Can anybody tell me why I was disqualified for flight after getting PRK?

Discussion in 'PRK' started by sparrowbomb, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. sparrowbomb

    sparrowbomb SNFO

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    Hello everyone,

    I was wondering if anyone could tell me why BUMED NPQd me for flight after I had successful PRK surgery done. From what I understand the eyesight requirements for Naval Aviation are:

    -20/40 max correctable to 20/20
    -refraction less than 6.00 sphere/less than -3.00 cylinder
    -depth perception required
    -no color blindness

    Before surgery the only category that I did not fall under was the 20/40 correctable to 20/20. I checked my eyesight medical records and saw that my refraction limits were well under those listed so that was fine, and I have passed both color blindness and depth perception tests. I had PRK done in August 2010 and everything went perfectly. I ended up with 20/15 vision (better than 20/20) and no complications ever arose. When trying to apply to be a pilot my recruiter told me that he submitted all of my paperwork to get a waiver approved and allow me to apply for pilot but he emailed me an attached letter from BUMED that said I was physically qualified to be in the Navy but it also said
    "3. Note: not qualified for 1390 due to excessive uncorrected visual acuity."

    Why would they NPQ me if I had successful surgery with all of the necessary paperwork? All of the documentation on it was submitted after the 6-month waiting period as well. The only possible thing I can think of is that I had my MEPS physical done prior to getting PRK done so maybe for some reason BUMED just looked at that and somehow didn't know I had the surgery done even though I gave all of that paperwork to my recruiter?
    I am very happy that I was selected for NFO on the recent board and I realize that it is too late to try to get everything resolved to apply to be a pilot, but I just don't understand why I was NPQd in the first place for pilot. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. NavyOffRec

    NavyOffRec Well-Known Member

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    It sounds as if N3M didn't see the updated eye exam.
     
  3. Harrier Dude

    Harrier Dude Living the dream

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    Believe it or not, and as insane as this sounds, it might be the 20/15 thing.

    On my pre-commissioning physical I was told I was NPQ'd for having 20/10 vision because "You need to have at least 20/20". So sayeth the HM3.

    I ended up having to pay out of pocket for a local eye exam that said 20/20.

    In hindsight I should have just tried to go higher up the chain.

    I know it sounds stupid, but this is naval medicine. This isn't terribly uncommon.
     
  4. BusyBee604

    BusyBee604 St. Francis/Hugh Hefner Combo! None

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    The only person(s) who can definitively answer your question is/are the individual(s) in BUMED who made the NPQ determination...all else here is conjecture/opinion (except perhaps, the AW resident Flight Surgeons, FEDDOC et al).
    BzB
     
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  5. sparrowbomb

    sparrowbomb SNFO

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    Wow, that's pretty ridiculous. I know that's not the problem because when I had my 6-month check up the doctor wrote down 20/20 on my medical record but when we were doing the eye chart test he asked me to read the lines and at the end of it I asked him if I could try to read the next one down. I did then he told me it was the 20/15 line. On my records though, he wrote 20/20.

    Is there any way to get in contact with BUMED to ask them about it?

    I agree. Even though I was told they submitted all of my post-surgery docs I feel like that's the only thing that could have gone wrong.

    Does anyone think there is any point in me pursuing the issue further or should I just shut up and be happy that I was chosen to be an NFO? (for the record- had I been qualified, SNA would have been my first choice, SNFO second. Like I said, I am happy I was selected and I think I would enjoy being an NFO but if it was possible I believe I would rather go to Pensacola for SNA training.)
     
  6. revan1013

    revan1013 Death by Snoo Snoo None

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    On your last comment I would say that if you want to be a pilot, fight tooth and nail to get that SNA slot. You may go the rest of your career wondering what could've been. And you definitely do not want that. If you, in your heart of hearts, is ok with being an NFO (which is a pretty amazing career too), then go for that. But if you really want to be the one at the controls, there is no reason not to fight it. Worst that can happen is they say no. Then you know you did what you could and can have closure with that fact.

    I had PRK, and even with favorable results, NAMI/NOMI (whichever) seems to always find something to pick on. If you want to be a pilot, do it. Military medicine has a reputation for a reason. Fight it. Just make sure you go through the proper channels. I'm sure some people on this forum know the best way to do it.
     
  7. NavyOffRec

    NavyOffRec Well-Known Member

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    The problem is NRC will make him decline NFO in order to go back to board for pilot, they will also ask why he put NFO down if he wasn't going to be happy with it. I know because one of the people in my office had an applicant do that, he has yet to be selected again.
     
  8. phrogpilot73

    phrogpilot73 Well-Known Member

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    The way the Navy is downsizing, and the budget is shrinking - I'd push forward with NFO. At least you were selected. I would DEFINITELY do what I could to get the record corrected with BUMED, so that in the future you're eligible (i.e. you get to P-Cola and kick ass in API and they offer you SNA, or you decide to put in an NFO to pilot application)...
     
  9. revan1013

    revan1013 Death by Snoo Snoo None

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    That's a real shame, but it makes sense. It'd be a hard decision to make, being in the OP's shoes. The NFO career path is very interesting. I almost went that way during the whole API shakedown of 2010 :D
     
  10. usmarinemike

    usmarinemike Now part of the 42%. None

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    I just skimmed the wordier comments so I apologize if this has already been mentioned:

    Every single one of my up chits say I'm NPQ'd. In the strictest sense you are in fact not qualified for flight. Neither am I. You have to get a PRK waiver which then makes you eligible for flight status. Perhaps whoever is recruiting you doesn't know this and is just reading the medical determination as a dead end. There are people on here that are much smarter and more motivated at the moment to point you in the right direction regarding which publications and points of contact to use to fight through. Trust me. You're not at a dead end.

    Bottom Line: don't misinterpret NPQ'D as permanently disqualified.
     
  11. NavyOffRec

    NavyOffRec Well-Known Member

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    The problem is he already went to board, he has until March 5th to take the position or not, and if not slim chance of him being selected again.
     
  12. tomcatfan

    tomcatfan Final Select OCS 25 MARCH SNA

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    not impossible though, I selected NFO a couple years ago and turned it down to apply for pilot again. I got my slot in the August 2011 board, granted after a couple more years, but I did get it.
     
  13. NavyOffRec

    NavyOffRec Well-Known Member

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    True, but like my previous post a person in my office did the same thing and still hasn't been selected, if he wouldn't have been happy with NFO then it shouldn't have been on the application.

    If the ultimate goal is to be a Navy Officer then he should take the spot, if it is only to be a pilot then decline NFO and see what happens after he gets cleared with the eyesight issue.
     
  14. tomcatfan

    tomcatfan Final Select OCS 25 MARCH SNA

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    I completely agree, I kicked myself for not taking it. But ended up working out.
     
  15. squorch2

    squorch2 he will die without safety brief None

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    What UMM said. You need a waiver for PRK, then all your upchits will say NPQ WG <date here>, life will be grand, etc. etc. (WG = waiver granted)
     

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