Ensuring success for every mission – every time Flight Operations

In America’s Navy, Flight Operations takes on many forms. Reservists in this in-demand community do everything from guiding aircraft off and on runways to flying aboard high-performance aircraft. Ultimately, they ensure that each aircraft that leaves the flight deck performs its mission successfully and returns home safely. And they make sure these advanced aircraft operate at peak condition at all times.

Job Description

Serving part-time, Reservists in the Flight Operations community oversee almost every detail of flight operations, from inspecting and maintaining aircraft electrical systems to overseeing parachute jumps to assisting in search-and-rescue operations.

Working in this field, you may guarantee the successful launch of SH-60 Seahawk helicopters and F/A-18 Super Hornet jets. Conduct mine countermeasures. Provide aircraft with critical information essential to recovery missions. Some of the most well-rounded men and women in America’s Navy make up the Flight Operations community. Your job will require you to be at your best at all times, no matter the task or situation at hand.

Whatever the specifics, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Reservists. And know this: The impact of your work and your service will go far beyond the time that you put in.

Specific Responsibilities

As a member of the Navy Flight Operations team, you will undergo some of the most demanding physical training offered by the military services. With the knowledge you gather, you could support your squadron’s flight line, contribute to search-and-rescue operations or control the movement of aircraft and vehicles on airfield taxiways.

In this role, you may have the opportunity to:

  • Perform pre-flight planning, equipment checks and post-flight maintenance
  • Maintain aeronautical charts and maps
  • Manage advanced airborne electronic equipment
  • Work with airborne mine countermeasure equipment
  • Act as a flight communications operator


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.

Individuals in flight operations 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 seven to nine weeks in Great Lakes, IL. This training course will prepare you for service in the Navy Reserve and count as your first Annual Training.

America’s Navy offers some of the world’s most advanced and comprehensive aviation training in the world. Sailors who demonstrate academic and physical aptitude and a potential for leadership and responsibility are considered ideal candidates for this highly select, prestigious unit.

If you are an Enlisted Sailor, the aviation training you will receive in this field is a mix of hands-on experience and classroom study.

Career Advantages

Advanced technical and operational training in Flight Operations is available as part of your career development, preparing you for any number of future civilian careers with airports, airline industries, government and law enforcement agencies, aircraft manufacturers and more.

Some of your training may count as credit hours toward an associate or bachelor’s degree. What’s more, you could potentially get full tuition for college – plus money for books and living expenses – through the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Your specialized training in the Navy Reserve could prepare you for credentialing, certification and/or licensure opportunities from a number of national boards and organizations. Allowing you to become even more competitive in your challenging field.

And the more tangible benefits? Competitive pay. Points earned toward retirement benefits. Outstanding insurance options. And much more. Read about the benefits of serving in the Navy Reserve.


General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.

Note that no college degree is required to join the Flight Operations community (minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent is required). For Reservists, prior related experience is valuable, but not necessary. You’ll receive all the training and education you need from the Navy.

More Information

Want to explore further? Learn what you need to know about joining the Navy Reserve. Find us on Facebook to interact with actual Navy Reservists. Or, if you need more information, contact a Navy Reserve Recruiter.

Consider Your Service Options.

There are different ways that you can commit to serve in America’s Navy. Besides part-time opportunities in the Navy Reserve, full-time Active Duty positions are also available in this career area.