Phantom1s Merged Eyesight Reassurance Thread

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by Phantom1, Mar 1, 2010.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Hello all,

    I'm starting university in september and whilst at uni I am planning on joining the university Officer Training Corps (Liverpool).

    I've been worrying about my eyesight and whether it is good enough to be an officer in the Parachute Regiment, which I'm training really hard for, I'm very fit, and it's what I really want to do. I would like to be in the infantry at least. But my eyesight may not be good enough for the paras.

    I need to wear specs for driving and for long distance reading, like when I'm in a class or recognising faces from afar. I imagine that if I was trying to shoot a rifle without specs at anything at a reasonable distance I would be at a disadvantage.

    Will I be at a disadvantage in applying for AOSB, and progressing to Sandhurst, etc? What about the paras?

    Fast forward a few years and say I get commissioned into the regiment... Would I be able to jump out of planes, deploy from helicopters, etc with eyesight that isn't near perfect? Would I get some sort of issued specs that could be used when parachuting/or in combat?

    Thanks in advance.


    I'm really hoping not to have to get laser eye surgery. And I never use contact lenses.

    I read somewhere that laser eye surgery can lead to, when jumping from high altitudes, a rupturing of the eye or something? As it becomes sensitive to the pressure.
  2. Unsure of specific Para guidelines if there are any. But on the whole, the Army lets us focally challenged people in now :D Off the top of my head its within +/- 6? Theres a couple of eyesight threads dotted about on here, do a search and you will no doubt find more useful spiel than what ive said.
  3. Get lasered - simples! Worked for me
  4. Does having laser eye surgery increase the risk of the eye rupturing at high altitudes though?
  5. Phantom, I've known a few officers with specs in the Regt,you can jump with them on,just put elastic on the legs of the specs to hold them on.

    I hope you like the nickname of Bravo November though :) (bicycle nose)
  6. 800 ft is not high altitude! My [lazered] eyes have been just perfect with jumping..
  7. The laser procedures are now, I believe, accepted by the Army if you can prove a certain period of time post-op with no complications. When I went thorugh the system a couple of people had their eyes lasered but kept schtum, this has now changed.

    Get this checked! There'll be someone more current than me who will be able to give you the current status. Otherwise enjoy being issued with your pair of Joe 90 specs (as I did).
    Everyone in theatre now appears to be issued with goggles to keep your eyes free fomr dust etc.
  8. Can't answer this (most procedures do involve thinning your corneas so corneal integrity is arguably diminished), but;

    What laser eye surgery will definitely do is decrease your chances of successfully enlisting / commissioning as the armed forces will request you to go through a battery of specialist visual acuity tests to determine that surgery hasn't had any detrimental effects on your vision (especially night vision, glare, halos etc).

    Plus you'll need to wait 12 months before getting the ball rolling on your application as it's a 12 month deferral.
  9. I think, Gungy, that the wooperts you're on about, didn't join wearing glasses. This resulted in later years while in the Regt.

    I knew one lad who went through the depot with me, that wore Joe 90's with masking tape over the snotter & lugs, when lobbing, but he was ex 4 Para, & already had his Wings.

    Unless they've changed the rules recently, eyesight for Para Regt, HAS to be perfect on enlistment. Anything else isn't really on.
  10. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    Bollox. Unless the Para Regt has suddenly instituted a higher standard than AAC aircrew and SF (+/- 3 dioptres uncorrected, IIRC), I'm pretty sure it's +/- 6 dioptres like most of the rest of the army. You can wear specs when jumping, provided they are suitably secured, but most would go for contacts or laser eye surgery which is why you don't see too many speccy geeks in the Para Regt.

    Use the search function on Arrse to find a thread on laser eye surgery which gives all the relevant details: IIRC, only certain types of it are permitted, your eyesight needs to have been stable for at least a year after having it and you will need to declare it at your medical.
  11. If that was the case cunny funt wouldn't it stipulate on the medical forms regarding eyesight, like it does for the army air corps, which has a more stringent requirement than that of other branches of the Army. I'm pretty certain as long as your eyesight is not outside the parameters of plus or minus six you can join the infantry and indeed the Paras.

    I certaintly hope this to be the case as i'm short sighted and need to wear contacts and i'm hoping for a commission in the Paras. Otherwise passing the POC was alot of tears and sweat for nothing! :cry:
  12. Laser surgery works well (had it done myself)... I had the LASEK procedure done, and after the procedure it fcuking hurts like hell. really not that pleasent. But it beats the pain of glasses/contact lenses, especially on exercise.
  13. I'm not saying that Para Regt eyesight has to be of a higher standard than AAC.

    What I'm saying is that unless things have changed recently, you can't join the Regt wearing glasses!

    You can wear them for jumping if you later on in your service, find that your eyesight has deteriorated & that you need them then. Hence the fact that you see the odd (older) member of the Regt jumping with specs.

    Otherwise we'd be looking like the American Marines, where you can't get in unless your a blind cnut!!! :lol:
  14. Cunny_funt would you like to state where you've got this information from because i'm pretty sure your wrong. I'm in the process of joining up and i need glasses/contacts to correct my vision to 20/20, yet it's within the parameters of plus or minus 6. My first choice is the Parachute Reg, my med forms got sent off, including a copy of my optical perscription, at no point has anyone said "Sorry you can't join the Paras as your a speccy twat". Even at the Para POC the other week none of the Captains or the Adj mentioned it. Now surely if what your saying is true then i've wasted their time as much as they've wasted mine, which i think is not the case. Besides just because you don't see any Paras wearing glasses doesn't mean they're not wearing contacts.
  15. Rules and medical regulations aside, I doubt whether contact lenses would be feasible in a hot, dusty and stressful environment; whether lasered eyeballs would stand up to serious overpressure in a situation where it could pop them, or whether the loss of ones' specs in said stressful situation would allow you to continue to function properly. That said, I used to use band-aid, rubber bands and much toilet paper to continue seeing during sweaty exercises (never did an operational tour in that role other than against sharpened-fruit throwers) - it added to the load on the brain, and seemed to work, but was hardly leading-edge experience compared to what's going on now. I would be unhappy if a decision-maker above me was so hampered. I do hope that the current standards exclude people with eyesight issues which could screw the mission.