qualify you for most ground MOSs(including Combat Arms). The air force will not let you fly if you fail the Isihara, but you can still join and do ground duties.

    From a fellow color-blind person, good luck!

    Edit:

    Same rules pretty much apply to these branchs' respective academies: West Point, you just have to pass the vivid test to be qualified. Air Force, you can go, but you aren't qualified to fly. You have to pass the Falant or Isihara to go to the Naval Academy. On the latter, if you are wanting to go Marines, who only require the vivid test, you may be able to get a waiver to go to USNA, though I hear it's unlikely to get this waiver. You can still enroll in NROTC-Marine Option without a waiver.
     
  4. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Just to clarify: If you are colorblind you cannot fly.

    Passing the FALANT means you are not color blind.

    There is a small subset of people who are not color blind who will fail the Ishihara plates and therefore the FALANT is offered to ensure that small subset of people are not missed.

    If you are truly color blind you will fail the FALANT as well.
     
  5. cmccollum4693

    cmccollum4693 USMA 2015 Appointee

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    I've always heard that people who are color-deficient, which is really what most "color-blind" people are, still may be able to pass the falant test. I could be wrong, but I've heard that from several sources.
     
  6. MullenLE

    MullenLE Member

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    cmccollum4693 = YOU should stop the discussion here. If you didn't see the signature block, KP2001 is a Flight Surgeon and has been for many years. Clearly, he knows what he is talking about.

    Color blind folks are blind to distinguish colors. They can't differentiate between colors...period.

    Color deficient people are folks that have deficiencies. They can see color, but not all colors; have problems discerning the colors; etc.

    The FALANT is a test that SOME folks with SOME color deficiencies may pass. They are not color blind but they are not able to distinguish all colors.:thumb:
     
  7. brettski777

    brettski777 New Member

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    Is there anyway I can determine whether I would or wouldn't pass this falant test? I'm still early in this process and I don't want to put all my effort into going to any academy if I cant fly.
     
  8. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    You would need to find an FAA Aeromedical Examiner (AME) that has the FALANT and can give you an FAA exam.

    They are "not so easy" to find because the Ishihara Pseudoisochromatic Plate test is (IMHO) pretty much THE standard: if you pass that, you're good to go. In past decades there were "options" in the USAF: no longer. I can't speak for the other services and I won't speak for DODMERB.

    But if you wish to take a FALANT, go to the FAA's website, find their listing of AME's in your area, and call to see if any of them have the FALANT.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  9. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    I'm sure you could pay someone to give it to you, but the biggest hurdle would be simply finding someone who has one.

    The better question (and I'm not belittling here, just being quite serious) is that if the only reason you want to go to an academy is to be able to fly you may want to reconsider. This is a great goal to have, but if it's your sole reason for going you may come away very upset. Even if you go to an academy perfectly qualified to fly there are any number of things that could happen in the subsequent four years that would make you not qualifed. Then what?

    If you go with the goal of flying, but knowing in your heart that you would be okay with some of the other options, then that's great!
     
  10. brettski777

    brettski777 New Member

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    I feel as if flying would be the only motivation that would get me through the more challenging times of the Academy's courses. I've been told if you don't have something to shoot for or you aren't 100% sure you want to do what your doing then the Academy's will be very difficult to get through. At this point I want to fly and I feel as if I'd be good at it. Isn't that what the U.S. Military is all about?
     
  11. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Not to get too far off topic, but not really. The military is all about putting the right person with the right qualifications at the right time in the right place.

    I'm not saying don't have a goal of flying, but I am saying don't go with the idea that you will fly "or nothing else" because you may be sorely disappointed four years down the road and that would be worse than finding alternative paths.
     
  12. NMMI PREP DIRECTOR

    NMMI PREP DIRECTOR Member

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    brettski777,

    Go to an airport or a harbor at night. Look at the different colored lights on the planes or ships. These lights are there for a reason. From Wikipedia:

    "Navigation lighting systems include:

    Right-of-way lights - On ships, aircraft and manned spacecraft, a red light will be mounted on the left or port side of the craft and a green on the right or starboard side. These help two craft on a collision course determine who has right-of-way: if a pilot sees a craft on a path crossing his own, he will see either its red running light or green running light. If he sees green, he is to the impinging craft's starboard and has the right of way. If the pilot sees the red light, he knows that the approaching craft has the right-of-way, and he is required to deviate from his course to avoid the collision."

    Bottom line: If you can't distinguish colors; people die. This is why the color blindness test is important. Nobody doubt's your motivation, but they do insist on your ability to do your job safely.
     
  13. bugsy

    bugsy Member

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    The Military is about protecting the nation from enemies foriegn and domestic. Unless our feelings project power they are often discounted. You are going to have to set aside your feelings of fairness as you consider joining the service. Im certain that you are talented and have much to offer in the service of your nation. Flying is cool and I hope you have the opportunity to pursue it, but if not their are other cool jobs that you shouldnt discount. Let me tell you that if you join the service you will find certain things unfare as you progress.

    - time away from your family over the holidays
    - $100k loss on the sale of your house
    - delays in promotion cycle

    and a host of other things that are out of your control much like your color deficiency. Emphasize your strengths and endure despite your limitations and youll do great things in or out of the cockpit.
     
  14. MullenLE

    MullenLE Member

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    I guess we have achieved too far off topic. There is NO ONE smarter in this area than KP2001. He has spoken and recommend this thread be closed.:thumb:
     

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