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    Got back from my first visit to the local AFCO the other day, and impressions weren't good. I hope to apply as an Intelligence officer - so surely my eyesight shouldn't matter? I pointed out that my lenses were rather heavy (-7.75 on both eyes, no astigmatism though), and I am of slim built... but I'm a fit guy in general.

    Still, I was looked down on immediately by the recruiters there - one said I should "work out" a bit more, and the other said my eyesight would be a problem. Their attitude in general was also a bit alarming, but I wasn't too bothered by that. I have no wish to become a pilot - so surely this shouldn't matter?
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    yeah i went to the afco the other day and travelled for over an hour to get there and they wernt particularly fantastic. I was a bit nervous and guy was hard to understand as he spoke too quickly and i asked him about something he had mentioned earlier and he said "you need to listen better dont you, your gonna have to listen properly in the presentation next week," bit odd but oh well.

    If they want to be a bit arsey then just ignore it. You'll probably have some people in life you have to listen to that are like that.
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    I applied to the RAF as and Air Traffic Control Officer as my first choice, and Intellegence as my second, and couldn't do either because of my eyesight! Don't worry about AFCO, I've heard of alot of people that have had bad experiences with them, mine were actually quite friendly, so it must just depend on what mood the person working there is in. Don't let them bother you-if that's what you want to do, go for it, don't let them try and put you off it. I don't know what the specific criteria is for eyesight to get into Intellegence, but if you definately can't do it, why not look for something else? There's tonnes of jobs out there in the forces, one of them has to suit you.
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    I've read somewhere (probably on here) that you cant be in intelligence with poor eyesight. Not sure why really, gues they take the view that if you are in there for a certain number of years then it may deteriorate further and impair your ability to do your job. Im not sure though in all honesty.

    Silly Wench is right tho, I wasnt particularly bothered by the guy there being a bit odd, cant do me any real harm. Just do your best and if thats good enough you will get through.

    Good luck
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    Great, need to double check on the intelligence eyesight thing though. There are quite a few posts I'm interested in - bizarrely, I'll be moving out soon so I can visit the AFCo up in Manchester to see if they fare any better.
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    (Original post by Bluetooth)
    Great, need to double check on the intelligence eyesight thing though. There are quite a few posts I'm interested in - bizarrely, I'll be moving out soon so I can visit the AFCo up in Manchester to see if they fare any better.
    You can go in and just ask for some information on a particular job if you want, you don't have to apply there and then or anything. Alternatively, check out the RAF/Navy/Army websites (I'm sorry, I don't know which force you want to go into). There's usually alot of info on there, and you can ask for them to send you information through the post.
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    Hi,

    The eyesight standards for intelligence are higher than many of the other roles. You can check here for the requirements:

    http://www.assoc-optometrists.org/up..._standards.pdf
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    (Original post by Bluetooth)
    Got back from my first visit to the local AFCO the other day, and impressions weren't good. I hope to apply as an Intelligence officer - so surely my eyesight shouldn't matter? I pointed out that my lenses were rather heavy (-7.75 on both eyes, no astigmatism though), and I am of slim built... but I'm a fit guy in general.

    Still, I was looked down on immediately by the recruiters there - one said I should "work out" a bit more, and the other said my eyesight would be a problem. Their attitude in general was also a bit alarming, but I wasn't too bothered by that. I have no wish to become a pilot - so surely this shouldn't matter?
    I've not read the other posts in reply to this thoroughly but I have some advice. I was told for 2 years by my optician(Boots) that my eyesight was far too poor to be a pilot. I filled in all the relevant medical sheets that the AFCO gave me and was not once allowed a filter interview. I decided to hedge my bets with my second choice and persued that. Upon joining a UAS I was offered the chance to get tested by Cranwell as opposed to going through the AFCO route and getting refused again. I thought why not, and gave it a shot. I never expected to pass but wanted to give it one more try. I figured that OASC knew what they were wanting more than my optician. So I was tested and told that I had 6/6 perfect vision. No need for glasses. Thus passing my medical for pilot.

    Now that is a very rare case of a royal screw up by my optician and me not taking no for an answer until I exausted all possibilities. The AFCOs have a responsibility to the RAF in which they interview and select people to go up to OASC for further selection. They have paperwork in place as well as filtering techniques to make sure that the people who go up to OASC all have a competitive chance of becoming an Officer. They cannot simply send every Tom, **** and Harry up there who fancies himself the next fighter ace. It also costs the RAF a fair bit to run these selection boards and pay for travel, food, and accomodation for all potential recruits. So you understand that if you don't pass at basic AFCO level (and they know the requirements) then getting to OASC is pretty damn impossible.

    As for intelligance and eyesight. Of course it matters. If it didn't matter then they would not have asked you about it. Wzz has posted quite a lengthy response to the same question in another thread. A search will find it for you.

    And your fitness. You say you are a fit guy in general. How fit? Can you run 3.5 miles in 21 minutes? You'll have to in training! You may not want to be a pilot but that isn't to say that you shouldn't be fit or have the eyesight. You're joining a fighting force, you need to be fit. No question about it.

    The RAF can afford to be picky. They have about 40,000 people applying every year for minimum spaces. You have to stand out from the 39,999 others. Through you may be going for different brances, you are all competiting for officer positions. What makes you special? What makes you unique and different that they should choose you over someone with perfect eyesight and above average fitness? Do you do a lot of team sports? Have good school results? Do a lot of volunteer work? Are eloquent, motivated, and committed to joining the service? Think about it.
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    (Original post by mctrials23)
    yeah i went to the afco the other day and travelled for over an hour to get there and they wernt particularly fantastic. I was a bit nervous and guy was hard to understand as he spoke too quickly and i asked him about something he had mentioned earlier and he said "you need to listen better dont you, your gonna have to listen properly in the presentation next week," bit odd but oh well.

    If they want to be a bit arsey then just ignore it. You'll probably have some people in life you have to listen to that are like that.
    Congratulations on travelling an hour to your local AFCO. I used to walk 8 miles and wanted to. The AFCOs are not being 'arsey'. The AFCOs are the front line of the services for civillians. They are there to weed out no hopers and time wasters. They see volumes of people in a week and you need to stand out to them and show you are committed. Every AFCO I have been in I have ended up on first name terms with the staff and consider a few of them friends. At the end of the day, they are serving in the RAF. They are where you want to be. They have been through everything you will try to go through. Show an interest, listen to what they are saying and show motivation and commitment. You can't exactly go far wrong. What is wrong however, is assuming they are 'arsey', which is demeaning to the very people who are going to help you achieve your goals.
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    My AFCO were excellent, some of the friendliest and helpful people you could meet. But they can sniff out people who aren't 100% dedicated and motivated a mile off. It's for your own good that they take this 'attitude' with you - you've got to understand how unbelievably hard it is to enter as an officer - as Blackhawk says, play team sports, volunteer etc.. and obviously you have to be very fit and healthy. If their 'attitudes' are enough to put people off, then they never had the right frame of mind in the first place (not saying that this has for you though )
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    (Original post by sandy_man)
    Hi,

    The eyesight standards for intelligence are higher than many of the other roles. You can check here for the requirements:

    http://www.assoc-optometrists.org/up..._standards.pdf
    Damn. And just like that, hopes of becoming an Officer of the RAF have ended.

    Cheers for all the advice anyway - I'm looking at the Army specifications, and it seems like I have a chance with that.

    Blackhawk, I'm guessing your case was marginal though - from having not quite perfect sight to being tested perfect vision later on is an easier mistake to make. The max limit for entry, IntO not included, is 7.00 - so even if I retested again I doubt I will still qualify.


    For fitness, I don't think it would be a problem - I could walk 2 miles in 20 mins casually, and I did run a half marathon 2 years ago. I work an hour on the treadmills twice a week, and scored a 12.1 on the bleep, though that was 5 years ago.

    What I'm wondering is whether that list is a definite barrier -ie. if there are occasional exceptions. I'm already halfway towards my degree (year out this year), done some of my DoE Award and play badminton and basketball all the time. I went hiking every few weeks whilst at uni. Beyond that, I do believe I have all the skills and abilities required to join the RAF - even with the eyesight "handicap".


    Silly Wench, I read the topic on intellgence officer further down, hoew come you weren't allowed? If you don't mind me asking.
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    (Original post by BlackHawk)
    ... Can you run 3.5 miles in 21 minutes? You'll have to in training!
    Are you sure about this? Even in the Army, the requirement is to run 1.5 miles in 10.5 minutes, equating to exactly 3 miles in 21 minutes. that last half mile can make all the difference as it means you're doing 6 minute miles instead of 7 minutes.

    I know this isn't record breaking pace, but I'm pretty sure it's faster than the minimum requirement.

    Whether I'm right or wrong, it doesn't really matter because the 3.5 miles/21 minutes is a damn good benchmark, and an achievable target for most aspiring to enter the forces.
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    (Original post by Bluetooth)
    Silly Wench, I read the topic on intellgence officer further down, hoew come you weren't allowed? If you don't mind me asking.
    I couldn't do it because of my eyesight. I'm long sighted and (am meant to) wear glasses for reading. I hardly ever need them, but still my eyesight isn't up to the standard.
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    I did actually say that already on the third post down on this thread!
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    (Original post by Silly Wench)
    I did actually say that already on the third post down on this thread!
    Ah yes That'll be my careless skim reading, rather than my eyesight.

    It must be really annoying (to put it mildly) to want to do something you badly want, but get rejected automatically for something that you can't help with. I mean, for me I see it more than just a job - and if I was rejected for lack of commitment, inability etc. then I agree they should be rejected given the demand. But for something you can't fix - and worse still, feel won't be a hinderance? Bah....


    ALso, can someone clear this up for me - my prescripton just says -7.75 for L and R eyes, but I'm reading 6/6 for visual acuity more here. I've also had a quick search and noticed that some people have perfect 20/20 (ie. 6/6 in the UK) vision, yet still need glasses. I quote:

    " I wear contacts at -3.50 and no correction for astigmatism and am seeing 20/20"

    How is this possible?
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    blackhawk, Im not really in understanding of your post. I cycle 15 miles because I want to but I was expecting the AFCO to be more welcoming. Im sure that the vast majority of people who work there are fantastic but I was just stating that the guy I met was a bit off with me. I told you why I asked him to repeat what he said and it wasnt because I wasnt paying attention.

    Travelling to the Norwich AFCO for an hour by train then getting a 20 minute bus there and then walking back to the station afterwards for an hour, having only spoken to the guy for 15 minutes and him being a bit off was a bit of a bad experience.

    It hasnt put me off however I was just stating my own experiences.
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    Bluetooth, please understand that there is still an unsupported eye sight requirement, as alhough you intend to do an intelligence possition you will still be trained in basic armed combat techniques and drills. Including firing of the Service Rifle (L85A2), this could be promlemsome if you were to accidentally smash your glasses in a combat situation.

    Thanks and sorry if this is not the answer you wanted to hear,

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    (Original post by cattericksmiler)
    ...there is still an unsupported eye sight requirement, as alhough you intend to do an intelligence possition you will still be trained in basic armed combat techniques and drills. Including firing of the Service Rifle (L85A2), this could be promlemsome if you were to accidentally smash your glasses in a combat situation.
    Smiler, you seem to be misinformed. If there is such an unsupported eyesight requirement due to the remote possibility that your glasses may get damaged, why would the MoD go to the trouble of issuing service personnel spectacles and fitting corrective lenses to respirators where required?

    Individual branches/trades/corps ets may well have their own specific eyesight criteria, but it has nothing at all to do with basic battle skills. As long as you can pass the standard eyte test down at your local med centre whilst wearing you normal prescribed glasses, this does not preclude you from Common Military Syllabus (Recruit) (CMS(R)), better known as basic training.
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    (Original post by Bluetooth)
    Ah yes That'll be my careless skim reading, rather than my eyesight.

    It must be really annoying (to put it mildly) to want to do something you badly want, but get rejected automatically for something that you can't help with. I mean, for me I see it more than just a job - and if I was rejected for lack of commitment, inability etc. then I agree they should be rejected given the demand. But for something you can't fix - and worse still, feel won't be a hinderance? Bah...
    I was gutted! I'd worked so hard for it, and it was something I had wanted to do for a few years, and after applying, I got a phone call asking me to go into AFCO about medical forms, and there they told me. I'm glad though that I can still join the RAF, I just looked into all the branches that I could do, picked the one that sounded the most interesting, and applied again for that branch. I suppose I would be devastated if I was told I wasn't allowed to join the RAF at all, so at least I can still go in.
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    The combat thing shouldn't be too much of a problem as they issue combat
    specs to those with poor eyesight, precisely so they don't break whilst taking a beating. IntO requires very good vision because the very nature of RAF Intelligence is looking at very small pictures taken from many miles above the earth's surface and being able to tell the AO's commanding what's going on and how to position reactions etc. + You must also have stereoscopic vision to be able to use stereoscopes in your work. Chances are if you can't see very well in the firstplace you'll mistake a SU 27 for an SU 35 and be ringing up two of your mates wifes to beg forgiveness.
 
 
 

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