What to Expect
Gas Turbine System Technicians - Mechanical (GSM) operate and maintain mechanical components of gas turbine engines and propulsion systems. As a GSM, your responsibilities may include:
- Maintaining, operating and repairing gas turbine engines, generators and auxiliary equipment
- Working with blueprints, schematics and charts
- Testing lubricants and fuels for contamination and quality
- Performing preventive maintenance on ship’s fuel and air systems
- Performing tests on engines and equipment for proper performance
- Operating main propulsion equipment and engineering control systems
- Maintaining sea water, waste drain, oil purification and manual valve systems
- Maintaining and controlling steam systems and pitch propeller systems
- Performing administrative tasks related to systems operation and maintenance
- Performing work area inspections
GSMs usually work in engine rooms or shops that may be hot and noisy aboard many types of modern ships. On shore, GSMs may work at major repair or training facilities. In this job, you can expect work of a physical nature.
Training & Advancement
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:
Basic Engineering Common Core and “A” School (15 weeks) in Great Lakes, IL, for training on mechanical theory, safety precautions and programs, piping systems and equipment, tools and instruments, technical documentation, the Maintenance Material Management System (3M), basic watch standing procedures, gas turbine engine theory, propulsion machinery, digital logic control systems, electromechanical and electrohydraulic devices, power distribution and more.
After you complete your training, you may be assigned to a fleet unit at sea or a shore station. In certain instances, you may receive temporary general duty assignments at sea while waiting for an advanced training assignment. The majority of your service as a GSM will be spent on ships at sea.
Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and based on performance.
Advanced Training as a Gas Turbine Systems Technician 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 industrial machinery and power plant operations.
Beyond offering access to professional credentials and certifications, Navy technical and operational training as a Gas Turbine Systems Technician 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.
Qualifications & Requirements
A high-school diploma or equivalent is required to become an Enlisted Sailor and a Gas Turbine Systems Technician. You must also be a U.S. citizen eligible for security clearance.
GSM applicants should have mechanical ability, experience working with machines and some physics education. Physically, you should have good use or your hands and normal color perception.
Serving part-time as a Navy Reserve Sailor, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, Gas Turbine Systems Technicians 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.
Gas Turbine Systems Technicians 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.