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Lindsey

WARRANT OFFICER FLIGHT TRAINING

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I spoke with the other nearest recruiter today, they seemed very familiar with the WOFT program, so I'm going to go up there monday and give it a go with them. Also, ask about that 3 month waiver after PRK, if nothing else maybe I can get in just under 6 months. I really want to get into BCT before summer at the latest..spring seems an ideal time to be made to run miles and miles lol

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LunaC,

 

Coming from someone who had PRK, I can tell you that for me it was a 6 month waiting period from what I remember being told. It was a year before I had my physical but they did tell me initially when I was considering getting the procedure that I would have to wait 6 months post-op. My vision used to be 20/80 and 20/100 respectively and now I am 20/15 in both. Never had any problems with my MEPS physical or my flight physical and was approved by Rucker. If you have any questions, comments, concerns about the procedure and the physical process after I'd be glad to help you out.

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I'm glad to hear that you are 20/15! My contacts only correct to 20/20, I can only imagine how awesome it is to see better than average! I can only hope I have the same result. As stated above, there seem to be waivers that allow for at least getting your flight physical 3 months after surgery, with at least 3 eye exams performed before the flight physical (I believe the FP actually takes the place of one of the eye exams leaving 2 for the civilian doc, at least a month apart, and after at least one month from surgery). I do also know that if you pass a flight physical and have eyes done, and/or fail the eye exam, you do not have to take the rest of the flight physical again, only the eye exam portion. I will look into it extensively, until then I have many many objectives to complete to get my WOFT packet up to standard, including but not limited to;

 

Letters of Recommendation

CLEP'ing some college credits

Writing my 'Why I want to be a WOFT aviator' essay

volunteering at the local Air Force Museum and becoming a member of the Civil Air Patrol to show dedication to the field of aviation and bolster leadership and responsibility credibility

Studying very hard for the SIFT (there aren't even any study guides for the SIFT yet, so if anyone can point me in the right direction on this I would really appreciate it)

HEALING

and PT, PT, and more PT.

 

And that's just the short list...

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Well, an update, some things have changed so the game has changed somewhat;

 

PRK surgery tomorrow, and my wife lost the baby..checking into college classes (could have a degree in General Studies or begin a degree program for Aviation Mechanical in the next 6 months, which would look better? A full degree, but in general studies, or not having a degree but enrolled in classes for aviation?), getting my letters of recommendation (still need to speak with a warrant officer if the chance arises, any suggestions?), and busting out my PT like a champ (did 2 miles in 16 mins, jogged a 5K today at a slower pace, around 29 mins). Wish me luck on the surgery, and thanks for your suggestions, any further input will be greatly appreciated! :)

 

Fingers crossed for my last night of wearing corrective lenses (hopefully).

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Well, an update, some things have changed so the game has changed somewhat;

 

PRK surgery tomorrow, and my wife lost the baby..checking into college classes (could have a degree in General Studies or begin a degree program for Aviation Mechanical in the next 6 months, which would look better? A full degree, but in general studies, or not having a degree but enrolled in classes for aviation?), getting my letters of recommendation (still need to speak with a warrant officer if the chance arises, any suggestions?), and busting out my PT like a champ (did 2 miles in 16 mins, jogged a 5K today at a slower pace, around 29 mins). Wish me luck on the surgery, and thanks for your suggestions, any further input will be greatly appreciated! :)

 

Fingers crossed for my last night of wearing corrective lenses (hopefully).

 

Good luck with your surgery tomorrow; I trust you did your research on the surgeon that will be pointing laser beams at your only set of eyeballs?

 

In my opinion, work towards the degree in Aviation Mechanical. General studies is a joke. It's also a waste of money. Anyone would look at the Aviation Mechanical pursuit in a better light than a completed "degree" in General Studies.

 

Regarding the LoR and getting in contact with a Warrant Officer - you were resourceful enough to find this site, which bodes well - there are resources out there to find some CW3+s. Try to find phone numbers for aviation units near you, try linkedin.com, try anything. Do you know any Army Officers? Maybe they can put you in touch with a CW3 or higher that they know. It's amazing how fast the dots connect in the Army Aviation community. About a month ago, I only knew WO1 and CW2s, with the exception of one CW3 I chatted with via email. It seemed all the CW2s I know (quite a fair amount) weren't pinning CW3 until the middle of next year. I put some feelers out there, got in contact with a CW4, and suddenly I knew two CW4s (one pinning CW5 next month), a 160th CW5, another 160th CW4, and the first CW4 knows another CW5 very high up at Rucker. Plus another CW5 from the 101st this last week. This isn't to brag, but to demonstrate that those people are definitely out there and very willing to assist.

 

People aren't joking when they say it's a small community.

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Surgery done, I can already see better without my glasses, I suspect this will diminish before it gets better as I heal.

 

I did meet a local sheriff who said he knows a Lieutenant who is trying out for WO soon, and another 138th Cavalry soldier who says he knows some high school buddies who fly blackhawks and apaches in Afghanistan, so I've got feelers out there, hopefully one or two will yield a good LoR. Thanks again for the confidence you've instilled. And yes, the surgeon was Dr. Brown in Augusta, Ga..brilliant staff and docs, procedure was over in 15 minutes, easier than giving blood :)

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Did get PRK or LASIK? I had PRK done by the Navy and it took a few weeks for my vision to get to 20/20. But now (2 years later) I can see 20/20 without any effort.

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I got PRK, since it was the preferred surgery for the military. I can already see better, very little discomfort so far, feels good I'm already seeing better without my glasses :D

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Why don't Army pilots wear the traditional flight suit anymore? How come they wear camo instead of the tan flight suits?

 

The did it to conform with what ground personnel wear. Crusty SGMs wanted us to look like everyone else. The Army would've saved a fortune by sticking to one type of uniform, instead they've tried several. I went from a one piece "pickle suit" to the ABDU, to a tan one piece (Iraq), back to one piece olive drab, then finishing up with the aviation ACU. Never got to wear the newer mountain cam stuff though.

 

Just wanted to wish you all good luck. Your enthusiasm brings back memories. I applied twice. Stick with it and don't give up. ;)

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To echo what others have said regarding LOR's, ASK AROUND. I was bs'ing with this normal looking dude I met at work, turns out he was an F-18 Pilot and has lots of friends in Army WO Community! Gave me his card and was more than helpful. Also, mentioned the NOAA and CG route were great for getting your ratings paid for.

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To echo what others have said regarding LOR's, ASK AROUND. I was bs'ing with this normal looking dude I met at work, turns out he was an F-18 Pilot and has lots of friends in Army WO Community! Gave me his card and was more than helpful. Also, mentioned the NOAA and CG route were great for getting your ratings paid for.

 

NOAA? What?

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To echo what others have said regarding LOR's, ASK AROUND. I was bs'ing with this normal looking dude I met at work, turns out he was an F-18 Pilot and has lots of friends in Army WO Community! Gave me his card and was more than helpful. Also, mentioned the NOAA and CG route were great for getting your ratings paid for.

 

CG is cool and I have lots of friends doing it, but our ratings are paid for anyway. Instrument commercial costs like $50 after completing the instrument phase and Post 9-11 GI Bill pays 10 grand a year for a part 141 flight school.

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The attached powerpoint was sent to me while I was working on my packet. Don't know why I didn't think to post until now, but it was really insightful. It is now a little dated with the SIFT implementation but is still accurate in other areas.

 

Hope it helps those that are just beginning to journey.

WOFT.ppt

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Hi guys! Just an update, not going anywhere until they make me go away :)

 

I am now healed from my surgery and my doc told me I am 20/10!

Said I am one of two people he's ever seen his medical career with eyesight 20/10, and I am the only one post-op he's seen.

 

I am back in college, getting some more credits (the minimum for eligibility is 15, and I only had 10.5, I should finish out this quarter with 19.5 and may opt to take a CLEP test to get another 3-6 classroom-hours)

 

I am actively volunteering at Robins AFB Museum of Aviation, and working full time on top of school..

 

I go to the gym 4 days a week and can now pass my required PT tests, although by May when I go to enlist I would like to damn-near max them out..currently 55 situps, 45 pushups, 16ish minute run (I am 29, so you can find the minimums with a search).

 

Looking for some good info for the SIFT test if anyone has any ideas, and still trying to get some LORs together, although the Museum director is the former Chief of Police, and I am getting pretty friendly with him.

 

Looking into securing a Stafford Student Loan and seeking a flight school to get a few hours under my belt, just to show my dedication.

 

Unfortunately, two weeks after my PRK I got a ticket for failure to move over for an emergency vehicle stopped on the side of the road AKA Move Over law, $394 fine!!! And does kind of compromise the appearance of good decision making, however I was unaware of the law, and was very aware of the situation as I passed them, but nonetheless going into court to ask the judge to consider letting me get the charges dismissed with payment, I will not contest the charges because I did break the law, and I partially blame my eyesight for having me concerned about whether I could safely merge over, but no excuses, I'm a big boy and I can take my medicine, so I'll just explain to the judge what I am doing, and hope he will have some consideration for my goals and help me out a little.

 

I can't think of anything else relevant, but I will definitely be around, and hope anyone can help me study for the SIFT.

Thanks for your advice!

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Huge congrats on the 20/10! Doesn't it feel great? I remember one of the first things I saw was the tiny news ticker at the bottom of the screen on CNN from all the way across the room. I was reading it and suddenly it hit me: I wasn't wearing any corrective lenses!

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Yes it feels absolutely amazing, and I certainly hope it helps with the WOFT selection that I have eyesight twice as good as average :D

 

Now I have better eyesight than my wife, who has never needed glasses, although I still find myself pressing up on the bridge of my nose as if to push my glasses up when I am having trouble focusing on something...old habits die hard.

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Yes it feels absolutely amazing, and I certainly hope it helps with the WOFT selection that I have eyesight twice as good as average :D

 

Now I have better eyesight than my wife, who has never needed glasses, although I still find myself pressing up on the bridge of my nose as if to push my glasses up when I am having trouble focusing on something...old habits die hard.

 

Just don't rub your eyes!!! :blink:

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Haha, I have to sometimes, but I think I'm healed now..doc didn't mention any specific dos or don'ts just said enjoy your new eyes! :D

 

Ahh that's right you had PRK.

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Yes...no chance of flap dislocation :)

 

A good eye rub is like a good stretch or a good yawn..I don't know why I do it, but sometimes it just feels right, and makes me happy ;)

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I wish I would have gotten PRK before I went to flight school. Now I'm going back and forth on whether or not I should get it done. It's annoying putting my flight helmet on and adjusting my glasses all the time, and they make pressure points under my ear cups on long flights. Now I'm at the point where if I go and do it and anything happens, my flying career is over, so it's hard for me to want to pursue it. A few of my friends that are crew chiefs have had it done, all with good results so its pushing me that way even more but I just dont know.

 

How long did it take you to recover and what were the follow up appointments like? How bad was the procedure, and what was ballpark on cost?

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I wish I would have gotten PRK before I went to flight school. Now I'm going back and forth on whether or not I should get it done. It's annoying putting my flight helmet on and adjusting my glasses all the time, and they make pressure points under my ear cups on long flights. Now I'm at the point where if I go and do it and anything happens, my flying career is over, so it's hard for me to want to pursue it. A few of my friends that are crew chiefs have had it done, all with good results so its pushing me that way even more but I just dont know.

 

How long did it take you to recover and what were the follow up appointments like? How bad was the procedure, and what was ballpark on cost?

 

It was a BREEZE. No pain, the worst part of the procedure was the numbing drops which sting a little, but like getting tap water in your eye, not as bad as shampoo. But they are numbing, so that sensation is gone in about 15 seconds..and the rest of the procedure is absolutely painless, quick, easy...I was in the waiting room longer than the actual procedure took, I think I was in and out less than 45 minutes?

 

I did have to go to a pre-op, which required dilation, and my latest post-op at two months required dilation as well, but it was fine. They really just bring you in, give you an eye exam, shine a light in your eyes to check the healing process, and in my case take a laser topography map for military purposes, the worst part of the whole thing was that I chose a clinic 2.5 hours away, so gas and driving sucks, but it was well worth it considering the confidence I had in reading the reviews and the doc I have is absolutely amazing, so I am glad I spent the extra time and money to drive out of town to get the procedure done instead of trying to find someone local.

 

I say go for it, my vision had returned to 20/30 in one eye and 20/50 in the other by the time I was at my 2 week post-op, although if you are flying already, I'd say give it at least a month before you get back behind the controls..your eyes tend to dry out during the day and that will cause your vision to degrade throughout the day without frequent application of lubricating drops, something that may be difficult while airborne..

 

Two months (8 weeks) was when I can confidently say I am healed, and that is about average according to my doc. Everyone is different, some people have best vision after 4 weeks, others sometimes 10-12 weeks. Remember with PRK you are waiting for the skin to grow back over your cornea, which is going to be different for everyone, and it's a process you WANT to take a few weeks, because if it grows back to fast it might not grow back smooth or leave scars when it does..they gave me steroidal eyedrops for the first few weeks that slowed down the healing process for that reason.

 

If you choose the right doc and right surgical center with a high-tech laser then you should be absolutely fine..I would be much more worried about LASIK than PRK, the only benefit of LASIK is the fact that you can see fine again in a day or two, but at any time you risk disturbing the corneal flap (eye pokes, shrubbery, water skiing seem to be the most common causes of this, and can happen even 8 years or more after LASIK). PRK is the way to go, and if you wait any longer, when you finally do get the surgery and heal you'll be kicking yourself for not doing it sooner (IN MY OPINION).

 

Good luck!

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LASIK has evolved a lot. It's what I had, and I don't regret it in the slightest. I am almost exactly 3 years post-op, zero issues whatsoever. Similar to lunaC, I also drove 2.5 hours away to go to a state-of-the-art corneal facility to get mine done. In my opinion, the quality of the surgeon is more important than which surgery you choose (PRK vs LASIK).

 

I could see perfectly the same day as my surgery.

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