Gone are the days when navy personnel have to load Volkswagen size shells into the big guns on battleships, but Navy ships still possess both offensive weapons and defensive countermeasures.
These weapon systems have also become more complex to fire and maintain than ever before due to their sophistication.
That’s why one of the most important positions aboard any US Navy ship is that of a Fire Controlman.
They are directly tasked with firing and maintaining the advanced weaponry found on Navy ships at the present time.
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Navy Fire Controlman Requirements and Qualifications
These are some of the mental and physical capabilities and other job requirements that it takes to become a Navy Fire Controlman:
- High School Diploma
- Minimum combined ASVAB Score of 222 on Arithmetic Reasoning, General Science, Math Knowledge and Electronics Information
- Be between the ages of 17 and 34 unless in possession of a waiver
- Be a United States Citizen
- Must be able to speak clearly
- Must have at least average physical strength and have good manual dexterity
- Successful completion of 8 weeks of Navy Basic Recruit Training held at Great Lakes Naval Training Center which is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan, close to Chicago. (Not required of those with prior military experience or training)
- Completion of a current Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) that will allow an enlisted person to obtain a Secret or higher level security clearance
Training and Career Path to Become a Navy Fire Controlman
Here are the various stages of training required to be able to fulfill the position of a Fire Controlman in the US Navy.
Navy Technical Training Information
The Class “A” technical school to become a Navy Fire Controlman takes place at Naval Station Great Lakes outside of Chicago, Illinois.
This technical school lasts approximately 20 weeks long.
On the Job Training
Further hands-on training will be required for any new recruit once they get to their first shipboard duty assignment or once they are assigned to a Navy base.
This on the job training will focus more closely on the specific fire control equipment that the recruit will be tasked with working, operating, and maintaining.
How Much Are US Navy Fire Controlman Paid?
US Navy Controlman’s pay is based on an enlisted member’s current rank and the amount of time they have spent in the military.
Most new US Navy Fire Controlman will start out at a pay grade between Seaman Recruit (E-1) and Seaman (E-3) unless they have prior military experience.
Here is the current paytable for Navy enlisted based on rank and time in service:
|Insignia||Pay Grade||Rank||Abbreviation||2020 Minimum Monthly Pay|
|E-4||Petty Officer Third Class||PO3||$2,263|
|E-5||Petty Officer Second Class||PO2||$2,468|
|E-6||Petty Officer First Class||PO1||$2,694|
|E-7||Chief Petty Officer||CPO||$3,114|
|E-8||Senior Chief Petty Officer||SCPO||$4,480|
|E-9||Master Chief Petty Officer||MCPO||$5,473|
|E-9||Command Master Chief Petty Officer||CMDCM||$5,473|
|E-9||Master Chief Petty Officer Of The Navy||MCPON||$5,473|
Advancement through the Seamen ranks (E-1 to E-3) is done simply by time in grade and higher enlisted positions use (E-4 and above) a combination of testing, job knowledge, and time in grade for advancement through them.
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Miscellaneous Pay, Allowances, and Incentives
Here are some supplemental forms of pay that navy enlisted members may be entitled to depending on their individual job situation:
- Housing allowance for those that live off base (BAH)
- Subsistence allowance (Food – BAS)
- Temporary duty pay
- Hazardous duty pay
- Sea duty pay (Separation pay)
- 100% paid healthcare
- Tuition reimbursement
What’s Life Like as a Navy Fire Controlman?
Grace under pressure and strict attention to detail are requirements for anyone that works as a Navy Fire Controlman.
You must also be physically fit and have good manual dexterity.
Teamwork and superior communication skills are also a must when someone is working as a Fire Controlman in the US Navy.
Some of the tasks that Navy Fire Controlman are asked to handle include:
- Perform maintenance and repairs on fire control related digital computer equipment, control subsystems, and main systems
- Operate and maintain surface-to-air missile systems, surface-to-surface missile systems, and gun control systems
- Repair and maintain micro/minicomputers on associated fire control peripheral equipment, data conversion units, data display equipment, and data link terminal equipment
- Test performance and maintain readiness on all assigned fire control systems and related support equipment
Since this is a mainly shipboard position, Navy Fire Controlman can expect vast opportunities to see the world that also require being away from home for extended periods of time.
So it’s not an ideal Navy career for those with wives and children.
Here is what a few enlisted members who serve in the Navy as Fire Controlman had to say about their work on the website Glassdoor.com:
Here is a YouTube video that describes some of what it’s like to be a US Navy Fire Controlman.
US Navy Fire Controlman Civilian Career Opportunities
There is some demand for Ex-Navy Fire Controlman to work in training and government contracting positions.
Many of these positions are located at naval bases working alongside those who are still members of the US Navy.
The electronic and computer component repair skills that an Ex-Navy Fire Controlman possesses can also be beneficial in a civilian career.
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One has to keep in mind that a valid security clearance will also be a foot in the door for many job positions that Ex-Navy Fire Controlman have the skills to fill.
Here are some civilian employers that are known to hire Ex-Navy Fire Controlman
- General Dynamics – Dahlgren, VA
- ICI Services Corporation – Norfolk, VA
- BAE Systems, Inc. – Pascagoula, MS
- XLA – San Diego, CA
- Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News, VA
- ClearanceJobs – Virginia Beach, VA