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Laser Eye Surgery In The Military
Tuesday, 31 March 2009 01:05


Does the military do laser eye surgery?


Yes!  The military does refractive surgery on thousands of soldiers, airmen, and sailors every year.


What are the military regulations for laser eye surgery?



The military started doing laser vision surgery about 7 years ago under the Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program.  This programs set guidelines for who is eligible and the priority of who gets surgery first. There are three main criteria used to determine priority.


1. Priority Ranking

First priority:  Combat MOS are first, including Infantry, Armor, Field Artillery
Second Priority: CSS assigned to Division or Separate Brigade
Third Priority:  Other service members are space available.


2.  Assigned to a unit getting deployed within 6 months (may have to show deployment orders)


3.  At least 18 months of remaining of active duty (12 months remaining in same/similar unit)


Family members, dependents, retirees, National Guard and Active Reserve DO NOT QUALIFY for refractive surgery through the military.

LASIK disqualifies one from SOC schools like HALO, Scuba, SFQC, SERE

Aviators are not eligible.


Unfortunately, everyone does not qualify for refractive surgery.  About 1 of 3 people (30%) will not medically qualify.  This strictly relates to the health and prescription of one’s eye. 

Patient overall statistics based on the Navy Research project
20/20 after initial surgery 80%
20/20 after retreatment surgery 90%


Overall:  92%  of patients happy with outcome




Last Updated on Monday, 14 January 2013 00:42

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