Vision and Air Force

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by jebdad, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. jebdad

    jebdad Member

    Aug 19, 2013
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    DD has slight nearsightedness correctable to 20/20. Does less than 20/20 vision prevent her from certain careers in the AF? For example, if she has less than 20/20 natural vision can she still become a pilot? Are there stricter vision guidelines once you are at the academy/in the Air Force than there are for acceptance to the academy?

    What jobs if any could she be excluded from because she has less than perfect vision?

    Will laser surgery while at academy allow her to be eligible for all career fields?
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp 5-Year Member

    May 21, 2008
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    You don't need 20/20 to get into the academy or air force. As for certain jobs, it may or may not be an issue. For instance, any cadet (Even those who don't want to become pilots), can get PRK or Lasik surgery while at the academy. Once they start their 3rd year and commit to the academy/air force, they can apply. It is very common. My son received PRK surgery his C2C year and he received a pilot slot.

    WARNING: Do NOT get Lasik type surgery PRIOR to going to the academy. It could actually disqualify you from being accepted to the academy. If you're going to get corrective surgery, let the academy provide it to you.
  3. raimius

    raimius 10-Year Member

    Jun 9, 2006
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    Pilot AFSC does not require perfect vision, and waivers are possible. Not guaranteed, but if their vision corrects to 20/20 or better, chances are decent.
  4. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator 10-Year Member Founding Member

    Jul 20, 2006
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    Like Christcorp's son, my son had PRK done at the Academy. The process actually starts at the beginning of their second year when cadets interested in the surgery start tests to see if they are viable candidates. I believe that my son had to be without his contact lenses three different times during this year for about a month each time. Once all the testing is done, they will know if they are eligible for the surgery. The surgery was scheduled right after they returned for their 3rd year (and committed) so that their initial recovery (three days in near-darkness, confined to their room) didn't interfere with classes. 12 months after the surgery, they will be given the waiver for pilot if their eyes pass the exam at that time. My son was given a pilot slot.

    Keep in mind that this was 4-5 years ago so the process may be somewhat different now with advances in the procedures. Also, you say your daughter has a "slight" nearsightedness. There is a minimum (and maximum) level of correction that they have to have to be eligible, but I don't know those limits offhand.

  5. aggie83

    aggie83 5-Year Member

    Oct 8, 2008
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    I my son wears contact lenses for nearsightness with power level of either 1.25 or 1.50 in each eye. When he was at the Academy I know it was 1.25. At that time it was not considered severe enough for surgery correction. He got a pilot spot and has completed UPT. He wears his contacts when flying.
  6. skt

    skt 5-Year Member

    Dec 15, 2010
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    As with aggie83, my son (graduating May 2015) is also slightly nearsighted - not significant enough to qualify for PRK or lasik. He is also pilot qualified and has received a pilot slot.

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