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With the creed of “the last ones to let you down,” as an Aircrew Survival Equipmentman (also referred to as Parachute Rigger or PR), you’re responsible for the life-saving equipment that keeps pilots and aircrewmen safe in the event of an emergency. Though rare, if the flight team needs to eject mid-flight, your work ensures that everything goes according to plan. On day one, you’ll prepare aircraft for every possible emergency well before the plane ever launches. From rigging parachutes to repairing the stitching on shoulder harnesses, this job does everything it takes to protect the lives of Navy pilots and aircrew.
As an Aircrew Survival Equipmentman (PR), you’re responsible for maintaining the safety equipment that could save a Naval Aviator’s life in the event of an emergency. Your job responsibilities as a PR may include:
Duties in the PR rating are usually performed indoors in aircraft hangars and aboard aircraft carriers. You may also work outdoors on flight decks or on flight lines at air stations. Additionally, PRs who volunteer for aircrew duty have the opportunity to serve aboard aircraft.
Upon completion of the initial 7-9 week training at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes (known as Boot Camp), you’ll report for specialized training, including:
PR Core and Strand “A” School (12 weeks) in Pensacola, FL, for training in basic aviation theory and related skills
After you complete your training, you may be assigned to a squadron, aircraft carrier, Navy ship, or air station. PRs assigned to intermediate level maintenance may receive additional “A” School training before reporting to their first assignment.
Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and based on performance.
Advanced training as an Aircrew Survival Equipmentman may also be available during later stages of your career. For those with further leadership aspirations and a college degree, Officer roles may be available, providing opportunities to lead and train others.
Specialized training received and work experience gained in the course of service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational opportunities in related fields in the civilian world, such as employment with airlines, airports, aircraft manufacturers and more.
Beyond offering access to professional credentials and certifications, Navy technical and operational training as an Aircrew Survival Equipmentman can translate to credit hours toward a bachelor’s or associate degree through the American Council on Education.
You may also continue your education through undergraduate degree opportunities like the Navy College Program and Tuition Assistance and the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
A high-school diploma or equivalent is required to become an Enlisted Sailor and an Aircrew Survival Equipmentman. You must also be a U.S. citizen eligible for security clearance.
PR applicants should possess good writing and speaking skills, as well as an aptitude for working with tools, equipment and machines. You should be able to perform meticulous detail work, maintain accurate records and work well as part of a team.
Important personal attributes as a PR include resourcefulness, curiosity, and the ability to follow through on tasks. Attention to detail and good memory are vital, as your work will directly impact the lives of other people. You should also be physically fit and have normal use of your hands.
General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.
Serving part-time as a Navy Reserve Sailor, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, Aircrew Survival Equipmentmen in the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their homes.
For annual training, you may serve anywhere in the world, including locations in the U.S., at bases overseas, or in areas where humanitarian needs are great.
Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Navy Reserve Sailors.
Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent of that.
Aircrew Survival Equipmentmen in the Navy Reserve serve in an Enlisted role. Before receiving the ongoing professional training that comes with the job, initial training requirements must be met.
For current or former military Enlisted servicemembers, prior experience satisfies the initial Recruit Training requirement, so you will not need to go through Boot Camp again.
For those without prior military experience, you will need to meet the initial Recruit Training requirement by attending Boot Camp for 7-9 weeks in Great Lakes, IL. This training course will prepare you for service in the Navy Reserve and count as your first Annual Training.