Question About Vision (STO) | AFSPECWAR Forums


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Question About Vision (STO)

Hello all,

I’m having a hard time finding a solid answer for a few questions I’m having regarding eye surgery. First I want to say that I have ed through this website, as well as elsewhere on the internet, and have been unable to find a reliable answer. I even went as far as to ask the Tech. Sgt. who works in my ROTC detachment but he was unable to give me a solid answer.

To summarize what I’ve found: Eyesight Requirements (STO):

Standard: Must be at least 20/70 or better in both eyes and both correctable to 20/20 with glasses.

Must have normal color vision.

Waiver possibilities: If one eye is 20/70 or better and other no worse than 20/200, or if both eyes are no worse than 20/100.

Note: PRK and LASEK surgery is approved by AF.

Applicant must wait one year after procedure, pre and post conditions must be met.

LASIK is not approved for military freefall.

My questions are:

1.) Does uncorrected vision mean before or after eye surgery? What I mean is if my vision is currently 20/400 and I get eye surgery and am corrected to 20/20 is my uncorrected vision still 20/400 or does it change to 20/20? This is my most important question because obviously 20/400 is significantly worse than the 20/100 cutoff, BUT if my post surgery eyesight becomes my new uncorrected vision I should be in the clear…

2.) If my surgery was a success but only brought my vision to 20/30 for example would I still meet the vision requirements if my vision was further correctable to 20/20 with glasses? Or does eye surgery count as a special circumstance where it needs to be perfect after the operation?

3.) The last part says that LASIK is not approved for military freefall– this implies that PRK is the better of the two options, but if anybody could confirm that would be great.

Sorry for the long post, and I apologize if any of these questions have been answered before. I appreciate any input.




Staff member


Read the eye surgery info.

However, in perspective of your question, uncorrected vision generally means what your vision is without use of glasses or contacts.

The difficulty in answering your question is the accomplished eye surgery brings with it requirement of certain medical eye health and vision documentation before and after the surgery, reference the pre and post conditions must be met.

I’ll take another look at the eye surgery info and see if I can learn anything else. Thank you for the answer!

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