Protect the sight of those who serve Optometry

Servicemembers must guide F-18s onto moving aircraft carriers. Track enemy vessels from hundreds of miles away. Hit the target when airlifting in desperately needed medical supplies to a nation hit by disaster. Here, good vision isn’t a luxury; it’s an absolute necessity.

Navy Optometrist jobs are vital in maintaining servicemembers’ effectiveness. As a Navy eye doctor, you’ll be a part of a well-organized, supportive team, working alongside Navy Ophthalmologists and other medical professionals.

Imagine serving at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Rota, Spain. Practicing Aerospace Optometry at the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory in Pensacola, Fla. Or even fitting a 72-year-old Honduran woman with her first pair of eyeglasses, since you’ll also be a vital part of the humanitarian work this nation carries out across the world.

Wherever you serve, your experience will be unrivaled. Your technology will be unparalleled. And the skills you develop, unmatched.

Job Description

As a Navy Doctor of Optometry, you will practice full-scope optometry at hospitals around the globe, with patients who include servicemembers, their families, and retirees, as well as Third World children and adults.

Regardless of where you practice, there are unparalleled leadership and executive medicine opportunities, research and teaching positions, and humanitarian opportunities. And in each of those areas, you will always find a continual focus on professional development.

Specific Responsibilities

As an Optometrist and Officer in the Navy Medical Service Corps, you will serve the routine and acute eye-care needs of military personnel, their dependents and those who depend upon America around the globe. Your duties may include:

  • Refractive services such as prescribing spectacles or contact lenses, and refractive surgery
  • Ocular pathology treatment
  • Surgical co-management
  • A subspecialty focus, such as low vision, traumatic brain injury rehab, specialty contact lenses and more

You could even be involved with Aerospace, Surface or Undersea Medicine.

Work Environment

As a Navy Clinical Care Provider, you’ll practice full-scope optometry at hospitals around the globe, from Hawaii to Japan, Germany to Guam, and Washington, D.C., to Washington state.

You could also work at one of the highly acclaimed National Naval Medical Centers in Bethesda, Maryland; Portsmouth, Virginia; and San Diego, California. Or, you could provide optical support aboard one of two dedicated hospital ships: the USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy.

No matter where you serve, you’ll provide leadership and expertise to support your country, in support of the men and women who defend it, and the world at large.

Education Opportunities

Wherever you are in your professional career, the Navy can help ease your financial burdens and advance your career with generous scholarships, financial assistance and continuing education programs.

Graduate Students

Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) – Receive 100% tuition assistance while completing an eligible optometry education program plus a monthly stipend of $2,179 to help cover living expenses for up to 48 months.

Offers have many variables. To get details and find out which offer would benefit you most, request that a Navy Officer Recruiter contact you.

Practicing Professionals

There's an alternative to spending years paying down the cost of your graduate education. If you're currently a practicing professional, you could potentially be eligible to receive financial assistance through the Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP). Talk to a Navy Officer Recruiter for more information.

Offers have many variables. To get information and find out which offer would benefit you most, request that a Navy Officer Recruiter contact you.


To qualify for Active Duty employment consideration as an Optometrist in the Navy Medical Service Corps, you must meet these basic requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen currently practicing in the U.S. (contact a
    Navy Medical Recruiter for details)
  • Doctor of optometry degree from a college or university recognized by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education or the American Optometric Association
  • Licensed to practice optometry by one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia
  • Eligibility to be licensed by a state or the District of Columbia by having passed Parts I, II and III of the National Board Exam (an active state license is required upon entering Active Duty)
  • Be willing to serve a minimum of three years of Active Duty
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 41
  • Be in good physical condition and pass a full medical examination

You may also be expected to meet certain preferred requirements:

  • Graduate school GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Professional experience
  • Affiliation with a national professional organization


After the Navy

Set your sights on a more dynamic approach to eye care. Navy Optometry charts a progressive course for optical health and safety.

Here, you’ll find unrivaled training and educational opportunities, incomparable benefits and experience, and deeper pride and purpose. You’ll also find superior career advancement opportunities that will pay off long after you return to the civilian world.

Consider Your Service Options.

There are different ways that you can commit to serve in America's Navy. Besides full-time opportunities in Active Duty, part-time Reserve positions are also available in this career area.