NROTC MO Color Blindness

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by NC27614, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. NC27614

    NC27614 Member

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    Question for you Marines out there. My son is a freshman midshipman at NC State, Marine option. He received the scholarship despite having "color vision deficiency". He knew aviation was going to be out for him, but now he is worried that his career options, even in the Marines v. Navy, are going to be very limited. His heart is totally in it, but is very worried he will be relegated to a 'desk'. I advised him to talk to someone - one of the officers - in the know about this, but he sounds discouraged already and it is only the third week of school. How restricted are the USMC jobs for people with color blindness? Thanks - mom is worried.
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    This is just my opinion but I wouldn't think there would be excessive restrictions. Your suggestion to him to speak with someone is the right one. I would suggest he speak with the MOI since he'll have to meet with him or her once a month anyway. In the meantime you need to get him to deal with the here and now.

    Another thing that would help is to google USMC color blind restrictions. That search seemed to turn up some interesting stuff. Apparently, there a few limitations but the areas where its a problem may not be anything he is interested in, and I'm sure there is plenty to do that he would be interested in.

    One other thing to consider, and I only play a psychoanalyst on these forums :rolleyes:, is that he might be having second thoughts about NROTC and this is his "excuse". You would know that better than I especially as I have no insight at all. Although I don't want to worry Mom any further, it is something that crossed my mind and for you to consider. Probably just my vivid imagination hard at work.

    Good luck to your DS. Tell him to hang tough and just deal with one day at a time. The first few weeks can be tough. :thumb:
     
  3. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    What color deficiency?

    I would think he passed the minimum level which I think is red/green?

    Most MOS's in the USMC would not be restricted based on this
     
  4. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    I have been thinking about this inquiry a bit more and wanted to send a few more thoughts.

    Your son is at the beginning of a long process towards becoming a Marine Officer. He will not be assigned a MOS until the end of Basic School which could be 5.5 years from now.

    I wonder if this MOS discussion is the result of a lot of scuttlebutt and rumour within the Midshipmen ranks. Any real conversations on MOS restrictions need to be with the Marine Staff on site and researched.

    Every Marine Officer goes through the same basic training and every Marine is a Rifleman first. I think any Marine would feel offended by the categorization of the "desk job" - particularly junior Officers.

    Your son will have a great exposure to the Marine Corps during his summer training and will form his own opinion regarding the jobs he would want to do in Active duty. He may find he likes some of the non-combat arms roles.
     
  5. NC27614

    NC27614 Member

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    You guys are great

    I love this forum. I've only posted two or three times, but I have been reading it for three years.
    Kinnem - regarding your point number three, I also considered that as a possibility. In fact, I told him that probably everyone has a few second thoughts in the first few weeks. His response: "Yes, that is a possibility."
    USMCGrunt: re what color deficiency - ? DOD letter only says "color vision deficiency". At one point I may have had more info on this. However, I would say that he's pretty color blind based on my non-medical assessment. But -- he did get the scholarship, so maybe I just don't know.
    He really liked the Marine officer that interviewed him for the scholarship (who is in our town), and he is potentially going to call/e-mail him (which I think is OK - unless you guys think that the NC State marines would take offense). Dad is a former Marine who says he should stick to the chain of command. Thoughts?
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    My son is always, always, always very insistent on following the chain of command. He wouldn't go around it even if his life literally depended on it, and even then I'm not so sure. I would follow Dad's advice here. Besides, it's the MOI's job to help and guide the members of the unit. He'll have the info your son needs.

    I don't know what NROTC freshman O is like at NC State. When my son went through it at his school it was 5 days before school started. They barracked in the unit, did PT, went to Ft. Jackson for some leadership development exercises. They had very little sleep, stood fire watch, ate only MREs and only had 30 secs in the rest room in the AM. It was designed to make everyone question if this was what they really wanted to do - and they were very successful in this. About 10 of 45 kids dropped that week, and when the remainder finally got to speak to each other (they could only speak to cadre for 3.5 days) they all said they were on the verge of leaving at some point, but made the decision to stick it out because it was what they really wanted.

    It's very different now at his college this year and NC State's may be different as well. If so, it may be that they are trying to achieve something similar in the first few weeks of the program.

    We should get together for coffee to compare notes sometimes. I'm guessing you're in N. Raleigh up around Durant Park based on your moniker, and I'm in Cary.
     
  7. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Chain of Command - always.

    Your son will have a meeting with his MOI shortly to review classes, paperwork, etc. If he is nervous about setting up a meeting regarding his color blindness, have him wait for this meeting. It is the perfect time to bring it up. No reason to go outside the chain of command.

    Here is the problem with busting the chain of command in the Marine Corps (in particular). It is a relatively small community of officers. There is a strong likelihood that the local OSO knows the MOI at your DS' school. Even if he didn't, the first thing he might do is call the MOI to alert him of your son's concerns, suggest he speak with him, etc. I know that is what I would have done in the same situation. The MOI would probably be upset your son didn't "keep it in the house" and come to him first.

    Your son has questions, his MOI has answers.

    Good luck!
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Exactly! Followed by a 15 minute "lecture" on the benefits of the chain of command.

    If I may digress for a moment. In the spring Navy/Marine units have "Dining Out" or Mess Night" (same thing). At my son's unit it's an evening in dress blues without dates at a local hotel for dinner, skits, and general revelry. In one of the Naval Science classes taught by "The Skipper" last spring the midshipmen had to write an essay for homework. I don't know what the rubric was, but the essays were to be reviewed by the chain of command before being submitted. One of the midshipmen wrote an essay whose thesis was that midshipmen under 21 should not be allowed to attend Mess Night as everyone simply used it as an excuse to get drunk. I personally don't know about the drinking, but I do have my suspicions. Anyway, she simply submitted the essay to the Skipper without sending it through the chain of command. This past spring only the seniors were allowed to attend Mess Night because of this essay. The next Naval Lab session started with a 5 minute "lecture" from the Master Sergeant about the necessity and benefits of following the chain of command. By this time everyone knew the reason for the lecture and needless to say, said midshipman was not high on anyone's list. :biggrin:

    Thank you for your indulgence.

    EDIT: Assuming your DS interviewed at brigade headquarters in Raleigh, as my DS did, and further given that NC State is just down the road, it is absolutely certain that the officer who interviewed your DS knows the MOI at NC State. They probably tailgate together at Wolfpack football games! Just sayin'. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
  9. NC27614

    NC27614 Member

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    Chain of Command

    No worries - talked to my DS last night and he is going to talk to the appropriate person at NCSU. I am really thinking that some of this is just the adjustment to both college and NROTC, but he does need to understand what his options are.

    Kinnem - yes, we are in North Raleigh. I work fulltime, husband is retired, but if you are ever up this way let us know - I will try and figure out how to use the private message feature to send my contact info.
     

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