History

  • February 11, 1970 – Leaders hold formation meeting at AOA office in Washington DC in what will be the genesis of the Armed Forces Optometric Society (AFOS).
  • July 1, 1970 - The 1st AFOS meeting held in Honolulu, Hawaii with thirty-four optometrists in attendance.
  • 1971 - AOA House of Delegates vote to approve AFOS as an "allied Group" of the AOA.
  • 1973 – AFOS lobbies for and receives legislation to enact Optometry Special Pay.
  • 1974 - AFOS forms an Affiliation Committee to work with the AOA on formal recognition of AFOS.
  • July 1981- AOA House of Delegates votes and grants AFOS affiliate status equal to the state associations.
  • 1980s - AFOS leads the way DPA/TPA certification and licensure laws. 
    • First, AFOS and military services work with Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) to train and certify optometrists in diagnostic and therapeutic pharmaceuticals. Soon after, the services adopt credentialing and privileging regulations for doctors completing the program. This program soon becomes the "gold standard" for DPA and TPA certification in nearly every state.
    • Second, AFOS, along with the AOA, successfully fight to remove optometry from under the supervision of ophthalmology and establish a separate service within the military medical departments. Many states soon utilize this new structure to stave off attempts to have optometry be under ophthalmology in state licensing laws.
  • June 1986 - AFOS membership approves adding VA and Civil Service as eligible members of our organization.
  • 1990 - AFOS conducts study on military pay for optometrists and recommends to the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) optometry officers receive increased special pay similar to physicians. Board Certification Pay for Optometry is then approved and enacted.
AFOS has been working tirelessly for our military troops and their families, our Native American population, and our veterans. Whether it be our Licensure by Endorsement initiative allowing states to recognize other state licensure, or advocating greater eye care benefits in the military’s TRICARE program (the military’s managed care plan), or providing the latest in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) eye care, rest assured that we will always be advocating Federal Optometry, its scope of practice and our patients!

AFOS Founders

Colonel Billy C. Green, MSC, USA 
Colonel Floyd M. Morris, USAF, BSC
Captain Aldo Bartolomei, MSC, USN
Captain Donald E. Still, MSC, USN
Captain Ralph L. Vasa, MSC, USN
H. E. "Tony" Mahlman, DOS