APRIL 7, 2015, YORKTOWN, Va. (NNS) – A new option for bifocal and trifocal wearers is now available for active-duty personnel and Department of Defense (DoD) retirees, effective March 2015.
The addition, known as the ‘5A-M,’ was added to ensure there would be room to accommodate bifocal and trifocal prescriptions.
It can be ordered through any DoD optometry or ophthalmology clinic through the Spectacle Request Transmission System.
“The black standard issue frame that was introduced in January 2012 was very well received, but did not provide enough depth or vertical room to incorporate bifocal and trifocal lenses,” said Capt. Paul Andre, Naval Ophthalmic Support and Training Activity’s (NOSTRA) commanding officer. “Therefore, a new option was reviewed and approved by the Military Health System’s Optical Fabrication Enterprise (OFE) and coordinated by NOSTRA in order to meet the need.”
The 5A-M is only for bifocals and trifocals and not a single-vision option. Fitting kits for the optometry and ophthalmology clinics are available through Electronic Catalog, more commonly known and referred to as E-CAT.
Andre further explained the availability of the glasses to personnel and reiterated more details associated with the new frames.
“Military eyeglasses are provided to recruits, active duty military, activated reserve and National Guard, and eligible DoD retirees,” he said. “Prescription military eyewear is provided at no cost to the service member. These glasses are also at no cost to eligible DoD retirees.”
NOSTRA is the premiere manufacturing facility for the OFE, and provides optical fabrication support by fabricating military eyewear, prescription gas mask inserts and combat protective eyewear inserts. NOSTRA is also home for the Tri-Service Optician School (TOPS) for the Navy, Army, and Air Force. TOPS is an intensive six-month course of instruction with successful students certifying as opticians. The program is recognized by the National Academy of Opticianry; upon completion students receive full credit toward an associate’s degree within the Virginia Community College System. In 1991, the National Optician’s Accreditation Association conferred full accreditation for both the Laboratory Technician and the Dispensing Technician programs, the only Optician School in the nation to have both programs fully accredited.