How To Become a Navy Officer

Navy officer at work

Becoming a US Navy Officer is not easy.  It takes hard work, determination, skill and more.  Naval Officers take on different jobs like flying helicopters, piloting ships, managing supplies, taking part in intelligence work and special operations and many more.

There are several ways to achieve your dream of becoming a Naval Officer.  You can go through any of the following:

  • United States Naval Academy (USNA) - the Naval Academy is where you can take a degree programs in order to qualify for a Navy post.  Visit the USNA website to get information on eligibility requirements.
  • Navy Reserve Officers' Training Corps (NROTC) - when you graduate from a college or university with an NROTC program you can be eligible for a naval post and subsequently an officer position.
  • Earn a college degree from an accredited school and use this as stepping stone to join the Officers Corps.  A 12-week attendance to an Officer Candidate School is required.
  • Take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).  Once you pass, enlist in the Navy and be selected to participate in the Seaman to Admirals program.   Attendance to a three year bachelor's degree program is required before becoming a commissioned Naval Officer.

America's Navy is a great online resource to explore when deciding on a career as a Navy Officer.  In this site you can:

Research on a possible Officer Career path.  Go to the US Navy Careers link where you can find different career paths to choose such as:

  • Attorney
  • Aviation
  • Engineering
  • Intelligence
  • Information Warfare
  • Science
  • Special Operations
  • Submarine
  • Supply, Transportation and Logistics
  • Surface Ships

Click on the Officer Career that interests you so you can read more about it.  For example, if you select Aviation as a career path, you will find some of the following information below:

  • Job Overview
  • Pay Scale
  • Job Description
  • What you will actually do as a Naval Flight Officer or as an Aviation Maintenance Duty Officer
  • Skills and Training - specifies the educational degree that you must possess to be considered as a candidate, what your training will entail and what happens after the training
  • Career Outlook - presents what opportunities you have once you become a successful Aviation Officer both within the Navy and in the public or private sector, and more.

If you are still unsure, take the US Navy Career Guidance Quizzes  designed to help you discover where your interests lie and what career path you can excel in.  There are three quizzes:

  • Who I Am Quiz - an insightful quiz giving you a better picture of your personality and what type of career matches it
  • The Life AcceleratorTM - questions are based on different activities, jobs and areas of study that you either like or dislike; at the end of this test, you will be given advice as to the type of job you are suited for
  • Who I Can Be Quiz - the results tell you what you can accomplish at the end of 12 - 18 months or after 4 - 6 years in the Navy depending on your reason for joining this military unit

At the end of the quizzes, you have the opportunity to contact a Navy Recruiter to explore your options.

The US Navy gives you a number of ways in order to become a full-fledged Navy Officer.  However, you have to do a lot of hard work to earn your commission.  Most importantly, you must possess the values that the US Navy holds dear: "Honor, Courage, Commitment."


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