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Health Services

Refractive Surgery

PRK and LASIK is an alternative to glasses and contact lenses that can enhance a service members readiness, mission, performance, and personal safety. This is a specially funded program for active duty only we call “refractive surgery for warfighters”.

What is PRK?

PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is a surgical procedure that changes the surface curvature of the cornea by shaping it with an ultraviolet (cold) laser. The new curvature of the cornea corrects the refractive error and improves the patient’s vision.

What is LASIK?

LASIK is a surgical procedure that uses a femtosecond laser (Intralase) to create a surgical flap on the front of the cornea. Following the lifting of the flap, the underlying surface of the cornea is sculpted with an ultraviolet (cold) laser in order to change the surface curvature of the cornea to correct the patient’s refractive error. The flap is then repositioned over the sculpted corneal tissue and it secures itself over the next days and weeks.

How can I be considered for the surgery?

The refractive surgery for warfighters program is strictly available to active duty service members only. To apply for the program, each service member must schedule a routine eye exam at a military optometry clinic and submit a completed paper refractive surgery application to our clinic (civilian provider evaluations for the program are not permitted).  See details on how to get scheduled for an appointment under the “refractive surgery consult form” section below.  Service members must have command support to apply via commanding officer’s signature of approval on the application, be deemed medically eligible by our team, and have a minimum time remaining on full time active duty orders.  Minimum time remaining on orders starts day of surgery, not date of the application.
As per program instruction, the following statuses are not eligible for surgery: In a limited duty or medical board status or awaiting adjudication of a medical board already submitted.   

Refractive Surgery Waiting List Information

Our database is very large and surgery schedules are extremely dynamic and complex.  There are 4 priority levels defined by instruction, and we have a set number of surgery openings each month.  Applicants are scheduled primarily based on classification at time of submission with “Pr 1” being the highest.  We schedule a percentage of other priority applicants based on date of application. 
Unfortunately, this makes it impossible to predict waiting times for any individual. We recognize that most applicants are very anxious to have surgery, but we cannot provide you with even an estimate.  You have the option to apply for surgery at another military laser center, but you should be prepared to also travel back to the same laser center for all your care related to the surgery. 

The availability for refractive surgery appointments here is currently limited to those who have surgery at our center, or if transfer to our area during the 6-month postop period.

Referrals out in town are not permitted as refractive surgery is not a covered benefit for any Tricare beneficiary.

Refractive Surgery Consult Form

  • Download and print the Refractive Surgery Consult Form

  • Completely fill out all your information in Part 1 of the form

  • Commanding Officer fills out Part 3 of the form

  • Schedule a routine optometry appointment at your nearest Military Treatment Facility (MTF) branch clinic.   The vision section on part 2 of the application must be completed and signed off by an MTF vision care provider.  MTF providers have a unique protocol in evaluating for surgery that involves being familiar with the vision standards of your job and familiarity of military obligations. Civilian providers are therefore not authorized to determine if active duty service member is a candidate for surgery at a military facility.      

  • Email form to
    Forms must be submitted as a pdf formIncomplete &/or illegible applications, and/or pictures of applications will be returned to sender. 

  • You should receive an auto-reply message with additional information as confirmation we received your email.  If you do not get that auto-reply within 24 hours, please ensure you typed our email address correctly and check your spam/junk folders.

  • Please allow staff at least 8 weeks to process your application internally, at which time you will receive a 2nd email message to re-confirm application was added to our database.

  • Should any of your contact information change in the interim, please email us at

Contact Us

Patient Feedback

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(757) 953-7575


Charette Health Care Center
Building 3, 6th Floor


Monday – Friday 7 a.m. - 3:30- p.m.

Availability of Services

Active Duty only


Patients need to schedule initial screening at one if the outlying Optometry clinics.  Inform the provider you are interested in Refractive Surgery. Optometry appointments are a self-referral by calling


See FAQ link for more information about the process and waiting list.
*Updated 22 March 2023
Don't forget to keep your family's information up-to-date in DEERS.