My son took his remedial FALANT test today


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Jun 19, 2008
Well we drove up to NAS Jax today for his remedial eye test (FALANT) and unfortunately, he failed.
Real close on his first test but no cigar, the sea service Academy's are out as is a NROTC scholarship. The Navy Corpsman that gave the test couldn't have been more professional and helpful. From the directions, to administering the test, he was fantastic, a credit to the Navy. He also sensed how crushing this was to my son and he was visibly upset, not crying but it was abundantly clear that his life had just changed course. My son quickly pulled himself together after the news and thanked the Corpsman for his time wished him well on his PO 3 test (the Corpsman told my son of his test the next day while waiting for the room) and then shook his hand. On the way through the parking lot back to the car, three E-2 Hawkeyes passed over real low (that's what he wanted to fly ironically...) and he just looked at me and said "Dad, can you believe that? Of all planes..." I really felt bad for him but we knew this was an up hill thing from the git go. He's starting to swing back and we're talking about the alternative plans we had in place.
Sorry for the double post but I'd like to thank Larry Mullen and the rest of the DoDMERB staff for bending over backward to help us.
They went up and beyond the call of duty in performing their jobs.

Thank You.
My heart goes out to your son and the family. When he decides his new direction please post so we will know - the rest of the story.
We'll definitely keep everyone posted and thanks for the sentiments.
Sorry to hear about the test. I know it's a crushing blow right now, but hopefully things will work out in the end for your son. There's always medicine :wink:
Almost forgot....If you remember the corpsman's name who assisted you and feel he deserves it, it would be to his benefit if you sent a short note to the commander of the hospital thanking him. When patient's do this for corpsmen they will sometimes be granted a 72hr liberty and/or given a nice letter for their file.
Maximus--I, too, am sorry for your disappointment.

As I posted before, when my son got the remedial letter to take the FALANT test, I wasn't quite sure why he had to take it. We called DODMERB and learned that it was a "Navy thing" for color blindness screening. We had NEVER had any indication that he had color deficiency. By taking him for a private eye exam to an FAA examiner, we learned that he must have missed last few color cards. Then, he took the FALANT at the eye doctor's office. He got it all right the first time. The technician ran the second two runs anyway, even tho it is not necessary. Perfect.

So, my son went to a Navy base confident, although nervous. He missed one in round one. But got it all right in rounds 2 and 3. Passed! What a relief.

The reason I took him for a private test was to see if he could pass a test to fly--if not for the Navy, but even privately. He had Embry Riddle Aeronautical University on his college list and flying lessons would have been an option. I wanted him to know that flying could still be an option in his future even if it is not for the Navy.

Air Force can still be an option--which is something my son had as a back up plan. Its not too late to apply for USAFA or AFROTC. Just find out what their color vision requirements for flying are.

It was a nervewracking time. But, it was worth all the effort. Next week, my son starts his NROTC training!

PM me if you want more details. . .
Sorry to hear the news, but my best wishes for AROTC. I either wanted to be a 7 foot NBA pro or a jockey....obviously, I didn't get either one....but, I'm think I've been pretty lucky. He'll dow well:thumb:
Falant Remedial


I know I am a little late at posting this but I have to tell you that it is not impossible to get a waiver. My son, at this moment, is class of 2012 with a color vision waiver. Exactly one year ago he went through the same thing as your son and he was crushed. He never knew he had a problem but he didn't give up. Remember only approximately 10% of each class are given a waiver by the superintendant. If you break this down it sounds alot less threatening. Only around 8% of males have a color vision problem. Take that percentage of the 1250 that are accepted and subtract the percentage of females then the number that are requested is substantially decreased. You also have to figure that there are a large number of individuals that stop the process as soon as they realize they have a problem.

Now, if your son's heart is set on USNA keep this in mind. YOU only need ONE waiver. Keep saying that to yourself then develop a plan. Create a package that has documented tests of the degree of deficiency from military optometrists (if you can get into the military system) as well as a respectable opthamologist who can show photos of his eye as well as his exact degree of deficiency through multiple tests. If his vision is good otherwise this should be noted. Have your son write a letter from his heart to the superintendant. Any other recommendations of teachers, blue and gold officers or anyone of your family and friends that have a military affiliation or can back him well will help. Stay motivated and don't give up. Show the superintendant that you are willing to stay the course and try your hardest to get this. Once you have submitted the package you have to wait until April when they are approved. Have a back up plan in place in case you don't get the waiver and so that your son realizes that there are other places (other academies or ROTC) that he can fall back on.

Good luck! My son is very happy at USNA. We visited him at parent weekend and he looked great. He actually enjoyed many parts of plebe summer. They have so many new experiences, such as, sailing, boxing, obstacle and confidence courses and the development of life long friends. It really changes their whole being. He realizes he will be restricted line but wanted engineering to begin with so he was fine with that.

Maybe this will help someone that might have given up.
Jp@89"s response is generally accurate:thumb:
CORRECTION from my previous posting (consequence of doing this usually late at night). JP@89 was INCORRECT regarding the percentages of waivers. There i"has been" a cap of 10% of vision waivers at USNA for visual acuity that doesn't correct to 20/20 AND there "has been" a max of 10 individuals per class that are allowed to received color deficient waivers over the last decade. With the new Supt on board, it would be best to contact the Admissions office at USNA to see if this policy still prevails.:thumb:
color vision


I received those percentages last year from the admissions office after my son called and asked the number of waivers given. If it changed, it changed this year.
jp@89 - I understand that your son got a waiver for color deficiency and you want to encourage others, the danger is that you may offer "false hope". The odds are long.
Your son is indeed a rarity.
For someone who knows in Sept they need to get a color waiver - they must realize they won't know until March or April. I believe at USNA they decide them all at one time, in the spring. If a candidate is counting on receiving a color waiver and does not make appropriate back up plans they could very well be left out in the cold.
I know of one case, a couple of years ago, where a young man waited for his color waiver - he was triple qualified (National Merit Finalist) save for a color deficiency.
He was rejected in March and it was suggested that he apply to USMA. USMA did indeed want him but it was just too late in the year to get him into the class. He was offered a foundation scholarship for one year and is now a happy cadet at West Point. Only he is one year behind his class.

Those who need a waiver for color deficiency - know that they are granted but rarely. Hold out hope and wait for the spring but please make back up plans.
I could NOT agree more. As I travel around the country I tell everyone to make back-up plans...apply to a few Service Academies, ROTC programs, and a few civilian schools....the dilema U wish to find yourself in in the Spring of your Senior year is: U applied to 9 schools and were accepted by all 9. Now the real hard part begins, which one do u choose???

Given a DoDMERB determination of does NOT meet medcial standards for the USNA, is even more reason to have back up plans...many of them. Waivers are granted and U strive to get one of them, but realistically, the odds are very low.
jp@89 wrote: "Create a package that has documented tests of the degree of deficiency from military optometrists (if you can get into the military system) as well as a respectable opthamologist who can show photos of his eye as well as his exact degree of deficiency through multiple tests."

I would be interested to know what these tests are, and how they can be given from military optometrists? I completely agree with comments from Just_A_Mom and Mullen LE on not getting hopes up and having backup plans in place. DCV son doing is well at 'plan b' school.
I will "attempt" to give an authortative response from the Senior Medical Officer who renders the waiver recommendation to the Dean of Admissions. This, if provided, will stop the guess work. What they will NOT provide, is the waiver criteria they use to make individual decisions. That is their prerrogative and domain. What I will ask is "If someone is determined to be color deficient form DoDMERB, is there any general test, eval, and/or info that would be of interest to the waiver authority?" I "suspect" the answer will be: "If" we are pursuing a waiver on a particular applicant...and we feel we need additional tests, evals, and/or info, we'll ask for it. If we don't ask for it, we're not interested in pursuing a waiver for that applicant." This may take a few days. I just want to provide accurate and current info as opposed to speculation.:thumb:
DCV son doing is well at 'plan b' school.

futnavdad - I am very glad to hear this!
I do recall your angst and frustration last spring when your son found he was not to get a waiver for color deficiency.

Those who do get a waiver must realize they can only be commissioned USMC or Restricted line US Navy. Their Navy career options are severely limited.
USNA is obligated by law to commission US Naval officers into the unrestricted line unless they are medically unqualified, this is why color vision waivers are so rare.