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The successful operation of a flight deck on an aircraft carrier is one of the most complex, high-stakes exercises on the planet. It’s no small task to ensure that each aircraft that leaves the flight deck performs its mission successfully and returns home safely. Navy Aircrewmen and Air Traffic Controllers are essential in directing the everyday complexities above and below the flight deck. Their responsibilities include:
As a member of the Flight Operations team, you could support your squadron’s flight line, assist Navy Pilots and Naval Flight Officers with antisubmarine warfare, contribute to search and rescue operations or control the movement of aircraft and vehicles on airfield taxiways.
As part of this community, you may have the opportunity to:
As a Navy Aircrewman or Air Traffic Controller, you’ll make the world your home. You may be assigned to sea or shore squadrons on almost any continent. You will have the opportunity to work in a variety of environments – from airborne aircraft to hangars, hangar decks to flight decks, and flight lines at air stations and on aircraft carriers.
Serving part-time as a Reservist, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, Flight Operations personnel in the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their homes.
For Annual Training, you may serve anywhere in the world, whether on a ship at sea or bases and installations on shore.
Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Reservists.
Upon completion of the initial 7–9 week Recruit Training (known as Boot Camp), those pursuing a role in Flight Operations will receive a mix of hands-on experience and classroom study. Advanced technical and operational "A School" training in the aviation field is also available as part of your career development, preparing you for any number of future civilian careers with airports, airline industries, government and law enforcement agencies, aircraft manufacturers and more.
Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and based on performance. It’s also important to note that specialized training received and work experience gained in the course of service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational opportunities in related fields.
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.
Aircrewmen and Air Traffic Controllers 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.
Beyond offering access to professional credentials and certifications, Navy technical and operational training in the field of Flight Operations 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 opportunities like the following:
A high school diploma or equivalent is required to become an Enlisted Sailor in the Flight Operations field in the Navy. Those seeking a position as an Aircrewman or Air Traffic Controller must be U.S. citizens who can meet eligibility requirements for a security clearance.
General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.