Color Blind and forced to cross rate

lookingforanswers

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I am looking for any advice that I can get about a possible forced cross rated due to being color blind. I have been in my current rating for 12 years. I am required to have an ordnance certification which is valid for 5 years. I am also required to have an annual physical that just like the ordnance certification, requires a color proficiency test. When I received my ordnance cert, I was tested for color, failed that portion, but was given the ordnance cert. When I was tested for the annual physical for color, I failed and now I am facing the possibility of being cross rated. My main concern is that due to current downsizing in the Navy, if I am not picked up for another rate, I will be separated. Therefore, I would not be separated for my initial color blindness, I would be separated as "Needs of the Navy." I don't know what is going to happen, but I just want to know if anyone knows if there is any other way to approach this and not lose out on all of my service time if things do not work out for me. Thanks for any advice in advance.
 

Jason Perry

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Complicate issue, and I will only give you my "gut" response to the issue I am more familiar with (recognizing that it is not exactly the answer to the question you are answering). I would argue that if not cross rated, you should be processed for disability processing (and due either severance or retirement, though, in the circumstances stated, I would think it is severance).

Did you ever have a color blindness test on entry to service? Did this condition develop while in service (or get worse)?
 

lookingforanswers

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Jason,

I was color blind from day one, which ironically disqualified me from picking other rates at the MEPS station. My current rating at the time did not require color proficiency. I have been told that the change to the requirement came around 2005 and that I should have been screened and flagged. Everyone is surprised that I have made it this long without being noticed, but it has been documented at least 3 times in my medical record since I joined.
 

Jason Perry

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It is an interesting issue, whether changes in military rates/MOS/AFSC requirements would count as a "disability" when it was not before. Of course, I would argue that it is a disability, but this raises all kinds of issue in regards to EPTS (and in conjunction with the Eight Year Rule). It is a really unique issue that I have not considered before, but I think there is at least an argument about this. If you cannot cross rate, I would argue it is a disability that prevents reasonable duty performance. How it plays out is hard to say, but I think you have to raise the issue to protect your rights (whether it is at an admin sep board, which you should demand if they try to separate you, or at the MEB/PEB).
 

lookingforanswers

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Did the color blindness standards change for your rate?

Mike
I was told that the change in qualification for color perception was changed for my rating in 2005. I was never told of this change, and until recently when I was told that I would have to change rating, I looked in the MEDMAN and found it. It states that no waivers are allowed. My whole concern is with the downsizing of the Navy, that they will try to force convert me and not have a rating open, and then discharge me as "needs of the navy". I just don't want to lose my job of 12 years over something that has never been an issue. I am still looking for something on this, as far as the 2005 instruction, but I am coming up empty.
 
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