Corrective Eye LASIK Surgery Air Force ROTC


New Member
Nov 9, 2017
Hello all,

I am currently enrolled in Army ROTC and am making a switch as a first year Freshman to transition to Air Force ROTC to pursue a rated position. My eyesight is outside of the allowed un corrected near-sight range, but is by no means horrible. I am looking into corrective eye surgery, however I have found very little information on it and it tends to conflict with itself.

I am hoping that someone with experience in this field can answer my question and include:

1. Do I need permission from AFROTC to perform a surgery? I notice it requires a waiver, however is this before or after the surgery?
2. What are the steps for getting this surgery done with AFROTC?
3. Will the Air Force pay for my surgery if I am contracted?
4. Will I be medically disqualified if I have this surgery done?

Thank you all
ROTC will not pay for your eye surgery
You need prior permission from ROTC prior to having the eye surgery. But it is pretty much a rubber stamp. As always, work through your chain of command.
1. Always ask before you do anything
2. Rotc doesnt pay for it so you dont need to involve ROTC outside of asking permission and making sure that type of Lasik is AF approved.
3. They dont pay
4. If done correctly, there shouldnt be any problems. However, again, follow AF guidelines.
I would say that many docs will say wait until you are around 20 because the shape of the eye may change. My DS was on the cusp and he really wanted to do PRK, as others have stated this surgery is on your dime. His father, now a retired AF F15E WSO told him not to mess with his eyes unless it was a must do. Long story short DS heeded his advice by the time he hit 21 and went to Wright Pat for his FAA FC1 his eyes were within the range.

If you were at USAFA they would pay for it, but see above regarding age. They typically will not send a USAFA cadet before they are a C2C, or in AFROTC world, junior yr. Many go so it is not that big of a deal, but since the AF is footing the bill they make them wait due to their age.

I will not lie, my DS had a friend in his det. that got the surgery. The surgeon did Vinjay Singh and Tiger Woods, pretty renown when it comes to the surgery, but because he did not time it right he was medically dq for pilot, but q for Nav. So talk to the AFROTC det and ask when they think it would be the best time to do it.
~AFROTC will require you go to LEAD aka SFT, the summer of your your rising junior yr. You will go for the rated board @ Feb your jr. yr. If you get pilot you will go for the FAA FC1 in the summer of your rising sr. yr., and that could be within weeks of the end of your spring semester.
Hence see above regarding your timing.

As others have stated you really need to discuss this with the CoC.
To expand on what @Pima wrote, Timing includes the time required post surgery to pass you aviation physical. Although you will see great right after the surgery, and your Dr may say you have recovered, the military will require 6 months, even for lasik not just PRK. Also, during that 6 months you may not be medically qualified to attend summer training. Combined that with the fact it is prefered that you be in your 20's, makes timing very tricky. But, you are not the first one. Work with your CoC.