USNA and D156.10 Color vision deficiency

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by rocatlin, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. rocatlin

    rocatlin Member

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    Summary: It pays to get a second opinion

    Since my DS just went through this, I wanted to relay a positive outcome.

    I'll start out by saying that the DoDMERB process went pretty quickly once my son was finally in the system. (Evidently there was a glitch in uploading information between USNA and DoDMERB. It took 3 weeks for his info to hit the DoDMERB system.)

    My DS completed the medical part of his exam on 19 August. DoDMERB had all the exam info and reviewed by 22 August. Briefly on the 22nd, there was a status of "Remedial Requested," so we actually thought it was because the medical portion of the exam didn't run a urinalysis and one needed to be run. We were completely caught off guard when later that day the status of Disqualified showed up because of a color vision deficiency.

    Since my DS was in school, I contacted DoDMERB during office hours to get more information. The folks at the helpdesk were very informative and helpful. I was told that DS got 10 out of 14 of the cards correct on the PIP test. Any sea going service requires 12 out of 14, so my DS was immediately DQ's for the USNA and put in a Pending Waiver Submission/Review status. A DQ letter was also sent out.

    I told my son about it after he got out of school. He was irritated and puzzled since the opto doctor reviewed his results and said he had no DQ factors. (Later found out that the optometrist didn't actually run the test, but rather the flipcards were done by one of the assistants.) My DS immediately wanted a "do over" -- partly for his own sanity because he didn't think he missed any of the cards.

    We called around and managed to get him into an optometrist on the 23rd. My DS got 14 out of 14 on the PIP test. The optometrist also ran a "Farnsworth D15" test (basically a series of shaded cylinders he had to place in order) and my DS passed it. I had downloaded the appropriate remedial form from the DoDMERB website and had the optometrist fill in "box 22" with the information as well as sign and stamp the form. After the appointment, I came back to my office, scanned the form and emailed it to DoDMERB. (One of the help desk reps suggested getting a second opinion.)

    Over the weekend, my DS emailed both his Academy admissions counselor as well as the BGO -- just to keep them in the loop and to possibly go to admissions medical if such action was needed.

    When I got into the office on the morning of the 26th, I called DoDMERB to verify receipt. The help desk rep scanned my son's record and said that it was "under review" due to the updated information. Out of curiousity, about an hour later I logged into the website to check status. The bottom line status is "Qualified" now.

    We may never know the details behind the scenes of why the "qualified" bit flipped. Maybe the 10 out of 14 was a mis-recording, maybe the test wasn't understood or performed correctly, maybe the light was incorrect, etc. It sounds like the second opinion submitted by different optometrist office was accepted. My DS is very relieved it worked out. Yes, as a parent so am I. I stay in the background as much as I can, but we're still dealing with dreams of kids.

    This forum does provide some very useful information. It's a good, go to source to understand the process. (I will say that the search engine is lacking though.) The boards can be encouraging as well as discouraging -- as we found out with this whole D156.10 code research. I wanted to put out this encouraging story -- of course with the caveat that my DS still will have to be found medically qualified on I-Day if he actually does end up with an appointment out of this whole process.
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Congratulations!

    Medical issues are VERY individualistic. That's why it is extremely difficult for anyone to provide meaningful advice about another person's specific medical issue(s). People can only state what has happened to them or the guidance a SA puts out as "general" advice. The above may or may not apply to your case.

    As the OP did, if you have a medical issue, you need to work with DODMERB and the SAs to address it. As the OP found out, the answer is not always negative and it doesn't always take forever. As we "veterans" advise . . . go through the process and see what happens.:smile:
     
  3. faststreet

    faststreet Member

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    That is encouraging. My DS took his eye and physical exams a couple of weeks ago and he checked DoDMERB Fri only to find he was color deficient. He has never had any issue with colors and in fact took every online test he could and passed them. I spoke to DoDMERB this morning and they said he got 9 of 14 correct. They recommended seeing our own eye doc and taking the test again. Have new appt set up on 9/2 to retake and am trying to see if we can get a Falant test as well. Was at CGA yesterday and he could easily see all navigation red/green lights that were displayed. Hopeful Dad.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    @usna1985 There are so many threads on color deficiency each year. Do you think it's possible to write a sticky regarding color deficiency without interfering with DoDMERB or striking fear in everyone's heart? Probably not I suppose. :frown:
     
  5. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Unfortunately, no. First, the medical issue is very individualized. The best advice is to follow the DODMERB process and see what happens.

    IF you are found to be colorblind, your chances of getting a waiver to USNA are very small -- this according to USNA. If you are one of the very few who are granted a waiver, you're going USMC ground or restricted line/staff corps.

    There are some like the OP who have a happy outcome. However, being realistic, colorblindness is one of the toughest "common" medical issues to overcome from a USNA standpoint and I don't want people to have false hope.

    While the above could be added to a current sticky, I really prefer to stay away from medical issues beyond stating what USNA has said, which is waivers are few and far between.
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Unfortunately I have to agree with you. Thank you for your gracious response. At least I have a short, sweet thread with a summary post that I can point folks to in the future. Thanks again!
     
  7. JMS

    JMS Member

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    I wonder if it may be useful to recommend future applicants ask for a color vision screening at their next regular eye Dr apptmt? Color vision is not a routine screening, as I understand it. Getting a early indication of any issues would help those with the problem adjust their plans/expectations accordingly. Otherwise, it just comes out of left field from DODMERB, as with my DS.
     

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