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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).

139 Responses to “Navy Aircrewman Program NOS A500”

  1. Tanner says:

    To be in aircrew is it a minimum of 6 years of service? Also, if you have 20/20 in one eye and 20/25 in the other does that disqualify you from any type of aviation jobs?

  2. NCCM(ret) says:


    Yes, AW (Aircrew) is a 6 year enlistment. A couple of aviation ratings, AG and AS, do not require that your vision correct to 20/20.

  3. AME2(AW) says:

    I have been in the NAVY for 3 and 1/2 years. I have 3 1/2 more years to go. Do I have to extend or reenlist?

  4. NCCM(ret) says:


    You are gonna have to be a lot more specific, but I’ll take a stab at it.

    If you are entering a program that requires 48 months of service, then you will have to tack on an additional 6 months to the 42 months you already have left – your CCC for the school you may be attending, if it is required, will provide you with the appropriate paperwork.

  5. AT3 L says:

    I have the option to cross rate over to AWF, but the AWF rate is going away very soon. The P-3 platform will be gone by 2019 and the P-8 platform will be in full swing. What does that do for the AWF personell? Will they be offered other AW rates or cross rate to another rate?

  6. NCCM(ret) says:

    AT3 L.,

    I haven’t heard the rating was going away. You should have your CCC contact the ECM to see if there is a plan in the works, and how it would affect you.

  7. CS3(SCW) says:

    I wish to cross rate from CS to AWO, would I have to cross rate to a different aviations rate and then voulinteer for AWO, or can I go straight into it?

  8. NCCM(ret) says:


    AWO is a rating – check with your CCC, but I believe AWO A school is required in order to cross rate.

  9. Chris says:


    I just enlisted in ATF AIRC/NAT and have a few questions about the program. Both my recruiting office and MEPS seem to know very little about it. Hopefully you can shed some light on the subject.

    Is the reserve training for Aircrew the same as active, go to NACCS etc?

    Do reservists go to the FRS after school or back home to the reserve center?

    My recruiter’s chief wants me to go AIRC/FTS. I am not totally opposed to this, but he is really trying hard to sell me full time. Any insight into his motivation, more points or such?

    I have a Med waiver for history of several atypical moles, will I need a seperate waiver for the aircrew program?

    You list the age requirement on this page as 30, I am 31 and will be 32 before ascension. The NPC website under aviation does not list an age limit. Is this just out of date?

    The NPC website also says I will need to pass the navy PFT before shipping, is this done by my recruiter or at meps?

    Thank you very much for youre time

  10. NCCM(Ret) says:


    All the training is the same – active and Reserve.

    According to instruction:

    While in DEP, but prior to shipping, Aircrew candidates must pass the Navy’s Physical Readiness Test (PRT) with a score of satisfactory-medium (sat-medium) for their age and gender (refer to OPNAVINST 6110.1). Aircrew candidates shall sign a Hold Harmless Agreement prior to being administered the PRT.

    You can find the physical requirements here (this page is updated to the current 6110.1 – the current 6110.1 no longer uses a sat-medium, you would need to ask your recruiter which new level is required) – Fitness

    I share your concern about the age. Unless you have an age waiver, the instruction clearly states, “Applicants must be 30 years of age or less at the time of enlistment.” The instruction I am referring to is COMNAVCRUITCOMINST 1130.8J (Change 2 dated 26APR2012), Volume IV, Chapter 1, Section 7, Page 1, Article 010701 “Aircrewman Program”.

  11. AA FARRIS says:

    Hey there,
    Everybody’s comments have been super helpful. I just finished NACCS and loved every minute of it. If you have any questions about the format of that school house, feel free to ask!
    I am a reservist going into the AWF rating and was curious about the training. I have heard rumors that they aren’t sending FTS or Reserve to SERE or FRS anymore because of money constraints. I don’t know that I believe this though (it wouldn’t make sense to only do half the training for your job, that just seems weird to me). Do any of you know whether or not this statement is accurate or just plain scuttlebutt? I have been trying to talk to my former instructor but haven’t been able to get a hold of him. Any information regarding this would be super helpful!

  12. EM2 prior service says:

    Hi: I’m prior service, 4 years active duty Navy as an EM; very interested in joining Navy Reserve in the AW rating, I’m 34, would I be able to get an age waiver because of my prior service?

  13. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Age waivers for this program are unlikely, even for prior service.

  14. EN3(SW) Pollinger says:


    I have been in the Navy for 3 years currently. Recently just got PTS approved for the rate of AM. I am very interested in this job, being the mechanical experience I have gained since being in Guam, working on diesel engines. I plan on re-enlisting sometime between March and April for 6 more years. However it has been my dream to be an Aircrewman since I have been in the Navy. Would I be able to volunteer once I am at the AM “A” school? I meet all the requirements for Aircrewman. I have 20/20 vison. My hearing is near perfect, I have got an Outstanding on the last 3 PRT’s, Already Second Class Swim qualed and also have a Secret clearance. If there is any info at all you could give me it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you Master Chief (Ret),

    Very Respectfully,

    EN3(SW) Pollinger

  15. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I do recommend that you sit down with your CCC and get specific answers to each of your questions, but AW (AIRCREWMAN) is a separate rating, and once you go to AM “A” School you will be expected to serve as an AM. I am not aware of any provision the different Airdale schools might have for cross rating into AW, I doubt they have one.

  16. David says:

    I am going to enlist and join the AIRR program. I know it is a extreemly difficult course. I am a good swimmer but i know it takes more, what should i do to better prepare for AIRR program.

  17. NCCS (RET) says:

    David – NCCM asked me to respond to your question about preperations for AIRR. I spent the 1st 12 years of my 24 year Navy career as an AW/Rescue Swimmer. My brother is currently an AWRC in Mayport, FL, so I have kept up with the rate. My advice to you is to work hard on your cardio and mastering your swimming skills. You need to get to the point where you can run 5 miles and feel comfortable. Start at 1 mile and work your self up to the 5 mile point. I would also recommend that you spend a lot of time in the pool and with swim fins on. Swimming with fins uses different muscles than normal swimming, so the more you just swim around with fins on, the better aclimated you will be for the training you will get at RSS. One the the main issues that recruits have with the AIRR requirements are the pull-ups. make sure you can bust out 10 of those without issue. It’s not all about strength, but more about conditioning your arms to perform. if you have any specific questions that I have not answered, please email me at CRF4LIFE[at] ([at] = @) I will put you in touch with current rescue swimmers.

  18. RP2(FMF) says:

    Hello all. I just hit my 5 year mark with the Navy and have only been FMF. I kind of want to crossrate out of RP and am looking at NC(Fleet) and AWO. I just took my first test for first class.

    My concern is that if I go AWO the rate is technical enough that I would have a very difficult time advancing against people with 6 years more experience in the rate compared to me – where if I go NC or stay RP I will be an E-6 in another 2 years tops barring extenuating circumstances. Is this a concern I should really worry about? Also, I notice that NCCS used to be AW then crossrated, to the other rate I am interested in! Just kind of looking for advice from somebody who is not a HM or an RP. Thanks in advance!


  19. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I can tell you that I was an ET before I crossed to NC; main driver? As an ET, all trons flow the same direction — it can get boring. As an NC, your “equipment” is people, and every single one of them are different, so you have less chance of getting bored. I loved the personal interactions over the technical ones.

  20. RP2(FMF) says:

    Master Chief,

    Wow thank you for such a quick response!

    I have kind of been leaning the same way, I actually tried to cross rate to be a sub IDC (HM) but HM is overmanned at my paygrade and the ECM said no. I also like working working with people, which is one of the things I like about being an RP, but as an RP it seems like all the “equipment” I get to work with is broken or just wants out of the Navy, my job is too easy and not very satisfying. That and the future of my rating seems very uncertain with the proposed budget cuts on the horizon…

    I am coming off of sea duty next December (13) would you recommend cross-rating now to NC (assuming I choose that) or waiting until after my shore duty tour? My understanding is that if I go NC I will immediately go to some type of sea duty – which I want to do, but I just don’t want to hose over my family.

    Thanks for the input Master Chief!


  21. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I recommend doing everything sooner than later — it’s a, “why put off til tomorrow what you could do today” sort thing, but really, you do need to sit down with a local counselor and your family to figure it out. I understand the desire for a solid shore tour — it may not be a bad idea to call the NC detailer, perhaps even the ECM, just to have a conversation; I am sure they would have no problem spending time discussing options with you because you are in fact so far removed while serving in FMF.

  22. Candis says:

    While I was deployed I got orders to ETDPACFLT. I have to attend NACCS in Pensacola,FL on 06DEC12. I am FTS CS2 and was wondering what will I be expecting.

    [Last Name Redacted for Privacy]

  23. navyboy08 says:

    Hi I have some interest in joining the navy as a pilot what training could I be expecting

  24. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Everything I know about how to become a Navy pilot is on this page (not being an Airdale, my knowledge is somewhat limited, but the info should help :)) —>> Navy Pilot

  25. navyboy08 says:

    I also had some interest in joining the marines what does being in the navy have to offer that the marines don’t? please respond asap

  26. navyboy08 says:

    NCCM (ret)
    thank you so much for responding and giving me the website this is very helpful :)

  27. navyboy08 says:

    I was also wondering if there were some books or something I can read to prep me for flying

  28. navyboy08 says:

    sorry for all the questions just curious…..where is navy boot camp located for pilots?

  29. NCCM(Ret) says:


    There isn’t a boot-camp per se, the training regiment and locations are on the page I provided. As far as what books to read up with, I really do not have any suggestions — beyond being stationed aboard an aircraft carrier, I do not have an aviation background; however, The Steeljaw Scribe was a Navy pilot, and he might be able to provide you with some guidance also,, this forum might be a good place to start –>>

  30. navyboy08 says:

    thank you so much for all the help ….what does being a navy airman have to offer that the marines dont

  31. DC2 says:

    I’m currently active duty, but will be transitioning to SELRES in JUN and have PTS to AWF. What (if anyone knows) will I be doing as AWF in the reserves?

  32. Navy3 says:

    Joining rescue swimming. How often are you out at sea deployed to home?

  33. AWV2 says:


    I am Active Duty at a reserve P-3 squadron and we have plenty of reserve AWF’s. They serve as flight engineers on the P-3 platform. AWF’s also serve as Load Masters who balance and load aircraft cargo on larger planes and they are on personnel transport aircraft and do a job that somewhat resembles a flight attendants job (take off/landing readiness, serve food/drinks) but on only military aircraft.

  34. AWV2 says:


    I have no experience on a ship as my platform only takes off from shore based installments. I am also not a rescue swimmer so I’ll be shooting in the dark for this one. The career sea/shore rotation chart above describes how long you will hold a sea billet compared to a shore billet. For my platform (P-3) we are on a 6 month deployment (for rescue swimmers you would most likely be at sea for this portion) and then a year long home cycle (for rescue swimmers they would be attached to a shore based command for training). So for your first sea rotation you would repeat that cycle.

    For your shore rotation you would have many options such as becoming an instructor at Aircrew Candidate school, rescue swimmer instructor or whatever other shore based billets are available. Key word being shore based and you would most likely not be at sea.

  35. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Thank you for the insight! I know everyone appreciates the insight you provided into the AW rating; I have absolutely no Airdale experience — again, thank you!

  36. AWV2 says:

    Master Chief,

    I just had a meeting with the NC1 at our command last week relating to the AWV rating since the P-3’s are going away in a few years and he was an encyclopedia of knowledge as far as my options moving forward. I can definitely appreciate the job you guys do in leading sailors in the right direction in their careers. Thank you for your service.

    Back to the subject at hand; I am subscribed to this thread and look forward to answering anymore questions about our Flyers or the process in becoming one.

  37. NavyFit87 says:

    Going in for FTS aircrew and heard that there are only two jobs under that…AWF and another one…i saw what AWF is but what does the other job entail?

  38. AWV2 says:


    The other option you were most likely given was AWO. There are two subcategories for AWO’s, acoustic and non-acoustic. The description for them above is correct but they are split into two jobs. As an acoustic operator you will be tracking submarines looking at information provided by sonobuoys that were deployed in the water. As a non-acoustic operator you will be using an aircraft camera, using radar, and tracking subs with a simpler system than the acoustics. Since I have been in the navy the acoustic job has been talked about as the “smarter” job and the non-acoustics the “cooler” job.

    Hope that helped.

  39. Minhal [Last name redacted for privacy] says:


    As of yesterday I enlisted for Advanced Technical Aircrewman, I am going through the process you speak of, I am not a well swimmer by any means, I am physically fit though. How can I prepare for naccs in correlation to swimming?

  40. AWV2 says:


    If you are in decent shape you won’t have too much to worry about. A lot of people struggle with the swimming portion so you’re not alone. For the sub par swimmers they have remedial swim classes and the people I knew who went through that were caught up in the swimming department in max 2 weeks.

    Swimming is a high risk activity so whenever you practice make sure there is a lifeguard or at the least a buddy who can look after you. Practice treading water because that will be the most difficult task you face. One of the final tests is treading in a full flight suit, boots, helmet, and flight vest. This final test isn’t until 4 weeks of being in the pool 5 days a week training so they work you up to it. Stay physically fit and they will teach you the rest.

  41. Melissa says:

    My son is currently in BC and graduates in a couple of weeks. He is going Aircrew. He is enlisted as FTS. I think he will be AWF. After all training is completed, where can I expect him to be stationed? I realize that is a broad question, just trying to get an idea of where he may be headed. Thanks in advance!

  42. AWV2 says:


    If by BC you mean basic then he will be in Pensacola for around a year. Assuming he is an AWF his fate branches off depending on what aircraft he is on. For P-3s he will be in Jacksonville for about 14 months then get stationed in either Hawaii, Whidbey Island or Jacksonville for his first tour. If he is on C-130s he will be in Texas for a few months then end up most likely in Jacksonville. C-9s and other passenger aircraft he could be anywhere since those utilize many civilian airports. Hope I could provide some insight.

  43. Melissa says:

    Thank you so much. That is very helpful! And thanks for responding so quickly!

  44. Melissa says:

    Just to clarify, he is Navy Reservist with Full time Support designation. My understanding is that he has a 6 year commitment with 2 additional years of “call back”. Do those potential stations still apply?

  45. AWV2 says:


    I work with and fly with FTS everyday in Whidbey Island. I would have to assume they are at the same commands as mentioned earlier but I’m not 100% on that. In my eyes FTS is no different than active but they do fall under a reservist billet so its possible he could only be at a reserve command. But yes he will have 2 years of call back once his 6 year contract is up. If he reenlists after 6 and overlaps those 2 years they are obsolete.

  46. Melissa says:

    Thanks again! You’ve put my mind at ease.

  47. Hunter says:

    I really want to get into aerial gunnery. What should I do in Candidate School to try and get this?

  48. AWV2 says:


    Your best bet is to get the dry helo spot out of your candidate class. I was in a class of 12 to 15 and they gave out 1 dry helo position. Just as about the position when you arrive at school and show the motivation to get what you want. This position usually is a sub hunter on helicopters and I’ve never heard of someone in this spot actually getting a shot off in the helo.

    Honestly if you’re that gung ho about becoming a door gunner in helicopters, your best bet is to join the Army or Marines and inform the recruiter about your aspirations. Best of luck to you.

  49. navyfit87 says:

    hey i have heard some mixed info about FTS and regular Aircrew. Are they both given the same jobs or do the FTS get only two different ones?

  50. AWV2 says:

    Fit guy,

    FTS is “regular” aircrew but technically they fall under reserve billets. I am on active duty and I am considered FTS because I am at a reserve squadron. If you enlist as FTS you are most likely an AWF but it is possible for AWO. Hope that helps

  51. 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 ?

  52. 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.

  53. 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?

  54. 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.

  55. 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?

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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!

  59. 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?


  60. 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.

  61. 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?

  62. MA says:

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

  63. 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.

  64. 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.

  65. 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…

  66. 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.

  67. 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.

  68. 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.

  69. 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.?

  70. 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.”

  71. 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.

  72. NCCM(Ret) says:


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

  73. 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?

  74. 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.

  75. 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

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