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Improved Combat Eye Protection (2004)

The Tri-Service Vision Conservation and Readiness Program is the only program at the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine with representatives from each of the three services working to provide joint solutions for eye and vision issues that affect all warfighters.  The program operates on the belief that "Vision Ready Is Mission Ready" and strives to ensure that Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deploy with the appropriate devices that allow them to see clearly and protect their eyes from injury.

To that end, the TVCRP partnered with the Office of the Army Surgeon General to unveil the Vision Readiness and Screening Classification System in October, 2004.  Using lessons learned from Desert Storm, where 44 percent of Soldiers deployed without their full complement of optical devices, the TVCRP developed a screening that could be conducted at the unit level and electronically tracked by operational commanders.  The current active-duty force now deploys with less than 5 percent of its Soldiers lacking their required optical devices.  Future enhancements will relieve the burden of screening from the unit and incorporate a spectacle prescription that can be viewed and forwarded for fabrication. To protect the eyes of all Soldiers, the worked with the Office of the Army Surgeon General and Program Executive Office–Soldier to authorize commercial Military Combat Eye Protection in October 2004.  Initially distributed through the Rapid Fielding Initiative, MCEP may now be purchased by any unit at any time through normal logistics channels.  Optical prescription inserts may be ordered at the home station optometry clinic and also in theater.  The success of this program has been phenomenal—reducing eye injury evacuations from theater by more than 35 percent. To access the Vision Readiness Screening Guide and the MCEP Authorized Product Eyewear List, visit

For more information on the TVCRP, visit