AFOS Membership Categories:
Active: Optometrists i) on active duty or retired from the uniformed services, or ii) who work full-time, part-time, or are retired employees of the Department of Veteran Affairs, Federal Civil Service, or any other entity of the Federal Government including Reserves and National Guard.
* New Active members must also be AOA members through AFOS.
Associate: Optometrists retired from one of the uniformed services, present or past members in the active or inactive Reserves, present or past members in the National Guard, or who have previously served in one of the uniformed services, or optometrist who worked either part or full-time with the Department of Veteran Affairs, Federal Civil Service or any entity of the Federal Government. Associate Members are extended the privilege of debate, but cannot vote or hold office and shall have no right, title or interest in any of the property of the Society.
- Student: must be attending a full time course of study at one of the accredited schools or colleges of optometry.
- Resident: Currently enrolled in a residency or fellowship program within VA or federal services.
- Partial Practice: An optometrist who works sixteen (16) or fewer hours per week in compensated optometrically related activities within a federal facility will be eligible for partial practice membership. The optometrist will certify his or her federal practice on the membership application and is responsible for notifying the AFOS Executive Director immediately if their status changes. Partial Practice AFOS members are eligible to join the AOA as Partial Practice members and will have full privileges within AFOS.
- Life: Life membership will be conferred upon any member who:
1) has attained at least 65 years of age,
2) is receiving retired pay from the Federal Government as an optometrist,
3) has been a member of the Society in any category for thirty (30) accumulative years (The years of membership do not have to be continuous years and can be accumulatively combined among various categories), and
4) receives a majority vote of the AFOS Board.
Members who provide medical certification of terminal or other serious debilitative illness may have the age and years of membership requirements waived. Life Members shall have the right to vote and are extended the privilege of debate but cannot hold office and shall have no right, title or interest in any property of the Society.
Life members meeting the AFOS Active membership qualifications in Section 2.a., may continue their membership in the AOA through AFOS. Life members through AFOS no longer working in an optometrically related activity may be eligible for “Retired Membership” through the AOA, subject to the AOA Bylaws for “Retired Membership.” Certain AFOS Life Members may qualify for “Life Membership” in the AOA; these applications will be considered by the Executive Director and the Secretary/Treasurer on a case-by-case basis and are subject to the AOA Bylaws for “Life Membership.
- Honorary: Those individuals who have significantly contributed to the profession as it relates to the uniformed services. Honorary Members are not considered Active members and therefore cannot vote, hold office, or participate in AFOS meetings, and shall have no right, title or interest in any of the property of the Society.
Adjunct: Those optometrists who served in a non-optometric capacity for the uniformed services, were part-time employees of either the Department of Veteran Affairs, Federal Civil Service, or any entity of the Federal Government are eligible to be adjunct members of AFOS. Adjunct Members cannot vote, hold office, or participate in AFOS business meetings, and shall have no right, title or interest in any of the property of the Society.
- Alumni: Those optometrists who have completed an optometric externship, residency or fellowship at any federal facility are eligible to be an Alumnus member of AFOS. This category recognizes those optometrists who obtained a significant part of their clinical training through a Federal Service program. An Alumnus Member cannot vote, hold office, or participate in AFOS business meetings, and shall have no right, title or interest in any of the property of the Society.
- Optometric Educator: Optometrists who satisfy the qualifications of Active Members and who are engaged in the full time teaching at an ACOE-accredited school or college. Member may work up to 16 hours per week in the practice of optometry.
- Life: Optometrists who have completed 45 years of membership with AOA. (Does not have to be consecutive.)
- Retired with Benefits: An optometrist who has reached the age of 55 as of January 1st and is no longer compensated for optometrical related activities. Membership years towards "Life" qualification continue to accrue.
- Retired without Benefits: An optometrist who has reached the age of 55 as of January 1st and is no longer compensated or optometrical related activities who would no longer prefer to receive benefits such as emails, newsletters, discounts, etc. Membership years towards "Life" qualification no longer accrue.