I may be the last person in the Naval Aviation community to hear about this, but in my defense, we were PCSing across the country when this new opportunity was announced 😉
Post-Department Head Naval Aviators now have the opportunity to become professional flight instructors in places like Pensacola and Corpus Christi.
The creation of this program shows the kind of modern leadership, strategy, and forward thinking we families don’t often see from the Navy.
Not all aviators want to become Commanding Officers (even the really good ones!), not all aviators are cut out for Command (even the really knowledgeable ones!), some aviators really love teaching new pilots and are good at it, and some aviators have life/family/personal stuff that would make the opportunity to homestead really attractive. This program creates an opportunity for any of the above kind of folks to stay in the Navy until retirement.
The Navy is hemorrhaging pilots because of all of the above reasons and more. This isn’t THE fix, it’s A fix, but it’s a good one in that it could keep some really excellent aviators in the Navy longer. I also love this idea from a leadership perspective because I see it as an opportunity for the Navy to have knowledge consistency in its graduates; having professional, long term instructors ensures that the same information is being given to each student pilot, and the instructors have a professional development opportunity to become very good at instructing.
Love it. Good job, Navy.