AFOS Membership Categories:
Active: Doctor of Optometry 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: Doctor of Optometry who 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.
- Post-Graduate: Doctor of Optometry enrolled, as of January 1st of the membership year, in a residency or fellowship program within the VA, federal services, or in a program accredited or pre-accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education or by an accrediting body that the Board, in its sole discretion, determines to be equivalent and/or full-time enrollee in a graduate program shall be eligible for classification as a Post-Graduate Member of this organization.
- Partial Practice: A doctor of optometry 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.
- Retired: A doctor of optometry who has reached the age of 55 as of January 1st and is no longer compensated for optometrically related activities. Membership years towards "Life" qualification continue to accrue.
- 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
- Optometric Educator: Doctors of optometry 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: Doctors of optometry who have completed 45 years of membership with AOA. (Does not have to be consecutive.)
- Retired with Benefits: A doctor of optometry 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 doctor of optometry 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.