Color Blindness

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by SA Hopeful, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. SA Hopeful

    SA Hopeful Member

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    I need a waiver for the USCGA and USNA due to my vision being red-green deficient. Are waivers distributed to candidates with severe red-green deficiencies, or should I expect bad news? Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    There is a small sliver of hope for USNA, as a small number of color blindness waivers are issued, with the understanding that those candidates who are offered waivers and appointments have a limited number of professional communities they can join. Navigational aids include red and green, so that rules out a number of warfare specialties from the get-go.

    Use the search function on USNA, USCGA and this DODMERB forum to search for color blindness threads.
     
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  3. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    MJ makes two important points. First, the chances of a waiver for USNA (can't speak for USCGA) are VERY small, so be extra sure to have a Plan B in place -- which could include USMA or USAFA which MAY be more lenient on this medical issue.

    Second, understand that your choices for service selection are limited. USMC ground is one option. There are some restricted line/staff corps positions where red/green color isn't needed. However, if your heart is set on driving ships, flying, driving subs, going SEALS . . . that's not going to be an option for you.
     
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  4. SA Hopeful

    SA Hopeful Member

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    Thank you for your time. Thankfully I have also applied to the USAFA and USMA.
     
  5. pleber16

    pleber16 USNA 2016 5-Year Member

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    It's been awhile since I've been in the application pool, but from my understanding USAFA is more stringent on color deficiencies. I have a very slight deficiency, and USNA was okay with it after I passed a secondary test (I commissioned unrestricted line) but when I had applied for USAFA they marked it as a DQ'ing factor.
     
  6. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    One point to mention about Marine Corps Ground Option. If this is a path you are interested in not all Officer MOSs are open for red/green color deficiency. MOSs like air traffic control, air defense, communications aren’t open. Both use a lot of red/green symbology and wiring in their fields.
     
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  7. SA Hopeful

    SA Hopeful Member

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    I received a letter stating that I "do not meet the DoD medical standards" due to my color deficiency and consequently my applications to the USNA and USCGA have been disqualified. The letter states that admissions may initiate the medical waiver process if I am deemed competitive. Should I contact admissions and ask if they intend to begin the waiver process? Attending the USNA or USCGA has always been a dream of mine, so this process has been incredibly disappointing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  8. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    These situations are indeed disappointing. Doors close, but be assured others open.

    Continue to work on your Plans B and C.

    I recommend against calling Admissions, since they simply won’t know the answer yet, I don’t believe. Applications are still rolling in. Your competition now is all those others with color vision challenges. At some point, Admissions will decide for whom they want to go forward with a waiver review.

    One thing you should do is research the specific officer career fields open to you if you do get in with a color vision waiver, to ensure something appeals to you. If you have your heart set on warfare specialties that involve red-green navigational aids and indicators, several doors will be closed.

    A handful of candidates dates do receive USNA appointment offers. Continue to work hard to remain competitive, and as mentioned, invest in Plans B, C...

    My sense is that USCGA is much more restrictive, because of their size and specialties that need full color ability.
     
  9. CaliBoy2000

    CaliBoy2000 Member

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    I fully understand what the OP is going through right now..

    I had my eye assessment last week and found out that I was slightly red-green deficient. I told the doctor that I can clearly see and identify what red and green is because I drive. And he said that it’s very slight and could still get me “some” chance at being a Pilot.

    After tons of reading about this case, it’s really frustrating to see that the chances are stacked against me.. I’ve always wanted to be a fighter pilot.. With a situation like this, it’s truly devastating to see that I can’t even do anything about it..

    Oh well. I guess I’ll still try my best, but I will surely keep more options open.
     
  10. Vista123

    Vista123 5-Year Member

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    @SA Hopeful
    My oldest graduated from USNA
    my second is red/green colorblind so didnt even waste time with anything with water. USAFA is not quite as strict actually (contrary to the above poster) However-your AF service selection will be severely limited.
    My red/green colorblind son is graduating and commissioning this fall as a 2L in the army.
    You probably should have read these boards earlier and gone the army route, sorry to say.
    Now consider Army ROTC.

    (as a side not my AROTC liked his college experience far better than my USNA son and they both graduate with the same rank)

    @Capt MJ is right there are a few waivers...do you pitch a 100 mph fastball? Did you discover a cure for cancer? Are you a Native American who speaks Korean and is a quarterback from Wyoming?

    Also to @CaliBoy2000 --what is ironic about your post is my son who is NOT red/green color blind also wanted to be aviation-got into USNA with ease...and was then subdrafted....so in other words nothing in the military is ever easy....
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
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  11. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    USNA issues a limited number of color blind waivers. Number is believed in the 20 range. If USNA follows previous history, they tend to wait to review the majority of candidates who need this waiver towards the end of the admissions cycle and then make a decision. It doesn’t mean USNA won’t issue an appointment earlier. But this is what admissions has previously done. Could change, none of us will know.

    For those that a borderline... remember that just because you pass dodmerb does not mean you are free and clear. At each SA you will complete a pre-commissioning Physical. At USNA is it junior year. This is a much more thorough hands on physical exam. For USNA it includes a flight physical. This exam will ultimately determine (and any follow up exams they identity) what you will be qualified for.
     
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  12. Vista123

    Vista123 5-Year Member

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    while 20 is the limit, usna 2017 had THREE color blind waivers. Waivers are saved for target demographic applicants. Iday you retake your colorblind test (you CAN get sent home at this time). Junior year you take a pre commissioning physical, and again the end of senior year.
     
  13. pleber16

    pleber16 USNA 2016 5-Year Member

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    For what it's worth, just because you're deficient doesn't technically mean you'll need a waiver. If you can't pass the PIP test (the one with the dots), there's a secondary test they'll have you take. It used to be the FALANT which is just identifying a combo of red/green/white lights. As long as you passed that you were fine and did not require a waiver.

    I know aviation is no longer using that, they have some new computer test that supposedly gives them more insight into your deficiency. Anyone designated for aviation after December 2016 has to pass the computer test. Anyone before that is grandfathered into the old system and just has to pass the FALANT. I don't know for sure, but my guess is that phasing out FALANT is a Navy-wide thing now and you'll need to pass the new test.
     
  14. Gaff1225

    Gaff1225 Member

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    USCGA generally does not give out waivers for color vision deficiencies for cadet accessions. As a newly commissioned officer when you graduate you would most likely go to a ship and will require normal color vision to distinguish various Aids to Navigation, colors of ship piping and emergency equipment for emergency response etc. To my knowledge there may be an alternate test that can be done other than what you took at DoDMERB, but that would be at the discretion of the USCGA medical waiver authority.
     
  15. hornetguy

    hornetguy 10-Year Member

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  16. hornetguy

    hornetguy 10-Year Member

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    The Navy standard on the cone contrast test (CCT) is 55/100 for each color in each eye. The Air Force standard on CCT is 75/100.

    Mild color deficiency usually results in 65-70 scores. Moderate is usually around 55/60. Severe usually fails at 30 or so.
     
  17. usnamidshipmenhopeful

    usnamidshipmenhopeful Member

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    I received a color deficiency waiver from USNA last year but was not offered an appointment. They sent me a form in January to sign stating that I understood that I would only be able to commission into restricted line officer positions and was granted the waiver. Keep you hopes up!
     
  18. SCMids

    SCMids Member

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    My son is color deficient. They can only accept up to 2% of the class with this waiver. Most go to recruited athletes, and most others are not granted until after April 15. Fortunately, my son received his waiver in late January and is in the Class of 2020. His record, however, was extremely strong! There is nothing you can do but wait. If admissions decides they want you, they put you up for the waiver. Getting it early is very rare, but it helps because you can miss out after April 15 if the superintendent needs the slot somewhere else. Best of luck to you.
     
  19. hornetguy

    hornetguy 10-Year Member

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    Funny story. Was looking at the latest waiver guide update (see my signature below) and noticed that the color vision section specifically mentions my case now:
    Guess they wanted to reiterate to the world that they are unyielding in their silly crusade against mild color deficiency.
     
  20. MOMUSNA22

    MOMUSNA22 New Member

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    My son is mildly color deficient. He received his LOA on Jan 26th. We were happy but knew that his chances were slim for getting a color deficiency waiver. He was awarded the NROTC Scholorship in Nov but was DQ because they do not grant waivers for color deficiency. On Monday he found out that he was awarded the AFROTC Type 1 Scholarship. When I logged into Dobmerb that evening to see if he was showing as "qualified" for AFROTC that is when I noticed that his USNA status had changed to "Medical waiver granted". The USNA portal was still showing as LOA but there was nothing outstanding. Yesterday he received an email of his offer of Appointment and today an email from DoDMERB that he had a medical status update. He's excited but is waiting for the BFE. Do not let color deficiency hold you back, yes it makes it harder but it still can happen. Pround mom of USNA CLASS OF 22
     
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