EDIT: I didn't mean to exclude the Marines or Coast Guard from the thread title. Your response would be equally appreciated, as things are likely different from the Navy. Fellow aviators, I'm an Army officer and UH-60 pilot here in the very initial stages of gathering some information from the other services about how aviators are trained and developed. Intent is to possibly turn this into a research paper looking at how we progress aviators in the Army, if there are significant differences. I'm hoping that you can paint a picture for me, in as much detail as you care to give, of the typical progression (in terms of flight hours and time in service, who you fly with, and level of responsibility both in and out of the cockpit) of an Aviator or NFO in your community until becoming an aircraft/mission commander. I'm most interested in hearing from the H-60 community, the single seat F/A-18 community, and the two seat F/A-18 community. For F/A-18s, I'm especially interested in how pilots make the transition to flying without anyone at another set of controls. And at that point, how is further instruction or a check-ride conducted? If anyone can point me in the direction of some further reading (a course syllabus, book, article, research paper, etc.) that would be most appreciated too. As an example, I'll share with you how things look for a rotary wing Army Aviator: First year and 100 hours, whether an O-1 or WO1, the officer is in flight school, flying with civilian instructors who have 4,000-10,000+ hours. Learn to hover, take off and land, talk on the radio, respond to emergencies, fly instruments in the civil airspace, and navigate low level. Next few months and 50 hours are flown with Army instructors, typically with 1,000-2,000 hours. Basic tasks are covered again, plus flying NVGs and employing weapons. After approximately 18 months and 150 total hours, the officer receives wings and goes to an operational unit. Next few months and 50 hours are flown with instructors at the unit, with 1,000-3,000 hours, learning the local area and more mission tasks. An O-2 would usually be a platoon leader, in charge of 8-10 WO1 to CW3 pilots (including the instructors), as well as 12-15 enlisted Soldiers. The O-2 may also work on battalion staff or in a company without helicopters (dedicated to maintenance, for example) but they would still fly and progress (albeit more slowly). A WO1 or CW2 would spend all their time flying and studying, with only a small duty such as working in ALSE or maintaining the NVGs. After 2 years in service and 200 total hours, the officer is fully mission qualified and can begin flying with non-instructor pilots as a PI (co-pilot). For the next 300 hours and 1-3 years, the PI works toward becoming a PC (pilot-in-command). After 3-5 years in service and 500+ total hours, the PI is considered for an evaluation to become a PC. As a PC they fly with more junior pilots in the 200-500 total hour range. In the 500-1,500 total hour range, a PC is considered for designation as an AMC (air mission commander, with overall responsibility for an operation and all of the aircraft involved). AMCs are typically O-3 company commanders, O-4s serving as battalion XO or Operations Officer, or CW2-CW4s who have attended school to become instructor pilots, maintenance officers, safety officers, or tactical operations officers. Thanks for whatever help you can provide.