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US Navy Fire Controlman (FC): Career Profile

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

Educational Requirements

  • High School Diploma
  • GED

ASVAB Requirements

  • Minimum combined ASVAB Score of 223 on Verbal Expression, General Science, Math Knowledge and Electronics Information

Additional Qualifications

  • 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 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:

InsigniaPay GradeRankAbbreviation2019 Pay (monthly)
N/AE-1Seaman RecruitSR$1,681
E-2Seaman ApprenticeSA$1,884
e-3 navy seamanE-3SeamanSN$1,981
petty officer third classE-4Petty Officer Third ClassPO3$2,195
petty officer second classE-5Petty Officer Second ClassPO2$2,394
petty officer first classE-6Petty Officer First ClassPO1$2,613
chief petty officerE-7Chief Petty OfficerCPO$3,021
senior chief petty officerE-8Senior Chief Petty OfficerSCPO$4,345
master chief petty officerE-9Master Chief Petty OfficerMCPO$5,308
command master chief petty officerE-9Command Master Chief Petty OfficerCMDCM$5,429
master chief petty officer of the navyE-9Master Chief Petty Officer Of The NavyMCPON$5,580

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.

Job Reviews

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:

fire controlman review navy fc rating day in the life

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 lead to civilian.

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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

References:

Navy Cool

Navycs.com

Craig S.
Craig S.
Craig spent many years on active duty service in the Air Force stationed in such places as Okinawa, Japan and SAC Headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. While in the military, he spent time analyzing imagery from a variety of aircraft such as the SR-71. He was also one of the first enlisted members in the Air Force to experience working with near real time satellite imagery. Craig currently resides in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and runs his own business.

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