Destined to be a walt

Discussion in 'The Training Wing' started by edd1989, Feb 26, 2007.

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  1. I am/have been applying for a commission in the Royal Marines however I have just been deemed permanently medically unfit for naval service.
    They didn’t give detailed in the letter I received (I will be contacting them to find out the precise reason why) however I have a strong suspicion it is to do with my eyes. I failed 1 eye test and passed another. And when I took the 2nd one I cheated slightly. My uncorrected vision is very borderline, however my correct is better than 6/5.

    I went to a medical which I passed (count your fingers type thing) but the day after a passed it I received a letter saying I was unfit. So I am pretty sure it is my eyes which are the problem. Like I say above I will be finding out details.

    Now I understand and actually support their decision. They can’t have a Mr. Magoo type character walking around; I would be a liability to myself and others. But at the same time I am still devastated.

    I intend to have laser eye surgery when I’m 21 and then apply once more when I’m 22. The place I want to go to in Harley street only accepts people over 21. This does actually give me a better chance to gain my commission when I am 22 since I would have had some more life experience and would have made myself as fit as a fiddle.

    I’m 17 now, and up till now I had a plan. I knew where I was going and everything was just about falling into place. Now I have a 4 year gap. I do NOT want to go to university. It’s just not my thing; anyway I have had enough of education of that sense.

    Right now I am trying to contemplate what I can do in this 4 year period. I think it could be quite good for me and my chances of joining the Royal Marines, but at the same time my plan has gone to shit.

    So what I am really asking is what I should be doing in my 4 years to make me more desirable, also any suggestions to do with what I can do. I probably will get some awful till monkey job and then blow as much of my money away on travelling.

    The thing which is really going to bug me is whether or not I could have made it now. Since now I’m not going to have that chance. But then that’s life.

    I just generally wanted some feedback, even if it is abuse, from this delightful website.

  2. Go join the SAS, they have such bad eyesight they'd rather put tape over them.
  3. As a lad I wanted to join Fleet Air Arm. I wore glasses but passed for eyesight, failed for colour vision. I asked about Royal Marines but was told immediately "we won't accept you with glasses except as a cook or a medic". Never even looked at my prescription. Went on to be an infantry STAB
    From experience I know that wearing glasses in the field is a right pain and contacts aren't always the answer either. I'm not brave enough to get the eye surgery done but if you can and they'll accept it then go for it.
    I do find it odd though that your eyesight is so bad that you are permanetly unfit for any naval service. What's your prescription?
  4. if your serious about a commision get a degree theres some in outdoor education so thats a 3 year piss up with kayaking climbing moutain leader qualifications thrown will get you fit and used to the outdoor life more so than bumming around.
    if you can't get into uni theres various other similar course's lead to outdoorsy qualifications and if your not that keen on climbing or kayaking well you should'nt really try to be a commando :thumleft:
  5. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    Firstly, find out exactly why they rejected you. If it is eyesight, you're probably fücked. Historically, the Royal Marines and Royal Navy have always had a big downer on bad eyesight and spectacles. Personally, I think they're shooting themselves in the foot and turning away candidates for an essentially trivial reason.

    On the other hand, having witnessed the mindless, unthinking cruelty of the Royal Marines' recruiting system, you might well consider a far superior option and join the Army instead. Wearing glasses and/or contacts is only going to be an issue if you want to be a pilot or join the SAS. The Royal Marines are excellent soldiers, but they're a little niche plaything for the Navy, like the RAF Regiment are for the Crabs. If you want to stand on your own two feet and kick some arrse, the Army's where it's at.
  6. My prescription is -3.50 in each eye. I am short-sighted so that means I could only shoot the enemy if they were really really close.
    Like I say in my above post when I have got my gecks on or my contacts in my vision is near perfect. But my uncorrected vision is the problem. My uncorrected is slightly worse that 6/60 which is the limit for service.
    I could check to see if there was another branch which would accept me then I could transfer over once I have got my eyes sorted.

    The plan was always to get my eyes lasered however I was hoping I would be serving at the time.

    I liked your idea "brighton hippy", however for some strange reason unbeknown to me I don't think university is for me. I have just never wanted to go, and I also don't see the point in going if I can't see the point in going. I could earn myself some money and spend my time going on courses which would be relevant and have damn good fun. I'm not scared of flying, scuba diving, kayaking, climbing, sky diving but interesting I am scared of polystyrene? I don't know either.
    Anyway I just don't like the idea of university. But I will look into some courses which could be offered. There might be one I may find interesting.

    Sorry "no1cares", I just don't fancy joining the SAS. I don't like their balaclava and kit. I just think it just looks a bit 80's, I’m very fashion conscious. :biggrin:

  7. cpunk, interesting idea. However I thought the standard of eyesight would be the same thought the entire service?
    I have listed my prescription above.

  8. I'm pretty sure that in Army terms having laser eye surgery means you are medically downgraded as they have had problems in the Gulf and A'stan with this. I would check if RM will take you after laser surgery. Have a strong suspicion they may well not.
  9. My eyesight is -3.75 in each eye so very comparable. It deteriorates with age so it would have been somewhat better when I was your age twenty years ago. Having said that, from a practical point of view I couldn't have managed without glasses then any more than I can now. Have you got the actual standards that they require or that the army require to compare with?

    Best SAS quote ever!
  10. Sixty

    Sixty LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. ARRSE Cyclists and Triathletes

    Does sound a bit strange. My best mate is a PO in the RN, blind as a bat without his glasses but has had no problems at all.
  11. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator


    I haven't checked and you will get a definitive answer from an official source, but IIRC, the naval/marines/aircrew/SAS standard is no worse than +/- 3 in both eyes.

    Personally, my eyes are -4.75 right and -5.00 left, though both correct to perfect, more or less. This hasn't changed much since I joined in 1983. The only time it has been an issue for me was when I got fücked off from 22 SAS selection. I've never had a problem wearing glasses or contacts in the field.
  12. Mine was better than that when I got told no by the Royal Marines. I think though that he just saw glasses and said "no" because my eyesight was good enough to get in as aircrew - colour vision screwed that one!

    Glad I didn't take up the (serious) suggestion to go to 21 then. That would have pi55ed me right off.

    edit to sort quotes.
  13. Prescription on joining the army - 3.50 and with astigmatism. This was not a bar to joining up. Been in 13 years and last year had laser eye surgery. I 'fessed up to a Lt Col Medic (Dr type) that I had my eyes done and said does this mean I am downgraded - he said 'stop trying to get off PT, you homo'

    Job done.

    COA 1- say 'ram it' to RM and be a tough guy & join the army. Get commissioned = best education ever.
    COA 2 - wait 4 years for the RM to fob you off again.

    Your choice
  14. There are several procedures which the Navy DO accept in terms of Laser Eye Surgery. Surface treatments (PRK, LASEK and Epi-LASIK) are acceptable. Flap treatments (e.g. LASIK) are NOT acceptable and are a permanent bar to entry into the Forces, whatever the position or arm.
    Be careful that you get the right one - before you go to your consultation, get a letter from the Combined Arms Medical Board to get the info on what is acceptable and show it to your surgeon at your first meeting.
    Surface treatments take longer to heal (3 weeks for decent vision, as opposed to a matter of hours for LASIK) however there is no flap that can be dislodged and hence absolutely no restriction on activity after the surgery.
    Also, you must wait 12 months after your surgery and then be checked by a forces opthalmologist before you will be given the OK to attend AOSB/AIB etc.
    Be warned that any kind of eye surgery is a bar to pilot training. But you don't want to do that apparently, so no worries. I'm unsure if the Marines will take you with lasered eyes...but I'm sure the Army will :)

    Oh and don't bother with Harley Street. Go to Moorfields Eye Hospital in Islington. Its the best opthalmic unit in the country, with a dedicated opthalmic A&E and the top consultants in the UK. They have a private service there that is several times better than the next best. Even the fat cats on Harley St. I've heard of several cases that were rejected by the small private clinics as being too tricky and all of those people ended up at Moorfields. It may be expensive (but if you were considering Harley Street then I'm guessing that money isn't an issue) but it's your EYES and you should pay for the best. It's worth it.
  15. Slight mistake. That is the place I will be going, surgeon called David Gartry. My uncle had it done there and was bloody impressed. I was unsure of its location but being a dogs nads place I made the assumption it was in Harley Street. I had already found out via contact with the surgeon that you have to be 21.

    I'm considering option 2 very seriously now. I was originally considering going into the Army because when you want to be a soldier its the first thing you think of. Then I was sold on the RM since everyone holds them in such high regard (except the para's, if you know what I mean).

    I'm going to start looking into this avenue. What I want is something which get deployed a lot of the time (what can I say, I’m a loner), has a good reputation and is fairly tough.
    Anyone got any suggestions which I may want to consider. Possibly the Rifles? Gurkas? Para?
    Like I say I have little knowledge of the army side.