my son was approved and given a waiver (vision) to join the military- he is a high school junior, 17 years old and has 20/50 vision with glasses. He is enlisted and scheduled to go to basic in June. He is speaking with the recruiter now as he is concerned that he will not be able to do well at basic with marksmenship. He has hunted for years with a scope successfully. But with no scope and an iron sight he did well at a local shooting range at 50 yards but could not see good enough to hit a paper size paper target at 100 yards. Other military I have asked said not to worry as you hit life size targets...but they do not have his vision issue. Please advise if he should try to get out of military before basic or go to basic...he loves everything military since going to his first weekend drill, is an A student, very athletic but wants to do well at basic and wants to be safe for himself and others. Can he pass marksmenship? Please advise asap.
If he has glasses to correct his vision he will do fine. They spend quite a bit of time on Basic Rifle Marksmanship in Basic Training. They won't let him put himself or others in danger. There are people that go through that have never even seen a rifle. I'll admit that the 300 meter target is hard to see depending on the terrain but it is doable. I went through Basic Training with vision issues and I did just fine. He'll shoot numerous times before he qualifies.
I think that he should go to Basic Training and drive on, especially if he has a passion for the Military. It's getting kinda hard to find young people with that drive these days. I wish him all the luck with his new career.
He should have no problems, he will be issued military glasses, and required to wear them for all marksmanship training at the least. The farthest distance they'll have him shoot at is 300 meters, so if he could hit that with no problems with glasses, he'll be fine.
Posts: 64 | Location: Fort Riley, KS | Registered: 29 September 2006
I have had glasses since 6th grade, I can't drive without them. (I can't see a stop sign from 50ft!!) -They'll do a vision check and MAKE your son wear Army-issue glasses at Basic. They suck, they're nicknamed "Birth Control Glasses" for a reason. At his duty station he can get regular-style glasses for free, too.
Zeroing is the only time you shoot at little paper targets, the rest will be shooting at big plastic silhouettes. For the zeroing, you shoot at the center of the paper and you're good- the little black silhouette mark in the middle is tiny, even at 25yrds.
Your son will be fine if he listens to instructions and follows them.
(PS- Congrats on raising an outstanding child!!! Something like 70% of US youth are INELIGIBLE to join up...)
Be Proud of what you do- and do it Well! ~me
Posts: 5284 | Location: Ft Gordon (Again!!!) :-| | Registered: 22 October 2007
If he's having difficulty seeing a 8 1/2" by 11" target at 100 yards with his glasses that could be a problem.
We can assume that the size of our pop up targets is approximately 4 times larger than a standard sheet of paper for targets under 150 meters, and say 7 times larger for targets beyond that.
If he can hit a 50 yard letter sheet, he shouldn't have much trouble with a a 50 or 100 yard prone target. The 150 may present some trouble, but the 200 is actually easier as it represents a standing enemy.
Not all targets must be engaged to achieve a qualifying score. With practice, and a little knowledge of ballistics (always aim low at 150-200 meters) he should be able to meet the standard.
He will learn he is shooting at the ground in front of some of the targets more than the actual target itself. And he will just have to learn to shoot at the little red blur or green blur that pops up, 300m target is a pain no matter if you have perfect vision or not. As long as he doesn't have another type of eye problem he will be fine, but if he has issues with glasses then he probably has a greater problem than just vision itself, he may have a more medical condition with his eyes and if thats the case, why not let the army figure it out and help him out? Pretty much a win win situation.
I thank each of you for your sharing and knowledge. I spoke with my sons wonderful recruiter and he also confirmed that my son should move on to basic. This weekend he has his drill (he is doing the split option as he is a high school junior) and his recruiter will motivate him to get on track and worry less on this matter.
Everyone has been very professional and right on the money here. Mom - he'll do just fine. I went in with an eye waiver. So blind in my left eye that I didn't qualify medically for Airborne School. Got thru Basic Training and AIT. Got waivered for Airborne School, 7 years later, got waivered for Special Forces. All my twenty years, I qualified Expert. All he has to do is listen to and follow directions.
By the end of summer, your young boy will be a young man. You'll see the confidence, posture and maturity change remarkably. Believe me, I even cried to see the changes in my son.