PRK after OCS prior to API/Primary

Discussion in 'PRK' started by batteryguy4, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. batteryguy4

    batteryguy4 Pro-rec SNA

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    I've been final selected for March 2012 with SNA designator. The vision in right eye is 20/20-, but my left eye is right around 20/40. Is anyone familiar with the Navy's policy regarding deficient visual acuity for SNA and getting PRK after OCS, either prior to commissioning or prior to API/Primary? I imagine it's somewhat of a case-by-case basis. I read the posts for a similar situation in Marine Corp, but I don't know if the services maintain the same perspectives and procedures.

    thanks
  2. jtmedli

    jtmedli Playing the game... None

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    Yes, Navy and Marine CorpS aviators both get approved by NAMI and use the same regs. You will get a Class 1 flight physical on day 2 or 3 of OCS and if you don't pass that then you will either be sent home or re-designated to NFO or maybe something else.

    Fair warning: That eye chart they use at OCS (the square one) is pretty hard to read. I read 20/20 on every physical, but it was a struggle for me to read 20/40 on that thing with 3.5 hours of sleep for 3 nights in a row. Your eyes are all sorts of screwed up at OCS so, if I were you, I'd make sure my eyes are good to go before you waste your time going up there to fail the physical.

    Linky: http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/navme.../Documents/Waiver Guide - Complete 110208.pdf

    (hint: read sections 1.4,5 and 12.15)
  3. batteryguy4

    batteryguy4 Pro-rec SNA

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    So are you saying that eye surgery post-OCS is very unlikely these days?
  4. Aviation Jones

    Aviation Jones SNA

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    Bump. I failed my first eye test at OCS with 1.25/1.5 diopters. Like jtmedli said, you're very fatigued and I'm hoping that is what threw off my vision. I do get a retest, but would like to know my options if I fail the second test. Besides redesignating to NFO.
  5. NavyOffRec

    NavyOffRec Well-Known Member

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    If your eyes are truly outside the limits you can DOR, the only ones that can't are BDCP.
  6. Aviation Jones

    Aviation Jones SNA

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    Even though being a pilot is my life-long dream, I would rather be an NFO in the Navy than a regional airline FO. I admittedly am not a person who joined the service purely to serve, it is just a great career fit for me. OCS has changed me though, I've only been through 3 weeks and have completed wake up Wednesday, the IST, outpost, swim qual, RLP, drill comp, In-PRT, and passed my first academic quiz. We crammed 5 weeks into 3, so you can imagine the stress. Getting off topic...

    What I meant by options is asking for a third opinion or waiver. Anything I can pull out of my back pocket if it comes down to me being NPQ'd. Is it possible to get PRK between OCS and API? I hear classes are pretty stacked up with long waits. I know the option of commissioning as NFO then redesigning again back to pilot after you do your PRK. Either way I'll never DOR unless I lose both SNA/SNFO. My first three weeks have been hell but overall I really enjoy OCS and the Navy.
  7. Calculon

    Calculon It's Calculon! Hit the deck!

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    You said they DQ'd you for refractive error 1.25/1.5? IIRC, the Aeromed waiver says that you must be within +3.00 to -1.50 for spherical error, and no astigmatism greater than -1.00 refractive error. Or was it the test where you had to see 20/40 or better that you failed on?
  8. Aviation Jones

    Aviation Jones SNA

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    Okay, that was the problem. Astigmatism. My refractive error was 1.25/1.5 and while reading the charts I mixed "E" with "S" a few times, but read the rest of the chart correctly. The doctor said I have to read the E/S correctly 80% of the time, and I was only correct 60% of the time.

    I believe she said that refractive error due to astigmatism is not something that you can necessaarily correct, so if you're over the -1.00 you are pretty much NPQ'd. But she was cool and had me read the charts pretending as if I was at the -1.00 level. That's when I was mixing the letters.

    What I don't understand is that if pilots can wear contacts then why does it matter? I am correctable to 20/20. I just hope I can make it out of OCS with my original designation and maybe get the PRK done before NAMI somehow. If not, it's not meant to be and I'll do my best to land a good NFO gig.
  9. BusyBee604

    BusyBee604 St. Francis/Hugh Hefner Combo! None

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    Excellent 'tude, much more productive than "'wasting away whining" !:D
    BzB
    Aviation Jones likes this.
  10. boostadikt

    boostadikt VFA-106

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    Sooo many people fail that eye test. Lots of people in my OCS class went back for 2nd and 3rd tries. A few DOR'd, a few re-designated, and a few managed to pass. I think I got 20/30 left eye and 20/40 right eye at OCS, Nami I got 20/20 (barely) and at the civilian doc for IFS class 3 I got 20/15, take from that what you will. OCS and lack of sleep does affect you. If you are home for the holidays take back some good eye drops, or buy some at the NEX (nobody at the NEX actually cares what you buy). The night before your re-test forget about everything else, make time and sneak away to an empty hatch in another p-way if you have to at like 8 o'clock and get yourself 8 hours of sleep. Your classmates wont miss you. If you redes FO and pass the test at NAMI there is a chance you can redes back to pilot. I know people have tried but I Haven't heard of anyone getting PRK before API, PRK puts you out for 6 months and they don't want that in the early stages of your training.
  11. Renegade One

    Renegade One Well-Known Member None

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    Understand your personal dream and goals, but "Oh, the humanity!"
    yakboyslim likes this.
  12. Aviation Jones

    Aviation Jones SNA

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    boostadikt - Good gouge. Earlier in the week our RDC was pacing our p-way as we all, of course, were at attention outside our hatch. She was naming off people one by one, and I was one of them. Usually a scary moment. But, she then asked if all of us would be back in Newport on January 2. And then said you all have "appointments." I'm assuming that would be my re-test. A good thing, because we will still be on holiday stand down and I will be able to get some good rest and food beforehand.
  13. jjeppson

    jjeppson New Member

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  14. jjeppson

    jjeppson New Member

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    My son just completed week 5 at OCS. He had 20/40 reporting to Newport but tested 20/60 in left eye on 2 screenings. We did not consider PRK prior to OCS since no one informed us. He is waiting on a medical review board. Since he has limited Internet access, I am trying to inform him of his options if he doesn't get waiver. He would like to continue and get his commission. If he were to redesignate NFO, what are his chances of redesignating SNA at Pensacola provided he gets 20/40 during API. Any option to PRK before API, either thru Navy or civilian Dr. ? Thanks in advance.
  15. Aviation Jones

    Aviation Jones SNA

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    Just to follow this up, I scraped by the eye exam in Newport. Although I was technically out of limits for astigmatism, I was still able to read the 20/20 chart while dialated. I came down to Pensacola, still worried. I went to NAMI and the same thing happened. The doctor carefully and suspiciously read my file, and had me do all of the same things I did at Newport. Again, I was able to read the chart even though my astigmatism is outside of the limits. A side note, there are certain letters that are NEVER found on an eye chart (the type the military uses anyway). I was only aware of this after my NAMI test when the doctor asked me if I knew. So if you're borderline like I was that would certainly help knowing which letters those are. He suggested I put in a request to have my eyes lasered if and when I make it to the FRS level. LASIK is now available to aviators, and only puts you down for 4-6 weeks, I believe.

    All of this being said, I think I am a rare case and got extremely lucky. I spoke with one other guy, who was in my OCS class, that wasn't even offered a re-test when told he was outside of the astigmatism limit in Newport. He had to redesignate to NFO while at OCS. Don't be like me and listen to your recruiter who rode subs, and think he knows what he's talking about when he tells you 20/40 each eye is all you need. If you know you're outside of the limits, look into getting LASIK/PRK out of pocket well before you go to get a commission. Try to get the waiver in pocket before you go if possible. I knew another guy who had PRK done before attending OCS and he was completely stressed all the time about getting his waiver cleared. It worked out for him in the end.

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