Combat ophthalmology. When there isn't an assigned ophthalmologist

Binocul Vis Strabismus Q. 2007;22(3):153-68.


The National Guard has extensive capabilities that are impossible to attain in active duty units, largely because its citizen Soldiers bring their civilian expertise in addition to their military occupational specialties. While deploying to Afghanistan as the flight surgeon for a forward deployed Special Forces (SF) battalion, this Colorado Army National Guardsman also provided basic ophthalmology care in theater in the absence of an assigned ophthalmologist. The SF Battalion Preventive Medicine (PM) NCO was also an experienced eye technician in civilian life. Emergency eye surgery was provided for allied, coalition and host nationals in accordance with the Rules of Engagement. Elective eye surgery was an excellent method to build rapport and trust in keeping with the Special Forces "winning the hearts and minds" philosophy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Afghanistan
  • Child
  • Eye Injuries / surgery*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Military
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Medicine*
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures*
  • United States
  • Warfare*