Eyeglasses

Can You Wear Glasses In The Military?

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Poor vision typically will not limit your ability to serve in the U.S. Military, so long as your vision problem can be suitably corrected with eyeglassescontact lenses or vision correction surgery.

However, each branch of the military has its own regulations regarding vision and vision correction.

For example, Army Regulation 670-1 has these and other restrictions regarding eyeglasses, sunglasses and contact lenses worn by uniformed members of the U.S. Army:

  • Conservative civilian prescription eyeglasses are authorized for wear with all uniforms.
  • Conservative prescription and nonprescription sunglasses are authorized for wear when in a garrison environment, except when in formation and while indoors.
  • Individuals who are required to wear sunglasses for medical reasons other than refractive errors may wear them, except when health or safety considerations apply.
  • Soldiers may not wear sunglasses in the field, unless required by the commander for safety reasons in high-glare field environments.
  • Trendy eyeglasses or sunglasses with initials, designs or other adornments are not authorized for wear.
  • Sunglass lens colors must be traditional gray, brown, or dark green shades.
  • Eyeglass lenses or frames that are so large or so small that they detract from the appearance of the uniform are not permitted.
  • Eyeglass restraints are authorized only when required for safety purposes. Personnel will not hang eyeglasses or eyeglass cases on the uniform, and may not let glasses hang from eyeglass restraints down the front of the uniform.
  • Colored contact lenses are not authorized for wear with the uniform. The only exception is opaque lenses that are prescribed medically for eye injuries.

If you are considering enlisting in the military, schedule a comprehensive eye exam to make sure your vision can be fully corrected if you have less than perfect eyesight. Then contact the branch of the military you are interested in joining to obtain the latest information regarding physical requirements and potential exclusions for service.

If you are already enlisted, be sure you know the guidelines for your branch of the military and your level of service before selecting new eyewear.

Page updated March 2018

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