Retinal detachment

this is my first post and hope I've selected the correct forum. I've had a retinal detachment from my current career in Professional Mixed Martial Arts. I have been cleared to fight by my Dr and have continued to do so unharmed. I can meet the other vision requirements from what I'm seeing. I am extremely motivated to dedicate everything to becoming a PJ and need to devote more time to the pool. From what the recruiter told me I have to enlist to see if I'll get waivered so a fear is spending the next 6 months or so beefing up my water confidence only to be told I won't even get a shot. If anyone has advice that could help me it would be greatly appreciated.


Staff member
You will need to seek out a medical waiver. The would have to enlist to see if I'll get waivered is correct and accurate.

Although Waiver probability has connection to depends on the area and extent of the retina involved and the success of any reattachment surgery, there are other factor considerations involved concerning stability and risks of reoccurrence in performance of duties known to expose head to repetitive excess G-forces (acceleration/deceleration) in performance of parachutist duties and changing atmospheric pressure in performance of aircrew, MFF parachutist, and combat diver duties
I can't speak to the medical requirements for waiverability into the Air Force, but if you opt to try for a waiver the process is all the same. You will go to MEPS, meet with the doctor and go over your medical records. He will give you a PUHLES profile and send you on your way. If you are disqualified you are essentially done at MEPS for the day. You cannot actually enlist until you receive a waiver for your disqualification. You will go home, and your recruiter will submit your waiver to the proper waiver authority. You wait an unknown amount of time (for me it was about 2 months) and then you will hear back. If you get waiver you will THEN be allowed to return to MEPS and swear in to enlist. You are not under law required to enlist, but it would be a waste of everyone's time if you did not without some kind of unforseen circumstance. At this point you will be in DEP, have to pass the PAST, and if you do, wait for a job to open it up, pass the PAST again, sign your contract and be on your way. In basic, you will have to go through the class III flight physical. If everything checks out you will be allowed to enter the DEV course/Indoc.

So you have two hurdles medically...MEPS and the Class III flight physical. Look into AFI48-123 and make sure you meet the requirements for both.
This post is from awhile ago but I just recently had this problem, so I'll post about my experience with it. My left eye was 20/400 and correctable to 20/200 because I had a nerve pit that was leaking fluid under my retina, causing the detachment (I believe). When I went to MEPS I had no idea and I had to go back to the doctor. Instead of doing that, I went to a civilian doctor, found out the problem and got surgery. I'll be going to MEPS again in a month (have to wait 6 months to go back) and go run through everything and the doctor will check me off if I'm okay. I've been told I should be good to go aslong as it's correctable to 20/20 after the surgery. If this isn't accurate please correct me -- thanks.
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