A new era in Naval Aviation launches on Aug. 2 when a board will meet to select the initial cadre of Aviation Warrant Officers who will be trained to fly the new MQ-25 carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle.
The call for applications, announced in NAVADMIN 141/21 and released on June 28, says that qualified Sailors and civilians can apply for the program through Navy Recruiting Command. Applications to be considered by the board are due on July 26.
Last December, the program’s approval came when the Navy formally established the Aerial Vehicle Operator (AVO) warrant officer specialty in NAVADMIN 315/20.
Over the next six to 10 years, the Navy plans to recruit, train and send to the fleet a community of roughly 450 aviation warrants. The community is expected to eventually have warrant officers in grades spanning W-1 through W-5.
Those selected for the program will first complete Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. Upon graduation, they will commission as Warrant Officer One (W-1). They must then complete basic flight training as well as advanced training on the MQ-25 aerial vehicle.
Once basic flight training has been completed, these officers will earn their own distinctive Navy "wings of gold" warfare devices and be assigned the 737X designator.
The basic eligibility requirements are outlined in Navy Program Authorization 106A, which applicants can download at https://www.mynavyhr.navy.mil/Portals/55/Career/OCM/PA-106A_CWO1-7371_AVO_Feb-2021.pdf. Both enlisted and civilian candidates can apply, though through separate channels.
Active-duty and reserve Sailors must submit their package as outlined in the Enlisted to Officer Commissioning Programs Application Administrative Manual (OPNAVINST 1420.1B).
Civilians and enlisted service members from other services should contact a local Navy officer recruiter and apply through Navy Recruiting Command.
If an applicant needs a waiver for any of the requirements, it must be submitted in advance with enough lead time to allow approval by the application due date.
This is just the first of what will be many selection boards for the program.
In the future, these boards will not be announced by naval message, but instead simply added to the Navy Recruiting Command’s officer board schedule available on the MyNavy HR website at https://www.mynavyhr.navy.mil/Career-Management/Career-Counseling/Commissioning-Programs/.
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