Written by admin on Wednesday, November 21st, 2012
Have you ever wanted to fly? Ever dreamed what it would be like to pilot a Navy jet off the decks of an aircraft carrier? In today’s blog we’ll explore the different ways to become a Navy pilot and some of the challenges of attaining that goal. We will focus on how to take that first step in the journey of becoming a Naval Aviator and through the week we will continue down the path to earning wings of gold, transitioning to fleet aviator and eventually to becoming a combat navy jet pilot.
Like most services, the Navy only allows officers to fly $50 million aircraft. In order to become a Naval Officer, you must receive a commission. A commission is basically an authorization from the United States of America to empower a person to the duties and responsibilities of a leadership position. There are a couple sources to receive a commission but all sources require at least a college degree. Although engineering degrees are preferred, other degrees are also accepted.
The different ways to achieve a commission are through the Federal Academies: the Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, West Point (or Army Academy), Coast Guard Academy and even the Merchant Marine Academy. Another source to receive a commission is through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) that is supported by a multitude of colleges around the country. In both the Federal Academies and ROTC programs, applicants must have high grades in high schools and high SAT scores with a history of leadership in sports, school activities and strong desire to serve their country.
In addition to the Federal Academies and ROTC commissions, officers are selected from the Aviation Officer Candidate School (AOCS). The applicants must have a college degree and with the same stringent selection criteria, candidates are given a thirteen week program to learn the basics of military order and discipline and are taught the basics of becoming a Naval Aviator and more importantly, becoming a leader.
All three avenues produce commissioned officers that are highly trained professionals and leaders that are ready to take on the challenges of becoming Naval Aviators. Equipped with an “ensign” rank insignia they now begin the perilous journey to learn to fly multi-million dollar aircraft in the precision and discipline required to truly be considered one of the best.
If you want advice about the world of military aviation, there’s no better people to turn to than men and women who have sat in the cockpit and flown some of the world’s most advanced aircraft. With over 50 current and ex-warfighters on call, Strike Fighter Consulting Inc. can give you access to up-to-date, first-hand technical and tactical expertise.