Aviation in the Army: 11 Careers To Explore

The United States Army Aviation community has evolved from the use of balloons in the Civil War when they first directed fire and provided support of ground troops to both planes and helicopters (gunships and transport) doing the same. The first-ever plane purchased by the Army Air Corps was in 1909 from the Wright Brothers who built a warplane with military specifications. Here are the jobs associated with the repair, maintenance, and operator and both manned and unmanned aircraft.

Army Reserve Soldiers Discuss Aviation Careers

U.S. Army pay structure

The U.S. Army operates on a pay scale that is determined based on the level of the position. The base pay associated with each position depends on a few different criteria such as whether it is an entry-level or officer position and how many years youve been working this position.

11 aviation jobs in the U.S. Army

Here is a list of U.S. Army aviation jobs you can pursue based on the U.S. Armys descriptions:

1. Aircraft electrician – 15F

Primary duties: An aircraft electrician supervises, performs and inspects maintenance on aircraft electrical systems. They diagnose malfunctions in electrical components and repair defective parts such as faulty wiring, defective generators and electrical motors. They must also use and maintain a variety of common and specialized tools as well as manage the storage of flammable and hazardous materials. This is an entry-level enlisted position and requires a score of 104 on the ASVAB in Mechanical Maintenance along with 19 weeks of advanced individual training.

2. Avenger crew member – 14S

Primary duties: An avenger crew member prepares, operates and fires the Avenger portable weapons systems which provide protection against low-flying aircraft and cruise missiles. The Avenger system is a lightweight and portable, short-range air defense missile weapon system the U.S. Army uses during air and land attacks. Other duties of Avenger crew members are to maintain radio communications and evaluate potential targets, collect and develop intelligence information, transmit intelligence and grid locations of incoming targets and designate fighting positions. This is an entry-level enlisted position, requires an Operators and Food ASVAB score of 85 and 10 weeks of basic training.

3. Aviation officer -15A

Primary duties: An aviation officer coordinates and leads operations using a variety of U.S. Army helicopters that carry supplies and transport troops, as well as provides quick-strike and long-range target engagement. Other responsibilities include teaching aviation and service skills at combat training centers and leading and training aviation platoons. This is an officer-level position, which requires completing aviation school in which students learn emergency procedures, essential flight physics and basic combat training in combat flight skills.

4. Unmanned aircraft systems operator – 15W

Primary duties: An unmanned aircraft systems operator, or drone pilot, operates unmanned aerial vehicles. They also prepare and conduct air reconnaissance missions, plan and analyze flight missions and perform pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight procedures. This is an entry-level enlisted position, requiring an ASVAB score of 102 in Surveillance and Communications and 23 weeks of advanced individual training.

5. Aviation operations specialist – 15P

Primary duties: An aviation operations specialist schedules and dispatches tactical aircraft missions, operating one of the largest fleets of aircraft in the world. Daily duties consist of coordinating flight plans, maintaining flight logs on incoming and outgoing flights, interpreting and posting weather reports and alerting crews of emergencies. This is an entry-level enlisted position, requires an ASVAB Skilled Technical score of 91 and eight weeks of advanced individual training.

6. Rotary-wing aviator warrant officer – 153A

Primary duties: A rotary-wing aviator warrant officer, or helicopter pilot, operates and commands a range of helicopters in tactical and non-tactical conditions. In addition to functioning in diverse weather conditions both day and night, they perform all military aircraft procedures such as security, rescue, air-assault, paradrop operations, gunnery and reconnaissance. This is an entry-level enlisted position and requires warrant officer flight training.

7. UH-60 helicopter repairer – 15T

Primary duties: A UH-60 helicopter repairer is primarily responsible for the maintenance of the Black Hawk helicopters, formally known as UH-60 helicopters. They prepare the helicopters for maintenance checks as well as special and scheduled inspections. They also troubleshoot and diagnose aircraft system components using special machinery and tools. This is an entry-level enlisted position that requires a Mechanical Maintenance ASVAB score of 104 and 15 weeks of advanced individual training.

8. U.S. Army aircraft structural repairer – 15G

Primary duties: A U.S. Army aircraft structural repairer supervises and performs maintenance on a multitude of aircraft structures. Other duties include creating additional parts for aircraft out of fiberglass and metal, testing safety and technical procedures and ensuring the aircraft is prepared for pre-flight and in-flight operations. This is an entry-level enlisted position, requires a 104 on the ASVAB in Mechanical Maintenance and 15 weeks of advanced individual training.

9. Patriot fire control enhanced operator/maintainer – 14E

Primary duties: A patriot fire control enhanced operator maintains and operates the five major parts of the Patriot Fire Control system, which is a very technical piece of equipment that requires a large team of soldiers to operate. A 14E soldier tracks and identified threats, and with the use of the Patriot system, can intercept enemy missiles. This is an entry-level enlisted position and requires an ASVAB score of 100 in Mechanical Maintenance with 20 weeks of advanced individual training.

10. Air defense artillery officer – 14A

Primary duties: An air defense artillery officer leads the Air Defense Artillery branch which protects U.S. forces from aerial attack, enemy surveillance and missile attack. Their other responsibilities include being experts in skills and tactics for engaging air defense systems, becoming experts in the Patriot or Avenger weapons systems and handling Air Defense Artillery Soldiers at all levels of command. This is an officer-level position and requires a four-year degree and completion of an officer basic leadership course.

11. Air Traffic Control Operator – 15Q

Primary duties: An air traffic control officer handles a missions success and maintains safe flight operations. They coordinate aircraft movement for takeoff and landing and track aircraft in-flight for both tactical and non-tactical situations. There are specific rules, regulations and procedures regarding safety that air traffic control operators must follow. These regulations keep every pilot and passenger in the air or on the ground safe. Other duties include processing flight plan data and maintaining logs. This is an entry-level enlisted position and requires a Skilled Technical ASVAB score of 101 and 15 weeks of advanced individual training.


Does the Army have aviation?

As an Aviation Officer, you’ll command flight platoons and lead operations using Army helicopters. Your missions may include hauling troops and carrying supplies, or they may involve quick and long-range strategic strikes. You will also instruct recruits in aviation at combat training centers and schools.

How do you get into aviation in the Army?

As of 4 April 2019, the Army has; 193 – fixed-wing/STOL aircraft + 3,372 – rotary-wing/helicopters = 3,565 – total crewed aircraft +

How long is aviation school in the Army?

To become a U.S. Army pilot, you need to complete extensive training to prepare you for your role. As an aspiring aviation warrant officer, you need to attend Warrant Officer Candidate School for six weeks, followed Warrant Officer Pilot School and flight training which lasts anywhere from 12-18 months.

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