Wearing glasses and/or contact lenses at Sandhurst

Discussion in 'Officers' started by Starling, Oct 28, 2008.

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  1. Hello, I'm hoping to apply to the Army as an officer next year. As I need to wear glasses most of the time I was just wondering if anyone could give me a bit of clarification on how short-sightedness is dealt with during training. I've read a couple of reports here that there are still issue glasses at Sandhurst: should I expect monstrosities along the lines of the U.S. "birth control" frames or something a bit more understated? Are candidates allowed to wear their own glasses or is this generally discouraged?

    According to a few older posts it's also possible (though strictly speaking against the rules) to wear daily disposable or continuous wear contact lenses while at Sandhurst - do people generally agree with this? On balance I'd feel a lot happier with contacts but I'm not overly keen on the idea of constantly trying to hide the fact that I'm wearing them.

    Any general advice from fellow speccies who have recently completed or are currently on the commissioning course would also be appreciated - beyond stating the basic eyesight requirements the official sources don't seem to be very forthcoming on this topic. To be honest it's hard to form an idea of whether needing corrective vision while training (or indeed once commissioned) is a manageable extra hassle or a massive pain in the neck. If the latter then I'd consider corrective surgery prior to applying but for various reasons this is an option I'd prefer to avoid.

    Thanks all for reading this far.
  2. As a cadet and DS at RMAS loads of cadets had glasses and contact lenses. No particular rules on style of glasses to wear - the only time that it is an issue is the glasses for respirators I think which is when you would be issued specific glasses. Never a problem.
  3. Take your glasses, get the hideous issued ones too, arrange to get lenses provided for your respirator, but as I recall this was a lengthy and rather useless process.

    When I was there we were told not to wear contact lenses on exercise on the basis that your hands were permanently covered in dirt or oil and so inserting/removing them could lead to an eye infection. Having said that everyone did still wear them as it was impractical to fanny around with glasses, only to have them get scratched or crushed. Just don't mention it to the DS and don't expect any sympathy if you do get an eye infection or the like on exercise.

    Whatever option you definitely need to have good vision on exercise. Shouting "Can anyone see the enemy?" when you are facing in the wrong direction and they are only 50m away is less than ideal. I wouldn't get corrective surgery, though I can't recall what the current army policy is. Used to be a big no-no for fears it reduced your night vision capacity.
  4. Buy a second set of flexible frames from Vision Express or somewhere similar. They're robust, only about £100 and if you pay for 2 years insurance they'll replace the lenses for free when they are sratched by your iron sight on the ranges.

    Occasionally a sadistic CSgt would enforce the wearing of issued sp**k deflectors, but it didn't occur in our platoon.

    I've worn sepecs on countless exercises and ops and they are a tiny hinderance at times (donnning the new Osprey Body Armour for instance) but it's not the end of the world.

    As for having one's peepers zapped, the current policy is downgrading to P7 (non operationally deployable) for one year.
  5. Contact lenses are the way forward through RMAS. Wore monthly disposables throughout and never had a real issue. Just need to accept that you may lose a few every now and then and carry spares on exercise. Only time I remember having to take them out was going into the Gas Chamber.

    Good luck, K_S
  6. Great - I'd been hoping to be able to go with contacts so this is pretty much exactly what I wanted to hear. Will make sure to equip myself with a few spare pairs of specs and sets of lenses though.. Cheers everyone for the rapid replies.
  7. Starling - contacts in the gas chamber are a terrible idea!
  8. Kaiser_Soze - I think I had better put my contacts in for a better look at your enchanting clip!