Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Goodbye BCGs

So one of the aspects of joining the military that I was not looking forward to were the BCGs (Battle Combat Glasses...or Birth Control Glasses), as I have terrible vision. Well, it appears the Army has addressed the issue:

For the first time in the Army’s history, basic trainees will be issued protective eyewear to be worn during training and a frame of choice for garrison. Issuing eyewear, with prescription inserts for those who need them, is effective Oct. 1 and is “expected to be in full swing by mid-fiscal year,” said Army Chief of Optometry Col. Michael Kaminsky.

This sounds the death knell for the traditional brown frame for Army eyeglasses wearers, nicknamed by generations of soldiers as the BCG, or birth control glasses.

The decision to issue protective eyewear followed a nine-week study at Fort Benning, Ga., in which infantrymen in two basic training companies, their instructors and drill sergeants wore three prototypes, providing feedback to the Army’s chief of optometry and Program Executive Office Soldier, which ran the program.

The model chosen for all 60,000 soldiers who go through basic training annually is the UVEX XC, which is already on the list of approved eyewear. The Revision Sawfly model is an alternative for soldiers with smaller faces.

Providing protective eyewear to all is expected to cost $2 million.

“It’s the right thing to do. The protection of each pair of eyes will more than pay for the program in terms of rehab costs for one injured soldier,” Kaminsky said.

Unfortunately for me, the Marines really like tradition...and I have my doubts that they'll be issuing these by the time I ship. Oh, well, I didn't join the Marines for the sexy eye-wear.


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