Have a question or just want to learn more? We're here to help.
As a Navy Doctor of Optometry, you will practice full-scope optometry at hospitals around the globe, with patients who include servicemembers, their families, retirees, and those in need.
Navy Optometrists enjoy outstanding leadership, professional development and executive medicine opportunities, research and teaching positions, and humanitarian opportunities.
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 families, and those in need around the globe. Your duties may include:
You could even be involved with Aerospace, Surface or Undersea Medicine.
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, Md.; Portsmouth, Va.; and San Diego, Calif. You could also provide optical support aboard one of two dedicated hospital ships: the USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy.
Serving part-time as a Reservist, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, Optometrists in the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their homes. This gives you the flexibility to expand your profession in the Navy without compromising your civilian practice at home.
For annual training, Optometrists may serve anywhere in the world, whether at sea, in hospitals stateside, or in bases in countries around the world.
Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Reservists.
Upon graduation from graduate school, those pursuing an Optometrist position are required to attend Officer Development School (ODS) in Newport, R.I. ODS is a five-week program that provides a comprehensive and intense introduction to the responsibilities of Navy Staff Corps Officers. Here they learn about the military structure of the U.S. Navy, its rich history of traditions and customs, leadership development and military etiquette.
Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and based on performance.
Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent of that.
Optometrists in the Navy Reserve serve in an Officer role. Before receiving the ongoing professional training that comes with this job, initial training requirements must first be met.
For current or former Navy Officers (NAVET): Prior experience satisfies the initial leadership training requirement – so you will not need to go through Officer Training again.
For current or former Officers of military branches other than the Navy (OSVET), as well as for Officer candidates without prior military experience: You will need to meet the initial leadership training requirement by attending the twelve-day Direct Commission Officer (DCO) School in Newport, R.I. This will count as your first Annual Training.
With flexible training options, Medical Service Corps Officers in the Navy Reserve can comfortably balance civilian and military schedules. You can maintain your own life and your own career – enriching both with the rewarding work you do for others.
The Medical Service Corps in the Navy Reserve offers you a truly diverse variety of operational venues. In some cases, you can even work in the same civilian location you work in now. What’s more, you will enjoy an unrivaled sense of pride and fulfillment known only to those who serve.
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.
In the Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) you can receive 100% tuition assistance while completing an eligible optometry education program – plus a monthly stipend in excess of $2,200 to help cover living expenses for up to 48 months.
Through the Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP), you may be eligible to receive financial assistance to pay down the cost of your graduate education.
Offers have many variables. To get information and find out which offer would benefit you most, request that a Navy Officer Recruiter contact you.
Practicing Health Professionals
As a Reservist in the Navy Medical Service Corps, you’ll receive your choice of any one of these three generous financial offers:*
*Offers cannot be combined and depend on specialty.
To qualify for Active Duty employment consideration as an Optometrist in the Navy Medical Service Corps, you must meet these basic requirements:
You may also be expected to meet certain preferred requirements:
General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you intend to serve Active Duty or Reserve Duty, and whether you are currently serving, have served before or have never served before.