Birth Control Glasses

A derogatory (but painfully true) term describing U.S. military-issue eyeglasses. Also sometimes referred to as just "BCG's"

The style and color of the frames has changed slightly over the years, but the name is quite fitting, in that anyone who wears these glasses will repel the opposite sex. (Think "Drew Carey", but worse...)

The relatively-thick frames are made of brown translucent plastic, with a thin metal wire extending down the center of each of the earpieces. The shape of the lenses is nearly rectangular, with rounded edges, and a slight diagonal angle adjacent to the integrated nosepieces.

The design reflects a specification for durability at the lowest possible cost.

Approximation of Frame Shape
    __________    __________
  _/----------\__/----------\_
 |:|          |__|          |:|
  ||         //  \\         ||
   \________/      \________/
    --------        --------
Lens Dimensions:
  • Height: ~ 1.5"
  • Width - Top: ~ 1.75"
  • Width - Bottom: ~ 1.25"
Typical Issue: (BCG's are issued at government expense)
  • First Issue: Recruit Training (Boot Camp) - Mandatory wear for recruits who require corrective lenses.
  • Subsequent Issues: When eyesight changes, or when unserviceable. Use after recruit training is now optional. In the past, Military personnel would obtain their own eyeglasses, but not at government expense. As of about December of last year, the Army, Navy and Air Force began offering personnel the choice between several civilian styles, of which the silver oval is the most popular.
  • Inventory: Two pairs plain glass lenses, One pair sun protective. An additional pair of gas mask inserts (GMI's) may also be issued. GMI's are eyeglasses without earpieces meant to be worn inside the M-17 Field Protective Mask. Although they're made according to the same prescription, they do sit closer to the eyes. Brain-strap is optional.

Sources:
  • Personal experience in the USMC
  • http://www.gazette.com/military/carson/001204fc.html
Note: greyblue says: "I think 'BCG' originally stood for 'Basic Corrective Glasses'". I couldn't find any references to that, but it may be true. Thanks, greyblue.

I would have to argue with you there.  Now, personally, I am a cadet in the Civil Air Patrol, the Air Force Auxiliary, but in this I meet a lot of people in the military.  Anyway, I will go on with my writeup.

I was leaving a squadron meeting which was held at the 69th Regiment Armory in midtown Manhattan, NYC, and two days before had read the original node about BCGs.  A gentleman from the Army was sitting near the entrance, hanging out, as one would say (he was in civilian attire, I was in my Blues uniform).  I happened to be talking to a fellow cadet NCO about the BCGs, and the Army gentleman (most likely an NCO-- you kind of get a feel for telling who's in the military and what they are after being around them for a while) told me that he actually got more chicks with the BCGs. 

I was surprised myself, as BCGs really are not that stylish, if I may say so myself.  But what do I know, I don't even wear glasses.

I love the military...

Actually, BCGs work mainly for females. If you are the type to not be put off by a shaved head and the ever-so stylish military apparell, a pair of BCGs will be right down your alley (let's face it, there are guys who look very sexy with shaved heads, but most have odd-shaped lumps or moles & stuff). A female, however, CANNOT look good in BCGs; I think it's actually a law of physics or something. It's a really effective method unless it's in basic or AIT, when even ritual scarification or acid burns would not be a deterrent.

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