Complete Story


Micah Kinney, OD, PhD, FAAO (US Navy)

LCDR Kinney is a native of North Carolina. After acceptance to the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, he was selected for the U.S. Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program. His first duty assignment was as staff Optometrist at the Branch Health Clinic Oceana in Virginia Beach, VA. Dr. Kinney served as the Head of Ancillary Services Department (which included the Pharmacy, Radiology, Laboratory, Optometry, Mental Health, and Physical Therapy divisions). In 2012, then LT Kinney, was selected as the Junior Medical Service Corps Officer of the Year for Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. This honor was the result of his efforts as department head and his proactive approach to deliver deck plate care onboard the USS Truman (CVN 75) and USS Eisenhower (CVN 69) prior to their deployments.

In 2013, Dr. Kinney returned to UAB as a PhD student in the “Duty Under Instruction” program for Navy Optometry. After successfully defending his research on individual differences in human color discrimination, LT Kinney was selected for his next rank as LCDR and entered flight training at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute in Pensacola, FL. Earning his “Wings of Gold” as the 30th Naval Aerospace Optometrist, LCDR Kinney was awarded the Navy Medical Service Corps Director’s Award for academic achievement during his aeromedical training. Following aeromedical training, Dr. Kinney served as the Head of Acceleration and Sensory Sciences Department, and the sole aerospace Optometrist at the Naval Medical Research Unit Dayton. In this position he led a joint team of Air Force and Navy researchers in providing a low cost laser eye protection solution to U.S. Coast Guard aircrew to combat CONUS low intensity laser threats in flight. Additionally, LCDR Kinney managed a vision science portfolio of over $2M investigating low-level neurotoxin exposure to aircrew and marksmanship visual performance, Naval Aviation vision wavier policy updates, spatial disorientation, and addressing physiological changes to visual perception in extreme aerospace environments. 
In his current assignment, LCDR Kinney stood up Navy Optometry’s first Fleet billet at the Naval Air Warfare Center- Aircraft Division in Patuxent River, MD providing subject matter expertise on the visual system to the Naval Aviation Enterprise. He supports efforts to develop new technologies in science and technology in areas such as protective eyewear, head mounted displays, night vision devices, and aircraft avionics.

His personal achievements and awards include Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, 2021 Military Health System Research Symposium Award Winner, Navy Medicine Research and Development Enterprise 2018 Junior Officer of the Year, Navy Medicine’s Stanley H. Freed Junior Optometrist of the Year for 2017, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (x3). His wife, four children, and dog enjoy water activities and spending time outside.


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