Tuesday, April 3, 2012

BMT: Glasses

I started wearing glasses back in the 6th grade, and I've been in contacts just as long.  In the latter years, I'd given up on glasses, as I preferred my contacts.  Plus, my insurance only paid for one or the other.  There was no option to do both and I couldn't afford both out of my own pocket.  My prescription never changed all that much, so I just put up with an incorrect script, since I was just wearing them before bed or around the house.

Prior to leaving for BMT, I received the "Non-Prior Service Information Guide," dated December 2008, from my [Reserve] recruiter, that contained the following information about glasses:

5.8.4.2  If you wear eyeglasses be sure to bring them with you.  Although you will be issued the standard military glasses, it takes a few days to fabricate them and provide the eyewear.  Therefore, in order to prevent being "set back"; please bring your prescription eyeglasses.  (If you wear contact lenses DO NOT bring them to basic training, wear your eyeglasses.)

After reading that, I knew I was going to have to bite the bullet and update my glasses.  I probably paid upwards of $100, and that was just to get new lenses - no special coating, no fancy material, nothing.  I paid out the nose and got an inferior product than I'd had before.  

You'll wear your civilian glasses at BMT for the first three weeks, until your issued glasses arrive.  With the military's plans to phase out the BCGs (Birth Control Glasses), I can't tell you with certainty what you'll receive now.  Me, I ended up with this sexy pair of industrial strength frames, complete with a black elastic strap.  Contain yourselves, readers.

You'll also receive a "Frame of Choice," to wear with your blues.  You'll select these eyeglasses frames from a poster board with deceiving images of your future specs.  Nope, you won't be trying these babies on, so it's a crapshoot as to whether or not they'll look good on you.  [You can knock my BCGs all you want, but I prefer them to my frame of choice, which has a much narrower field of vision and slides off my face.]

When you graduate and go off to tech school, you've got options again, and don't have to stick with the BCGs or the frame of choice.  You do have to follow regulations however.  AFI 36-2903 states:

6.3.2.1.  Eyeglasses and sunglasses may have conservative ornamentation on non- prescription sunglasses or eyeglasses, frames may be black or brown material or gold or silver wire.  Brand name glasses may be worn with small logo on frames or lenses.  Logo must be same color as frames or lenses.  Conservative wrap-around sunglasses may be worn.  Conservative, clear, slightly tinted or photosensitive lenses are authorized.  Faddish styles and mirrored lenses are prohibited.

Before I left for BMT, I never even considered buying glasses online.  What was I thinking?!  I do everything else online, why not glasses too?  Instead, I overpayed in the effort to get my glasses ready for training.  Don't make my mistake - you've got options!

GlassesUSA.com offers affordable, high-quality lenses and frames, with intuitive search options and tons of options for complete frame and lens packages for under $100.  Unlike at BMT, you can use their Virtual Mirror function to upload a picture of yourself to "try" on glasses and see what works best for you before you buy.  The savings is even better right now - take 50% off your first pair of prescription eyeglasses with code EASTERSAVINGS.  After that, use code Blog10 to take 10% off any order of prescription eyeglasses.  You just can't beat the savings and the ease of use.  I love the vintage-inspired section!
Ready to see what you'd look like with a new pair of glasses?  Check out the Virtual Mirror for yourself!


[Disclosure: The following post was sponsored by GlassesUSA.com, who compensated me in return.  Experiences and opinions described are my own.  Discussion of Air Force Instructions does not imply support or endorsement by the United States Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, or the Department of Defense.]

12 comments:

Andrew said...

I hear Texas can be rather bright at times, what about wearing sunglasses during BMT? Is that something that is permitted?

Erin said...

It can be, but nope, no sunglasses. :( You'll just get very used to squinting. Part of it is a privilege factor - you're not an Airman yet. When you're in tech, you can wear sunglasses in uniform (as long as they're compliant with AFI 36-2903) when not in formation. If you're in formation, Trainee or Airman, you cannot wear sunglasses, per AFI 36-2903.

Glenn said...

What about wearing transition lenses at bmt? I do not have a pair with "regular" lenses.

Erin said...

@Glenn - Be prepared to get crap from all of the MTIs for the first three weeks, until your military issued glasses come in. You'll be questioned by those that think you're wearing sunglasses. You should be able to wear them though, since you don't have another option.

Glenn said...

Thanks for the reply. I figured I'd get crap (it took an extra long time to get my BCGs while at Parris Island years ago, and I took lots of crap from my DIs because I looked different than the other recruits). I just wanted to make sure there wasn't some obscure regulation about it because my recruiter did not know.

Erin said...

No, you should be fine. If that's your only pair of glasses, what are they going to do? If it would put your mind at ease, look around the BMT FB page at trainees in 0WOT and see if you can see any with transition lenses. Hope that helps!

Sierra Archie said...

Are you allowed to wear contact lenses during tech school ? Or do you have to wait until after ?

Sierra Archie said...

Are you allowed to wear contact lenses during tech school ? Or do you have to wait until after ?

Erin said...

@Sierra Archie - Yes, you can wear contacts at tech school if you'd like! (At least, we were able to do so at Keesler.)

Alora said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alora said...

Hi Erin, I love your website! I'm shipping out for BMT on July 9th and trying to get prepared. I have glasses I can wear to BMT but the Rx is not current. Will I be ok if I bring my current lense Rx with me on paper and wear my out of date glasses in the meantime?

Erin said...

@Alora - I think that'd be fine, but check with your recruiter. I had a stricter understanding that they needed to be up to date, but I don't remember hearing the technicians say anything about it. They scanned my eyes and my glasses. I would just explain to the technician when you get them done. Good luck to you!