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What does it mean to "get your wings" in the navy...?
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What does it mean to "get your wings" in the navy...?

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My husband is an E-3 and told me he is working on getting his wings. He is ordinance and builds bombs, he isn't squadron.... He can't tell me too much about anything right now, he is out to sea and isn't able to give out details until he is home... I am so lost. (we are newly married and i am clueless)


It applies in all services, but only to pilots. It means they've passed their pilot certifications, and can now fly solo.

Naomi P
I think that means he can fly missions and whatever. Be a pilot, I'm pretty sure.

water wings?

go to the club, find a squid, bang him and then ask him your question

When a Navy Pilot gets there Wings, they have passed all there certifications and can now fly solo, A Pilot in the Navy is called an Aviator.

Sal is right...is a special warfare designation. It has nothing to do with being a pilot.

Too become a pilot I think.

to get that pin with wings on it

that would be the pilot's first flight by him or herself.

As ETC pointed out, it's his Quals. It's a big deal, especially since the rumor is that he will need it to ever advance past E6 (not to mention having a degree)

Badcially, it means he will have at least a passing knowledge of EVERYTHING going on in the squadron. The Surface and Sub Communities have similar warfare badges as well.

that is a good question, I don't know

Black Fedora
means you've passed all qualifications to be a naval aviator (pilot)

ask your ombudsman.........

justin d
ETC hit the nail on the head. As the saying goes - Ask the Chief!


sal the dog
If your husband is an E3, then he is working on earning his enlisted aviation warfare specialist warfare pin (EAWS) qualification. The insignia is a pair of wings with a shield in the center, and it it worn over his ribbons.

Once he earns it, it will become part of his rating - so if he is an AOAN (aviation ordnance-man, airman) he will be adding "(AW)" to then end of that, and will quickly be advanced to E4, so he will be an AO3(AW). As a navy wife, this means more $$, but not many.

It is a career milestone, and would be very helpful in the long term to his future in the Navy. If he is on an aircraft carrier, then you need to tell him to get his enlisted surface warfare specialist (ESWS) qualification as well - then he can be an AO3(AW/SW).

The warfare quals are intended to teach the people in the unit what everyone else does, and give them an idea of how to do some other Jobs should the need arise (like in a war). In my day they were optional and attained by hard charging, exceptional sailors - now they are mandatory, so it's a little easier to get.

Thanks for showing some interest! It will help him out a lot if you know what he is talking about in his job. Go to the exchange and get some of the squid books they sell there in the uniform shop and read them. You will learn a lot about what he does, and be able to give support and assurance when he needs it.

There is also a family service center that can help out if you are feeling lost. They have been around a while, and can answer a lot of your questions. If you are expecting a little one, then be sure to get smart about TRICARE and how that works. If you can get a non-availability and have the kid out in town, then it would be much better. Look for an organization of the unit's spouses - they can help a lot too. Your husband works for a Chief Petty Officer (CPO) - if things get bad for you, this guy knows all the answers and can get it straightened out.

Good Luck!


ETC(SW/AW) (Retired)

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