French Foreign Legion Vision Requirements

What are the vision requirements and eyesight standards for joining the French Foreign Legion? Being nearsighted or shortsighted, being farsighted orlongsighted. Color blindness. Do legionnaires wear glasses or contact lenses or they do not? Am I allowed to wear glasses (specs) or contact lenses while enlisting and serving in the Foreign Legion? What are the French Foreign Legion eyesight standards?

As a part of the French Army, the Foreign Legion uses the same medical profile determination system, known as SIGYCOP. For visual perception evaluation is used the letter Y (yeux – eyes in French). The letter Y scale ranges from 0 to 6. The general eyesight standard required for joining the French Army (and the Legion) ranges from 1 (the best result) to 5. The number 6 signifies that you are failed and can not to join in. The letter C is reserved for Color blindness. You have to reach 4 at the maximum (again, the number 1 is the best result).

If you are thinking about becoming a paratrooper or a commando member in GCP (Parachute Commando Group, 2e REP), you have to obtain Y-3 and C-3 (C-2 for GCP) in the worst-case scenario.

French Foreign Legion Minimum Vision Requirements

    Y-5:

  • MYOPIA (being nearsighted or shortsighted): -10 (ten) diopters maximum
  • HYPEROPIA (being farsighted, being longsighted): +8 (eight) diopters maximum
  •  
    You may have other vision problems. In this case you have to be able:

  • a) with glasses or contact lenses
    – to read the 7th line (see image below) at minimum with one eye
    – to read the 2nd line at minimum with the second eye
  • b) with glasses or contact lenses
    – to read the 6th line at minimum with one eye
    – to read the 3rd line at minimum with the second eye
  • c) with glasses or contact lenses
    – to read the 5th line at minimum with one eye
    – to read the 4th line at minimum with the second eye
Optometric chart
An example of an optometric chart (Photo credit: STP PHARMA)

 

    Y-3 (airborne forces and commandos):

  • MYOPIA (being nearsighted or shortsighted): -3 (three) diopters maximum
  • HYPEROPIA (being farsighted, being longsighted): +3 (three) diopters maximum
  •  
    You may have other vision problems. In this case you have to be able:

      1. WITHOUT glasses or contact lenses

    • a) – to read the 3rd line at minimum with both of eyes
    • b) – to read the 4th line at minimum with one eye
      – to read the 2nd line at minimum with the second eye
    • c) – to read the 1st line at minimum with one eye
      – to read the 5th line at minimum with the second eye
      2. WITH glasses or contact lenses

    • a) – to read the 8th line at minimum with both of eyes
    • b) – to read the 9th line at minimum with one eye
      – to read the 7th line at minimum with the second eye
    • c) – to read the 10th line at minimum with one eye
      – to read the 6th line at minimum with the second eye

 

French Foreign Legion Color Blindness Requirements

    C-4:

      Hesitation between GREEN and RED color, but comply with the TCCP test (Test de Capacité Chromatique Professionnelle)

    • – the TCCP test examines in detail your real degree of color blindness
    • – that degree has to be in accordance with your qualification required for various specialities of the C4 level

    C-3 (airborne forces):

      NO hesitation between GREEN and RED color

    • – you are allowed to fail the Ishihara Color Vision Test (a color perception test), but you have to recognize RED and GREEN colors surely in the lantern test

    C-2 (commandos):

    • – you are allowed to fail the Ishihara Color Vision Test, but you have to recognize all the basic colors in the Beyne lantern test

 

French Foreign Legion – Other Vision Requirements

AMBLYOPIA
– a part of your vision test result (if you have passed the basic vision test, so there is no problem)

NYCTALOPIA (Night Blindness)
– there is no statement about Nyctalopia because of no longer testing it
– on the other hand, the most common cause of Nyctalopia is retinitis pigmentosa (pigmented retina) and this problem is classified in the SIGYCOP medical test as Y-6 (you have failed)

GLAUCOMA
– Primary angle closure glaucoma – Y-6 (you have failed)
– Primary open-angle glaucoma (chronic open-angle glaucoma, chronic simple glaucoma) – Y 3-6 (the final result depends on your basic vision test)

STRABISMUS (Heterotropia)
– both of eyes – Y 3-6 (the final result depends on your basic vision test)
– one eye – Y 2-5 (the final result depends on your basic vision test)

These are the most common problems with your eyes. However, there are tens of other eyesight problems mentioned in the SIGYCOP system. Half of them are classified between 3-6, the rest of them are classified as the 6. As always, the final result is only up to the medics.

Eye surgery. If you had a laser vision-correction surgery (or another eye surgery), you have to wait at least 12 months before you can try to enlist you in the Legion.

 

Legionnaire of 1er REC wearing glasses
4e RE: French Defence Minister with a legionnaire of 1er REC wearing glasses (October 2013)
Legionnaires of 1er REG wearing glasses
1er REG: Young legionnaires wearing glasses (2012)
Legionnaires of 2e REI wearing glasses
2e REI: Young legionnaires of the 5th Company wearing glasses (2012)
Legionnaires of 2e REP wearing glasses
2e REP: Corporal-paratrooper wearing glasses (2012)
Legionnaires of 2e REP wearing glasses
2e REP: Legionnaire-paratrooper from the Reconnaissance Company (CEA) wearing glasses (2012)
Legionnaires of 4e RE wearing glasses
4e RE: Young volunteer wearing glasses at “la ferme” during his first month of basic training (October 2013)

Information source:
French Ministry of Defence

Photo source:
Légion étrangère, the official website

Related information:
French Foreign Legion minimum age and maximum age requirements
French Foreign Legion height and weight requirements
French Foreign Legion tattoo policy

Back to the Joining the French Foreign Legion

 

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