Skip to main content

Military Health System

Important Notice about Pharmacy Operations

Change Healthcare Cyberattack Impact on MHS Pharmacy Operations. Read the statement to learn more. 

For Thousands of Troops, Eye Surgery is Key to Vision Readiness

Image of A surgical team with the Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg monitors the progress of a patient's surgery inside the Ophthalmology Clinic's Refractive Surgery suite. A surgical team with the Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg monitors the progress of a patient's surgery inside the Ophthalmology Clinic's Refractive Surgery suite. (Photo by Jerome Mapp)

For military eye doctors and eye surgeons, one of their top priorities is to preserve and enhance vision for the service members who need it most, including those in career fields like aviation, special operations and the security forces. 

The core of this effort is the Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program, which has supported more than 750,000 surgical procedures during the past 20 years.  The surgical procedures, which include Lasik and PRK surgery, often aim to eliminate service members’ dependence on glasses or contact lenses in austere environments. 

“Our goal is to enable our warfighters to qualify and continue in professions that might require excellent uncorrected vision,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Tyler Miles, an aerospace optometrist at the Navy Refractive Surgery Center at Naval Medical Center San Diego. 

To help the military’s vision care community stay up to date on the latest technology and research, the 2022 Military Refractive Surgery Safety and Strategy Symposium (MRSSSS) convened in late January.  This year’s symposium was conducted virtually due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. 

The symposium focused attention on how to enhance vision on the battlefield, to make headgear and goggles less burdensome and to improve standardization and optimization across the Military Health System.  Refractive surgery is a model in the Defense Health Agency for standardization and optimization of procedures across 26 military warfighter eye centers. 

Laser eye surgery is available to all active duty service members who are medically and administratively qualified. While it is classified as an elective surgery, patients are often extremely happy with the outcome and their decision to have a Lasik or PRK procedure. 

“For most military members, the enhanced readiness and safety they find after their surgery is often cited as one of the best decisions they have made in their military career,” Miles said. 

The Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program was initially designed to provide a combat-vision edge to Navy SEALS, Special Forces and other warfighters through a variety of corrective surgery options. 

Since its inception in 2001, the research, technology and experience have allowed the program to expand and include all active duty service members, including aviators.

You also may be interested in...

Article Around MHS
May 30, 2023

Navy Expeditionary Medical Unit Rotations Provide Ongoing Support in the Middle East

U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Freeman Morrison, a biomedical technician, left, and U.S. Navy Lt. j. g. Andrew Mappus, an emergency room nurse, right, assigned to Navy Expeditionary Medical Unit 10- Gulf, Rotation 13, are monitoring an U.S. Army Medic Task Force Buckeye, 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, as he draws blood from an soldier on Dec. 20. (Photo by U.S. Navy Capt. Jerrol Walla)

The 30-member team conducted enhanced shore-based activities at Erbil Air Base in Iraq, where they provided life, limb, and eyesight-saving care to the U.S. armed forces, Department of Defense, civilian contractors, and multi-national coalition forces. They also provided critical support to facilities in the Eastern Syria Security Area.

Article Around MHS
Mar 15, 2023

Walter Reed Audiology and Speech Pathology Center Focuses on Improving Quality of Life for Military Health System Beneficiaries

World Hearing Day is observed annually on March 3, and this year’s theme is “Ear and Hearing Care for All.”  (Courtesy photo)

Although World Hearing Day is observed just one day during the year, the Audiology and Speech Pathology Center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center focuses on improving the health and quality of life for MHS beneficiaries nearly every day of the year.

Article Around MHS
Jan 27, 2023

Eyes on Vision Readiness

Military personnel gets eye exam

Good eyesight is often take for granted, but vision impairment can be the difference between mission success and mission failure. Find out what's happening on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling so airmen in the National Capital Region remain sharply focused on their U.S. Air Force missions.

Last Updated: July 11, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery