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Basic Program Requirements for Aircrew

Navy Aircrewman Program NOS A500

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Published: August 12, 2009
Updated: February 9, 2022

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 48 36 36 36
AWR 48 36 36 36
AWS 51 36 36 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).

138 Responses to “Navy Aircrewman Program NOS A500”

  1. 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.

  2. AWF1 says:

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

  3. NCCM(Ret) says:



  4. 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?

  5. PO1 says:

    It would really be in the hands of CWay.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.?

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

  13. NCCM(Ret) says:


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

  14. 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?

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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?


  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Caleb says:


    I’m trying to find out some information and hopefully someone will have some insight on my issue. I’m a prior service navy veteran with 4 years active and got out of 2016 of September. Never NJP or got into any trouble. I do have both of my pins plus all the awards that came with 3 deployments on the USS George Washington CVN 73. Got out as E3 AD and my age is 25 now with RE-1 code. Recently I have gone through MEPS, Asvab and all the hoops. Since your prior service you have to fill out a dream sheet for 5 slots and my top pick is AIRC for AW rating. I submitted my packet around November 6th 2017 and while I was waiting I wanted to get in contact with the ECM that will make the Final choice to let him know that I Eat and breathe for Aircrew. Let’s just say I’m pumped for this and I wanted him to know that he was making the right choice by picking me. Which he understood and said I’ll see what I can do. Awesome, in my head I said loudly during that call because it was a long shot. Now, he hasn’t gotten my packet across his desk yet and that’s where my question is (three weeks ago, around the end of November is when I made the phone call. It could be very well on his desk right now.)? How long does it usually take for prior service know anything on there packet. What is the before process that takes place before it gets to his desk. And what is the average time I’m looking at before I know anything?

  21. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Your recruiter should be able to find out where in the process your application is (at ECMs, CNRC waiver chop chain, NRD HQ, etc.). I have seen the ECM process take a month by itself depending on how many ECMs need to look at it and whether one might be on leave or not (it can get frustrating at times).

    Separately, I assume, too, that your physical results would qualify you for flight? The flight physical requirements are more strict than for general enlistment (vision, can’t be hypothyroid, etc. Details are in the MANMED). If not physically eligible, the AW ECM may not see your package.

  22. Aden. says:


    My name is Aden [Last name redacted for privacy] and I am wanting to become a naval aviator but I can not find it on the job options in this site what do I do?

  23. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The basic program authorization information can be found in the officer section on the Naval Aviator page. For more information beyond that, I highly recommend that you contact your local Navy officer recruiter.

  24. AT3 [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    So I’ve researched this thread periodically throughout my short Naval career (2 years) and wanted to drop some advice / ask questions. As some have stated before if you pick an aviation maintenance rating like I did there is no *direct way to volunteer for aircrew (supposedly there was back in the day). I made that mistake joining the Navy thinking I could *volunteer for aircrew avionics (AWV) as an AT. If you want AW go straight into, saves you the hassle I’m about to explain.

    After being in for nearly two years and at my command for just above a year I was luckily granted an early release to cross rate to AW (I chose AWF for platform and manning). To my surprise with a reluctant attitude my Chain of Command / CO DID approved my request to volunteer for AW. I wouldn’t recommend this route though. It’s a lot of paperwork and hard to get everyone on board.

  25. AT3 [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    My question for those who have recently went through or know someone who has.

    Do AWF’s or at least aircrewmen get to select order based off of merit / 1st in class?

  26. AWF1 says:


    As a Fleet Returnee you should have orders in hand prior to attending AW school. If your package has been approved by the ECM get in touch with the detailer.

  27. AT3 says:

    Thanks for the reply AWF1, my orders are being “typed” now according to the ECM. Far as I know the orders are just back to Pensacola, are you suggesting they’ll have my permanent duty station post A school as well?

  28. AWFAN says:

    I recently completed AWF A school and am seeking to make E-4 through accelerated advancement. I am SELREs, do not have an FRS, and therefore I believe I am eligible for E-4 because I am in an advanced technical field. I was told by a PS I would have needed a page 13 saying I would get accelerated advancement upon enlistment, but according to MILPERSMAN 1220-010 I just need CO’s recommendation. Is this correct?

  29. AWF1(NAC/AW) says:


    You should have already completed a Page 13 entry when you signed your contract for ATF-AIRC. I will reread the Milpersman tomorrow, but I remember there being an issue with Selres. I may be mistaking that for something else. Are you at an aviation command or at a NOSC?

  30. AWFAN says:


  31. AWF1(NAC/AW) says:

    Send me a brief email at [email deleted for privacy] to remind me to look into it tomorrow. Sorry we are prepping for a maintenance inspection so I will probably forget by tomorrow.

  32. Sara says:

    Quick Question, if your already and E-3 going into AW A-School when do you pick E-4? is that after successful completion of A-School or the replenishment school. thank you

  33. AWV2 says:

    It should be stated in your contract, so look to that as a more explicit answer to your indicidual case. Generally speaking (98% of the people completing C-school at the same time as me) we all advanced to E-4 the same day that we graduated from C-school in Jacksonville.

  34. Zach says:

    How hard is it to get this rate?

  35. AWV2 says:

    Zach, the top of this page lists the requirements to be eligible for Aircrewman. Whether you meet these requirements or not, go see a recruiter as they can give you a better idea of your chances at becoming an Aircrewman.

    If you were talking about the physical aspect, Aircrew school was tough for some and easy for others. The farthest I remember running is 8 miles, which was a formation run and at a moderately slow pace. Be comfortable in the water, this was what most people were dropped/rolled back for. Pool evolutions range from treading water to swimming a mile in full flight gear. You will be trained and prepared for all this for 1-3 months prior to actual testing so it is not essential to get comfortable in the water before shipping out, but it will definitely help.

    If you were talking about the academic aspect of becoming an Aircrewman, the Navy believes that if you’ve got a good enough ASVAB score to sign the contract for Aircrew then you will be successful. I had terrible study habits when I joined the Navy but all that changed during C school out of necessity to pass. The Navy will prepare you for the job but you’ve got to be willing to put in the hours and commitment. Don’t quit. Senior leadership is there to mentor the willing and you will be successful as long as you keep a positive attitude and stay out of trouble.

  36. Earles L McCaul says:

    I was enlisted USN 1863-1971: ATW2(AC), converted to ATR2(AC), and finally AT1(AC). When I left active service, my “aircrewman” designation was (AC) post-fixed to the rate/rank. However, I read that in 2009 the (AC) designation became a RATING and was changed from Naval Aircrewman (NAC) to AV–something. So, what should I ‘properly’ use, the old (1963-1971 era) (AC) or subsequent (NAC) designation, ie: AT1(AC) or AT1(NAC)?

    Thank you,

    Very respectfully,
    Earles L. McCaul
    Tucson, AZ, USA.

  37. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I would recommend using whatever designation is on your DD-214 (discharge paperwork).

  38. Earles L McCaul says:

    That’s the rub, the DD214 does not mention Aircrewman designation, onlt AT1/E6; however, section 4. Designator Record of my Navy Occupation and Training History does show: DATE: 2SEP65; DESIGNATOR: AC; QUAL followed by Officer ATF’s initials.

    Thanks, (AC) it will be.


  39. Joseph says:

    Can i be in aircrew if i am an aviation mechanic in the navy? And how would i start that process??

  40. AWFAN says:

    What’s the difference between a system engineer and an in-flight technician in the AWF community?

  41. AWF1 says:

    I believe all in flight technicians are AWV or AWO. Not sure what a system engineer is.

  42. AWFAN says:

    Currently on CMSID and those are my only options for AWF3.

  43. AWF1 says:

    Strange. I am not familiar with that at all then. I would reach out to your detailer and ask about those billets.

  44. ron says:

    Beyond PFT standards.
    Please describe and highlight the differences between AW with SAR rating vs a AIRR rating. ie….2 years down the line what are the differences in a week in the life, month in the life description?
    Thank you

  45. Tex says:

    I was privileged to serve the United States as a Rescue Swimmer for 22 years.

    I would do it again in a second!!!!

  46. Justin says:

    I have a GED, I have a signed contract from meps. My rate is aircrew. I’m now being told my GED is not valid. Got a (76) Asvab score. I’ve been informed my contract is no longer valid? However I’m still eligible for AIRR. Does this make any sense? I feel like I’m being pushed into the spec ops community, and I just want my original Aircrew rate. Am I screwed?

  47. NCCM(Ret) says:


    If your GED is not valid, and you are not considered to have at least a Tier II education, they would have to discharge you. Why would your GED not be valid?

  48. Vaughan says:

    So I’m ETSing from the army in about 3 years. I enjoy the military, just not the army side of things. I’m in the Aviation branch here as a 15R (Apache Helicopter Crewchief/Mechanic) will this job set be transferrable in any way?

  49. AWV2 says:

    Hi Vaughn,

    The AD rate (Aviation Machinist’s Mate) seems like it would be a similar job. You can look up the specifics but to summarize, ADs are the mechanics for their particular aviation asset whether it be fixed or rotary wing. The AWF rate are the Flight Engineers, which is the AD equivalent in the aircrew ranks. However, AWFs are being phased out as the P-3 is replaced.

  50. AWF1 says:

    AWFs are not being phased out, just P3s. Navy still owns EP3E, C130T, C40A, C20, C2, and soon V22, all of which have crew positions filled by AWF.

  51. AWV2 says:


    My mistake I did not clarify. I was more so referring to AWFs as the flight engineer positions in reference to Vaughn’s question. Outside of (E)P3 platforms, I have only interacted with AWFs as either load masters or handing me snacks on the other platforms you mentioned and that was outside of the scope for my response.

    VP-30 has been slowing the class billets for AWFs as the Flight Engineer position for years along with AWVs as In-flight technicians, but of course AWVs are still inclusive for some of the platforms you mentioned.

    If you have some helpful information for Vaughn in the context of AWFs at the Flight Engineer or more scripted in the AD line of work, I am sure he would be happy to hear it.

  52. AWF1 says:

    No problem. I am a C130 Flight Engineer. Also VX has C130 FEs and I believe VQ3 and 4 have E6B flight engineers

  53. Anthony says:

    Dumb question

    Other than seals and swcc, what other rates can get combat deployment?

  54. AWF1 says:

    Not sure what you mean by combat deployed. Stab in the dark I would say EOD and Seabees

  55. Codey says:

    I have been waiting for the rate (AWR) or (AW) for a couple months. My recruiter says no spots have opened up and I am forced to pick another rate. Is there any reason why this rate is hard to get and do you have any advice on what I should do I could do?

    Thank you

  56. AWF1 says:

    Are you referring to an AIRR contract? I have been out of recruiting since 2010 but it was a special program that required you to perform a physical test prior to getting a contract. If you have performed the PST already I would talk to the RINC in the recruiting station, actually if he hasn’t even mentioned a PST you will want to talk to the RINC. RINC stands for Recruiter in charge. Basically the LPO (Leading Petty Officer) of the office.

  57. Codey says:


    sorry I am referring to aircrewman rate.

  58. Adam says:

    How long from after Boot Camp do you get to go home and see family like how many weeks

  59. AWV2 says:


    As an active duty service member you will accrue 30 days of leave per year (2.5 days per month). It is up to you when you decide to use that leave to go home. Your orders will dictate where you go after bootcamp; for Aircrew positions this generally means going to Pensacola, FL for Aircrew Candidate School. From there you will be allowed to take leave as long as it is approved by your chain of command.

    The Navy recognizes that most people right out of bootcamp have not accrued many leave days yet so they will allow you to go “in the hole” for leave days. For example, I arrived in Pensacola after bootcamp in mid-December, right before most people were taking leave for Christmas. I only had 5 days of leave saved at this point but I was able to put in a leave request for 10, meaning I returned with a negative balance. You just make those days up on the back end.

    To answer your question of how many weeks after bootcamp you must wait to take leave, it depends on many factors. If you are in a hold phase after bootcamp or a holiday period is coming up you will be able to take leave sooner. If you class-up immediately for job training immediately after bootcamp, your chain of command will only approve your leave request under certain circumstances.

  60. Jay says:

    Hi I have a few questions.

    1. From boot camp to duty station assignment, how long is all the training?

    2. Where are most AW’s stationed? Or what duty stations are AW’s sent to?

    3. The rotations for sea and shore are listed as 36mo/36mo. Does this mean for 36 months you’re at sea and never at your duty station to see your family? Please explain how this works. Thanks!

  61. Alex says:

    Hi! i signed as an AM and am about to head to “a” school (already did boot-camp) how would i go about getting into aircrew as an AM was told I could volunteer.

  62. izaiah says:

    hi I am a undesignated seaman I’m about to strike and id like to join aircrew iv been in for a year this is my 3rd strike cycle, my line scores are 10 points off from qualification can I join with a waiver?

  63. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Navy ASVAB line score waivers are fairly rare, and usually are for no more than a point or two. Ten points is a lot. Have you considered retesting? Your local ESO/personnel folks should be able to assist you with that.

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