Dominating the skies Naval Aviator

Whether it’s flying a strike fighter or tracking adversaries, Navy Pilots and Naval Flight Officers (NFOs) play a crucial role. As an Aviation Officer in the Navy Reserve, you can move from your civilian job one day to flying that same sophisticated combat or transport aircraft the next.


Video: Navy Reserve - Lieutenant Commander Gary Krupsky, Pilot

Reserve Lieutenant Commander Gary Krupsky, pilot. Navy Reserve made it easy for me to transition. I was able to stop Active Duty, stay in a squadron and just having that stability while I was job searching. But having that just gave me a lot of security and not only gave me a lot of …

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U.S. Navy

Job Description

Currently, this position in the Navy Reserve is open only to prior or current military aviators and Naval Flight Officers and involves flying a variety of strategic missions.

Navy Pilots and NFOs are important components in an exclusive, world-class group of Officers. As a member of a Navy Air Forces Reserve (NAFR) squadron, you will be a readily deployable asset. As a Pilot or NFO, you may:

  • Fly some of the most innovative and high-tech aircraft in the world
  • Provide vital attack, defense and logistic support to the Fleet
  • Control and maintain all internal and external aircraft systems

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.

Part-Time Service, Full-Time Life

Family obligations. Career aspirations. The desire to settle down and settle in. These are the things that lead many to transition away from the life of a military aviator. In the Navy Reserve, you can fit it all in as you balance your priorities. You can:

  • Pursue a career path that is outside the military
  • Live wherever you want to live
  • Enjoy the same freedoms that civilian life affords

At the same time, you can keep the access to your military life open. Serving your country while continuing to serve your own interests. And flexible drilling options could enable you to serve on weekdays or in an extended mission capacity to meet annual commitment requirements.


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.

Aviators in the Navy Reserve serve in an Officer role. Your prior experience as an Officer satisfies the initial leadership training requirement – so you will not need to go through Officer Training again.

Advance your training as you continue to proudly fly for your country in the Navy Reserve. You may fly and train on:

  • F/A-18 Hornets
  • EA-6B Prowlers
  • E-2C Hawkeyes
  • HH-60 Seahawks
  • H-53 Sea Stallions
  • C-9 Skytrains
  • C-40s
  • C-130s
  • C-37s
  • C-20s
  • C-12s
  • F5 Tigers
  • H60 Helicopters
  • T44-Trainers
  • T-34C Turbomentors
  • T45 Goshawks
  • T6-Texans
  • P-3C Orions
  • TH57 JetRanger Helicopters

Career Advantages

The Reserve component of Navy Aviation is comprised of 35 operational and 16 training squadrons throughout the continental United States. With top flight instructors, quality aircraft and readily equipped squadrons, the flight hours and expertise you can gain will undoubtedly be a great asset to your civilian career.

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 are currently serving or have served before, and whether you have served in the Navy or in other military branches.

In the Navy Reserve, the position of Navy Pilot is open only to prior-service or currently serving pilots in a U.S. armed service or the U.S. Coast Guard (NAVET or OSVET). The position of Naval Flight Officer is open only to prior-service or currently serving pilots of the U.S. Navy (NAVET).

Both Navy Pilots and Naval Flight Officers (NFOs) must have completed minimum service requirements or received early transition from Active Duty commitments.

In addition:

  • Service record verification of primary aviation warfare qualifications is required
  • Applicants must be able to prove competence with authentic documentary evidence
  • All applications are submitted to and require approval by a Naval Reserve Force Squadron Pilot Selection Board
  • Applicants must be able to complete a total of 20 years of service by age 62

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.