Joining the Navy opens Sailors to many exciting opportunities. Enrolling to be a Pilot or NFO presents the opportunity to electronically detect and track ships, submarines, aircraft and missiles while flying close to the ocean surface. This tactic also allows Sailors to pursue enemy submarines.
Pilots are also known to execute strategic aerial maneuvers anywhere from the stratosphere to just hundreds of feet above the sea while flying some of the most innovative and high-tech aircraft in the world.
When not flying, Pilots and NFO collect intelligence, they control and maintain all internal and external aircraft systems and they study aerodynamics, aircraft engine systems, meteorology, navigation, flight planning and flight safety. In addition, they provide vital attack, defense and logistic support to the Fleet.
Enrolling in this exclusive, world-class group of Navy officers requires men and women candidates who have a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university. They will then go through intense, comprehensive aviation training, before attending Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I. and then completing a six-week air indoctrination course at Naval Aviation Schools Command in Pensacola, Fla. Upon graduation of this training, Pilots and NFOs are awarded coveted “wings of gold.”
Men and women who have a background in math and science as far back as high school and are pursuing a higher education four-year degree are encouraged to speak with a recruiter to discuss the physical and mental requirements needed as a Pilot or NFO, and to learn about opportunities in the Navy.
Women are also encouraged to join the Navy in the aviation career area. Nearly 400 female pilots and 200 to 300 NFOs serve in the U.S. Navy. This is because in 1973, the Navy started a test program to train female Naval Aviators. In the 1980s, females started landing helicopters on aircraft carriers. This is one of the most challenging maneuvers a pilot can tackle. And in 1993, female aviators began serving with combat squadrons.
Once they’re finished with Navy service, Pilots and NFOs are well-positioned for careers with major airlines, government agencies or private corporations working as a pilot or aircraft maintainer. For more information, visit www.navy.com.