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Subject: Eye Surgery for Infantry?
skynetog    10/22/2007 12:46:14 AM
Would this be a viable option? I scored high enough on the ASVAB to get 18X, but to say all I could do in the army is stocking or food service because of my eyesight made me pretty down lately, to the point I would risk eye surgery to get into infantry.
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Old Grunt    Confused...   10/22/2007 3:30:46 PM
Is this a hypothetical?
The visual acuity requirement for Infantry, Airborne, and Ranger training are all the same as the entrance requirement with the exception that you must be able to pass a red-green color vision test.  If you aren't colorblind and you meet the requirements for entry into the US Army, then you automatically meet the visual requirements for that training.  The only additional requirement for 18X would be that you don't have any astigmatism greater then a cumulative 8 (+/-) diopters.

Any type of surgical vision correction is an enlistment disqualifier.  However, for Special Forces personnel and personnel on second or subsequent enlistments, vision correction is routine and provided by the Army at Walter Reed AMC.
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Horsesoldier       10/22/2007 11:27:59 PM
Any type of surgical vision correction is an enlistment disqualifier.
My info may be bad, but I thought they would accept PRK but not LASIK for enlistments now.
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skynetog       10/23/2007 2:49:19 AM
I have normal color vision, but at MEPS my service counselor told me I would not be able to get Infantry because of my vision. He even tried to put out an exception, and was still denied. I'm starting to think that something went wrong, because when I had a talk with my recruiter today and he said the exception went out saying I was color blind, even though my papers said I had normal color vision.
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Old Grunt    Horsesoldier...    10/23/2007 12:20:22 PM
Had to check with the OTSG.
There are some cases where PRK would not be a disqualifier, however they are rather limited.
Below is the section from AR 40-501:
(2) History of refractive surgery including, but not limited to: Lamellar (P11.7) and/or penetrating keratoplasty(P11.6).  Radial Keratotomy and Astigmatic Keratotomy is disqualifying. Refractive surgery performed with an Excimer Laser, including but not limited to, Photorefractive Keratectomy ( commonly known as PRK), Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis (commonly known as LASEK), and Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis (commonly known as LASIK) (P11.7) is disqualifying if any of the following conditions are met:
(a) Pre-surgical refractive error in either eye exceeds + 8.00 to - 8.00 diopters.

(b) At least 6 months recovery period has not occurred between last refractive surgery or augmenting procedure and

accession medical examination.

(c) There have been complications, and/or medications or ophthalmic solutions are required.

(d) Post-surgical refraction in each eye is not stable as demonstrated by—

1. At least two separate refractions at least one month apart, the most recent of which demonstrates more than +/- 0.50 diopters difference for spherical vision and/or more than +/- 0.25 diopters for cylinder vision; and

2. At least 3 months recovery has not occurred between the last refractive surgery or augmenting procedure and one of the comparison refractions.
(e) Pre-surgical and post-surgical refractive error does not meet the standards for the Military Service to which the candidate is applying.
Bottom line seems to be that if your eyes didn't meet the requirements prior to surgery, the post-surgery result is immaterial.
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