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titanmc11

Flight Physical Options (Civilian AME?)

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Hello everyone - hope everyone's having a restful holiday.

I've been building my packet with the local GA National Guard WOSM team for the past 3-4 months for WOFT. E5 grunt (USMC Reserves), just over 6yrs TIS, one deployment to Afghanistan in support Freedom's Sentinel. 

I'm deep into the process, have taken the SIFT, mainly just waiting on my last LOR, conditional release processing, and I need to get a flight physical.

My question: The WOSM team said the National Guard unit here can't provide a flight physical since I haven't been accepted into the program yet. Fair. My only real option it seems would be to drive down to Pensacola (USMC), or try to set something up at Rucker/Benning. None of those options are too big of a deal - just a few hours of driving. However, does anyone here know if a 1st class flight physical from a civilian FAA AME (Aviation Medical Examiner) would suffice? I found an article online that mentioned it was valid, but it wasn't from an Army publication. I can call around after the holidays to find out, but figured the brain trust here might have some input.

Thanks.

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Civilian will not be accepted since it doesnt process through the system the Army uses.  GA ARNG should be able to do it no problem.  I had PA ARNG do mine for AD as a street to seater.  The only thing i had to do on my own was an eye exam but the documents needed were provided.  If you’re willing to drive to Pensacola you might as well detour straight to the source and go right to Rucker.

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I would press them to see if they really can't get you a flight physical. Often you get a "no" because the right person wasn't asked or someone somewhere made an assumption. I am on ADOS with the WOSM in my state while I wait to start flight school and I primarily handle our aviation applicants. In my state if we are interested in boarding someone (and they have met certain benchmarks in assembling their packet, meeting with certain people, passing the SIFT, etc) we will schedule them for a flight physical with the MEDCOM unit on one of the MEDCOM drill weekends. We do require them to get some testing and paperwork (we have an eye exam sheet we have a civilian provider fill out, and then we reimburse as we don't have the in house capability to administer all the tests) ahead of time. We have done this for those no longer in the military as well as current Marines and Airmen looking to come over to fly. 

If your state is strapped for cash and someone doing budget stuff is the hold-up, and this absolutely could be true, you should be able to get in touch with the flight surgeon and get a list of labs, eye paperwork, EKG, etc, that is needed. You bring all that stuff in to the flight surgeon, he does the anthro measurements and submits it to Rucker. Shouldn't cost the state a penny. That said, given they are getting you board ready they should just schedule you for a flight phys. They clearly are interested in boarding you, so why they can't figure out the phys doesn't make sense on my end. 

I'm sure they THINK they can't get you a flight physical, but I would try to ascertain exactly where the hold-up is. Broadly, the ARNG is authorized to run "street to seat" programs at states' individual discretion. Therefore, they can get you a flight physical if you need it. We do it. Other states do it. GA is clearly planning on boarding you so the WOSM should be able to work with MEDCOM to figure out how to get it done. Keep pushing before you run all over the world trying to get a flight physical Rucker won't accept. I'm sure they were genuinely told no by somebody, but somebody is probably wrong. 

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Thanks gents.

I had tracked down a flight surgeon at the local NG unit back in July when I got LASIK to get the necessary pre and post refractive surgery paperwork. I'll just reach out back to him and see what the deal is.

@mike0331 I've found that to be the case several times - people asking the wrong people or assuming the wrong things. I can almost recite the refractive eye surgery guidelines in AR40-501 because of misinformation I initially received from recruiters. If you don't mind, I may PM you at some point if I have additional questions. It looks like we may have had similar paths.

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Absolutely, feel free to reach out. And yes, sounds like we followed similar paths. Were/are you 3/23? 

The way we do it (and not sure how GA does), is we have an NCO who is our liaison to MEDCOM who works in the state aviation office. Basically the NCO who handles scheduling flight physicals for the rated aviators in GA should also be able to schedule you for a flight physical. I would utilize the recruiting chain of command insofar as I would suggest this to the WOSM. 

Again, given the leeway states have in their recruiting procedures for aviation, the WOSM should be able to make some stuff happen. 

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I was in the same boat as you and found out the hard way that after paying for the civilian flight physical, it does not fly for this application.

Nobody in my chain of command or the recruiting station wanted to help me so I ended up calling the nearest AD post which was FT. Knox and after a quick 5 minute phone conversation I had a flight physical scheduled.

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Figured. 1/25 on my end. One of my closest friends deployed with you -- I'll shoot you a PM. Sorry of ya'll hate eachother, he is a yankee after-all. 

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16 hours ago, TheSmallLebowski said:

I was in the same boat as you and found out the hard way that after paying for the civilian flight physical, it does not fly for this application.

Nobody in my chain of command or the recruiting station wanted to help me so I ended up calling the nearest AD post which was FT. Knox and after a quick 5 minute phone conversation I had a flight physical scheduled.

Wow - that would have been frustrating. Thank you all for the assistance. 

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On 12/25/2019 at 5:55 PM, StockTrader said:

Civilian will not be accepted since it doesnt process through the system the Army uses.  GA ARNG should be able to do it no problem.  I had PA ARNG do mine for AD as a street to seater.  The only thing i had to do on my own was an eye exam but the documents needed were provided.  If you’re willing to drive to Pensacola you might as well detour straight to the source and go right to Rucker.

I just want to clarify something... A civilian flight physical is not accepted, but its a civilian eye exam accepted? I am having trouble scheduling Optometry right now, and that would be super helpful if I could do it through my own provider.

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Yes. A civilian may conduct the required elements of the eye exam and fill out the appropriate paperwork/include testing results (i.e. corneal topography). This paperwork will be brought in for your flight phys and accompany the rest of your stuff to Rucker. Get a list of all of what is needed from whatever unit is conducting the phys.

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