The Navy is currently conducting a test program to select highly motivated active duty enlisted Sailors in the paygrades of E-5 through E-7, and place them (as Chief Warrant Officers) in cockpits as Naval Pilots and Naval Flight Officers (NFO).
The test program began in 2006, in which the Navy selected ten pilots and four NFOs. The 2007 selection board chose ten pilots and six NFOs. Over the next two years, 15 sailors will be commissioned in the paygrade of CW02, attend Chief Warrant Officer Indoctrination Training, then undergo flight training. Five pilots and three NFOs will be selected by a board in July 2008, and four pilots and three NFOs by a board in July 2009.
Warrant officers are being training under this program to be pilots on P-3 Orion, EP-3 Aries, E-6 Mercury, and SH-60B/MH-60S helicopter s. Warrant officers selected for NFO will fly in the P-3 Orion, EP-3 Aries and E-6 Mercury aircrafts.
(1) Must be commissioned by 27th birthday (age waivers are possible).
(2) Enlisted personnel from SEAL, SWCC, EOD, Diver, Nuclear, and MA communities are not eligible for the program.
(3) Must possess an associates degree or higher
(4) Must be physically qualified for aviation duty in accordance with the Navy Manual of Medicine.
(5) Must meet Aviation Standard Test Battery (ASTB) score minimums (AGR=4, PFAR=5 AND FOFAR=5)
(6) Must be eligible for a SECRET security clearance.
Age waivers are possible. For pilot applicants, waivers may be granted on a month-for-month basis up to 24 months for Active Duty Served prior to their 27th birthday, to a maximum age of 29. For NFOs, waivers may be granted on a month-for-month basis up to 48 months for Active Duty Served prior to their 27th birthday, to a maximum age of 31.
Military Service Requirement (MSR)
The MSR for the Flying CWO Test Program is eight years from the date of winging for pilots, and six years for NFOs (URL commissioned aviators have the same MSR).
Candidates who Drop on Request (DOR) or fail to meet program milestones in the Training Command, FRS, or Fleet squadron, and who have less than three years of commissioned service, will be discharged without severance and may, upon application, be reenlisted in their previous rank and rate. Those who have more than three years of commissioned service will remain a CWO and will be detailed to non-flying billets within the aviation community.
CWOs, as technical experts, do not have a defined career path. The Flying CWOs will alternate between Sea Duty aviation squadrons and Shore Duty assignments in production billets (e.g. flight instructors in the Training Command or FRS). Those who are selected for the program can expect to complete two Sea Duty tours and one Shore Duty tour within their MSR.
Flying CWOs will not be eligible for Department Head selection or due course URL billets, including Maintenance Quality Assurance Officer (QAO), NATOPS Officer, and Assistant Operations Officer. Instead, it is intended that they will serve as departmental or program assistants, division officers, and maintenance branch heads. They will be eligible to serve as NATOPS, Instrument, and maintenance Functional Check Flight (FCF) check pilots, as well as tactical instructors.
For details about the 2007 Selection, see Navy Administrative Message 20/08.