I thank you all for your input. So, during my last flight physical and shortly after another experience with iritis, my flight surgeon insisted on ruling out or confirming the presence of AS. So, off to the labs and radiology I went with a culminating appointment with a rhuematologist. And, no surprise, I received a diagnosis of AS. Now, he's having me take an MRI to see how active it is, and start a workup (TB test, Hep profile) to possible start me on a TNF inhibitor.
Since it seems like there are several of us in the same boat, and more unfortunately who will appear in the future, I'll keep updating as I go.
I have 7 and a half years of service at this point; but I'm not afraid of an MEB or separation. I am simply seeing this as an opportunity to possibly start a different (albeit difficult) chapter in life. My strategy moving through this process is honesty (no more hiding the pain), and ensuring primarily that I get the treatment I need to be able to live as painless a life (military or not) as possible. If I don't get a high disability rating on separation, I believe I'll be able to work or use my GI Bill for an advanced degree. As long as I get my AS service connected so that I can get the pricey medications I'll feel like I met my goal.
Thankfully, my AS has been relatively mild to the point where as a commander I've been able to do PT with my Soldiers and go on runs and such (not as fast as I'd like sometimes, but I hang with all but the fastest young guys). But I have that feeling in my bones (no pun intended) that I won't be able to keep up for much longer.