Eye Surgery needed to apply Rated?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Non Ducor Duco, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Messages:
    537
    Likes Received:
    37
    Just a quick question specifically pertaining to AFROTC. Is it required to have completed corrective surgery BEFORE you apply to the rated boards? I know you have to have it done before you get to active duty, but does it have to be done before you even apply for the rated board as a cadet?
     
  2. Sled

    Sled Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    53
    Yes, as a cadet you need to have your surgery done before the board and there is also a certain recovery period where you need to have regular follow up appointments with your eye doctor. I had looked into it previously and they recommended that it be done by the end of the summer before the rated boards. An injury led to a late FT date for me (MAX 4) and uncertainty of my future in ROTC so I decided to opt out of the surgery. Oh well, RPA or ABM it is for me! I'm more excited than ever!
     
  3. Zero

    Zero Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    42
    No/Yes and No. If you don't qualify then yes, but depending on your situation you can still qualify for pilot with bad vision if your still in the waiverable area and just wear glasses. Later on in your active duty career you can get LASIK/PRK even paid for by the AF. I even asked the doc and my cadre that when I joined ROTC and at WrightPat. They however, will DQ you if you don't have it done before/recovery time for rated deadlines, or if you try to do it before UPT without approval. You also can get it done and join the out of cycle board, but that's not something you would want to do.
     
  4. derek44

    derek44 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    13
    Your Cadet Timeline:
    upload_2015-8-9_11-27-35.png *Wright-Patterson has replaced Brooks

    Express immediately to your APAS and Medical NCO that you wish to have surgery. Keep them in the loop throughout the process and they will help you.

    I will add that for pilots, uncorrected vision minimums are 20/70 in each eye, waiverable to 20/200. Nav is 20/200 uncorrected. Vision in both eyes should be correctable to 20/20.

    Also there are condition limits you must meet before surgery:

    MYOPIA
    ≤ -8.00 Diopters

    HYPEROPIA
    ≤ +0.50 Diopters

    ASTIGMATISM
    ≤ 3.00 Diopters

    ANISOMETROPIA
    ≤ 2.50 Diopters
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
  5. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Messages:
    537
    Likes Received:
    37
    I'm an AS400 (on the 5 year track), just looking for info to advise other cadets with sight issues. I'll probably end up getting corrective surgery after I commission since I've heard that the AF will pay for it then. My interest in going rated has only been recent and fleeting...there's also pathways to go rated after a few years in service if I feel like that's what I want to do later on. Thanks for the info, I didn't know you had to get the surgery before the boards. Really something they should express to cadets early on. I know several who wear contacts until their 300 year who are still on the track to go rated so I'm wondering how they've managed that.
     
  6. derek44

    derek44 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    13
    The process for 5 year students is more flexible, DS knows a rising AS400 who just got LASIK done this summer. The only caveat is you must wait 12 months after surgery to obtain your FC1 at Wright-Pat.
     
  7. Zero

    Zero Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    42
    Because of the waiverable limits. Most are under them and you can fly with glasses/contacts if your correctable to 20/20. I will say this to those thinking about it, all four of our guys at wright pat who had prk/Lasik have to wear glasses or contacts when flying because your eyes continue to change into your 20s. It's not the best option if you can qualify without it. Exact advise my cadre gave when I entered the program and the docs confirmed when I asked at WP. You can get it later why risk your dreams? It does not affect your package as long as your dodmerb paper says rated:qualified.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,796
    Likes Received:
    930
    1000% Zero!
     
  9. Akrogan

    Akrogan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    12
    I thought you could wear glasses or contacts as a pilot as long as you take 2 spare pairs of glasses in the plane and are 20/20 with glasses or contacts.

    I certainly hope this is the case as I certainly don't have the money for PRK.
     
  10. Zero

    Zero Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    42
    Akrogan, You can wear glasses or contacts, as my post said above let them pay for PRK later. Also, if you do plan to wear contacts make sure you have been wearing an AF approved brand for more than 6 months BEFORE going to UPT or they will not let you wear them and will issue you glasses.
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,796
    Likes Received:
    930
    My DS is a pilot, and I don't think he ever had a total of 3 pair of glasses at the same time in his entire life. He now wears contacts, but fyi, he pays for his contacts.

    I am just not sure how you could carry 2 spare pairs in the flight bag, especially for fighters.
    ~ Fly a single seat, and you are the one digging in the bag doing 4 v 4 while pulling 8 Gs, or at the very least your bottom pocket on the leg.
    ~ Fly heavies and you have a co-pilot.
    ~~ Just saying neither paths make sense that you need to carry 2 spare pairs.

    One thing I would say. Do not think about doing this from they will pay for it from a rated aspect. Yes, they will pay for it, but something to understand is:
    1. You will be DNIF for months if you have them pay. DNIF= Duties Not Including Flying.
    ~ You risk your flying career. Even 4 months may mean that you can't upgrade to IP as fast as your peers that showed up at the same time. It can mean they will have more IP hours at the next base than you, and that can impact you later on.
    ~~ Let's say you get a F15E. However, you get your eyes fixed on their dime. Your peer doesn't. They make IP before you and can apply for WIC, whereas, you can't. Or you both PCS at the same time. They have more hours as an IP than you.
    2. UPT to the point you are operational can be 2 years.
    ~ Mission Qual'd at your 1st op base could be 2 1/2 years (6 months there). Will you ask for the operation at that point? Wait 1 more year, and now you are probably 18 months out. MPC starts the contact 6 months out. Takes 4 months...you are looking 6-9 months after making operational
    ~~ That means the window is insanely small to go rated to rated. See above

    Rated officers are known to avoid the flight docs like the plague. They will re set broken toes and fingers before reporting the injury. Asking to mess with their eyes is unheard of if they pass the FC1, unless they know their next assignment is flying a desk.

    It is strange because these docs are there for them, but fliers see them as the person that could kill their career.

    Honestly, if I were you right now I would pay to see an eye doc that understands the FC1. If they say you are good to go, than you can breathe a little lighter. If they say you will fail the FC1, than you might want to rethink everything.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
  12. Akrogan

    Akrogan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    12
    I appreciate it. I've been wearing contacts for 5 years and they are AF approved.

    I have absolutely no desire to get PRK, and am glad to see that I won't have to!
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,796
    Likes Received:
    930
    This is off topic, but in a way on topic.

    If going rated is only fleeting, re-think this path. Getting a UPT slot is the easiest hurdle. You need to be all in. It is not just making it through UPT, it is also the commitment owed once you wing.

    Yes, you can apply later on, but remember that you owe 9 years from WINGING. If you are selected, and need to go to IFT, plus UPT, you can be looking at 14 years+ if you apply as an O1.

    You can wear glasses or contacts and get a UPT slot. My DS did. The thing is your vision must meet the FC1 standards.

    I have a problem with the statement:
    I am old school. It really should be up to the cadet to approach their staff early on. As a cadet you need to be in charge of your future. It even seems more unrealistic regarding that statement since for the past 2 years regarding SFT selection cadets were required to state their intention of going rated/non-rated. The board meets spring semester of their sophomore year. This would be conversation fall semester sophomore year.

    Are you inferring that they should express it AS100? What about the 250?

    I am not trying to antagonize or flame, just trying to understand when they should inform? Just trying to get when does the baton be passed from them to a cadet if you want to go rated.

    I get it. Your unit may hold back until they have an SFT/EA slot. However, ADAF is not about plotting the next step (SFT), it is plotting the step after that, assuming you will get that 1st step. It is now as an AFROTC cadet plotting your POC year and your AFSC.
    ~ It creeps up on you faster than you know.
    ~~ Cadets that want rated will come back from SFT and immediately start the board selection again as an AS300.

    For his POC years this is how it played out.
    ~ Feb. 300 rated board meets
    ~ Mar results released
    ~ Mar/April started his TS clearance
    ~ July Wright Pat for FC1,
    ~ Aug FC1 cleared
    ~ Aug/Sept TS cleared
    ~ Nov. AS400 year told which UPT base
    ~ Mar. EAD
    ~ April new EAD
    ~ May new EAD.
    ~ May Commissioned

    Winged 23 months and 28 days after commissioning. IOWS 2 years. Reported to his 1st Op base 2 years and 9 months after commissioning.

    I also say this to illustrate how many more hurdles you will take to go rated. UPT makes college look like 1st grade. You need to be all in. No fleeting.

    I thank you from the bottom of my heart for defending this great nation.
     
  14. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Messages:
    537
    Likes Received:
    37
    I absolutely agree that this is something you have to be all in for. I've been completely set on going non-rated for the last 3 years. After getting a flying lesson I started to question everything. I really enjoyed it, felt 10x better than flying commercial. But I fear my interest in it is b/c flying is cool, not because it's something that I want to do for the rest of my life. I want something that I'll enjoy while I'm in the AF that will also have transferable skills for what I want to do when I get out. The life of a commercial pilot sounds very unappealing to me (I know pilots do many many other things when they get out, but many also become commercial pilots). The road to winging and then the 9 years after that is a long, hard road. Commitment to the dream is needed to stay motivated, and that's never been a big dream of mine. Not something I want to do unless I'm totally committed. CSO really seems more my speed, and I'm actually still really interested in it, but I feel like I may be getting in the game too late to get a slot as a cadet. Maybe as an officer.

    I do feel like the vision requirements should be they something tell you early on. I talked to my Captain and they said 'You have to get the surgery before you apply'. You all are saying you don't have to, you can wait to get it later as long as you meet the waiver requirements. My cadre member may have spoken too soon without fully reading the reg, I don't know. What I do know is getting conflicting answers from several vetted sources is incredibly frustrating. Considering how many posters have stated that you can go without the surgery, I believe the person I am supposed to talk to about this did not know there were exceptions because they were very firm about me having to get surgery immediately to be qualified to apply. Why would a cadet question if a cadre member is correctly stating regs? That's my point really, I wouldn't have know this if I hadn't asked on here.
     
  15. Zero

    Zero Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    42
    You probably asked him about the surgery and he told you that you would need to take it or get it now, which is true. You can get it later, but you would already be in the pilot/rated world, even then it is a risk. Either way you HAVE to be in the waiverable requirements. What your cadre said is true and what we said is true. They are talking about your cadet life, you have to get it early enough to apply to the board. 100% true. You can get it later in life, probably 3-5 years into your career once you are done training if you want to take the risk, 100% true. You can qualify without getting surgery if you are within the limits. 100% true. Seems like confusion.
     
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,796
    Likes Received:
    930
    I agree with Zero. The thing is that it is also important to know if you are waiverable. Your question could have also made him assume that you were not waiverable and would need the surgery. Honestly I would go onto baseops.net and research their threads there under their medical forums. I am pretty sure there will be definitive answers because there is a doc on that forum.

    Bullet was a WSO, and we have many pilot friends that when they retired did become busdrivers in the sky, but believe it or not it was more of a 50/50 stat. Many of them actually went off to work with the government or defense contractors. A couple of them fly for ....wait for it...the CIA and the FBI.

    It is a very long hard road, harder than you have experienced in your life, but I recall what my DS said at his wedding as he toasted people. To his Dad, Bullet, he said this:
    Thank you for sharing your love of soaring the skies, and now I get it when you use to come home after a 12 hour day flying and as exhausted as you were you always would say I can't believe they pay me to do this! I also now get that these people are my brethren and we will always have their 6.

    That is the flying world. CSO world is different than pilot, especially when it comes to drops. The only fighter option is the Strike, and basically only about 3 out of a class of 15-18 will get it. If you are looking at either path, it is great to shoot for the fighter, but be realistic and expect a heavy. Transitioning into the "real" aka civilian world for CSOs is not as easy as it is for pilots. Their commitment owed is 7 years. It is hard to become an expert in anything if you bolt at that time. Basically, the pilot will do @3 tours, the CSO will do 2. The pilot will be at the O4 marker, the CSO will be years out from that point.

    Bullet loved his career as a WSO, but he also always had the big picture/end game in sight. He knew there was no busdriver in the sky job in his future. Every assignment he took was a building block for the next assignment that would make him marketable once he retired. He always knew he wanted to do 20, but he also knew that he needed to make O4 1st to get to that 20. He used TA and got his Masters as a very young O3 (completed by the time he had 6 years in) because if he didn't get O4, he wanted to be marketable when they cut him loose.
     

Share This Page