Manual of the Medical Department

Questions about medical procedures?
Go to, scroll down to MANMED Change 126 (pages 51-112) and download the document. The pertinent section is Article 15-105 Naval Special Warfare and Special Operations.
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Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) Eye Surgery?

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  • Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) Eye Surgery?

    I haven't been able to find any information on the forum, MANMED or anywhere else online that relates to my situation. My question is:

    "Is the Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) eye surgery to correct my vision to 20/20 an approved procedure that will allow me to obtain a Navy SEAL SO contract?"

    After a consultation today, my ophthalmologist who previously worked as an eye surgeon in the Air Force told me he wasn't sure if the RLE is an approved procedure for Navy SO candidates. He mentioned getting back to me in a few weeks after he spoke with some acquaintances in the Navy - but I'd rather know for sure sooner than later.

    My eyes are bad, +8.00 diopters since birth. My plan is to get the RLE surgery now, then enlist via DEP in March of 2016, a month shy of my 28th birthday. I know I need 6 months to pass since my surgery and more importantly, get my PST scores well beyond the minimums.

    My Latest PST & Mini Resume:

    - Swim 10:31 (open ocean, 500yd straight)
    - Push: 76
    - Sit: 82
    - Pull: 13
    - Run: 10:29
    - College degree: B.S. in Finance, Mathematics
    - Sole founder, owner and operator of 2 succesful consulting businesses over the past 5 years.
    - 27 & 2 months of age

    Thank you very much in advance for any information and guidance. I also apologize if I've overlooked something in the MANMED or something within this forum.

    - An almost-blind guy who's hoping his genetics won't stop him from achieving his dream.

  • #2
    I'm not exactly sure but I think I saw in the past on this forum that corrective eye surgery is okay with a waiver. Not sure though hopefully someone with more experience will reply to help you more than I can. Anyways best of luck friend.


    • #3
      If no one else replys you could always just ask a recruiter. Again best of luck


      • #4
        James_ - Thank you for your quick reply...and apologies for my delayed response.

        I reached out to my local recruiter and he is going to give me a call back since he didn't know.

        I'll post an update when I find out, hopefully by this coming Monday.

        Thanks again.


        • #5

          Of course, I hope everything goes as planned for ya.


          • #6
            A little late to the conversation here but what was the verdict concerning the (RLE) surgery? From what I have read LASIK, LASEK, and PRK have been the only approved forms of correction.