Army Laser Surgery Program
The Army Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program (WRESP) has been implemented as a limited medical resource available to commanders for enhancement of Soldier readiness. Laser refractive eye surgery has been a proven benefit for professional athletes as well as fire, police, and other professionals whose uncorrected visual acuity is a significant factor in their confidence and effectiveness.
Due to the nature of the different refractive surgery procedures, there may be important repercussions in Army school selections. Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) is approved for students in all Army schools except aviation. Laser Keratomileusis (LASIK) is approved in all Army schools except Special Forces, Diving, HALO and aviation. There are ongoing studies involving students in Flight School, as well as experienced aviators, who have had either LASIK or PRK surgery.
Similar studies involving Soldiers who have had LASIK are being conducted in Special Forces courses. Soldiers who are interested in participating in one of these studies must contact the specific school. Soldiers may not meet the study criteria and thus be refused admission to the desired school. If a Soldier is interested in specific qualification, he or she should speak to the associated school before receiving any laser treatment.