The warfare designation insignia of a naval flight officer
A naval flight officer (NFO) is a commissioned officer in the United States Navy or United States Marine Corps who specializes in airborne weapons and sensor systems. NFOs are not pilots (naval aviators) per se, but they may perform many "co-pilot" functions, depending on the type of aircraft. Until 1966, their duties were performed by both commissioned officer and senior enlisted naval aviation observers (NAO).
In 1966, enlisted personnel were removed from naval aviation observer duties but continued to serve in enlisted aircrew roles, while NAO officers received the newly established NFO designation, and the NFO insignia was introduced. NFOs in the US Navy all begin their careers as unrestricted line officers (URL), eligible for command at sea and ashore in the various naval aviation aircraft type/model/series (T/M/S) communities. They are also eligible for promotion to senior flag rank positions, including command of aircraft carrier strike groups, expeditionary strike groups, joint task forces, numbered fleets, naval component commands and unified combatant commands.
A small number of US Navy NFOs have later opted for a lateral transfer to the restricted line (RL) as aeronautical engineering duty officers (AEDO), while continuing to retain their NFO designation and active flight status. Such officers are typically graduates of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and/or the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School with advanced academic degrees in aerospace engineering or similar disciplines. AEDO/NFOs are eligible to command test and evaluation squadrons, naval air test centers, naval air warfare centers, and hold major program management responsibilities within the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). Similarly, Marine Corps NFOs are also considered eligible for command at sea and ashore within Marine aviation, and are also eligible to hold senior general officer positions, such as command of Marine aircraft wings, joint task forces, Marine expeditionary forces, Marine Corps component commands and unified combatant commands.
A Naval Flight Officer (NFO) is an aeronautically designated commissioned officer in the United States Navy or United States Marine Corps that specializes in airborne weapons and sensor systems. NFOs are not pilots (Naval Aviators), but they may perform many "co-pilot" functions, depending on the type of aircraft. Until 1966, their duties were...
The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest navy in the world, with a battle fleet tonnage that is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S. Navy also has the world's largest carrier...