Army is Reconsidering Bans on Recruits With Poor Eyesight and Hearing

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Secretary of the Army is reviewing standards.

There are hundreds of issues that can keep young Americans from being able to join the Army, the Army Times reports.

The service’s top civilian, Army Secretary Mark Esper, has been looking at some of the more treatable issues and whether they should still disqualify a potential recruit.

Some, like criminal records and heart defects, will still stand as hard barriers to recruitment.

“I think we need to take a look at all those standards and make sure it’s still relevant for this day and age,” Esper told the Army Times.

He pointed out that corrective surgery can often resolve vision issues that keep potential recruits from signing up.

When it comes to hearing, he gave this hypothetical: suppose you’re looking at an applicant with an advanced degree, with a list of scholarly accomplishments, but with imperfect hearing. That person could still be a valuable addition to the troops.

“And I may not put you on the battlefield or where you need to have great [hearing] — but, yeah, we’ve got to be flexible enough to make those calls,” Esper said.

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