NROTC Vision Requirements


Sep 15, 2015
I am aware that the Naval Academy is very strict with their vision policy, and disqualifies a candidate when his or her vision exceeds 6 diopters in either positive or negative direction, and I know both the Academy and NROTC disqualify for vision not correctable to 20/20. Does NROTC disqualify if a candidate has -6 eyesight? I have -6.75 eyesight in both eyes, and I know I most likely will not be given a waiver for the Academy, but I would like to know if I am still qualified to enter the Naval ROTC program.
The BUMED standards are the same for both. I do not know what may be waiverable, however.

Now, you can "enter" as a college programmer and see if you'd be competitive and work towards a waiver (if available), or you could go ahead and attempt the scholarship (which would require you to go through DoDMERB) and then either be denied or have a waiver requested.

Did you apply already to USNA and were denied due to vision?

Ultimately is the decision of BUMED.
I am a high school sophomore, but I am extremely interested in joining the Naval Academy. If I am not allowed to enter the Academy, I would like to enter NROTC. I haven't started applying to either yet, but if my sight was a disqualifying issue, how does one go about getting a waiver, and how can I increase my chances of getting one?

Also, since I am only 16, my vision is likely to get worse over the next few years, or at least until I am able to go into college. Hopefully, it never gets worse than -8.00. I have heard that the Navy is the most strict with vision, and if the case is that I am unable to receive a waiver, are there other service academy/ROTC opportunities that have more lenient requirements for vision? My vision is fully correctable to 20/20, and I am extremely physically fit. The only thing keeping me from service is my uncorrected eyesight.
Good that you are researching early.

You may try the DoDMERB section of the forum as well.

Probably the best thing would be to find a way to get in contact with current officer procurement folks for the Navy and get their take.
I will tell you I was in your shoes over 30 years ago for the Marine Corps PLC program. (Turned down Air Force scholarship) Had that bad vision. Got a vision waiver for the Marine Corps. I got injured in the PLC junior course, but was slated to go back the next year. The problem was that my DoDMERB physical (I took for AFROTC during my HS senior year) was 2 years out of date by then -- so it had to be redone. No waiver the second time around. There were force cutbacks at the time, so waivers were harder to come by. (May be a similar situation these days). I was qualified to enlist in the Marine Corps -- which I did -- and had no regrets. I was also told I was qualified to be a Navy officer at the time.

In any event, you would be best served by getting current official scoop. If you want this, don't give up until you've exhausted all possibilities.

Good luck
I don't remember the specific numbers for my son's vision test, but they told him that his depth perception was poor.

His response to them was, "I've been a catcher for 13 years. I've had no problem seeing the baseball."

He's in his 1st year as a NROTC midshipman.