Can You Get Drafted If You Have Glasses? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Are you a little nervous about being drafted with glasses? Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this concern. Many people, especially those who wear glasses, wonder if their vision will disqualify them from military service. The truth is, glasses won’t necessarily keep you from being drafted, but the military does have certain requirements when it comes to vision.

In general, if your glasses help you to achieve 20/20 vision, you should be good to go. However, there are limits to how bad your eyesight can be and still qualify for service. The exact requirements vary by branch of the military and depend on the type of job you’ll be doing. The bottom line is that if your glasses or contacts allow you to see clearly and meet the military’s vision requirements, you can still be drafted.

If being drafted is something you’re genuinely worried about, it’s a good idea to do some research ahead of time so you know what to expect. Start by looking into the basic physical requirements for military service and what kind of vision tests you’ll likely have to undergo. That way, you can be sure you’re well-prepared and won’t be blindsided by any vision-related issues. With the right preparation, you can confidently face the possibility of being drafted, glasses and all.

Historical background of military draft

The military draft, also known as conscription, has been a controversial practice throughout history. It involves requiring eligible men (and sometimes women) to serve in the military during times of war or national emergency. The rationale behind the draft is to ensure a sufficient number of troops to defend the country, but it has faced criticisms for being involuntary and potentially discriminatory against certain groups of people.

The United States implemented its first draft during the Civil War in 1863, allowing men to buy their way out of service for $300. The draft was met with resistance, leading to riots in cities and protests by anti-war activists. The draft was abolished at the end of the war but re-implemented for World War I in 1917.

  • During World War I, millions of men were drafted to serve in the military, creating the largest armed forces in American history.
  • The draft was halted after the war but re-implemented for World War II in 1940, leading to more than 10 million men being drafted into service.
  • The draft was ended in 1973 at the end of the Vietnam War, after numerous protests and controversies surrounding the fairness and validity of the draft process.

Today, the United States maintains an all-volunteer military force, meaning people can choose to enlist in the military rather than being drafted. However, selective service registration is still required for all men aged 18-25, meaning they can be called for military service in the event of a draft being reinstated.

Despite the absence of a draft, many people still wonder if having glasses will prevent them from being drafted into service. The short answer is no, having glasses does not automatically disqualify someone from serving in the military. However, the military does have specific vision requirements that must be met for certain jobs or duties.

Criteria for Military Draft

The selective service system of the United States of America requires all men aged between 18 to 25 to register themselves for the military draft. The registration process is compulsory, and it determines who is eligible for conscription during times of national emergency or war.

Exemptions from Military Draft

  • Those who suffer from physical or mental disabilities that are not correctable or removable
  • Those who are the sole caretakers of a dependent family members
  • Conscientious objectors who are not willing to serve in the military due to religious or moral beliefs

Health and Physical Fitness Requirements

The military draft board has a set of health and physical fitness requirements that every draftee must meet. These requirements include being mentally sound, drug-free, and physically fit. The physical fitness requirements involve meeting certain standards for height, weight, and body mass index (BMI). Furthermore, the board evaluates candidates for any chronic conditions or physical impairments that may limit their ability to serve in the military.

Eyeglass Wearers and Military Draft

Wearing glasses or contact lenses has no impact on your eligibility to serve in the military. During the drafting process, the board evaluates individuals based on the military’s standards for eyesight, which are correctable with prescription eyewear. Hence, individuals with vision problems corrected with glasses or contact lenses are eligible to be drafted, as long as they meet all other criteria for enlistment.

Diopters of Myopia Acceptable for enlistment into the US Military
-8.00 D and greater Not acceptable
Greater than -8.00, but less than -0.75 D Acceptable for service without a waiver
Less than or equal to -0.75 D Qualified without restriction

The military has established a specific standard for corrected vision that is measured by diopters of myopia (nearsightedness). As shown in the table above, if an individual with myopia has a prescription of -8.00 diopters or higher, they are not eligible for enlistment. However, a prescription of less than -0.75 diopters is qualified without restriction, and those between the two values require a waiver for enlistment.

Visual acuity requirements for military service

Visual acuity is one of the most important factors in determining military eligibility. The ability to see clearly and accurately is essential for performing a wide range of military tasks, including marksmanship and navigation.

The military has specific requirements for visual acuity that vary depending on the branch of service and the job being performed. In general, individuals must have at least 20/40 vision in one eye and 20/70 vision in the other eye to meet the minimum standards for enlistment. However, some jobs in the military require even higher levels of visual acuity, such as 20/20 vision in both eyes.

  • The Army, Air Force and Coast Guard require a visual acuity of at least 20/40 in one eye and 20/70 in the other.
  • The Navy and Marine Corps require a visual acuity of at least 20/40 in both eyes.
  • Special operations jobs in all branches of service typically require 20/20 vision in both eyes.

Individuals who do not meet the minimum visual acuity standards may still be able to serve in the military if they can obtain a waiver. The waiver process can be lengthy and may require additional testing to demonstrate the individual’s ability to perform the necessary tasks.

In addition to visual acuity, individuals with certain eye conditions may also be disqualified from military service. These conditions include color blindness, strabismus (lazy eye), and certain types of refractive errors.

Branch of Service Visual Acuity Requirements
Army At least 20/40 in one eye and 20/70 in the other (correctable to 20/20 with glasses or contact lenses)
Air Force At least 20/40 in one eye and 20/70 in the other (correctable to 20/20 with glasses or contact lenses)
Coast Guard At least 20/40 in one eye and 20/70 in the other (correctable to 20/20 with glasses or contact lenses)
Navy At least 20/40 in both eyes (correctable to 20/20 with glasses or contact lenses)
Marine Corps At least 20/40 in both eyes (correctable to 20/20 with glasses or contact lenses)

Overall, meeting the visual acuity requirements for military service is crucial for success in the armed forces. While glasses and contact lenses can often be used to correct vision, certain eye conditions may still disqualify individuals from serving in certain roles or branches of the military.

Types of Eyewear Allowed in the Military

If you wear glasses, you may wonder if you are still eligible to be drafted into the military. The answer is yes – there is no blanket ban on glasses for military service. However, there are some restrictions and qualifications that must be met. In this article, we will explore the different types of eyewear allowed in the military and what you need to know if you wear glasses.

Qualifications for Eyewear in the Military

  • In general, eyewear must meet ANSI Z87.1 standards for protection against impact and shatter-resistant lenses.
  • Soldiers with certain medical conditions such as lazy eye or double vision may be required to wear corrective lenses as a condition of their service.
  • There are some restrictions on the type of eyewear allowed for specific roles in the military, such as aviation or diving.

Glasses in the Military

If you wear glasses, you may be able to serve in the military without issue, as long as your glasses meet the necessary qualifications. However, there are some things you need to consider:

  • You may need to provide a current prescription. Depending on the branch of service, this may need to be done yearly.
  • You may be issued military frames, or you may be allowed to wear your own frames as long as they meet the standards for impact protection. If using your own frames, they may need to be colored black or brown.
  • In some cases, contact lenses may be required instead of glasses, particularly in high-risk situations.

Eyewear for Specialized Roles

There are certain roles in the military that require specialized eyewear beyond standard glasses. For example:

  • Aviators may require aviator sunglasses with polarized lenses to reduce glare and improve visual clarity.
  • Divers may require specialized diving masks with prescription lenses to enable clear vision underwater.


While wearing glasses may require some additional considerations, it does not automatically disqualify you from serving in the military. As long as your eyewear meets the necessary standards for protection and visual acuity, you should be able to serve without issue. If you have any questions about eyewear in the military, speak with a recruiter for more information.

Branch of Service Glasses Allowance
Army One pair of glasses and one spare set
Navy One pair of glasses and one spare set
Air Force One pair of glasses
Marines Two pairs of glasses

Note: Allowances may vary depending on individual circumstances and job requirements.

Impact of Vision on Military Jobs and Roles

Clear vision is crucial in the military as it plays a significant role in one’s ability to perform tasks safely and accurately. Wearing glasses may limit a person’s ability to join certain branches or perform specific jobs within the military. Below are some of the ways vision may affect military jobs and roles:

Limitations on Certain Branches

  • The Air Force requires 20/20 vision without the need for correction to join as a pilot
  • The Marine Corps requires a minimum uncorrected vision of 20/200, but it can be corrected to 20/20 with glasses or contacts
  • The Navy has more lenient requirements, allowing a vision correction of up to +8.00 or -8.00 diopters
  • Army soldiers must have a minimum corrected vision of 20/20 in one eye and at least 20/40 in the other

Restrictions on Certain Jobs

Even within a branch, certain jobs may have strict vision requirements:

  • Snipers must have exceptional eyesight as they need to see targets at long distances
  • Surgeons must have excellent eyesight to perform delicate procedures
  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians need to be able to see small details in order to disarm bombs
  • Pilots must have good depth perception and peripheral vision

Vision-Related Injuries

Service members may also experience vision-related injuries such as Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) or blast injuries that can affect vision. These injuries may limit the types of jobs they can perform within the military or disqualify them altogether.

Mitigating Factors

While glasses may be a limitation, contact lenses or refractive surgery offer alternative solutions for those who wish to join the military. These options can correct vision and allow individuals to meet the necessary requirements for certain military jobs.

Option Advantages Disadvantages
Contact Lenses -Provide a wider field of view than glasses
-Don’t interfere with other equipment worn on the head
-Need to be removed and cleaned regularly
– Can be uncomfortable for some individuals to wear continuously
Refractive Surgery (ex: LASIK) -Corrects vision permanently
-Allows individuals to meet requirements for certain jobs
-Can be expensive
-May disqualify individuals from certain jobs if vision changes post-surgery

Ultimately, clear vision plays a critical role in one’s ability to serve in the military. While glasses may limit certain career options, there are alternative solutions available that allow individuals to meet the requirements for specific jobs and branches.

Procedures for Vision Exams During the Draft Process

When potential recruits receive their draft notice, they may have questions about the vision requirements to serve in the military. Here are some important things to know about procedures for vision exams during the draft process:

  • Every applicant for military service must undergo a medical examination, which includes a vision test. The exam is conducted by a military medical professional, usually at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) or other processing center.
  • The vision exam includes a standard eye chart reading and a test for depth perception. Depending on the service branch, the exam may also include testing for color vision or visual acuity under various lighting conditions.
  • If an applicant wears corrective lenses, they must bring them to the exam and wear them during testing. The exam determines the applicant’s visual acuity with and without glasses or contacts.

Additionally, there are specific vision requirements for each service branch, which may vary depending on the role an applicant is seeking. Here are some general guidelines:

For the Army:

  • The Army generally requires that applicants have at least 20/40 corrected vision in both eyes and be able to see all colors on the Army’s color vision test.
  • Applicants who require vision correction may be eligible for certain roles, including infantry, armor, and motor transport operators.

For the Air Force:

  • The Air Force requires at least 20/70 corrected vision in both eyes and at least 20/30 uncorrected vision in one eye and 20/100 in the other.
  • Applicants must also pass the Air Force’s color vision test.

For the Navy and Marines:

  • The Navy and Marine Corps require at least 20/40 corrected vision in both eyes and at least 20/200 uncorrected vision in each eye.
  • The Navy and Marine Corps also test for color vision.

It’s important for potential recruits to understand the vision requirements for the service branch they are interested in joining. If an applicant is unsure about their eligibility, they should consult with a recruiter or medical professional before beginning the enlistment process.

Service Branch Corrected Vision (both eyes) Uncorrected Vision (each eye) Color Vision Test
Army 20/40 N/A Required
Air Force 20/70 20/30, 20/100 Required
Navy/Marines 20/40 20/200 Required

Overall, the vision requirements for military service vary depending on the service branch and the role an applicant is seeking. However, it’s important for potential recruits to know that wearing glasses or contacts does not necessarily disqualify them from military service.

Available exemptions for the draft based on vision impairment

When it comes to drafting, vision is one of the most important senses required for military service. However, those with vision impairment may still be considered for the draft. Here are some available exemptions for the draft based on vision impairment:

  • Exemption due to the nature of vision impairment: If your vision impairment is so severe it affects your ability to function in daily life, you may be exempt from military service.
  • Exemption due to correctable vision impairment: If your vision impairment can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery, you may be eligible for military service. However, you need to meet specific standards based on your level of impairment and the correction method used.
  • Exemption for certain military occupational specialties: Some military jobs require certain visual standards, and if you do not meet them, you may be exempt from the draft. For example, if you have a severe color vision deficiency, you may be ineligible for some jobs in the Air Force or Navy.

If you are interested in serving in the military, it’s crucial to know your rights and exemptions. Below is a table outlining the accepted visual acuity levels for each military branch:

Military Branch Visual Acuity Level
Army No worse than 20/400 (correctible to 20/20)
Navy No worse than 20/200 (correctible to 20/20)
Air Force No worse than 20/70 (correctible to 20/20)
Marine Corps No worse than 20/200 (correctible to 20/20)

It’s essential to remember that exemptions can change based on the needs and requirements of the military, so it’s always important to stay informed. The first step is to undergo a comprehensive eye examination to determine if you are eligible for military service.

Advancements in Vision Correction Technologies for Military Service

As a member of the military, clear vision is essential. Being able to see correctly can help you to carry out specific types of military jobs and missions. However, what happens when a potential candidate needs glasses or contacts to see? Can you still be drafted if you have glasses? Fortunately, advancements in vision correction technologies have made it possible for individuals with vision problems to serve in the military.

  • Lasik Eye Surgery: This technology has become more popular in recent years. Lasik eye surgery can reshape the cornea, thus correcting vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
  • PRK Eye Surgery: This form of laser surgery is for individuals who aren’t good candidates for Lasik eye surgery. PRK eye surgery also reshapes the cornea and can correct a wide range of vision problems.
  • Implantable Contact Lenses: For individuals who don’t qualify for Lasik or PRK eye surgery, implantable contact lenses can provide vision correction. This type of surgery involves inserting a lens into the eye to correct the vision problem.

In terms of military service, upon entering military service, an individual must pass a variety of tests, including a vision test. If you wear glasses or contacts, you will need to have them during the vision test. If you require contacts or glasses to attain 20/20 vision or correct your vision to 20/20, you’re still eligible to serve. Moreover, if you do enter into military service with glasses or contacts, you’ll receive new glasses or prescriptions after entering into service.

Furthermore, in certain cases, wearing glasses may even be required for certain positions in the military. For example, an individual may be required to wear glasses while flying military aircraft. As long as you can attain good vision with the help of glasses or contacts, you’re still able to serve in the military.

Vision Requirement Visual Acuity Standards
Unaided Vision 20/200 or better in one eye and 20/400 or better in the other eye
Corrected Vision 20/20 in one eye and 20/40 in the other eye

Overall, vision correction technologies continue to advance, making it possible for individuals with vision problems to serve in the military. Whether through Lasik or PRK eye surgery, implantable contact lenses, or glasses or contacts, clear vision is attainable, and individuals with vision problems are still able to serve their country with honor and distinction.

Success Rates of Individuals with Glasses in the Military

Wearing glasses has never been a disqualifying factor for military service in the United States. In fact, approximately one-third of all service members use some form of corrective eyewear, according to the Defense Health Agency. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the success rates of individuals with glasses in the military.

  • Combat Effectiveness: Wearing glasses has little effect on a service member’s combat effectiveness, according to a 2012 study of infantry soldiers that found no difference in effectiveness between those with glasses and those without.
  • Promotions: Glasses wearers are just as likely to be promoted in the military as those without corrective eyewear, with a small study of 137 officers finding no significant differences in promotion rates between the two groups.
  • Discrimination: In the past, glasses wearers may have faced discrimination in the military, but today the military has strict regulations against discrimination based on factors such as race, gender, or physical appearance, including wearing glasses.

However, individuals with certain vision problems, such as severe astigmatism or keratoconus, may be disqualified from military service. Additionally, glasses wearers may face extra scrutiny during their medical exams, as their eyesight may need to be corrected to a certain level to qualify for certain military jobs or tasks.

Military Branch Percentage of Personnel with Spectacle Wear
Army 34.5%
Navy 22.4%
Air Force 14.8%
Marine Corps 22.4%

Overall, glasses wearers can and do serve successfully in the military. With proper eye care and regular check-ups, military personnel with glasses can excel in their duties and achieve the same levels of success as their non-glasses wearing counterparts.

Perspectives of Military Personnel with Vision Impairments

As someone with glasses, you may be wondering if your visual impairments will disqualify you from being drafted into the military. Many military personnel have differing opinions on this matter, and this article will explore their perspectives.

Opinions of Military Personnel with Vision Impairments

  • Minor visual impairments are often overlooked: Some military personnel report having minor visual impairments, such as a small amount of nearsightedness or astigmatism, and still being able to serve. However, the decision ultimately rests with the individual military branch’s standards for visual acuity.
  • The military is accommodating towards visual impairments: Many military personnel report that the military is quite accommodating towards visual impairments, offering options such as LASIK eye surgery or prescription inserts for gas masks. Additionally, certain roles within the military may not require excellent vision, such as office-based positions or intelligence gathering.
  • Visual impairments can serve as a barrier to certain roles: On the other hand, some military personnel believe that visual impairments can limit someone’s capacity for certain roles. For example, someone with poor vision may struggle to be a sniper or pilot, where accurate vision is crucial.

Resources for Military Personnel with Vision Impairments

For those with visual impairments who wish to serve, there are resources available to aid them in this pursuit. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers resources for veterans with disabilities, including visual impairments. Additionally, organizations such as the National Industries for the Blind assist in finding employment opportunities for blind and visually impaired individuals.

Visual Acuity Requirements for Military Service

Different military branches have different visual acuity requirements for service, and these requirements can vary depending on the specific role and responsibilities of the individual. The following chart provides a general overview of the visual acuity requirements for each military branch:

Military Branch Visual Acuity Standards
Army Correctable to 20/20 in one eye; uncorrectable cannot exceed 20/100 in each eye
Navy Correctable to 20/20 in one eye and 20/40 in the other; uncorrectable cannot exceed 20/200 in each eye
Air Force Correctable to 20/20 in each eye
Marine Corps Correctable to 20/20 in each eye

It’s important to note that these requirements can change and are ultimately at the discretion of the individual service branch. It’s recommended that individuals interested in military service consult with their desired branch for specific visual acuity requirements.

In conclusion, while visual impairments may limit someone’s capacity for certain roles within the military, there are still opportunities available for service. The military is quite accommodating towards visual impairments, and there are resources available for those who wish to serve but may need additional assistance.

Can You Get Drafted If You Have Glasses?

1. Will having glasses exempt me from military service?

No, having glasses alone will not exempt you from draft or military service.

2. Will I be allowed to wear my glasses during basic training?

Yes, you will be allowed to wear your glasses during basic training. You may also be given the option to wear contact lenses if you prefer.

3. Can my vision disqualify me from military service?

Yes, if your vision does not meet the required standards for military service, you may be disqualified.

4. Will I receive additional training if I have glasses?

No, you will receive the same training as any other recruit, regardless of whether or not you wear glasses.

5. Can I request a specific type of eyewear during military service?

No, you will be issued standard eyewear based on your prescription and the military’s requirements.

6. Will I receive any special accommodations if I have glasses?

You may be given additional eyewear or have your prescription updated during your service if needed.

7. Can I be discharged from military service for vision-related issues?

Yes, if your vision drastically deteriorates during your service to a point where you can no longer perform your duties, you may be discharged.

Thank You For Reading!

We hope this article has helped answer your questions about being drafted with glasses. Remember, having glasses will not exempt you from draft or military service, but you will receive the necessary accommodations to ensure you can perform your duties. Please visit again soon for more informative articles.