Basic Program Requirements for Aircrew

Navy Aircrewman Program

Navy Aircrew Wings

Navy Aircrew Wings

The Aircrewman Program is a six-year enlistment program guaranteeing an initial flying assignment as a flight crewmember in fixed wing or helicopter aircraft and provides for training via various Class “A” Schools for a specific service rating within the Naval Aircrewman (AW) general rating. You will undergo some of the most demanding physical training offered by the military services in this program. You must volunteer for flying duty, be capable of passing a Class II swim test, and pass an aviation flight physical. You must be made aware that your entrance physical examination will be verified for flight qualifications at Recruit Training Command and Naval Aircrewman Candidate School (NACCS).

QUALIFICATIONS. You must meet all enlistment eligibility requirements, and the following additional requirements.

You must have a minimum score of VE+AR+MK+MC=210 or VE+AR+MK+AS=210. Your ASVAB scores will be reviewed upon classification at NACCS to ensure further qualification for a specific source rating.
You must be 30 years of age or less at the time of accession (date you leave for boot-camp).
Physical Fitness
While in Delayed Entry Program, but prior to shipping, Aircrew candidates must pass the Navy’s Physical Readiness Test (PRT) with a score of satisfactory-medium (Good) for your age and gender (refer to chart from OPNAVINST 6110.1). Aircrew candidates shall sign a Hold Harmless Agreement prior to being administered the PRT.
Drug Usage
Use of illegal or controlled substances is cause for application disapproval due to the inherently hazardous nature of this program. Drug waivers will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Must be a U.S. citizen.
Must be a high school graduate.
Eyes and Vision
Normal color and depth perception. Vision must correct to 20/20 in both eyes and correction must be worn.
Hearing Standards
In accordance with MANMED P-117, Article 15-92, applicants must meet the hearing standards for Student Naval Aviator (SNA) as follows;

Aircrew Hearing Standards
Frequency (hz) Decibel (dB)
500 25
1000 25
2000 25
3000 45
4000 55

Those applying for aviation programs are held to strict physical standards and therefore are less likely to be recommended for program waivers.

SECURITY CLEARANCE. You must have citizenship and character requirements to be granted a SECRET clearance and meet reliability standards for assignment to the Personnel Reliability Program (PRP as specified in SECNAVINST 5510.30). A complete PRP screen is not required for enlistment.

AW Rating Badge insignia

AW Rating Badge Insignia

SERVICE RATINGS. Men and Women enlisted in the Aircrew program will be assigned to one of the following service ratings within the Naval Aircrewman (AW) general rating: Aircrewman Helicopter (AWS), Aircrewman Operator (AWO), Aircrewman Mechanical (AWF), or Aircrewman Avionics (AWV). Assignment to a specific class “A” school for a service rating within the program will be made while assigned to Naval Aircrew Candidate School (NACCS) and will be based on the applicant’s test scores, personal desires, needs of the Navy, and continued eligibility for the Aircrew program.
TRAINING CYCLE. Trainees are normally assigned to Class “A” School immediately after completion of NACCS. The normal training cycle is:

  1. Recruit Training (Great Lakes, IL)
  2. Naval Aircrew Candidate School (Pensacola, FL)
  3. Class “A” School (Pensacola, FL)
  4. Survival Evasion Resistance Escape (SERE) School (San Diego, CA or Brunswick, ME)
  5. Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) various locales)
  6. Initial squadron assignment (various locales)

Naval Aircrewman Mechanical (AWF)
The AWF are members of a fixed wing integrated tactical crew aboard C-2, C-9, C-12, C-20, C-37, C-40, C-130, E-6, and P-3 aircraft. They perform primary in-flight and ground duties as aircraft Flight Engineer/Crew Chief, Loadmaster, Reel Operator, and Aircrew Readiness Manager. AWFs perform aircraft maintenance, weight and balance (W&B) calculations, and aircraft systems rigging, Aircrew administration, Flight/Ground training, cargo movement, Medical Evacuations (MEDEVAC), passenger transport, small arms, and Joint Special Warfare operations. They contribute directly to operations for the purposes of attaining and maintaining the squadron’s aircrew qualifications and certifications, and are knowledgeable of all aircraft systems, passenger and cargo handling, safety procedures and equipment, federal and military regulations for passenger transport, emergency procedures, and aircraft equipment.
Naval Aircrewman (Operator) (AWO)
The AWO produce intelligence products for aircrews in support of operations and tactical missions worldwide. They detect, analyze, classify, and track surface and subsurface contacts. AWOs operate an advanced sonar system utilizing sonobuoys, radar, Electronic Support Measures (ESM), Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD), Identification Friend or Foe/Selective Identification Feature (IFF/SIF), and Infrared Detector (IR). They perform aircrew duties that support mission planning, classified material handling, and training. They handle ordnance, inspect acoustic station equipment, and operate mission equipment such as: advanced imaging multi-spectral sensors, radar for safety of flight, and hand-held cameras.
Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) (AWS)
The AWS are members of multi-mission helicopter integrated tactical crews. They perform Search And Rescue (SAR) operations, Airborne Mine Countermeasure (AMCM) operations utilizing sonar, magnetic, mechanical, and acoustic minesweeping systems and logistics support. AWSs perform aircrew operations administration, flight and ground training, internal and external cargo movement, Medical Evacuations (MEDEVAC), passenger transport, aerial gunnery, small arms handling, Naval Special Warfare (NSW) insertion and extraction operations, Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP), and Night Vision Device (NVD) operations, and conduct observer duties for safety of flight.
Naval Aircrewman (Avionics) (AWV)
The AWV are members of a fixed wing integrated tactical aircrew aboard maritime patrol and reconnaissance, and command and control aircraft. They are knowledgeable of all avionics systems, safety equipment, emergency procedures, and aircraft equipment. AWVs perform primary in-flight and ground duties as aircraft in-flight technicians, Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) specialists, and airborne communicators who maintain and operate aircraft systems. They pilot and maintain Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), operate aerial photographic equipment, and perform aircrew administration, flight and ground training, ordnance handling duties, joint special warfare operations, and Communications Material Security (CMS) handling.

Career Sea – Shore Rotation Chart

Sea (SEA) Shore (SHR) Rotation
AW(ALL) 60 54 42 36 36/36
36 36 36 36

Sea tours and shore tours for Sailors that have completed four sea tours will be 36 months at sea followed by 36 ashore until retirement.

Aircrew Rescue Swimmer (AIRR)
Rescue swimmers may be required to risk their lives during a rescue over-land or at-sea. They will be required to enter the open ocean from a hovering helicopter and swim to the survivor. Upon reaching the survivor, the swimmer utilizes appropriate rescue techniques and prepares for hook-up to the rescue hoist. A survivor in a state of panic may force the swimmer underwater, but training and techniques taught to rescue swimmers will allow them to overcome this situation. Once the swimmer and the survivor are in the aircraft, the swimmer provides advanced first aid until medical assistance is available. For additional qualification information about the Aircrew Rescue Swimmer (AIRR), review the Navy Challenge Program information.

ENLISTMENT TERM. You must enlist in the U.S. Navy or in the Full Time Support (FTS) Enlistment Program for four years and concurrently execute an Agreement to Extend Enlistment (NAVPERS 1070/621 or NAVPERS 1070/622) for 24 months using the following narrative reason entry:

“Training in the Aircrewman Program and accelerated advancement to paygrade E4 in accordance with MILPERSMAN Article 1220-010. Accelerated advancement to E4 is authorized only after successful completion of Naval Aircrew Candidate School, Class “A” School, and Fleet Replacement Squadron training. I understand that this extension becomes binding upon execution and thereafter may not be canceled except as set forth in MILPERSMAN Article 1160-040.

AIRCREWMAN PROGRAM SCREENING. For program moral conduct eligibility requirements (if you have prior civil/criminal offenses) see your local Navy Recruiter for type of offenses which may disqualify you or to determine the appropriate waiver authority. Adversely adjudicated drug abuse offenses will not receive waiver consideration with the potential exception of a single misdemeanor charge involving marijuana (only on a case-by-case basis).

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93 Responses to “Navy Aircrewman Program”

  1. Jada says:

    I’m in dep and leave July 10 and my current rate is MM but I don’t want that I want to go AIRR, is it a way I can cross rate before I go to “A” school ?

  2. AWV2 says:


    Even though you signed a contract you are still able to back out of it and try again with another rate at Meps although I’m not sure if they would accept someone who backs in and out of contracts. You would face at a minimum 4 month waiting period to take the physical tests required to be a rescue swimmer.

    From my experience at boot camp there were only downgrades from Special Operations positions to regular navy jobs but no advancing. There were some EOD guys who downgraded to HMs but I never heard of someone going in the opposite direction.

    It’s definitely worth a shot. As tough as your instructors at boot camp may seem don’t be afraid to ask questions and get what you want. It’s YOUR career so if they don’t give you the right answers (I.e. only speak when spoken to, your just a recruit you don’t get granted requests) then demand a career counselor. Hope I could help.

  3. Alex says:

    so this is probably a new one, and a head scratcher but what if I am already in my FRS (VP-30) and I want to re-rate? It doesn’t happen often but it does happen.. and I’m pretty sure undesignated is the result. My question is does the 6 year contract still apply or would I be under a 4 year contract (minus the year and a half I’ve already been in?

  4. AWV2 says:


    Basically you want to D-O-R? You won’t have much say in your fate but I’m sure they will give you a choice between undes, aviation boatsmans mate and possibly AO. When I was going through we had 2 people in the class ahead of me drop out and they ended up in other ratings, not undesignated but I’m sure they were given that option.

    Once you drop from e contract that you chose you will go see a detailer; he or she will go over the few options you have and also review your contract and time in the navy is concerned. You have been in for over a year, the Navy has spent a few hundred grand on your training and for your contract to shrink from 6 to 4 years they would just be throwing that money out the window since you chose not to continue the expensive training. My guess is your contract will remain at 6 years.

    Now for some advice. I graduated from 30 less that 2 years ago. I had a great time in Jacksonville and worked my way into one of the greatest programs in the Navy. You have a great opportunity ahead of you. I know it seems like school all over again but if your reason for getting out of the program is that you don’t like the work, just suck it up because once you get to your first squadron you’ll see that it was worth it. I went on a detachment last summer to Hawaii for a month, got paid an extra $130 a day for being there, stayed at a 4 star hotel and loved every minute of it. Since then I’ve been to 4 other countries and made money along the way while experiencing the world. If you drop you will end up on a ship and sleep face to face with 50 other dudes for 6 months straight. You don’t want that (although some people love the boat it’s just not what I could see myself enjoying).

    Regardless of if you’re an AWO, V, or F you will make second class within 2 years of leaving. I work with 4 year airmen and 8 year third classes. You don’t want that. Your ego will get dumped on daily being ordered around by people 5 years your junior with half your experience but with leverage on you called rank. You don’t want that either. You’re in a great program. Stick with it no matter how bad it seems now it could be so much worse scrapping paint off a ship and working 16 hour days. You PT til 8, come to work at 9 and leave by 5 to go back to your room with 1 roommate (possibly none) and then have the next 16 hours to do whatever your heart desires.

    Bottom line is you didn’t make a mistake picking your rate. If you need more inspiration to remain in the rate please feel free to write back. Do not drop from the program before talking to me again.

  5. Minhal says:

    I leave for boot camp July 11, I’m going in as reserve so I have two questions, my recruiter doesn’t know anything about my rate I’ve been reading online but I can’t find what my job will actually involve because I’m reserve. And how long am I actually going to gone for. Also I am a weak swimmer ive been practicing and I’m in decent shape but what happens if I can’t pass the swimming tests at naccs?

  6. AWV2 says:


    What rate did you sign for in your contract?

    At NACCS they will expect you to have basic swimming proficiency but not to be an expert. The first week you will be at the pool about 3 hours a day learning different strokes and techniques for floating. If they see you are having trouble during the basic phase they have what is called “swim hold” where you are put in a group of others who are having problems with swimming and you go to the pool for about 5 hours a day to solei work on swimming. When I was there they had about a dozen students in that class, some in it for as long as 3 weeks.

    They will work with you until you can pass the tests so you don’t have a need to worry.

  7. Minhal says:

    My rate is advanced technical aircrewman, and thank you for the advice. It makes me less nervous knowing they will work with me.

  8. Melissa says:

    My son is there now. He is in good physical health. He was placed on swim hold for improper breat stroke technique. They worked with him for a few days and he passed. I would advise pool time now and begin testing yourself on the 4 strokes required and the yards required for each. He is AWF, or will be when he completes his training. Best wishes!

  9. GM3 says:


    I am applying to transfer from SELRES to FTS under the conversion to YN, as that is the only rate being accepted at the time. Does YN require and a school or TS clearance? i already have a secret so that isn’t a problem. Also, if i get accepted into FTS as a YN, can i convert to a different rate in FTS after the required waiting period of 24 months?


  10. Devin says:

    I’m interested in becoming an Aviation Rescue Swimmer/AIRR. Does anyone have any advice about how to best get into this rating and how to get through the training once I get in?

    Thank you.

  11. MA says:

    My husband is contemplating converting to AWS from MA. We are dual military with a dependent. I am curious as to how long I should expect the training to be completed as well as would a detailer try to adjust my duty stations to match the three options I read in the previous threads? Would a billit be made for our situation or would we be separated? Also the sea shore rotation I saw was 36 months back to back how does that adjust to a dual military situation?

  12. MA says:

    Also what consists of the Navy Medical Flying Physical???

  13. Awv2 says:


    During flight physicals there is just a checklist that the service member goes through. It is basically a yearly physical special attention paid to vision and hearing. Off the top of my head: vitals, hearing, dental, vision, immunizations, std/HIV test, a few questionnaires and surveys about your lifestyle (smoking, drinking, sexual activity, do you wear a seatbelt, etc…). Then once you’re all done you see a flight surgeon and he or she asks how everything is going and you are on your way. The whole process is usually 3 hours max.

    That is the short form which is done every year, on or before the month of your birthday. The long form he will do initially and at ages 20, 25, 30 etc…It consists of the above mentioned with balance and reflex tests (stand on one foot, close your eyes and hold out your arms for a few seconds), a chest x-ray, heart monitoring, and an EKG. That is all I can remember. Nothing strenuous, just a few hours of testing. He will be fine as long as there’s nothing to hide ;)

    When you say he wants to convert to AWS you either mean rescue swimmer or dry helo. Both timelines will be provided on the Navy’s website as I am neither of the two and don’t want to provide also info.

    Talk to your career counselor about getting rotations matched up. If yours is as awesome as my NC you guys will be at the same duty station with no issues at all. I do have a friend of mine who’s spouse is located across the country as a rescue swimmer and they have been apart for going on 2 years now and the military won’t help them out. I’m sure it jut depends on your situation.

  14. AircrewMatt says:

    For anyone concerned about aircrew, im going to give you some advice. Im in aircrew AWF school right now in pcola, and graduated NACCS last month. NACCS is not hard you just have to be physically fit and be an okay swimmer, and have motivation not to give up because they will be in your face telling you to DOR. If you want to be a rescue swimmer then you are wasting your time because as of not they are 120% overmanned in the rate and are kicking people out of the rate while at NACCS. Aircrew is one of the best rates in the navy so stick with it. Also reservist do not go to SERE school or FRS school i know that as a fact because im a reservist myself. Reserve aircrew is the best job when you get home after A school and get enough flight time to get your gold aircrew wings you literally get to pick your deployments and your get to walk around in badass flight suits also.

  15. Kae says:

    I was wondering if tattoos on your forearm will disqualify you for AIRR. my tattoos are not offensive in anyway. there are two rings around my right upper forearm with words awake my sould and a triforce triangle. then a feather on my left upper forearm. I am a female btw…

  16. Devin says:

    I have a large for arm tattoo. I had to get waivers but it was a DQ. However, I’m only in DEP now. I’m told it wont affect me tho.

  17. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The tattoo policy.

    Based on what you describe, you should be okay unless there is some weird meaning to the tattoos that I am unaware of.

  18. Kae says:

    no nothing strange about them feather represents me being native american and triforce is from Zelda and then the rings are binding between my soul and body.

  19. Walsh says:

    Hello my name is brendan and i am currently in the navy after being dropped from buds.I was looking more into the airr rate but simething came up with my vision stating i was not eligable. My eyesight is 20/20 and 20/25. My question is that if my vision is curently good enough to step my foot in the door for buds when the requirments are also 20/20 in both eyes then why is it not good enough for airr.?

  20. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I wish I had a better answer for you than, because that is the standard the AIRR community manager has set. The actual standard for the SO rating is, “Uncorrected vision can be no worse than 20/40 in best eye and 20/70 in worst eye. Corrected vision must be 20/25 worst eye.” And the AIRR standard is, “Uncorrected vision no worse than 20/100. Vision must be correctable to 20/20 in both eyes.”

  21. AWV2 says:


    It sounds like you should go see the flight doc and see why your eyes were good enough for one program but not good enough for the other. Is it possible you went to BUD/S on an eye waiver? Is your eyesight correctable to 20/20? If so you should bring up LASIK eye surgery to the doc and see if that allows you to join the AirCrew program. The AW rate is riddled with SEAL and EOD dropouts I’m sure the doc has heard it all and can give you a definite answer. Good luck.

  22. NCCM(Ret) says:


    As I wrote, his eyes did meet the SO standard, but not the AIRR standard.

  23. AD2 says:

    Hey I’m an AD2 with two years active duty. I’m curious about AWO or AWV which one is better and how the training pipeline from pcola to when you got to your first command was like?

  24. AWF(Class1403) says:


    I’m also an AWF Reservist and I just graduated NACCS about a month ago. I’m just wondering what exactly I’m going to be doing once i get to my home NOSC at NAT Washington. Assuming that I’ll actually get to fly I’m hoping to be assigned to the Capital Flyers C-130 squadron (VR-53). Any idea how long it takes to get my wings and start flying? Also, will I be making Petty Officer upon graduation of A-School, arrival at my NOSC, or is there something else I have to do first? Any information you could give me would be really helpful seeing as nobody ever really tells me anything. Thanks man.

  25. nick says:

    Few questions,

    first im prior service army, with 6 years working and crewing the UH-60L. I talked with a recruiter and he told me the program is shut down!? Is this just for prior service? He said it has been for 1.5 years and they have no idea of when it will lift. Looking around websites and facebook i see numerous people going to basic than to aircrew training! any information is greatly appreciated. Thanks

  26. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Aircrew in the Navy is not shut down; however, the issue you are facing is that prior service Veteran billets are very far and few between — that is a normal thing when retention is high.

  27. Dawn says:

    We met at length with a recruiter last night(after months of research). My son specifically wants to do aviation. (Helo) I asked about the program being 4 years which he said yes. Now Im reading that it is a 6 year program. Are any Aviation or Airmen jobs 4 year programs? He said something about opting out of an E-4 so it would only be 4 years? so confused..

  28. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The AW rating (Aircrew) has a 72 month enlistment requirement; however, there are other ratings in the Aviation Field that are 48 months (4 years) From the list in this link, the Aviation Machinist’s Mate, Aviation Electrician, Aerographer (Weather), Structural Mechanic, Support Equipment, Aviation Electronics, Survival Equipment, and the Aviation Maintenance Admin are 48 months minimum — the others require 60 or more months.

  29. AWF2(NAC/AW) says:

    I have read through about 90% of these post. Alot of good information is being passed via AWV2 and NCCM(Ret). I am an FTS AWF (C-130T Flight Engineer) with the unique background of being prior Active Component AME. I also was a recruiter in my previous tour. So I guess this is me tossing my hat into the ring to offer up any info to Depper’s, Future Sailors, NACCS Candidates and AW Schoolhouse kids.

    Things to consider AWF/FTS and AWF/NAT are both reserve component jobs. FTS (Full time support) you essentially are Active Duty. NAT (New Accession Training) you are a reservist. This was complicated for alot of recruiters to understand and translate to their deppers. As for jobs, AWF in the reserves means alot of different thing (P-3 Flight Engineer, C-130 Flight Engineer, C-130 Loadmaster, C-40 Crew Chief, C-40 Loadmaster, C-20 Crew Chief, C-20 Loadmaster). Everthing listed (besides P-3) falls under the VR wing (NAS Jacksonville, Andrews AFB, Mcguire AFB, New Orleans JRB, Fort Worth JRB, NAS Point Magu, NAS North Island, NAS Whidbey Island). P-3s are still in the VP wing and they are in either NAS Jacksonville or NAS Whidbey Island.

    If anyone has any questions I will try my hardest to answer them, or get the information you need. See you in the Fleet.

  30. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Welcome aboard!

  31. Steve says:

    I’m a prior service CTT and interested in the reserves. Active duty CT’s have billets for aircrew but I was wondering if reserve CT’s can also apply. Another concern is that I don’t live anywhere near a squadron so would I still be able to go aircrew. I know there is something called cross assigned where you drill at your local reserve station but are attached to another one (maybe a squadron?). Thanks for any help.

  32. AWF2(NAC/AW) says:

    I know that CT’s do fly on the EP-3E. There is only 1 squadron of those aircraft VQ-1 in Whidbey. I believe the CT’s that fly with them are all active duty based out of Georgia. When I was in VQ-2 I know that all the CT’s who flew with us were Active. If you were to go reserve AW version of aircrew and you drilled at the local NOSC. You would be what is called “Cross Assigned”. You would do your Two weeks a year with us working in your job field. Being cross assigned aircrew is a PITA. Your two weeks do not allow enough time to become familiar enough to get through the PQS. If you manage to get qualified it really will put a damper on skill set. Doing something for only two weeks a year is tough. Hopefully this answers some of your questions, I would poll a reserve recruiter to see if there are any reserve CT flying jobs.

  33. Nick says:

    I’m looking for any info into what exactly a SELRES would be doing as a NAT AIRC. I have searched the internet and cannot find too much on exactly what a reservist would be doing on drill weekends. Also, it seems that reservist can only get the AWF rating and only attend A-school, not C-School. Can anyone with knowledge of SELRES/NAT AIRC shed any light on this?

    Thanks, Nick

  34. AWF2(NAC/AW) says:

    Drill weekends mostly compose of working a qualifications, nko courses and updating your personnel files. While there is a lot to get accomplished there generally is not a lot of time. Its the nature of the beast. Being a Crewman and selres there are a few perks. If you were say in my squadron you would be able to call the operations department and check on what missions are posted. If you have the available time to go on say a 10 day mission you would have priority on that flight. Meaning you most likely would be going if you desired.

    Also about the schooling, while it is not called a “C” School you attend a school after your “A” School for whatever NEC you are going to obtain. Lets say you got the opportunity to be a C-130 2nd Loadmaster (2LM). You would go to Fort Worth, TX and attend a course teaching you the basics of that job field. If you chose to be a C-40 TSS you would attend that course. We do not call them “C” Schools but you will obtain a schooling based off the NEC you are given in your orders.

  35. Nick says:

    So far that’s the best insight I have received as no one seems to have a straight answer for selres. The NOSC I’m assigned to (Newport, RI) does not have an air field. As far I can tell, I feel like I’ll be doing computer training on drill weekends. Another thing, would I be able to volunteer for short active duty missions if wanted too? I really need to get in touch with someone at my NOSC to get a better idea of my situation.

  36. Mark says:

    I’m wanting to enlist as either an AWR or an AWS. Though I am unsure of the exact rate to choose. What are the differences between these rates? Also I am wanting to do the dry versions of these rates. Is doing the dry versions of these rates any harder/easier? Do they have any drawbacks to going to the dry side?

  37. AWV2 says:


    I’m in the P-3 community so I don’t really know the difference between AWR and S.

    If you enlist as a “wet” aircrewman you are opting to be a rescue swimmer.

    If you choose to enlist as a “dry” aircrewman you are 95% for sure going to end up as either AWO, AWV, or AWF and fly on fixed wing aircraft (P-8, P-3, E-6, C-40). The only way to enlist as a “dry” aircrewman and get on helos is to be the 1 person selected for it out of your class of 10-20 in Aircrew Candidate School. Many classes do not even have one person selected. The other thing is tht I’m not sure the process this individual is selected. It’s not the hardest working person (the person in my class chosen was lazy and unathletic).

    My point of the previous stated information is that if you want to be on helicopters your best bet is going “wet” an roughing it out through rescue swimmer school. Going “dry” your chances are slim to none and your personal productivity will have zero affect on your possible selection.

    In all honesty, if how “easy” a program is going to be definitely do NOT go for wet in hopes of getting on helicopters as you will not make it through rescue swimmer school with that mentality.

  38. Mark says:

    Thank you very much for the speedy reply, and information! Didn’t mean to sound like a lazy good-for-nothing, in fact I would say I’m the exact opposite. I was just having high hopes of getting dry because I’m unfortunately not a very confident/strong swimmer (yes, I know it’s ironic for someone who can’t swim well to join the Navy). I suppose I’ll have to buckle down and get some swimming lessons in before shipping out. Thank you for your insight and time!

  39. AWF2(NAC/AW) says:

    I would recommend getting in touch with your recruiter and seeing if it is possible for you to get some time with the NSW Coordinator. He/she will be more than capable of getting you ready for a Physical Screening Test (which you would have to pass to even get an AIRR contract). Also even if you decide to try the AIRC “Dry” crewman route, aircrew school alone requires you to be better than just an average swimmer. Granted you will slowly progress while in the school, going in barely able to pass a 2nd class swim qualification will not be a good start.

  40. Justin says:

    Petty Officer and/or Master Chief,
    Future Sailor Ellis here. I recently DEP’d into the AV program and ship 20141117. My recruiter was willing to send up a program waiver for the number of traffic tickets I have (4) for AW. With the random job availability at MEPS I opted to sign under AV which was in my top 3 job choices (no pressure from my recruiter). I don’t necessarily want to put in a DAR to change ratings. My question is are they still accepting Aircrew volunteers while at Pensacola for AT or AE airman or would I have to leave it to manning levels 2 to 3 years from now and attempt to convert? I am happy being apart of the Navy family, particularly the Navy Aviation family either way. Your input would be graciously appreciated gentlemen.

  41. AWV2 says:


    I was never aware they were accepting volunteers while in “A” school but if that was a thing before it most likely is not anymore. If you are going through AT or AE school and opted aircrew you would take over a AWV or AWF billet. Both of those ratings are overmanned by around 15% and the openings for both are rapidly decreasing. The Navy is actually looking for individuals to raise their hand and seperate early to help promotion in both rates which speaks volumes since this has not happened since the early 90′s for any rate. Basically what has happened is the Navy realized they screwed up and brought in way more folks for these rates than needed (especially now that the p-8 has come into theater) and they need to decrease personnel.

    I can’t speak for the AWF community but as far as AWV’s go there is 0 promotion opportunity across the board for e-5 sailors and up. Unless you are able to get a contract as an AWO I would highly suggest not enlisting as either rate mentioned.

  42. Dallas says:

    My brother is a CTI currently serving his initial 6-yr enlistment. When he reenlists he wants to go aircrew- but he will be over the age of 30. Can he still go aircrew since he is already enlisted prior to his 30th birthday?

  43. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Age waivers for programs like Aircrew, Diver, SEAL, etc., are normally not approved beyond a couple of months — what is considered is the amount of time post school that the average Sailor would be expected to be a viable asset in the position. In other words, they don’t expect to get the full bang for the buck once a person is beyond a certain age, so they normally don’t make the investment at that point.

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