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.

  • Personal experience in the USMC
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.