Color Vision Requirements for the US Military

´╗┐Color Vision Requirements for the US Military

If you think you are somewhat color blind or you can only recognize some but not all colors, you can still be qualified to join the US Military. But the field and designation may vary because there are branches of the armed forces that require their personnel to have a normal color vision.

Brief Background

All the military forces in the United States fall under one category, and that is the US armed forces. This helped create what the nation has become from the time that it was created. This played a vital role for the US to win the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812.

The country’s President plays as the commander in chief of the military. They are being helped by the head of the Department of Defense, the Secretary of Defense. This is where the military policy is being enacted and enforced. Since the 9/11 attacks, the Department of Homeland Security was formed to guard the nation against internal threats.

There are over 3 million personnel in the military, hailed as one of the largest pool throughout the world. Half of them are reserve personnel. Most of the members of the military’s manpower come from volunteers. They have the most advanced equipment and gadgets. They are being looked up to for such fact. And the reason for this is the budget that they get from the government, which is about $711 billion every year.

Military Manpower

Do you want to know the exact numbers of people in the military who are on active duty? The answer is 1,454,515. That was as of February 28, 2009. In addition to that, the seven reserve components have 848,000 more people. With such figures, it is no doubt that the military in the US is now known as the second largest in the world. The top spot belongs to the People’s Liberation Army of China. The country has its troops deployed all around the globe.

It was proposed in 2007, at the height of the country’s fight against Iraq and other factors that come into consideration, to increase the size of the military. It was specifically asked by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates to increase troops of the Marine Corps and Army to supply enough people for the triumph of War on Terrorism.

Color Vision Requirements

Having a normal vision is not really a requirement in all branches of the military. But your color vision is going to be tested when you take the MEPS or the Military Entrance Processing Stations.

There are jobs in the military where they ask for people with normal color vision. This is for safety aspect as well as for these people to perform better on operations. They have to distinguish the colors from the smoke flares, indicator lights and other things.

But how do they know who has a normal color vision? This is done through 3 kinds of tests. You cannot choose what you want to take. It would really depend on what is being used on the MEPS that you are taking. The tests include Farnsworth Lantern (FALANT), OPTEC 900 Color Vision Tester and Pseudoisochomatic Plate (PIP).

If you want to pursue the Marine Corps or the Army, you will pass even if you can only discriminate between colors red and green. So if you think that you fall under this category, you already have an idea as to where you will be assigned when you join the US military.

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