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Can I Enlist in the Army if I Wear Glasses?

by Forest Time, studioD

There are many medical conditions that can prevent enlistment in the Army. However, this does not include poor vision, so long as that vision can be corrected through the use of glasses or, in certain cases, through the use of corrective surgery.


Eligibility for military enlistment depends on an individual's vision once corrected by lenses. In most circumstances, the military requires your vision to corrected to at least 20/40 in the better eye.

Contacts Versus Glasses

Recruits are not allowed to wear contacts during basic training due to hygiene concerns. Instead, their vision will be tested before arriving at basic training, and if it is determined that they need glasses, two pairs of military-issue glasses will be provided to them during basic training. Once basic training is over, recruits can wear contacts or their own glasses again.

Corrective Surgery

Individuals who have had surgery to correct their vision are able to join the army, but only once they provide medical documentation and obtain a medical waiver. In fact, many soldiers elect to have corrective surgery after they have completed basic training.

About the Author

Forest Time has been writing for over a decade. During this time, he founded and edited a short-lived literary magazine, received several prizes for his poetry and published a master's thesis on Cambodian history. He received his Master of Arts in Asian history from the University of Maine at Orono in 2007.

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