vision

PaulM

Unverified
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Messages
16
#1
I've been diagnosed with amblyopia in my left eye which essentially means my brain never established a proper connection with my eye when I was younger. That eye is currently 20/40 while my right eye is 20/20. I've been doing vision therapy which is strengthening my left eye but I fear it will never get to 20/20 and ultimately disqualify me from the 18x contract.

If I were to enlist under a different MOS, and assuming I'm qualified in other aspects and standout in basic both mentally and physically, is it possible to obtain an 18x contract in basic? I've heard the army is a bit more lenient when it comes to requirements once you are enlisted.
 

Ooh-Rah

Marine
Moderator
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
8,769
#2
In your case, for the 2nd time today I would say...."talk to a recruiter, find out if you can even enlist, and then ask what restrictions you might have".

It makes it more helpful for qualified members to give you solid advice if you explore your resources first, and then report back with everything you have done to find the answer.
 

PaulM

Unverified
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Messages
16
#3
I have talked to a recruiter and I can enlist, just not as 18x special forces because of the 20/20 in both eyes requirement. That is my only restriction I have according to my recruiter. They rarely offer vision waivers for 18x so I'm not too hopeful in that regards. I wanted to know if being enlisted makes it easier to get waivers for things like vision to get a chance to tryout for special forces.

Thanks for you time.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
Administrator
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
13,521
Location
Not Afghanistan
#4
I have talked to a recruiter and I can enlist, just not as 18x special forces because of the 20/20 in both eyes requirement. That is my only restriction I have according to my recruiter. They rarely offer vision waivers for 18x so I'm not too hopeful in that regards. I wanted to know if being enlisted makes it easier to get waivers for things like vision to get a chance to tryout for special forces.

Thanks for you time.

Can you meet this?
(3) For Special Forces training: Distant visual acuity of any degree that does not correct to 20/20 in both eyes with
spectacle lenses. Any refractive error in spherical equivalent of worse than plus or minus 8 diopters.
 

Border

Unverified
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
82
Location
Miami, FL
#5
Hey man, i have the same issue as you. Lazy eye is nothing to worry about, as i have learned there are plenty of people with them in various SOF communities. With that being said... you will not be able to initially enlist with an option 40 or 18x.

Also make sure your recruiter gets you a waiver for amblyopia, otherwise it will just make you waste an entire day at MEPS. I had to go down there find out i was disqualified from military service, Wait a month for a waiver and come back to finally enlist.

Anyway, you cannot enlist in aforementioned MOS(s) with a waiver, and you will a waiver for that lazy eye.

I am 99% certain that the path you want to go is 11x and try to be the top 1% physically, and you will potentially get a slot at SFAS. But i will leave it to the experienced guys to confirm what i have said regarding the 11x.

Best of luck.
 

AlpineTXN

Unverified
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
8
#6
As long as your vision is correctable to 20/20, then it shouldn't be an issue. Could you potentially wear glasses/contacts to correct your visual acuity? I just got through MEPS and signed my 18x with a normal set of glasses on. I have a pretty strong prescription but nobody batted an eye once the doctors saw I was 20/20 with correction. Granted, it's not the same situation as yours, but I was told the only disqualifying factor was a structural issues with the cornea. Hope that helps.
 

PaulM

Unverified
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Messages
16
#7
Can you meet this?
(3) For Special Forces training: Distant visual acuity of any degree that does not correct to 20/20 in both eyes with
spectacle lenses. Any refractive error in spherical equivalent of worse than plus or minus 8 diopters.
At the moment I can't meet this. Glasses and laser surgery will not correct my vision in my left eye to 20/20. I'm doing visual therapy to try and strengthen my lazy eye and I was able to read two letters on the 20/20 line at my last eye appointment. Granted it took me about 45 seconds of heavy concentration to read those letters but it's a major improvement from only being able to read 20/50. I'm 29 so the window for 18x is closing rapidly and my eye might not be at the 20/20 standard this year so I'm thinking of going 11x and hoping I can get a shot at SF with hard work and determination.

Refractive error is fine and is only +3.5.
 

PaulM

Unverified
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Messages
16
#8
Hey man, i have the same issue as you. Lazy eye is nothing to worry about, as i have learned there are plenty of people with them in various SOF communities. With that being said... you will not be able to initially enlist with an option 40 or 18x.

Also make sure your recruiter gets you a waiver for amblyopia, otherwise it will just make you waste an entire day at MEPS. I had to go down there find out i was disqualified from military service, Wait a month for a waiver and come back to finally enlist.

Anyway, you cannot enlist in aforementioned MOS(s) with a waiver, and you will a waiver for that lazy eye.

I am 99% certain that the path you want to go is 11x and try to be the top 1% physically, and you will potentially get a slot at SFAS. But i will leave it to the experienced guys to confirm what i have said regarding the 11x.

Best of luck.
I agree with going 11x and unfortunately I think it's my only option. I still have a small chance of getting my lazy eye to 20/20 with vision therapy exercises but I'm 29 so my time is running out.

My binocular vision is 20/20 and my right eye is 20/20. Do you know when you take the vision test that they use the same letters when testing each eye? Or do they change the letters when isolating each eye?
 

Border

Unverified
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
82
Location
Miami, FL
#9
I agree with going 11x and unfortunately I think it's my only option. I still have a small chance of getting my lazy eye to 20/20 with vision therapy exercises but I'm 29 so my time is running out.

My binocular vision is 20/20 and my right eye is 20/20. Do you know when you take the vision test that they use the same letters when testing each eye? Or do they change the letters when isolating each eye?
Gotcha, i have 20/20R 20/30L

Yeah man 11x will be your best option, like i said. Just work hard and never quit, anything is possible if you really put your mind to it.

As far as the vision test... it is a way more advanced version of the Snellen eye chart.

It is impossible to cheat on if that is what you were kind of asking, i tried.. Lets say 20/20 was line 9, there was 9A 9B 9C. So when they isolate one eye you will read different variants of each line. If you have any specific questions or you run into some problems regarding the lazy eye, feel free to shoot me a PM. I just recently went through all these struggles and have 2 weeks before i go to basic, it is nice to pay forward all the help i got on this website to people facing similar issues i had.

Once again, best of luck!
 

zgirton7

Unverified
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
2
#10
As long as your vision is correctable to 20/20, then it shouldn't be an issue. Could you potentially wear glasses/contacts to correct your visual acuity? I just got through MEPS and signed my 18x with a normal set of glasses on. I have a pretty strong prescription but nobody batted an eye once the doctors saw I was 20/20 with correction. Granted, it's not the same situation as yours, but I was told the only disqualifying factor was a structural issues with the cornea. Hope that helps.
BY any chance do you know about what your vision is without glasses? I'm sitting at 20/200 and 20/300, corrected to 20/20 in both eyes. This only disqualifies me from military freefall but I can do the surgery after hopefully passing the q. Seeing your post gave me some hope!
 

AlpineTXN

Unverified
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
8
#11
BY any chance do you know about what your vision is without glasses? I'm sitting at 20/200 and 20/300, corrected to 20/20 in both eyes. This only disqualifies me from military freefall but I can do the surgery after hopefully passing the q. Seeing your post gave me some hope!
I know what my prescription is, but I am not sure exactly what my "20/xx" would be without glasses/contacts. However, I think it may be 20/400, I vaguely remember seeing that on some paperwork. It's my understanding that I will be wearing glasses through the entirety of the training pipeline, and then could apply for PRK either during the Q or afterwards. But, I'm just taking it one step at a time. When/if the time comes, I'll gladly explore my options then.

There are a couple of other short threads about this exact topic with some more experienced voices, I would definitely read through them.
 

Border

Unverified
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
82
Location
Miami, FL
#12
BY any chance do you know about what your vision is without glasses? I'm sitting at 20/200 and 20/300, corrected to 20/20 in both eyes. This only disqualifies me from military freefall but I can do the surgery after hopefully passing the q. Seeing your post gave me some hope!
"
Distant visual acuity: correctable with glasses to at least 20/20 in one eye and 20/100 in the other eye. Refractive error: no more than ±8.00 diopters*.
Normal color perception."

This is the vision standard for Ranger/Airborne/SF. There are other disqualifying conditions.. but those would would DQ you from the military itself. I see from your intro you are already active duty. With that being said you should be good to rock and roll as far as vision is concerned.
 

Border

Unverified
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
82
Location
Miami, FL
#13
I skipped over the question you were asking.. Sorry, you could get into the program with 20/20 corrected. I cannot imagine they would kick you out at MFF/graduation if you completed the entire pipeline, it would be very likely they make sure you get through it. But yeah stay tuned for someone with real experience to chime in
 

Ooh-Rah

Marine
Moderator
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
8,769
#14
Guys,

This thread is in the Special Operations section of the board. That means that unless your have Verified SOF under your name or some other relevant DIRECT EXPERIENCE on the topic at hand, you should not be commenting or offering unfounded opinions.

Some of you have been warned more than once about “staying in your lane.” Any response that begins with, “here’s what I was told at MEPS” means you are not even on the road, much less in a lane.

A few examples:

But i will leave it to the experienced guys to confirm what i have said regarding the 11x
Granted, it's not the same situation as yours,
I cannot imagine they would kick you out at MFF/graduation if you completed the entire pipeline, it would be very likely they make sure you get through it. But yeah stay tuned for someone with real experience to chime in
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
Administrator
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
13,521
Location
Not Afghanistan
#15
The military will not allow you start something you are fundamentally unqualified to complete...that's why there are initial entrance standards vice retention standards. Some pipleines or MOS' will only allow a certain number of waivers as well. This is all because of risk and your ability to complete a course to become fully qualified.

You can enlist without being qualified for "pipeline x" because opportunities do exist for thos in uniform to correct those deficiencies, working towards INITIAL acceptance into "pipelinie x." Guess what though? There are no guarantees you'll still qualifiy, even after years in uniform. Pay your money and take your chances.
 

PaulM

Unverified
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Messages
16
#16
As a 29 year old with a solid job and what looks to be a pretty stable future ahead of me in the civilian world, I'd like to know before I derail from my career that I even have a chance at trying out for SF. Can somebody who is SOF verified please confirm that uncorrectable vision is something the army even considers to waive once enlisted. I understand that it's not guaranteed, but I'd like to know if it is at least a possibility before I make a decision to join.

Thank you.
 

PaulM

Unverified
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Messages
16
#18
I responded to that already so not sure why you would quote that.

I can enlist but I’m simply just asking if uncorrected vision is a condition that is unwaiverable even if you are enlisted. I understand that not being initially qualified for 18x doesn’t mean you can never try out for SF. My recruiter has not given me a concrete answer to this other then it is easier to get waivers once enlisted. I’m just worried that vision is something they don’t budge on.

Just looking for advice with someone who has direct experience with this.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
9
#19
I just tried to enlist with a 18x a few weeks ago. Had correctable 20/20 in one eye and 20/30 in the other. MEPs refused to do medical waivers for the 18x, not sure if that is their general policy or the recruiters I was dealing with. Decent chance your vision can be corrected through surgery. I just signed a option 40, and will most likely try to get vision surgery within a year. Sounds like the best option unless you are willing to get surgery, wait a year, and hopefully process a waiver
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
9
#20
Also to be clear, vision standards must be correctable to 20/20 in both eyes for 18x, but you just need one eye correctable to 20/20 for a option 40
 
Top