Question for retired Navy HM


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Mar 15, 2007
We received a letter today from Dodmerb stating our daughters "service medical waiver has been temporarily deferred". This pending further evaluation of her vision. We are to make an appointment with our physician for a "repeat manifest refraction" test.

Basically it appears to ask what her eyesight is without contacts and then if she is correctable to 20/20, for both near and distant tests.

She also received a Headache questionnaire. Last fall she had trouble with headaches during cross country. She was evaluated by a neurologist, had a Kat scan and the diagnosis was that the headaches were stress related and that she needs more sleep.

Actually several trips to the chiropractor completely elimated the headaches and she has not had one in over 6 months. This form is fiilled out by her, no doctor's appointment needed.

Your thoughts on this one please.

The fact that the wavier authority is requesting additional information is a positive sign. I would make sure that your daughter takes her contacts out for 3 days if they are soft, and 21 days if they are hard.

On the headache questionnaire I would have her fill it out completely, ensuring that the explanations are detailed. If the headaches were not chronic, and she was not placed on any prescription medication I don't think it will be an issue.

I truley appreciate your prompt response. I also think this is a good sign, at least it is obvious she is being considered our we would have received a DQ letter instead.

I also find it interesting we are allowed to go to our own eye doctor. I was under the impression any procedure could only be done at a Dodmerb sight.

At least we are still in the race!
Last edited:
michdad said:
I also find it interesting we are allowed to go to our own eye doctor. I was under the impression any procedure could only be done at a Dodmerb sight.

You have the option to go to a Concorde optometrist or a military treatment facility optometrist at no cost to you, or to your own optometrist at your own cost. The initial physical exam must be done at either a Concorde facility or a military treatment facility. There are times when either DoDMERB or the waiver authority will mandate that the exam must be done at a military treatment facility.
A couple more questions for retired navy HM

I guess we are curious as to why more testing would be requested. Does the academy want to make sure her vision is correctable to 20/20? Or are they considering whether she is correctable through surgery?

Perhaps the first test was not thorough enough, I am pretty sure she did not wear her contacts for 3 days prior, but we will be positive she does not wear them for 3 days prior to this test.

How much of a difference does that make?

Thanks in advance.


I'm not sure why USNA would be requesting additional information. Most likely they want to be sure of where her refractive error is (strength of the prescription). They will not make any determination regarding the possibility for surgery until the 2nd class year.

With the new soft contact lenses the 3 days without contacts normally will not make a difference. About 10 years ago when the soft lenses first appeared, they were a lot thicker then today’s, and would distort the cornea for up to 3 days, which would then not give an accurate manifest refraction. The 3 days is still there, just to ensure that there is no distortion of the cornea.

When you go to your optometrist I would mention to him/her that your daughter needs to be corrected to 20/20 with no errors, and not to over correct. Some optometrists will try to correct to 20/15, which then increases the refractive error. So just make sure that the optometrist tries to keep the refractive error as low as possible while keeping the vision corrected to 20/20 with no errors. The no errors is key as well.

When you make the appointment try to get it as early in the AM as possible, make sure your daughter gets a good night’s sleep, try to keep her off the computer, video games, studying, reading, watching TV the night before. Basically lock her in her room and make her relax! I know it’s probably impossible, but it’s always worth a try!

Once again we appreciate your prompt response! And we will certainly follow your advice.