The United States Navy has two Parachutist qualifications: Basic Parachutist and Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist, with qualification for the latter assuming award of the former.

Regardless of the branch of service, nearly all members of the U.S. Armed Forces earn the Basic Parachutist badge by attending the U.S. Army Basic Airborne Course held at Fort Moore (formerly known as Fort Benning) in Georgia. (MILSPERMAN 1220-030 does note that this qualification can be earned through other training that has been certified by the Chief of Naval Education and Training, or that has been approved by the Chief of Naval Operations). Commonly called “Jump School,” the Basic Airborne Course lasts three weeks broken into Ground Week, Tower Week, and Jump Week. Graduation requires at least five jumps, one of which must take place under nighttime conditions.

There are several routes available to earn the more advanced Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist breast insignia, with the simplest being what might be called a “baptism by fire”: a single combat parachute jump from any type of aircraft, even if it was not done while in an authorized T/O billet. A second way is to complete at least five jumps while assigned to an authorized T/O billet or to parachuting operations that have been approved by the Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command (CG, MCCDC). Those five jumps, however, have to comprise at least one daytime jump and two nighttime jumps with combat equipment, and must include jumprs at a minimum of two types of aircraft.
Officers who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) can earn the Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist breast insignia by fulfilling several caveats. First, they have to complete a jumpmaster and/or parachute rigger course that’s been approved by the CG, MCCDC while they are members of the USNA Airborne Training Unit. Second, they must make at least 30 static-line jumps, following the same mix of daytime/nighttime jumps and different aircraft as described above. Lastly, they need the signature of the CG, MCCDC to sign a written request that has been endorsed by the USNA Marine Corps Representative.

Finally, Marines who have fulfilled the requirements spelled out for the insignia while serving in another branch of the U.S. Armed Forces can submit a written request accompanied by various types of documentation such as certified copies of jump manifests.

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