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Basic Program Requirements for Aircrew

Navy Aircrewman Program NOS A500

Updated: July 5, 2017
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;

Navy Aircrew Hearing Standards
Aircrew Hearing Standards
Frequency (hz) Decibel (dB)
500 25
1000 25
2000 25
3000 45
4000 55
  • No speech impediment: You will test for “reading aloud” if you have a speech impediment or if you have a history of speech therapy or facial fracture. The “Banana Oil” test will be utilized as required in accordance with MANMED P-117 Article 15-95.
  • Weight: You must meet aviation duty minimum and maximum nude body weights are 103 pounds and 245 pounds respectively.
  • Other Factors: Hay fever, asthma, bee sting/food allergy reaction and chronic motion sickness are disqualifying.

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

Aircrew Navy Occupational Specialty (NOS) Codes. Men and Women enlisted in the Aircrew program will be assigned to one of the following occupational specialties within the Naval Aircrewman (NOS A500; FTS NOS J150) general rating (active duty and Full Time Support (FTS)): Aircrewman Helicopter (NOS A510), Aircrewman Operator (NOS A520), Aircrewman Mechanical (NOS A530; FTS NOS J154), or Aircrewman Avionics (NOS A550). 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 (Active NOS A530; FTS NOS J154)
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) (NOS A520)
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) (NOS A510)
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) (NOS A550)
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

Career Sea-Shore rotation for the Naval Aircrewman ratings
AWF 54 36 36 36 36/36
AWO 54 42 42 36
AWR 54 36 36 36
AWS 54 42 42 36
AWV 54 36 36 36
AWF 36 36 36 36
AWO 36 36 36 36
AWR 36 36 36 36
AWS 36 36 36 36
AWV 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).

142 Responses to “Navy Aircrewman Program NOS A500”

  1. 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.

  2. 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, I’m 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..

  3. 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.

  4. 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 a lot 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). Everything 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.

  5. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Welcome aboard!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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?

  18. 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.

  19. Zach. says:

    Hello, I was wondering two things,
    I wanted to be AIRR rescue swimmer but got disqualified because of vision however my recruiter said something about getting LASIK and then doing AIRR my contract is AIRC I’m wondering if it is likely I may be chosen for that if at all possible.
    I was also wondering how AWF equates to the civi side, specficaly do you become an engineer and able to use that post enlistment? Or how would that work thank you for any help or advise.

  20. NCCM(Ret) says:


    As far as having LASIK to get yourself in a standard, it is possible; however, your pre-LASIK refractive errors as such are what matters — so if it was a refractive issue that kept you from AIRR, then that will always be the case; if it is a vision issue, then it may help. This medical page answers the questions about LASIK.

  21. IC3 B says:


    I have a few questions. I am recently a separated (honorably) IC3 and would like some info on going AIRR, more specifically AWS. Some of the previous comments stated that the aviation field is overmanned. Is this also true for the AWS community? I’m trying to find the current CREOs for AD and FTS for AWs, but so far I’ve had no luck. Is there a website I could visit to find this information? And last question for NCCM: In your experience, is it difficult for a creo-1 to convert to a creo-1 or 2?


  22. AE2(AW) says:


    I’m currently in my 5th year of active duty as an AE. Worked on hornets my entire term, never been to buds or aircrew school. Long story short, I’ve always wanted to try my shot at AIRR. I would have gone for it when I originally enlisted but it was closed up at the time so I took the next available aviation rate. I’m in good standing with my service so far (PRT scores, evals, quals, etc.) so I was thinking of dropping a package to cross rate. AE is in no way hurting for people right now, although my squadron may be a little on the light side, so hopefully they won’t try too hard to keep me around! Any advice out there from other guys who have tried out after service in another rate? How did you go about doing it? Is the rate even open right now? What can I expect a the training timeline to be if I actually do get picked up? Any replies would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers to the Airdales

  23. miller says:

    VE+AR+MK+MC=210 or VE+AR+MK+AS=210, for this does this mean i must Ace those sections in order to get a 210?

  24. NCCM(Ret) says:


    No. These are standard scores and not raw scores. For instance, if you get all of the MK questions right, then you would have like a standard score of 68 (going off memory) — I think AR was the same, and VE is like 65 max. Bottom line for these line scores you referenced, they want applicants with a good mechanical and math background.

  25. AT2 wife says:

    My husband is looking at cross rating to awv and I was wondering how long the school would be for him and how stressful the job is.

  26. cross_country_runner. says:

    Would this be a great first navy job in enlist in if you are first going in to the military?

  27. Austin [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    I am currently in DEP for AM, was disqualified after I got my AIRR contract because of my eyes, how do I apply for aircrew ? just tell someone while down in Pensacola? thanks

  28. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Per the recruiting manual for AW (AIRC):

    Normal color and depth perception. Vision must correct to 20/20 in both eyes and correction must be worn. In accordance with MANMED P-117, Article 15-92.

    MANMED article 15-92 states:

    Visual Acuity, Distant and Near. Must be uncorrected 20/100 or better, each eye corrected to 20/20. If the AFVT or Goodlite letters are used, a score of 7/10 on the 20/20 line constitutes meeting visual acuity requirements.

    The vision requirements for both AIRR and AIRC are the same.

  29. FS Smith says:

    I’m leaving for basic in June as an AD and I’m very interested in aircrew (wet). my job description says that I can volunteer for aircrew. How would I go about doing this as soon as possible?

  30. NCCM(Ret) says:

    FS Smith,

    Have you tried out for AIRR yet? You can do it in DEP if you are otherwise qualified.

  31. stephanie says:

    I just turned 30, I’m a female. I want to do AIRR. Am I wasting my time? (if not AIRR I would like AO)

  32. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You must be in boot-camp before your 31st birthday for AIRR.

  33. GM3 says:

    im up for reenlistment however, I need to think about converting. AWO & AWR are on there… what do I need to do and does anyone have any information for me please. I wanted to know about the A school.. PLEASE

  34. Lani says:

    I enlisted as AIRC and have recently been interested in AIRR. On top of that, I ship out in 3 days. Is there any possibility to volunteer for Rescue Swimmer School after completion of Naval Aircrew Candidate School? Or any other way to become a rescue swimmer throughout my career as an Air crewman?

  35. Zach says:

    Lani, you will have to complete all schooling for AIRC and your given rating (AWV,AWO,AWF) meaning NACCS, A School, and your platform school after that. It takes 1.5-2 years and after that you will have to wait the normal 2 year period to cross rate to rescue swimmer if you are still interested in it.

  36. Matt says:

    A few questions,

    I am enlisting as an Air crewman Helicopter. When I get deployed, how often do I come back to my home town? How long is “A” school training?

  37. CTISN says:

    So, I was looking into doing Aircrew after my current A-school, and I recently found out that I was born with something called FAI, which is a joint condition that could potentially cause joint problems in the future. Would this by any chance disqualify me from joining?

  38. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You are currently in A school and recently found out? That would mean that your condition was found during a visit to a military medical doctor? What did that doctor tell you? Or, was the condition found when you were an infant and it was not disclosed when you joined? Has the medical records that document the condition been submitted for inclusion in your medical record? There are many congenital conditions that have been asymptomatic since infancy that won’t cause issue, but to your specific one, I have no experience with it.

  39. AD2 Paoli says:

    I see a lot of questions here about the Aircrew Program. I came across a link to this document that would be helpful.

    When I was in things were a lttle different. There were no AWF’s or 2nd LM’s/Engineers

  40. Joseph says:

    I am very interested in becoming a navy aircrewman (dry). I know that at the end of the day, I can only choose from whats available at MEPS, but can anybody tell me if there is a good chance that AW’s are still available at this time?

  41. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Nobody can tell you with any certainty whether a rating will be available when you go to MEPS. I do know that if a rating or program is available and you qualify for it, you will be able to get it. Good luck!

  42. John says:

    I know what I am about to ask will be kind of waste of time, But here goes. I joined Navy 1951, at age 17 and in 1955 was assigned a fighter squadron and was a AM3 My skipper took a likening to me and wanted me to train for and become a Fighter pilot, He sent me to F9F8 simulator training and received 60 hours, He also sent me to get certified in High altitude pressure chamber, Seat ejection and Night Vision. I needed on year collage, and I was expert swimmer in boot camp as I was former life guard. I was also 4 years ships landing party during Korean war and was small arms qualified and BAR.
    I didn’t make Pilot training because of eye sight. How ever I flew air crew for years in many type air craft, I flew right seat in F3D, AndAd4w, also Many hours as air Crew in transport as well as patrol air craft,. I was first enlisted to fly back seat in F9F-8 and take the stick, also T-33 /. I don’t think we had the Air Crew school at my early Time, other than combat Aircrew.. but My question always remained that after all my training and operations why I never received Air Crew wings or at least Observer. I am retired many years now and 82 years old it don’t really matter but only to me,,

  43. Ogron says:

    I’m an AT2 with 7 years active duty. I just got informed that my rate conversion from AT to AWS was successful. I am ok swimmer not the best at it, and especially when I don’t swimming often. it kind of scares me to think that I choose the rate that requires a lot of swimming time. I know I want this rate. I need to take the physical assessment soon, and I got excellent on my last PRT, so I know I am good for that, but do they test your swim before inter the rate?

  44. NCCM(Ret) says:


    My knowledge is for those enlisting, but unless you are going to be a rescue swimmer, I doubt there are any additional PRT testing requirements that you have not already completed.

  45. Desi says:

    I got out of the navy last year after 3 years in with an honorable discharge with a code of RE-3G. I was wondering if it is even a possibility to get into the aircrew program. I did some OJT with the guys on deployment and know it’s what I want to do but I have a feeling the RE code will hinder my chances. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  46. NCCM(Ret) says:


    What was your RE-3G for? What was the specific reason for it? Also, do you meet the minimum requirements for a NAVET trying to reenlist?

  47. Desi says:

    It was for my eating disorder. I did fail one PFA while in, but never had any issues after that one. I’ve finally got a hold on my eating disorder but I’ll spare you my sob story. Yes I do meet the minimum requirements. I know I would need a medical waiver saying I don’t have that issue any longer. But would the program allow me in with such a waiver? Oh and thank you for getting back so quickly.

  48. Will says:

    I have a quick question regarding FTS. My son is in NACCS waiting to class up. He has an FTS contract and he is pretty open to what ever the Navy will give him for his final rating. My question is if FTS get a little more input or choice on which VR squadron they are assigned to. We live near Whidbey island and that would be his first choice. I imagine that the needs of the Navy will dictate where he goes.

    Also, Is AWO non acoustic still a FTS filled rating and do FTS attend SERE school?

  49. AWF1 says:

    Will, FTS are generally J154 (Formally known as AWF, we no longer have ratings). From there he can either be assigned to VR or VP. There are 2 squadrons in Whidbey VP-69 which is P-3 and VR-61 (i think) which is C-40. His chances of getting these are based solely on the availability and his class rank. The students get all the orders on the board and #1 picks first. As far as Sere school is concerned if he goes to a VR squadron then No he will not attend. I do believe VP Squadrons still require it.

  50. AWF1 says:

    Also I am AWF2(NAC/AW) I just updated my name because of promotion.

  51. NCCM(Ret) says:



  52. Kevin [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    I am trying to cross-rate to Awf if I was to Dor would I go back to my old rating. Also, would I be punished?

  53. PO1 says:

    It would really be in the hands of CWay.

  54. Austin says:

    I am wanting to do aircrewman NOS a510. I live in Missouri and I am in the process of enlisting in the reserves I am scheduled to go to MEPS this coming Tuesday is this job going to be available to me as a reservist that lives in Missouri? Thank you very much in advance for the help and also how long can I expect my training to last beginning to end if it is available

  55. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I have no idea what ratings or programs will be available on any given day. Each seat that is available is associated with an actual boot-camp and “A” school seat — once the seat is filled, it is no longer offered until a new class opens up. Even your recruiter won’t know — your Navy job classifier at MEPS will put your application vitals (ASVAB line scores, physical results, dates eligible to leave, etc.) into the program (PRIDE), and it will spit out your options.

  56. Austin says:

    Thanks for the help. So 2 more question how long is the training from start to finish, and if available can I do this job as a reserve in Missouri or would I have to be closer to an aircrew base.?

  57. Andrew(NAT/AIRC) says:

    I’m currently DEP-ping waiting for my ship out date in a few months to Great Lakes then pcola for AIRC. I’m going in as a reservist due to age, E-3 rank, and ultimately be based in Alameda, CA. Unfortunately there were no FTS openings during my MEPS moment of truth. Regardless, I made it. Round 1, check.
    As many have shared in this forum, recruiters don’t have much on hand about the rating you may get except for the rate card. Hence, I have a few questions. My apologies in advance for the novel below, but no matter how much I’ve searched and asked, I’m still left with questions;

    1. As a reservist, specially based out of Alameda, is my only option AWF, or do I have the same chances and choice of getting AWO/AWV or AW for Helo? Relocating is NOT and issue for me if need to or given the option.
    2. If AWF only, do all AWF reserves have the opportunity to become Flight Engineers, hold electronic, computer, technical applied duties? All I hear is flight attendant remarks from others
    3. At AIRC, we are to be assigned a “specified/source” rate like AE, AT, AD, AM etc.. This is confusing me. Not sure how this falls in place with the service rating AWF/AWO/AWV. Are specified/source rates as stated, specific, and is AWO for example the parent rate? Do these assignments happen at NACCS or one in boot camp and do we have some kind of choice?
    4. I’m going in as an NAT Advanced Technical Field aircrewman. Which route will this take me?
    5. Any input you can give me as to how to help drive myself to a squad related to patrol, recon, or carrier and avoid logistics?
    6. Is there a website, place where I can get a list of jobs for reservist with age limits for reservists? Example, for AIRC, the age limit is 30, but if reserve, its 39. I’ve asked recruiters at the station and they tell me to search, to google it. They only tell me if I ask about a specific rating, and its a long list.
    7. Moving forward, can I make the switch to another AW rating like AWS/AWR/AWO/AWV from AWF after 1yr, 2yrs? Or is it best to convert to active/FTS first?

    Future Sailor Andrew

  58. AWF1(NAC/AW) says:

    1. AWF is your only option
    2. Reservists can become FEs with time. Fresh out of school you will be a 2LM
    3. Source rating is not a thing in USNR you will be AWF and attend AWF A School
    4. NAT means reservist. ATF is your type of contract for Aircrewman. It doesn’t mean anything in specific other then you will be in Aircrew school
    5. Reserve AWFs go to CFLSW commands. We are Navy logistics.
    6 and 7 I am going to leave alone

    Here is the skinny. You will be at a NOSC. You will have a cross assigned drill site which will be a squadron, there you will do your training for AWF. At the NOSC you will do paperwork. It’s sucks but it is what it is and I am not going to sugarcoat it.

  59. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The age requirements for all ratings and programs are the same regardless of which component you enlist. If you are in the DEP with AIRC in your contract, you are over the age limit, and an age waiver was not completed (age waivers are for weeks, not years), then a mistake was made. The age limit of 39 years for Reserve and 34 for active duty is for basic enlistment; those ages are not for ratings and programs — those specific program requirements are exactly the same for both active and Reserve.

  60. Donald says:

    If I had asthma as a kid and don’t have any signs of it any more would it still hold me back?

  61. NCCM(Ret) says:


    It could. You must submit all of your associated medical documents to MEPS via your recruiter for review.

  62. Brian says:

    I swore into DEP in march of 2017, My contract says its 4 years, but has an extension of 24 months, does this mean it’s 6 years or they just add the amount of months it takes to change? And second, Can I crossrate to NSW/NSO after 2 years or do I have to fulfill the whole contract?

  63. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Expect to do what is in your contract for at least the time indicated in the contract. All six year enlistments are a basic four year contract with an additional 24 months of extension added on. If you fail your A-school, the extension period would be reduced.

  64. AWV2 says:


    The reason for the 24 month extension is due to the length of your schooling prior to your first duty assignment. As NCCM said, your current path has you serving for six years. At the two year mark you will most likely be finishing up or having just finished your “C” school and the Navy will not let you jump to a different rate until after you perform those tasks that you just learned for a few years.

    Five years into my six year contract I put in a packet to transition in six months, it was denied due to not serving my obligated service as an AWV. I input the same packet three months later again to transition in six months and it was accepted, so I was able to transition just short of my obligated six years. As you can see, for the most part the Navy is holding you to exactly what you sign up for.

  65. Eli says:

    Interested in the AW community and are currently going through the recruitment process. Just received medical clearance and will be given the opportunity to go to MEPS in the upcoming weeks. Top choices right now are AD and AM with the thoughts of “volunteering” for AW slot. I’ve seen several posts already asking this same question, but have not read a concrete or suitable answer. What does the “volunteering for flight duty” process look like, and how soon can one start it? is it during or after A-school? will there be a chance to raise your hand at some point and apply for a slot at Naval Aircrewman School? How does that work?


  66. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Years ago, those who were Aircrewman were volunteers from a few ratings that were considered “source ratings”; now, Aircrewman is its own rating — the personnel needed are no longer drawn from source ratings, but from the AW rating itself. The volunteering for flight duty is the same type verbiage used for those entering a submarine rating — must volunteer for submarine duty — yes, it is implied that those entering the Aircrew rating would be involved in aerial flight, but it must he stated outright — same for those entering the submarine ratings.

    If you enter the Navy as an AD, for example, then you must expect to work as an AD for at least the length of the contract, and then you may have an opportunity to cross rate to Aircrew if otherwise qualified.

    You mentioned that you just received medical clearance to process — was there a medical issue holding you up? Aircrewman, the flight physical, is pretty strict concerning medical issues.

  67. AWV2 says:


    Just as Master Chief stated the Navy expects you to put in some time to the rating you signed up for and they trained you for before allowing you to cross rate to the AW field. Once you complete “A” school and you are assigned to an aviation squadron, expect at minimum 18 months on the job before your squadron will release you prematurely.

    The volunteering for flight duty process can happen multiple ways. If your initial tour of duty is complete (4 years at the squadron) and your command will not need to release you prematurely, it will mostly be putting a package together stating you’re capable and eligible for Aircrewman. If you’re interested in the rescue swimmer AW rating there will be additional steps. If your tour with the squadron is not complete when you decide to submit the package then your commanding officer will also need to sign, releasing you from your squadron. The commanding officer’s decision will mostly revolve around man-power, as they are losing someone earlier than they anticipated. The two year mark at the squadron is a good time to start thinking about cross rating because if your initial enlistment is 4 years then they had somewhat planned on losing you from the squadron within the next year or so anyways.

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