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USMC NFO future

I know this question has been asked time and time again on the forum, but with the inevitable end of the f18 in the Marine Corps coming to a close, I am wondering what will happen to NFOs. I am at a crossroad like many aspiring aviators, do I go pilot or do I go NFO. My reason for going NFO would primarily be medical (i.e. seeing at 25/20 not 20/20...and from my understanding NFOs don't need to pass the dot depth perception test). Maybe someone can shed some light on that.

But primarily I am wondering if I do go NFO, will I truly be the last of the Marine NFOs, and what would happen when my 72 month commitment is up. Will I be forced out of the Marine Corps or will they allow me to do other billets till I hit 20 years.

I am aiming for a pilot contract, but if I am faced with the decision to go NFO or select an entirely different MOS I am wondering what I should do. Talking to the Marine Officer Instructor is a little biased since he was a ground guy. I feel like not every has the same appreciation for being in the air. I appreciate any experienced advice I can get!

Very respectfully,

Future Officer
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
I know this question has been asked time and time again on the forum, but with the inevitable end of the f18 in the Marine Corps coming to a close, I am wondering what will happen to NFOs....
The latest USMC air plan has the retirement of the F/A-18's pushed out to 2030 now (page 2.3.5) with the last VMFA(AW) squadron retiring in at the end of FY29, the last active duty VMFA to convert to the F-35, and two others transitioning in in 2027. So as it looks right now USMC NFO's still have over a decade of flying life left.
 

Treetop Flyer

Well-Known Member
pilot
I know this question has been asked time and time again on the forum, but with the inevitable end of the f18 in the Marine Corps coming to a close, I am wondering what will happen to NFOs. I am at a crossroad like many aspiring aviators, do I go pilot or do I go NFO. My reason for going NFO would primarily be medical (i.e. seeing at 25/20 not 20/20...and from my understanding NFOs don't need to pass the dot depth perception test). Maybe someone can shed some light on that.

But primarily I am wondering if I do go NFO, will I truly be the last of the Marine NFOs, and what would happen when my 72 month commitment is up. Will I be forced out of the Marine Corps or will they allow me to do other billets till I hit 20 years.

I am aiming for a pilot contract, but if I am faced with the decision to go NFO or select an entirely different MOS I am wondering what I should do. Talking to the Marine Officer Instructor is a little biased since he was a ground guy. I feel like not every has the same appreciation for being in the air. I appreciate any experienced advice I can get!

Very respectfully,

Future Officer
I've never passed the standard depth perception test. I failed it at MEPS, and got an ophthalmologist to test me. I've failed it every year for the past nine years but I can pass the back up test.
 
Thanks @Flash! That is a very informative link and reassures me if I do indeed go NFO will have a few years of fun before the last 18's are gone. Do you think the will allow those officers to stay in and finish with 20 years at that point?

@Treetop Flyer I didn't even know there was a backup test! I'll have to look into that.

I really do appreciate your input and advice!
 

81montedriver

Well-Known Member
pilot
I doubt the Marine Corps will kick you out when NFO's are gone and what you do afterwards kind of depends on how much time you have left until 20. The options typically are put in a transition package to pilot if you are junior enough. If you are too senior for the transition then a series of ground/staff tours until you hit 20 would be more realistic.
 
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