U.S. NAVY AVIATION SUPPLY OFFICER BADGE

Realizing the essential role that Aviation Supply Officers play in ensuring that the United States Navy’s Air Warfare capabilities are always at the ready and fully capable of achieving all mission objectives, planning began in 1982 to establish a Naval Aviation Supply Officer (NASO) Program that would recognize those Supply Corps officers who displayed the highest levels of expertise in managing aviation supply support efforts. The program was approved in September, 1983, and in May, 1984, the first breast insignias for the new qualification were awarded at the 73rd annual Aviation Ball.

While the Commander, Naval Air Forces Fore Supply Officer was designated as the program’s sponsor in OPNAVINST lS42.SC (March, 2010), in the end it is commanding officers who make the final decision authorizing the NASO designation and attendant wearing of the breast insignia. In addition to completion of the OPNAV 3502/4 NASO Program – Personnel Qualification Standard, NASO candidates must serve at least a half-year in an operational-readiness environment (a recent example would include the surge in Iraq in 2007) or a full year in a non-deployed or shore billet. These time frames are eyed carefully: Temporarily assigning an officer to a qualifying billet just to allow that officer to earn the NASO qualification is strictly billet.

In all, there are nine afloat qualifying billets on CVNs, LHAs, LHDS, and amphibious assault ships, and six ashore billets that qualify (one of these is for supply officers at air stations whose duties parallel those of the qualifying afloat billets).

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