There is a new test program that the Navy has established for enlisted sailors E-5 to paygrade E-7 and establishes them as Chief Warrant Officers. This program is exclusively designed to create Naval Flight Officers and Naval Pilots. The Navy decided that they wanted a program to encourage enlisted personnel to become Navy Pilots and Navy flight officers, so they created the Enlisted to Aviator Navy Flight Aviation program. It began in 2006 where they selected ten pilot candidates and four flight officer candidates for the first group of candidates. They will be the first of a yearly group that will be commissioned as Chief Warrant Officer’s. After they receive their Chief Warrant Officer training they will undergo flight training.
The pilots are being trained as Warrant Officers and then pilots to operate SH-60B Helicopters, E-6 Mercury Aircraft, and P-3 Orion Aircraft. Personnel that are trained as Naval Flight Officers will be tasked to fly in the E-6 Mercury, EP-3 Aries and P-3 Orion aircraft. There are some qualifying factors that have to be followed. You must be commissioned in the program before you turn 27 years old (but age waivers are possible sometimes.). A candidate has to have at least an associate degree in college coursework, and you have to be physically qualified for duty in aviation. You have to be qualified for a secret security clearance, and have an Aviation Test Standard Battery Score of at least PFAR=5, FOFAR=5, and an AGR=4.
For those candidates who are over age 27, age waivers up to 24 months are possible for each month of active duty service on a month for month basis. The maximum age for applicants is age 31 years old, even with age waivers. The military service requirement for the CWO flying test program varies, for the pilot element it is eight years from the time that the pilot receives their flight wings. For Naval flight officers, the military service requirement is six years.
Warrant Officers do not have a career path that is defined; they are technical experts in the trade that they are assigned. Warrant officers are not normally eligible for department head positions, but they are slated to serve as program and department assistants, and maintenance branch heads. They serve as functional check flight instructors and tactical check pilots.