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Recruiter: PRK Waiver not Needed

scazz

New Member
Issue: My recruiter is going to send me to OCS without requesting a PRK waiver.

Long story short:

- I was medically cleared at MEPS. I applied for SNA and NFO. But my vision was not good enough for SNA. SNA is the number one pick for me with NFO as back-up.

- Using guidance from the wavier guide and without consulting my recruiter, I got PRK.

- Within weeks after receiving PRK, my recruiter tells me I was selected for pilot. But I asked her to delay my ship date. I wanted to wait the full 6 months to see how my vision was then apply for a wavier. My recruiter informed that I would still retain my selection status throughout the waiting period (not really sure how that works).

- I submitted all pre-op and post-op notes (up to 6 months) last night to my recruiter and the civilian admin at the recruiting office.

- The admin informed me that a waiver is not needed. They have a letter from N3M saying I am cleared. When I requested to see the letter, I was denied.

- They are now looking for the next ship date for me to go to OCS.

I don't have the "warm and fuzzy" feeling about this. I know my uncorrected vision was not good enough. I am seeing 20/15 now. I also know it usually takes months to obtain a waiver. I want to go to OCS with the PRK waiver so I am physically qualified.

I don't want to end up settling for NFO if my eyes qualify for SNA, but I do not have the waiver to prove it. BTW, I never saw any official correspondence (letter or email) for being selected. So I haven't signed anything or seen a contract. I was simply informed of being selected by my recruiter over the phone.

Any advice on how to proceed?

- Thanks
 

Hammer10k

Well-Known Member
I don't have any official guidance on this, but from going through the process in the last year - OCS last summer and had my yearly flight physical yesterday - if you've selected pilot and have an OCS date, you should plan to be there WITH all of the medical documents for your PRK. You're already in the door, you don't need to worry about MEPS waivers anymore.

I had a "waiver" about my knee surgery to get me into the door at OCS. Once I was at OCS, I did a real flight physical. OCS sends those results down to NAMI in Pensacola. The Pensacola Flight Surgeon will send back a Yay or Nay, and any official waivers that you need. So basically, the waiver I had to get into OCS was discarded after Day 1 in Rhode Island, and only what came back from NAMI mattered for my flight status. So the fact that you show up to OCS will all your medical records, they'll send those to NAMI, and you should have no reason to expect anything other than a yes with an official waiver attached.

Think of MEPS, OCS, and NAMI like doors you have to get through. Once you're through the door, all you need to worry about is the next door. If you're showing up to OCS with a pilot slot and your vision is going to check out, as well as having the proper paperwork, you should be just fine.
 
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NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
I don't have any official guidance on this, but from going through the process in the last year - OCS last summer and had my yearly flight physical yesterday - if you've selected pilot and have an OCS date, you should plan to be there WITH all of the medical documents for your PRK. You're already in the door, you don't need to worry about MEPS waivers anymore.

I had a "waiver" about my knee surgery to get me into the door at OCS. Once I was at OCS, I did a real flight physical. OCS sends those results down to NAMI in Pensacola. The Pensacola Flight Surgeon will send back a Yay or Nay, and any official waivers that you need. So basically, the waiver I had to get into OCS was discarded after Day 1 in Rhode Island, and only what came back from NAMI mattered for my flight status. So the fact that you show up to OCS will all your medical records, they'll send those to NAMI, and you should have no reason to expect anything other than a yes with an official waiver attached.

Think of MEPS, OCS, and NAMI like doors you have to get through. Once you're through the door, all you need to worry about is the next door. If you're showing up to OCS with a pilot slot and your vision is going to check out, as well as having the proper paperwork, you should be just fine.
MEPS has never done waivers for officer candidates.
 

NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
Issue: My recruiter is going to send me to OCS without requesting a PRK waiver.

Long story short:

- I was medically cleared at MEPS. I applied for SNA and NFO. But my vision was not good enough for SNA. SNA is the number one pick for me with NFO as back-up.

- Using guidance from the wavier guide and without consulting my recruiter, I got PRK.

- Within weeks after receiving PRK, my recruiter tells me I was selected for pilot. But I asked her to delay my ship date. I wanted to wait the full 6 months to see how my vision was then apply for a wavier. My recruiter informed that I would still retain my selection status throughout the waiting period (not really sure how that works).

- I submitted all pre-op and post-op notes (up to 6 months) last night to my recruiter and the civilian admin at the recruiting office.

- The admin informed me that a waiver is not needed. They have a letter from N3M saying I am cleared. When I requested to see the letter, I was denied.

- They are now looking for the next ship date for me to go to OCS.

I don't have the "warm and fuzzy" feeling about this. I know my uncorrected vision was not good enough. I am seeing 20/15 now. I also know it usually takes months to obtain a waiver. I want to go to OCS with the PRK waiver so I am physically qualified.

I don't want to end up settling for NFO if my eyes qualify for SNA, but I do not have the waiver to prove it. BTW, I never saw any official correspondence (letter or email) for being selected. So I haven't signed anything or seen a contract. I was simply informed of being selected by my recruiter over the phone.

Any advice on how to proceed?

- Thanks
That N3M letter was based on the medical information they had on you at that time, things have changed. There is a form you are supposed to fill out that says "have you seen a Doctor....." and if you mark yes you need to explain it.

I am sure @RUFiO181 has some input on this
 

RecruitingGuru

Making Recruiting Great Again
"Play stupid games, win stupid prizes."

The way I'm reading this is you got a MEPS physical, was only PQ for NFO, submitted, got PRK, got PROREC'd and now awaiting a FINSEL?

I'm going to go out of my way to say you're going in as SNFO. In order to be considered for Pilot you need to be fully cleared with an n3m prior to the board.
 

NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
"Play stupid games, win stupid prizes."

The way I'm reading this is you got a MEPS physical, was only PQ for NFO, submitted, got PRK, got PROREC'd and now awaiting a FINSEL?

I'm going to go out of my way to say you're going in as SNFO. In order to be considered for Pilot you need to be fully cleared with an n3m prior to the board.
I am thinking that if he goes to OCS without having those documents cleared he could be hit with fraudulent enlistment.
 

RecruitingGuru

Making Recruiting Great Again
Issue: My recruiter is going to send me to OCS without requesting a PRK waiver.

- I was medically cleared at MEPS. I applied for SNA and NFO. But my vision was not good enough for SNA. SNA is the number one pick for me with NFO as back-up.
Okay so you're interested in both Pilot and NFO.

- Using guidance from the wavier guide and without consulting my recruiter, I got PRK.
This issue flipped from the recruiter's fault to YOUR fault. Why? Instead of asking "hey should I do this?" to your recruiter, you instead read something that could easily be misinterpreted and did it anyway. When you go to OCS and they ask about this, what are you going to say? "Well, I did this without telling my recruiter...". People can receive fraudulent enlistments because of this. Big no no.

- Within weeks after receiving PRK, my recruiter tells me I was selected for pilot.
Okay, based off the fact this was over the course of a couple of weeks, you very likely only applied for NFO. You need to have an N3M letter saying you're qualified for Pilot in order to apply for pilot. But, that's okay because you were interested in either or right? Also, when you signed the paperwork did you see ANYWHERE IN THE APPLICATION THAT YOU WERE APPLYING FOR JUST NFO?!?!?!

-I submitted all pre-op and post-op notes (up to 6 months) last night to my recruiter and the civilian admin at the recruiting office. The admin informed me that a waiver is not needed. They have a letter from N3M saying I am cleared. When I requested to see the letter, I was denied.
I can attest for the first part. You don't need to do a new MEPS physical and can possibly PQ yourself for pilot if N3M receives all the PRK/LASIK documents and your vision appears both stable and within pilot standards. The latter part, there's nothing in the Recruiting Manual that requires the processor or OR to show or give your N3M letter. It is a courtesy and me personally I email or show N3M letters to all my applicants, but it's not required.

I don't have the "warm and fuzzy" feeling about this. I know my uncorrected vision was not good enough. I am seeing 20/15 now. I also know it usually takes months to obtain a waiver. I want to go to OCS with the PRK waiver so I am physically qualified.

I don't want to end up settling for NFO if my eyes qualify for SNA, but I do not have the waiver to prove it. BTW, I never saw any official correspondence (letter or email) for being selected. So I haven't signed anything or seen a contract. I was simply informed of being selected by my recruiter over the phone.
No shit. As mentioned before you very much likely applied for NFO only and got PROREC'd for NFO. You cannot change your status/designator to Pilot when you were already picked for NFO.

Also, once again WHY DID YOU APPLY FOR NFO? When you select multiple designators, there's a possibility (whether it's high or slim) you could be selected. Submitting for all designators means you are satisfied going that route. If you don't want to be an NFO, ONLY APPLY FOR PILOT.

Your recruiter and processor likely did/doing some shady stuff, but you did your own damage by not properly reviewing the application when you submitted as well as get PRK without consulting your recruiter first.

In the end, you can go to OCS most likely as an NFO, or turn it down and potentially wipe away any possibility of becoming an officer. If you decline further processing or simply drop out of OCS, you will need to explain in your reconsideration package why you turned down an officer commission. They are going to see that you applied for NFO but turned it down because you didn't really want to be one.
 

scazz

New Member
Thanks for getting back to me.

RUFiO181 - You're right. I should have never put NFO down unless I truly wanted it. It was a back-up in case my eyes did not check out, but a back-up is still a commitment. Also, thanks for the info on the Recruiting Manual as it pertains to N3M letters.

As for the guidance in the waiver guide that I was looking at, Section 12.15 of the waiver guide states:

"Civilian applicants must obtain PRK or LASIK at their own expense at a civilian refractive surgery center. DoD instruction 6130.03, enclosure 4, requires a six month minimum wait time before submitting LASIK or PRK waiver requests for civilian accessions. All paperwork and operative reports must be available and submitted for waiver consideration."

The 6 month waiting period was first pointed out to me by a Marine recruiter.

New Info: I received my final select letter late last week. OCS date is August 27th. The letter states:

"Upon completion of training you will be commissioned as an Ensign, United States Navy, in the Pilot Officer program, designator 13900."

It also mentions that a flight physical will be administered upon arrival; non-favorable flight physicals can result in either redesignation or disenrolled from OCS.

Upon reading the letter and Hammer10k's response, I was no longer concerned about not having a waiver. But when you guys mention fraudulent enlistment, I got worried again.

I had already communicated to my recruiter that I had PRK, why I waited six months, and sent over my doctor's notes. This was all before receiving my final select letter. But since there wasn't any additional medical paperwork submitted to the Navy regarding my eye surgery, I am assuming the Navy does not "officially know" about the surgery without a paper trail. How do I get through to the Navy that I received eye surgery after MEPS? I don't want to get slammed with fraudulent enlistment.
 

RecruitingGuru

Making Recruiting Great Again
I would WRITE everything down (as in what happened) and bring your ENTIRE PRK record with you to OCS. Nothing too much to offer but hope everything checks out with your NAMI physical. I would also be prepared to redesignate to NFO in the event you are not qualified.
 

scazz

New Member
I figured that's the option I cornered myself into.

All PRK records are already printed, and I have emails to my recruiter saved.

Thanks again
 

NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
I figured that's the option I cornered myself into.

All PRK records are already printed, and I have emails to my recruiter saved.

Thanks again
when you say emails saved do you mean you also printed them out? I would to take them with, part of that CYA file, not trying to get a recruiter in trouble but if he is going to possibly mess up your future whatever happens to him happens.
 

Hammer10k

Well-Known Member
+2 on printing everything. Everything that pertains to your procedure, as well as your medical history in general, should be in a packet with you when you arrive. Originals if possible.
 

desertflyer

Well-Known Member
According to the updated waiver guide, corneal refractive surgery is no longer disqualifying if it falls within the pre op refractive limits. This was updated in May 2017 so I believe some recruiters may be a little behind the game on this.

http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmotc/nami/arwg/Documents/WaiverGuide/12_Ophthalmology.pdf

Page 29; Refractive surgery (PRK/LASIK/SmILE) without visually significant side effects is not considered disqualifying (NCD) for applicants or designated members that are within the refractive parameters outlined in this chapter. Patients whose pre-operative refractions fall outside these parameters are considered disqualified (CD), but may be considered for a waiver on a case-by-case basis, depending on aviation class / military duty status.

Do your homework, use the search function etc. This goes for recruiters too ;)
 
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