Navy Officer Explained

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If you're a college graduate or current student thinking about serving your country, you should consider becoming a Navy officer. U.S. Navy officers are among the most respected men and women who serve our country. In addition they get earn great pay and benefits.

Your first question may be, "So what is an officer?" Simply put, Navy officers are highly educated, specially trained military leaders who manage the Navy's personnel, ships, aircraft, and weapons systems.

Pay

Officers in the U.S. Navy are also paid well.  In fact, the starting pay for a Navy Ensign is more than $28,000 a year. This is just their base pay, they also get allowances for housing and subsistence. In addition, many Navy officers get special pay such as sea pay, flight pay, hazardous duty pay and more. Check out the Military Pay and Allowances section to learn more.

Benefits

Navy officers are also eligible for great benefits. The following are just a few examples of the great benefits you can earn:

  • Full medical coverage.
  • Full dental coverage.
  • Discounted travel.
  • 30-days paid vacation each year.
  • Up to $4,500 a year in Tuition Assistance.
  • Up to $400,000 in life and injury insurance for only $29 a month.
  • Opportunities to earn advanced degrees at the Navy?s expense.
  • Use of officer's clubs and other recreation facilities around the world.

Navy Officer Career Paths

The Navy can offer you several career paths if you are interested in serving as an officer. These officer career path options include:

  • Naval Aviator (Pilot)
  • Naval Aviation (Flight Officer)
  • Naval Special Warfare Officer (SEALS)
  • Submarine Officer
  • Surface Warfare Officer
  • Law (JAG)
  • Public Affairs
  • Health Care
  • Dentistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Naval Engineering

Becoming a Navy Officer

There are several ways to become an officer in the U.S. Navy.  These include the U.S. Naval Academy, NROTC, OCS, Direct Commissioning, and through the Seaman to Admiral-21 Program.

The eligibility differs from program to program.  But in general, you must meet the following criteria to pursue a career as an officer in the U.S. Navy:

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen. 
  • You must not have reached your 27th birthday by June 30 of year in which graduation and commissioning are anticipated. 

    Note: Applicants with prior military service may be eligible for age adjustments for amount of time equal to their prior service.
  • You must have a high school diploma or equivalency certificate.
  • You must have no moral obligations or personal convictions that would prevent you bearing arms and supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States.
  • You must be of good moral character.
  • You must be physically qualified by Navy standards.
  • And you must have qualifying scores on Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Test (ACT):
    • SAT: 530 Critical Reading; 520 math 
    • ACT: 22 English 22 math 

Next Step

If you've decided that a career as an officer in the Navy interests you, then your next step should be to contact a Navy recruiter.  A recruiter can give you more information about what it means to be an officer and explain the officer commissioning programs in greater detail.  So get started today and have a Navy recruiter contact you.

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