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Naval Aviator (Pilot)
Naval Flight Officer (Aviator)
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer
Special Warfare Officer
Naval Aviation is renowned for the demands it places upon its flyers. The skills and concentration required to land a high-performance jet on board an aircraft carrier deck pitching in the black of night, or to track a submarine while flying at only a few feet above stormy seas, are not only linked to a solid academic background or to top physical conditioning. There is more to it than that; it requires a combination of talents and dedication that many people possess, but few are challenged to use to full measure.
Graduates of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (Navy ROTC) are selected for flight training during their final year of school. All are volunteers.
Student Naval Aviator’s (SNA’s) arrive at Naval Air Station Pensacola to begin their flight training. They spend about six weeks in Aviation Preflight Indoctrination where they are challenged both academically and physically. Classes include: engineering, aerodynamics, air navigation, aviation physiology and water survival.
Upon completion of API, SNA’s (also known as student pilots) are assigned to primary training squadrons. Primary SNA training is conducted at three bases: NAS Whiting Field, Milton, Florida, NAS Corpus Christi, Texas and Vance Air Force Base (AFB), Enid, Oklahoma. For the SNAs reporting to the Navy bases, primary training is approximately 22 weeks. It includes ground-based academics, simulators and flight training in either the T-34 Turbomentor or the T-6A Texan II. Primary training consists of six stages: Familiarization (FAM), Basic Instruments, Precision Aerobatics, Formation, Night FAM, and Radio Instruments.
Pipeline selections occur upon completion of primary training. This is based on the current and projected needs of the services, the student’s performance and preferences. Student naval aviators are selected for: Maritime (multi-engine prop), E-2/C-2, Rotary (helos) or Strike (jets).
Maritime students complete their advanced training at NAS Corpus Christi and upon receiving their Wings of Gold, Navy pilots report to the P-3 Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) while Marine pilots report to the C-130 FRS.
E-2/C-2 student training consist of multi-engine training as well as carrier landing qualification training. After primary training, students report to VT-31 at NAS Corpus Christi to complete 44 hours of flight training in approximately 17 weeks in the T-44. After intermediate training, E-2/C-2 students report to NAS Kingsville for advanced training in the T-45. Students earn their wings in approximately 27 weeks after receiving their carrier landing qualification.
Student pilots selected for helicopter training report to NAS Whiting Field and complete advanced training in the TH-57 Sea Ranger. Students learn the unique characteristics and tactics of rotary-wing aviation. They are also introduced to shipboard landing on the Helicopter Landing Trainer; the Navy’s only ship dedicated to teaching helicopter pilots how to land onboard a moving vessel. Once they receive their Wings of Gold, Navy helicopter pilots report to their respective FRS for SH-60 or MH-53 training. Marine helicopter pilots report to an AH-1, UH-1, CH-46 or H-53 FRS for training. MV-22 (Osprey) training is currently being conducted utilizing both the helicopter and maritime pipelines.
SNAs who enter the Strike (Jet) pipeline complete their training at either NAS Kingsville, Texas or at NAS Meridian, Mississippi in the T-45C. During Strike training, pilots learn strike tactics, weapons delivery, air combat maneuvering and receive their carrier landing qualification. Upon receiving their Wings of Gold, Strike pilots report to an F/A-18 or EA-6B FRS, and eventually report to their first Fleet squadron.
Naval Flight Officers (NFO’s) are the men and women who operate the advance systems onboard naval aircraft, and some may also act as the overall tactical coordinators of multiple air assets during a mission. They differ from Naval Aviators in that they do not pilot the aircraft in which they serve. This division of labor between Aviators and NFO’s allows for each to concentrate more closely on mission tasks that require specific occupational training. NFO’s are integral members of the Naval Aviation community and are just as competitive as Naval Aviators for command of aircraft squadrons, air wings, and even aircraft carriers.
Graduates of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (Navy ROTC) are selected for flight training during their final year of school. All are volunteers.
Student Naval Flight Officers (SNFO’s) arrive at Naval Air Station Pensacola to begin their flight training. They spend about six weeks in Aviation Preflight Indoctrination where they are challenged both academically and physically. Classes include: engineering, aerodynamics, air navigation, aviation physiology and water survival.;
Upon completion of API, all SNFO’s report to either VT-4 or VT-10 located at Sherman Field aboard NAS Pensacola for Primary NFO/Navigator training. Here they will spend the next 15 weeks in academic, simulator and flight training using the T-6 II Texan. This portion of training is similar to the student pilot syllabus for learning the basics of flight, the landing pattern, navigation and aerobatics.
Pipeline and aircraft selections are made at various phases of training. SNFO’s selected after primary for the maritime mission will transfer to NAS Jacksonville, Florida for follow-on training in the P-3 Orion or the EP-3 Aries. A few SNFO’s will be selected for follow-on E-6 (Strategic Communications) training at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma. SNFO’s selected for the tactical jet syllabus will remain in their respective squadron for intermediate training. This consists of more time in the T-6 II Texan aircraft as well as further training in the T-1 Jayhawk. Upon completion of the Intermediate phase of training, SNFO’s either select the E-2C Hawkeye with follow-on training in Norfolk, Virginia or continue their training with VT-86 in Pensacola.
In the advanced training syllabus at VT-86, SNFO’s fly the T-39 Sabreliner and the T-45 Goshawk. Students will either proceed down the Strike pipeline ultimately receiving their Wings of Gold as Electronic Countermeasures Officers (ECMO) for the EA-6B Prowler or proceed down the Strike/Fighter pipeline for selection as Weapons Systems Officers for the F/A-18F Super Hornet.
The Navy’s oldest warfare community is submarines. The pin was established in 1923 and authorized in 1924. Aviation wings were authorized in the late 20’s and Surface Warfare pins in the early 70’s.
Midshipmen who select Submarine Warfare can look forward to a challenging career as a member of an elite, technically advanced, multi-mission community. Newly commissioned Ensigns will find themselves serving on board the most capable submarines in the world today.
Upon commissioning every Ensign selected for Submarine Warfare will attend one year of advanced nuclear power training, starting with six months of classroom training at Nuclear Power School (NPS) in Charleston, S.C. After NPS, you will have six months of practical, hands-on training at one of the Navy's two shore-based reactor training facilities (Nuclear Power Training Units - NPTU) in upstate New York or Charleston, South Carolina.
Upon completion of Nuclear Power School and NPTU, you will be assigned to a submarine. Prior to reporting to your first submarine, you will attend a 12-week Submarine Officer Basic Course in New London, Connecticut. This period of instruction will provide you an opportunity to learn the theory and principles of submarine operation and control, the basic administrative responsibilities of a division officer, the theory of the submerged fire control problem and weapons systems, and the basic fundamentals of submarine operations and tactics.
Upon arriving at your first submarine, you will be assigned as a division officer. In addition to managing a group of highly trained enlisted submariners you will begin your own personal submarine qualification program. The culmination of your qualification is the awarding of the coveted Gold Dolphins and your designation as "Qualified in Submarines". This is the first of many rewarding career milestones, which await you in the Silent Service.
The Submarine community is full of history and tradition as well as a strong commitment to the defense of the country and the support of its commitments around the world. The United States Submarine Force, an acknowledged symbol of military excellence, is poised to enter its second century of undersea dominance with the most highly trained people and advanced platforms in its history. Nuclear submarines, the product of American ingenuity and technological prowess, are a unique asset whose unprecedented contribution to deterrence, conflict prevention and warfighting will continue to be at the very foundation of our nation's security.
The newly commissioned officer from the Navy ROTC program will complete the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)/Diver course at Naval Diving and Salvage Center, Panama City, FL and progress directly to EOD training at Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal (NAVSCOLEOD), Eglin AFB. Graduates will then be assigned as Division Officers at EOD Mobile Units where they will be immersed in the community's core warfighting competencies of EOD, Anti terrorism/Force Protection (AT/FP), Expeditionary Diving and Salvage and Underwater Mine Countermeasures. During this initial tour, officers will complete a rigorous qualification process involving a variety of Personnel Qualification Standards and advanced EOD, diving and mobility training requirements before earning warfare qualification. Officers who successfully meet warfare qualification standards will be redesignated 1140 and become eligible for assignment as Officer In Charge (OIC) of EOD Mobile Detachments. Post-Mobile Det OIC assignments include Operations officers at EOD Mobile Units and Mobile Dive and Salvage Units, EOD shore Det OICs, Carrier Support Group staffs, Expeditionary Support Group staffs and Mine Countermeasure squadron staffs. Additionally, officers have opportunity to pursue Graduate Education through a variety of programs at Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, the Naval War College and other service colleges.
EOD Training is a 10-month course that is both physically and mentally demanding. It is a joint-service command consisting of members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force. Oversight and management is the responsibility of the Department of the Navy. The mission is to train officers and enlisted personnel in the best methods of detection, identification, render safe, and disposal of explosive ordnance and related devices. This includes all known foreign ordnance, chemical weapons, biological weapons, nuclear weapons, clandestine improvised devices and any and all ordnance/devices which may be encountered under water (Navy students only). NAVSCOLEOD is a tenant command at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
Naval Special Warfare (NSW) is the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command which deploys forces to conduct special operations and activities in support of Combatant Commanders and U.S. National Interests. NSW operational forces are comprised of SEAL Teams, SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams, and Special Boat Teams specially organized and trained to conduct the full spectrum of special operations in maritime and other extreme environments.
As a Naval Special Warfare qualified unrestricted line officer, you will lead and command NSW forces at all levels of rank. A SEAL officer becomes an expert at conducting special operations in complex, politically sensitive, and dangerous environments. SEAL officers will be required to fill critical leadership positions, and must epitomize the SEAL Ethos (http://www.sealswcc.com/navy-seals-ethos.aspx). During his career, a SEAL Officer typically deploys at least once per pay grade and is likely to be stationed overseas at least once.
Qualification as a SEAL officer requires completion of the 3-week Basic Orientation, 21-week Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUD/S), the 5-week Junior Officer Training Course (JOTC), and the 26-week SEAL Qualification Training (SQT). Then officers complete Jump school, SERE school and language training before joining their teams. Training starts with physical conditioning and being tested for physical and mental toughness in Hell Week, followed by training in open and closed-circuit diving, weapons, demolitions, communications, land warfare, small unit leadership, close quarters combat, maritime operations, air operations, static-line and freefall parachuting, survival, evasion, resistance and escape.
Selection for a SEAL officer training quota is highly competitive. Navy ROTC Midshipmen desiring a quota should be committed to preparing themselves for the selection process. The selection process is comprised of taking the SEAL Physical Screening Test (PST), attending a NSW Summer Cruise, submitting an application package and being interviewed by a panel of SEAL officers.
MIDN 4/C: Pursue a challenging and/or technical major. Read a wide array of books on Naval Special Warfare and Special Operations history. Regional expertise, cultural knowledge, strategic languages, and overseas travel experience are highly valued. Seek leadership positions. Participate in collegiate sports. Begin to prepare for the SEAL physical screening test. The leading predictor for success in the training pipeline is an outstanding physical screening test score. Prospective officers need to lead from the front and have strong scores in all events to be competitive.
MIDN 3/C: Strive to improve your physical performance. Continue language proficiency. Begin to develop your candidate package. Inform your Chain of Command your intention to be selected for a NSW Summer Cruise quota as MIDN 2/C. Contact and seek mentorship from current and former SEALs. Stay current on US Military and Special Operations news items.
MIDN 2/C: Request a SEAL Summer Cruise quota. Attend a U.S. Naval Academy SEAL Challenge weekend if available. Complete and submit the SEAL officer application package. Attend a NSW Summer Cruise which entails a one-week Mini-BUD/S followed by several weeks at a SEAL Team where candidates will be challenged physically, have their performance observed, and interviewed by a panel of SEAL officers for suitability. If unable to attend a NSW Summer Cruise attend one of the SEAL candidate interviews conducted during the summer.
MIDN 1/C: Midshipmen will be informed of their selection for Designator 1180 (SEAL officer, Student) and made available to the SEAL Detailer upon graduation. Continue to improve physical capabilities and develop language proficiency.
About SEALs, eligibility requirements, preparation, reading lists, and SEAL training visit the official NSW recruiting site at http://www.sealswcc.com/seal-default.aspx and http://www.sealswcc.com/navy-seals-enlisted-general-requirements.aspx
Application process and officer career information visit the SEAL Officer Community Manager (OCM) site at: https://www.mynavyhr.navy.mil/Career-Management/Community-Management/Officer/Active-OCM/Unrestricted-Line/Special-Warfare-OCM/
Naval Special Warfare - https://www.nsw.navy.mil/
United States Special Operations Command - https://www.socom.mil/