U.S. NAVY CHIEF AVIATION ELECTRONICS TECHNICIAN (AT) COLLAR DEVICE
With each passing year, the U.S. Navy employs more and more cutting-edge technology, particularly in aviation. And as the fifth-generation F-35C is deployed to ships and air fields, the need for highly experienced Aviation Electronics Technicians (AT) will become even more pronounced.
Thankfully, the Navy began the process of leadership retention in the field of Aviation Electronics years before the ultra-high-tech F-35C was rolled out. In October of 2002, the Navy established the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CWO5) for Aviation Electronics Technicians not only to ensure that highly qualified ATs would have more opportunities for advancement and recognition of superior service, but also to attract new recruits.
Nearly three years later, in June 2005, a sailor from a Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron became the first Chief Aviation Electronics Technician to be promoted to CWO5. Chief Warrant Officer James Barber had been in the Navy for 30 years at the time he achieved this first, but the creation of the new ranking led to his service obligation being increased to 32 years.
An interesting study related to candidates selected for the Chief Warrant Officers program as opposed to the Limited Duty Officers program. Because the minimum time of service for CWO eligibility is 14 years (maximum of 24 years) compared to just 8 years (maximum 16 years) for LDO, you might think that older sailors would be chosen as CWO candidates. Instead, it was found that older sailors are the most likely to be selected for the Limited Duty Officer Community.