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Vision for NROTC

Would my vision be a limiting factor for aviation if my left eye is 20/100 and my right eye is 20/30 but correctable to 20/20 in both eyes?
 

BarryD

Well-Known Member
When you apply you will go to DODMERB, that just qualifies you for the NROTC (or other accession) program.
 

BarryD

Well-Known Member
That’s a good question for a flight doc.

If you’re correctable to 20/20 you shouldn’t have a problem for NROTC (no promises though, only the DODMERB Gods hold that power).
 

azguy

Well-Known Member
None
Anecdotally I knew some midshipmen in ROTC that got Lasik/PRK (forget which) while in ROTC in order to qualify for pilot slots. The key is to get permission and make sure it's an approved procedure.

This info is 10 years old -- talk to the aviator on the ROTC staff, they'll have accurate, current info for you.
 

RecruitingGuru

Making Recruiting Great Again
The max uncorrected vision of 20/40 is after LASIK/PRK right?
Listen man, you ask and post a fuck ton of questions without doing a fuck ton of research. You’re a grown up, stop asking people to spoon feed you.

The NAMI guide TELLS you this answer. For the rest of your NROTC questions either go to the website to ask the NROTC coordinator to learn more.

I’m assuming you’re not 27, but if so you are creeping towards the Max age limit.
 

flgator92

Active Member
The max uncorrected vision of 20/40 is after LASIK/PRK right?
Here's the straight dope: vision is generally not waiverable, in my experience. Yes, some obscure conditions can be waiverable but, for the most part, if you want to be a Student Naval Aviator, your vision must be 20/40 or better, and correctable to 20/20. In layman's terms, your vision needs to be really good. To qualify as a Student Naval Flight Officer, I don't think there are refractive limits uncorrected, but it needs to be correctable to 20/20. SNFOs generally don't pilot aircraft after doing it a little bit in flight training, so the limits uncorrected are more lax.

So while it doesn't sound like you qualify for SNA, barring any other issues coming up, it seems like you have a shot for SNFO. If that's a dealbreaker get PRK. Your vision, though, sounds likes it fine to start an officer accessions program like NROTC. You could always get PRK, with your ROTC command's blessing, once you're in NROTC. NROTC midshipman don't select a designator until later in the program, I don't think. But, I'm an OCS grad, so I'm not 100 percent sure about that -- pretty sure though. Both SNA and SNFO are great designators which would put you in the brown shoe Navy, if that's what you desire. It depends on what you want to do. Hope that helps.
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
The NAMI guide TELLS you this answer.
All your answers are there, literally in black and white on page 48 if you look.

To qualify as a Student Naval Flight Officer, I don't think there are refractive limits uncorrected, but it needs to be correctable to 20/20.
Read the guide before spouting off bad info, there are in fact refractive error limits for Student NFO's "≤ +/-8.00 All Meridians". Again, page 48 here.
 
Anecdotally I knew some midshipmen in ROTC that got Lasik/PRK (forget which) while in ROTC in order to qualify for pilot slots. The key is to get permission and make sure it's an approved procedure.
This is what I (and a friend of mine) did. Another thing to keep in mind is that you cant apply for the waiver until 6 months after the surgery (IIRC). I was not aware of this, and didn't get LASIK until the summer going into my senior year, a mere 2 months before service selection. Needless to say, I did not get the waiver/pass a flight physical in time for service selection. That didn't stop me from putting SNA as my #1 choice, but I ended up getting subs....Due to a little bit of luck and a CO that cared a lot about his MIDN, I ended up switching to SNA 2 days before I was supposed to fly to DC. I had my plane ticket and room reservation in hand.

So to anyone considering getting LASIK while a MIDN: 6 months must elapse before you are eligible for a waiver, so plan accordingly.

EDIT: Per U. S. Navy Aeromedical Reference and Waiver Guide, linked above and current as of 04SEP2019, its still 6 months to apply for the waiver.
 

Waveoff

Member
None
Myself and other friends in the program above me, got LASIK the winter of my junior year to be eligible for a pilot slot. My command required a letter from my eye doctor saying I was a good candidate and my eyes were done shifting around/changing, and then I was given the green light.
Ironically I ended up a FO due to anthro, but aviation is better than not for my prefs.
 

Waveoff

Member
None
Here's the straight dope: vision is generally not waiverable, in my experience. Yes, some obscure conditions can be waiverable but, for the most part, if you want to be a Student Naval Aviator, your vision must be 20/40 or better, and correctable to 20/20. In layman's terms, your vision needs to be really good. To qualify as a Student Naval Flight Officer, I don't think there are refractive limits uncorrected, but it needs to be correctable to 20/20. SNFOs generally don't pilot aircraft after doing it a little bit in flight training, so the limits uncorrected are more lax.

So while it doesn't sound like you qualify for SNA, barring any other issues coming up, it seems like you have a shot for SNFO. If that's a dealbreaker get PRK. Your vision, though, sounds likes it fine to start an officer accessions program like NROTC. You could always get PRK, with your ROTC command's blessing, once you're in NROTC. NROTC midshipman don't select a designator until later in the program, I don't think. But, I'm an OCS grad, so I'm not 100 percent sure about that -- pretty sure though. Both SNA and SNFO are great designators which would put you in the brown shoe Navy, if that's what you desire. It depends on what you want to do. Hope that helps.
The LTs should walk you through the steps, but they have gotten rid of the PRK only requirement and the LASIK trial run a few years ago. LASIK has gotten so precise and the recovery time is so short comparatively that the Navy allows it for aviation without the fears of “g forces will tear off your cornea flap.”
 
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