Red green Color deficiency


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Feb 4, 2007
My son who has never had a vision problem had his vision screening today. He came home and said he had failed a "portion" of the color screening. What does this mean? He has never had any visual problems or history of any color deficiancies. Does this mean he is no longer is a potential ''phlebe"?
My son just went through this earlier in this cycle. My son has never had any problem telling red from green, but he failed the PIP (picture in picture) test. Don't give up hope, there is a second test called a FALANT. This test must be given at a Military base, not all bases have it so call before hand and find out if they do. (Andrews AFB does not/Ft Belvior does in DC)

Falant is a machine that flashes red/green/white lights you have tell them you see Green/Green, Red/Green or White/Red whatever is flashed up. My son spoke with a 0-6 doctor about this and he said most people who can't tell red from green know in before 1st grade, they can't pick up the green crayon. Also there is a small percentage that are false positives, they can't pass a PIP, but pass FALANT and another test D-15.

Hope this helps :)
justawife said:
Also there is a small percentage that are false positives, they can't pass a PIP, but pass FALANT

I have seen this. Candidate was totally unconcerned about not passing the PIP. Come to find out, his dad, a Naval Aviator, had exactly the same problem. This young man has an appointment for the Class of 2011. Had absolutely no problem with the FALANT.

As previously stated here, failing the Pseudoisochromatic Plates (PIP) or Ishihara color vision test is not the end as far as the Sea Services go. Once DoDMERB receives the physical examination they will request a Farnsworth Lantern Test (FALANT). This test must be taken at a Military Treatment Facility (MTF). This is the definitive test for color vision for the Sea Services.

There are many people who have difficulty with the PIP or Ishihara test and still go on to pass the FALANT with no problems. Do not give up hope until your son gets the FALANT.
Kristymom, I know your son is interested in USMMA & is currently working on his application so I thought to add the following information here. Color perception is a big issue at Kings Point due to the nature of beast so to speak. The kids work on ships & must be able to identify colored markings such as buoys, ect.. Keeping fingers crossed that further testing will prove all is well. Don't give up the ship yet!

QUOTE - "A candidate must have minimum uncorrected visual acuity of 20/400 in each eye, correctable to 20/20 in each eye. The refractive error to correct the vision to 20/20 must not be greater than plus or minus 6.0 diopters in any meridian; there cannot be more than 3.00 diopters of astigmatism present; and the maximum difference in power between the eyes may not exceed 3.50 diopters. The candidate must satisfactorily pass the Farnsworth Lantern Test (FALANT) for color perception. If this test is not available, color perception must be determined by the pseudoisochromatic plate test (PIP).Any prospective candidate who has been diagnosed with substandard color vision is not eligible for further consideration. Upon reporting to the Academy, all plebes are subject to an eye examination. Those who fail to meet the Academy's visual requirements at that time will be disenrolled."
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jamzmom said:
Upon reporting to the Academy, all plebes are subject to an eye examination. Those who fail to meet the Academy's visual requirements at that time will be disenrolled."

I remember receiving that examination in Halsey Field House the first day I was there, so they're not kidding. I don't know what the name of the test was, but it was the one with the numbers made up of colored dots. They also did a depth-perception exam which lasts all of three seconds. It was a 3-D photograph of a fly. You put on the funky glasses and they tell you to grab it's wings. YUK!
Thanks for all the information. It is causing a great deal of stress! What is considered "passing" the PIP? I think he said he received 8 of 14 right, and the eye MD told him he had a "slight" color deficiency. He has raced cars for years and is able to identify red or green lights, so we are having a hard time understanding how he can have a color deficiency. I did contact Dodmrb and all they say is they have the results and if we have not received a letter we can't do anything. The clock is ticking....
Any insight as to the chances of passing the additional testing? It is hard to wait on something he has no control over, and has such a major impact on his future plans.
For the sea services, if an applicant misses more than 3 on the PIP it’s considered a failure, and the FALANT is automatically ordered. The applicant is not disqualified, but is placed into a remedial status for the FALANT.

As for guessing as to whether he will pass the FALANT, your guess is as good as mine :shake:. I've seen applicants who miss 4 on the PIP fail the FALANT, and I've seen applicants who miss 7 on the PIP pass the FALANT.
Thanks for the quick reply, but I was hoping for more positive news! Is there anyway to get the testing done now so he knows? Waiting for 2 weeks is agonizing. Why is there such a difference between the PIP and the FALANT? If he can see red and green lights is that a positive sign? Also, if he does not pass this additional testing, does he have any other options? His goal has always been to fly so this is really tough.
You all need to watch "Little Miss Sunshine".

My son was a 7 wrong person and passed, but several of his misses were only seeing the 7 on a 67. I know my grandfather had a colorblindness and it is carried on the X chromo, basically boys get from their mothers. Girls only have it both there parents have it in their genes.

Unless you or your husband are active duty or retired military and have access to an MTF there is no way to get the FALANT done early. The letter from DoDMERB gives you access to the base and the MTF, so at this point all I can say is be patient and think happy thoughts.

I did a pretty detailed description of the difference between the PIP and FALANT tests, as well as the reasoning behind them in a previous post that you can find here,

I hope this answers your questions.
My son had asked what test the AF used for color weakness, this test will allow him to fly or not to fly. We had gone to our local AFB and the Dr. there gave my son bad info (he had to my son that if you flunk PIP your hosed they don't use FALANT). Son was confused by his answers. We ran into a friend who is color weak/blind but flys and he wears stars. He looked into it for my son, asked around seems the AF uses anomaloscope examination. There are 2 places that have this AFA and Brooks. Just to let you all know the AF has a different standard for the graduation/pilot selection physicals.
After several phone calls and 2 trips to Offut AFB...he passed the FALANT! :thumb: He said it was easy. He still has to get an EKG and echo for supposed heart murmur, but I think that will all be ok. Admissions is thinking a year at NMMI would be a good thing for him to get him ready for the high level at Kings point. Any thought?
Congrats to your son. I've heard nothing but good things about NMMI. The kids that go in with this prep seem to do well from what my Mid says. In fact, he wished he would have gotten that chance during some of the physics & calc he squeaked by in last year. He told me that the prep kids "got it".

Best of luck with the echo. I'm sure all will go well.
Earlier this month i had my vision tested so i could complete the vision question on the afa precand. questionare. I found out that I am red/green "weak". He said im not red/green blind but i do have a problem with certain cards. So what I'm wondering is if the lights on the FALANT test are different shades or if they are just flat out green and red. I know i can see normal shades of green and red perfectly fine, its when they are darker off colored shades that worry me. The doc. administering the test looked at the cards after i couldn't ID them and said that he can't see them either:shake: . He's had his color vision tested before and it was perfect. Is it possible to develop color difficiencies or is it more likely that the test was faulty. Thanks:help:
The FALANT is a series of 3 colors, red, white and green, shown in a series of 2, with one on top of the other. So you'll be looking at a red light over a green light, then the next will be a red light over a white light, ect. The lights are at a distance of 8 feet against a black background to simulate either ship or aircraft positioning lights at night and at a distance. Some applicants who are weak with the PIP plates have no problems with the FALANT, but there are just as many who have problems with the PIP plates who fail the FALANT.

The PIP plates can be difficult even for an examiner to read. I wouldn't worry about it right now. If you do the FALANT and don't pass that, then it will be an issue for the Naval Academy, but not for AF. AF will re-test you in your junior year again if you desire aviation.
The way my eye doctor did my color test was i had to read numbers with little spots of all different colors. I got one
Well...after months of waiting and 3 trips to an airforce base for son now has an appointment for NMMI for this fall!! I think this will be a great thing for him, from what I have read on this great message board prep school will be a great way to start.:smile: