Colour Blindness - What are the criteria - Advice needed

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by RABC, Feb 2, 2006.

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  1. My son came back today. from his army Fitness tests in Lichfield, prior to selection for a trade in the engineers. He is a bit down as the medical suggests he is colour blind , so he will not be accepted for ANY trade in the engineers. He did so well in everything else, that it would be a pity to lose such a good recruit (OK I am biased)

    He felt he was prompted a lot in the colour Blindness tests, and at home he has no problem distinguishing colours.

    Can he ask for a second opinion, as he is devastated.

    I would really appreciate some advice as he has been getting himself fit for a year now and it seems such a waste of talent.
  2. RABC,

    The same thing happened to me when I did the eye chart test. The old codger showed me a small book with coloured dots in it. He told me there was a number "hidden" amongst the dots. I looked at him like he was nuts. Turns out I am colour blind red/green. This was some time ago and I think he gave me a Class 3 for colour blindness. Bare with me, it gets better. The old codger asked me what trade I was going for and then informed me that I needed to be Class 2 for that particular trade. He sent me to see a specialist in Swindon I believe. The specialist put me in a dark room, and about 25 meters away was a box with three lights on it. He turned the lights on 1 at a time and I told him what colour they were. He gave me the Class 2 that I needed and off I went to become a soldier. This was in 1990 and I dare say things may have changed a bit since then.

    Long and short of it. Ultimately the future of your son's career relys on two things. Which trade he wants and the severity of his colour blindness. I wish him luck in his endeavours.

    DM out.
  3. Agreed, if he spanks in on the Ishihara book, he can try the lantern test. Can make a bit of a difference in borderline cases. :D
  4. I commiserate with you, RABC. I bet you thought you were going to get his bedroom back! Seriously, though:

    1. Have you seen the rejection letter yet? And has your son been rejected by the Army or by his chosen Corps? He has probably been told that but shock and disappointment will have driven the kind words from his memory!
    2. When you wrote "engineers", did you mean the Royal Engineers (aka Sappers who build bridges, minefields, dig big holes etc) or the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (aka the REME, who fix things like radar sets and vehicles)? Someone with colour blindness will, almost certainly, not get into REME as they would be unable to distinguish between different wires and lights. I can't see the Sappers being that worried about anything other than the very worst red/green blindness. I reckon he might also be excluded from the RLC Ammo Technician trade!
    3. Whip him down to the local optician and ask for a colour blindness test. I can't remember the name of the tests but try googling for them.

    This might just be a setback and not a dead stop. Talk to the ACIO and see what they say!

  5. Thanks for the replies. It was the Royal Engineers he wanted. The recruiting Office has already been on the phone before 0900, because the OC at Lichfield has already called them to say what an outstanding candidate he was. They say he cant get a second opinion.

    He wanted something with some soldiering and a trade, so I'm not sure whats on offer. its such a shame
  6. Get him down to specsavers anyway, get the test done and if it comes up better, send him back to the ACIO witht he piece of paper. At teh end of the day, these things are obstacles not walls. If he is really keen, and the test is in his favour, get him to keep at it.

  7. As I understand it, colour blindness is not a necessarily negative trait. It would be for engineers as basic tasks such as wiring would be very difficult and prone to error. However, in the infantry etc colour blindness can be a positive. For instance the camo is specifically designed to disguise the object/person from the eye of a average person, a colour blind person can sometimes see a distinct difference between camo and the surrounding areas (which is tremendously useful trait for a patrol member to have) that the average solider would not be able to distinguish.
  8. Sorry to hear about your son failing the Colourblindness test.

    If he has done both the Ishara (look for the number on the colour dotted page) test and the lantern (white/green/red light) test then he really needs to evaluate which is more important to him, either a career in the Armed Forces or whether it was the specific trade...

    (eg. electrician)

    what would have been most important to him.

    If it is a carerer in the Army he wantewd then all hope is not lost as there are careers available to someone in the Armed forces for a CP4 colourblind classification. Otherwise, he may want to look into current courses at his local college to get him the training to be whichever trade he wanted.

    The colourblindness issue was a problem for me also but he should not be deterred by it. There is always a way to achiveve each individuals personal goals..

    Wish him the best of luck for whichever option he choooses from me!
  9. ...and can we please have an update either from you or your son, in due course?

  10. Hi RABC,

    I'm in Sapper in the TA and have been now for about 3 months then last week the recruiting sargent tells me that he has a letter from the powers that be telling him i'm colour blind (which i knew but they recon i'm CP 4 which would mean i more or less see the world in grey!) I had the Ishihara test again today which i didnt do to well in but it was suggested i take the lantern test insted as its more accurate plus its more certain shades i cant see, also those results would override the Ishihara test results. As previously mentioned to be a engineer he would need his CP to be nomore that 2. i should hopefully be going for my lantern test very soon so i'll keep you informed of the difference.

  11. He has been to the optician and has some (but not excessive) colour Blindness (they dont give grades) so he is going back to the ACIO with the results.

    He still wants the Royal Engineers (I think he wants to blow things up), but he is looking at REME VM as an alternative.

    Thanks for all your comments guys.
  12. I have decided to join the Army. I am colour-blind (red/green).. got it from my grandfather.

    I am 24 years old. married for 3 and a half years.
    Those of you who are married know how money, no job and things like that can bring you down. So I want this Army oppertunity to make a man out of me, bring out the best and also get paid for doing it.

    Anyways.. Im all up for it, going to see careers officer in my local centre on monday, looking forward to it.
    I have been training like a mother hubbard. Over the last few years I had just let stress get to me and I gained a couple of stone in weight. But, I lose weight rather quickly, so its coming off fast now.

    I have been training non-stop for the last month now (have been training on and off for a few years, but really kicking it up a level now), and I feel I can successfully pass the fitness part of getting signed up to the army. The more I train, the more weight drops off me. Im quite a muscly chap anyways, so its mostly been a case of making use of that muscle for longer times.
    As of yesterday I ran 1.5 miles in 8mins 26seconds. I mostly have been training to not be knackered, and do all this in one go as oposed to seperately.
    50 push ups in just under a minute, and I am now just topping off at pullups (I never worked out on my back very much). But again, for me its about not being fatigued at the end of it all (too much).

    Its quite different training like this - been on the weights for a few years. Those of you who do alot of weights will know how hard it is to do vascular!

    So, I trained quite hard and have yet to stop, and with a great diet I am sure to get better - I just don't want to get into the army being sick all over the place after some training... got passed that part last year heh heh.

    Suddenly - one evening I had a dream about joining the army and (well I wont go into the dream right now) but basically because this has been on my mind for SO long now (a good few months) I ended up dreaming about being rejected because of colour blindness and being forced into some roadside service crap or something.

    So, I got to the internet when I could and only found this site to be talking about colour-blindbess. I would like to be prepared for dissapointment, hence the long post.

    Basically, my civilian jobs have been limited for legal reasons (cant fly a plane, can't be an electrician...). And alot of jobs which I am good at here - probably won't be allowed for me in the Army.
    I repair computers for people in my spare time (also involving masses of coloured wiring).
    I tend to have a problem, at times, with some colours - but in general I have learned to work around it. With a bit of concentration I can tell the difference between red and green quite easily.

    If there is a green background with red lettering, I can see the two colours seperately - but seperating the two colours is a sort of flashing light of a border - it can spin you out if you look for too long... But its not a problem at all. Infact, It makes those things MORE obvious. I know its red and green (or red on blue) because of this effect.

    I have problems with dark red next to green, sometimes I may think its brown. But upon further investigation I have learned to see that shade as dark red.
    Through trial and error, I can notice the differences between alot of colours. I used to colour trees in brown and the sea in purple, for example, but now this is not a problem as I can tell the differences, only slightly slower than a normal-sighted person.

    Unfortunately - it all comes down to how efficient the tests are. What kinds of results they are looking for.

    My reason for posting is this - (sorry to be so in-depth, I hope it helps you see that this is a serious thing for me, and not just some internet noob wanting some attention) -

    What kinds of jobs are there, specifically, that you KNOW the Army has for people with color-blindness.? I don't mean weird jobs, I mean jobs that people do whether they have colour-blindness or not.

    Obviously, it depends on the severity of the condition - and certainly no engineering for me. I would rather be infantry or para anyways. I wouldn't like to give orders from a desk, I would much rather interact and get things done - but not in a factory or warehouse or kitchen. Patrol, taking in the sights, all kinds of hours of day, cultures, firearms, force, helping people and getting involved and always being on the button - thats what I want from the army :D

    Does colour blindness affect infantry roles? I know people have been saying that "its easier to spot camoflage"... but isn't the purpose of camoflage to be BLENDING IN THE BACKGROUND - so not even normal sight people can see it..
    If coloured-blind people can't see camo either (in its required environment) then surely we are all on the same level. After all - camo sight is all about how it moves, refractions of light and abnormalities etc - not how "green" it is - after all, there are many shades of leaves, many shades of grass, many different lighting conditions....

    I suppose I can find out more from my officer that I am seeing on monday (I will let you know how it goes) but if anyone has any proper advice or stories (etc) (like, how long does it take for the army to test you, etc).

    This would be a great help to me as this would all help me find an ideal place in the Army.
    I certainly hope there ARE jobs for people like me in the army - I just don't want my potential to be dampened to being "the guy who just sits with some binoculars and spots some colour-differences" soldier role.

  13. I too am red/green colourblind or CP3 in technical terms.

    I was in your boat a few months back worried about whether i'd get accepted on medical grounds but was told by the nurse at selection that most jobs require a person to be CP3 or better. When you go to the Careers office ask the recruiter to print off job descriptions of the things you're interested in, these should say what CP requirement that job needs.

    In the medical you get shown a book with coloured dots (not sure of the correct name) and in that you have to pick out a number. I only picked out 1 of 8 haha. If this happens you have to attempt the Lantern test which is a small box with 3 coloured lights in (Red, Green and White) and they are shown in different combinations, you basically have to say what they are.

    I managed to pass anyways and i'm hoping to join the engineers so i shouldn't see a problem if you're red/green colourblind and wanting to join the infantry/paras. I'm no expert mind.
  14. Not strictly true. Colour blindness is passed down through females, not males. It is rare, however, for a female to be colour blind.

    Plenty of trades in the Army for colour blind folks. Good luck!

  15. I should of clarified - My grandfather had it, passed it on through my mother. :)

    Plenty of jobs - now my mind can rest for a bit. Let you know how it goes!