The Coast Guard’s Aviation Metalsmith (AM) rating was in existence for less than twenty years. Like many ratings in both the Coast Guard and the Navy, its establishment was the direct consequence of technological advances, in this case the use of metal rather than wood in the construction of military aircraft.

This doesn’t mean that the work of Aviation Metalsmiths was confined solely to metal. In both the Coast Guard and the navy, AMs worked with sheet plastic, fiberglass, and composite materials. But the lion’s share of their time was spent with metals. In addition to maintaining and repairing aircraft surfaces, they also worked with other metallic components associated with aviation machinery, riveting, welding, and heat-treating the myriad wires and cables found inside aircraft and related equipment. Given the proximity to rust-inducing sea air, they also devoted much time to corrosion prevention and remediation, and performed non-destructive testing of equipment. According to the Coast Guard Enlisted Memorial Foundation, Aviation Metalsmiths also were slotted aircrew positions in some Coast Guard aircraft.

When the AM rating was disestablished in 1948, Coast Guard personnel serving in that role were merged into the Aviation Structural Mechanic rating. Nearly fifty years later, that rating was merged into the new Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT)rating; Coast Guard personnel in the AMT rating are today trained at the Aviation Technical Training Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

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As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


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Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.