Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by Cody Tittle, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. Cody Tittle

    Cody Tittle New Member

    Sep 26, 2013
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    I'm a junior this year and I want to go to one of the service academies, but I am color blind. I need to know if I can get accepted with some kind of waiver. And can the academies look at how bad I failed or is it just fail or pass? Is there any kind of waiver for color blindness if I get recruited for a sport? Please tell me all there is to know about the color blindness test on the service academies physical exams. Thanks a lot.
  2. JMS

    JMS 5-Year Member

    Jul 2, 2011
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    First I'll give my usual advice about one reconsidering using one's real name in any forum such as this one.
    Regards the color blindness (color vision deficiency) you may already know that the problem is one of severity...that is how bad is your particular color vision. Some are very mild, some more severe. Except for the most mild cases the sea going academies are probably a no-go. USMMA requires one pass the PIP test and no longer accepts any alternative tests (some are more forgiving). USNA and USCGA do hold out the possibility of usng an alternate test (the FALANT- Farnsworth Lantern Test) but as a practical matter, it will be very difficult to find one of those machines as they have not been made for 30 or so years. If you happen to be a extremely desirable candidate for one of those academies, they will arrange for you to take a FALANT to see if that will get you over the hump. I understand that Navy does also waiver a very few color deficient candidates, but again, I suspect they are very desirable candidates with relatively mild case or else slotted to a line of work where color vision is not an issue. (think land locked desk job or Marine ground.)
    In the AF and Army, color vision is not as much of an issue but likely you will not ever sit in the front seats of an aircraft. In Army and AF cases, I believe if one can discern the colors on a traffic signal, you will probably be ok, except for flying.
    Lots of prior posts here on the issue, so search on it. My son has the issue, so we became very knowledgeable here and with eye Dr. Indeed, we had no idea until the DODMERB test he had the problem. He was not a highly desired academy candidate (apparently) and is now in Army ROTC.
    In short, you will need to know how many of the PIP plates you passed/failed and look up the pass/fail std for DODMERB. You can take the test in a couple of minutes next time you are at your eye Dr. Once you know the severity of your deficiency, you can focus your attention on the places that will be ok with your condition.
  3. Pima

    Pima 5-Year Member

    Nov 28, 2007
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    This topic has been discussed many times. Here is the latest thread on this subject.

    In the end this is what posters will tell you.
    1. Get your medical history in order. DoDMERB is something you will have to do no matter what, so be proactive when you know you are already facing a DQ.
    ~~~~~ They will send you to their docs, and you will have to give them your history.
    2. Waivers are given by the commissioning source. DoDMERB only qualifies or dis-qualify. Some SAs will give a waiver and some won't.
    3. They may waive, but they may say some jobs as an AD officer will not be available to you. Remember an SA is 4 yrs where you choose your major, not 365/24/7 and you get to choose to go there. AD life is 365/24/7 for 5 yrs and they get to tell you where you will live and what you will do as a career.
    4. If you are being recruited talk to the coach now because sooner or later this will become an issue. You are not the 1st with vision issues and won't be the last. They have experience with issue.

    xposted with JMS.
    ~~~~ I would clarify for JMS one thing for the AFA. For the AFA class of 2011. Over 50% did get rated slots....@500 went pilot, thus if the cadet wants to fly they will most likely get that opportunity. Notice the key word in Air Force is AIR. Yrs ago candidates were qualified as PPQ or just Q. (Potentially Pilot Qual). The difference is the tower lights are only green and white and the runway is black, the sea is not an issue. I know a couple of color deficient fighter guys.

    This goes back to what I said earlier in my post remember AD life is 5 yrs. SA is 4. Think about your career choices to when you decide to go with a service if it means that you can get a waiver, but will be forced into a specific career field.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
  4. Vista123

    Vista123 5-Year Member

    Aug 5, 2011
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    JMA and PIMA,
    Excellent posting. Thanks.

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