NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Officers and career counselors aboard the Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) are assisting Sailors this March by providing information about the Navy's Active-Duty Flying Chief Warrant Officer Pilot Program, which is now accepting applications.
Officer programs facilitators on board the aircraft carrier are providing information briefs and counseling Sailors one-on-one in an effort to equip crew members with the necessary knowledge to consider submitting an application.
"Our folks today are the future of the Navy," said Lt. Cmdr. James Hamilton, the ship's officer program manager. "If Sailors want to shape the future of the Navy, it's their opportunity to excel."
Carl Vinson's educational services office and the ship's arms officer (ARMO) will be providing command-wide training to thoroughly inform the crew of program details and application information.
"The active-duty flying chief warrant officer pilot program is an excellent way for a good Sailor to become a pilot," said Lt. Todd Smith, the ship's ARMO. "If this program had been available back when I was a second class, I would have jumped all over it. One of my life goals is to learn to fly helicopters."
The program was designed to provide new opportunities for highly qualified and motivated Sailors.
Operational naval instruction (OPNAV) 1420.1A outlines the program's details and requirements.
"With this program, an E-5 through E-7 Sailor who is less than 27 years old and has an associate's degree can be commissioned as a [chief warrant officer] and be put into flight training," said Smith. "What a deal. You can get a pay raise and have the Navy pay for your flight training all in one shot."
The next contingent of Sailors, who make the grade and are selected for the program will begin their initial training. The training for NFOs is 12-18 months and 18-24 months for pilots. The length of training is also dependent on the aircraft both NFOs and pilots train on. For the upcoming selections this year across the Navy, the end result will be a total of five pilots and three naval flight officers. After the selection process qualified Sailors will be commissioned as the Navy's newest chief warrant officer 2, attend indoctrination training and undergo flight training.
Completed application packages must be submitted no later than June 13. Sailors who wish to enroll in the program should request assistance from their chain of command and seek mentorship from a naval officer during the application process.
For more information on the chief warrant officer flying program, contact the "Gold Eagle" career counselors' office or read NAVADMIN 020/08.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.