Navy Dads


Fire Controlman FC
Fire Controlmen provide system employment recommendations; perform organizational and intermediate maintenance on digital computer equipment, subsystems, and systems; operate and maintain combat and weapons direction systems, surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missile systems, and gun fire control systems at the organizational and intermediate level; inspect, test, align, and repair micro/minicomputers and associated peripheral equipment, data conversion units, data display equipment, data link terminal equipment, print devices, and system related equipment; make analyses for detailed systems, computer programs, electronics, and electronic casualty control; and operate associated built-in and external test equipment; load, initialize, and run preprogrammed diagnostic, performance and testing routines for digital computer equipment, digital subsystems, digital systems, and overall combat systems. 



Electronics Technician ET
ETs are responsible for electronic equipment used to send and receive messages, detect enemy planes and ships, and determine target distance. They must maintain, repair, calibrate, tune, and adjust all electronic equipment used for communications, detection and tracking, recognition and identification, navigation, and electronic countermeasures.



The Navy's Advanced Electronics/ Computer Field offers extensive training in all aspects of electronics including computer systems, radars, communications systems and weapons fire control systems such as the Navy's advanced missile system and Aegis radar.

The standards for selection for enlistment in the Navy's Advanced Electronics / Computer Field are high. Personnel interested in applying for Advanced Electronics / Computer Field should be seriously interested in pursuing the challenge this highly technical field offers. They must be mature, ready to take on significant responsibility and willing to apply themselves.

Enlistees enter as E-1s (seaman recruits). Advancement to paygrade E-2 (seaman apprentice) will be made after successful completion of recruit training. Advancement to E-3 will be made after completion of all advancement-in-rate requirements (including minimum time and course work). Advancement to paygrade E-4 (petty officer third class) will be made after successful completion of initial school training and after all advancement-in-rate requirements (including minimum time and course work) are completed. Advancement to E-3 and E-4 is contingent upon maintaining eligibility in the Advanced Electronics/ Computer Field program. Eligible personnel may be paid bonuses at the time of re-enlistment. All bonuses are in addition to Navy salary and allowances for food and housing.  

What they do

Only two Navy job specialties, called "ratings," are included in the Advanced Electronics / Computer Field: Electronics Technician (ET) and Fire Controlman (FC). The rating in which an Advanced Electronics / Computer Field candidate is trained is determined in the initial phase of the Advanced Electronics Technical Core Course in Great Lakes, Ill. However, eligibility requirements are the same for both ratings in the Advanced Electronics / Computer Field.

Jobs performed by ETs and FCs are performed throughout the Navy's fleet of surface ships including aircraft carriers and Aegis cruisers, and at repair activities ashore.

ETs maintain and repair electronics equipment such as radar, communication and navigation equipment.
FCs operate, maintain and repair the Fire Control Radars, mainframe computers, large screen displays, LANS, weapon control consoles, automatic gun systems and associated electro-mechanical systems utilized in weapons systems.

These ratings comprise the basis of the ship's Combat Systems department aboard ships and are responsible for maintaining the ship's readiness for combat operations.

Qualifications and Interests

Advanced Electronics / Computer Field technicians must be U.S. citizens eligible to meet security clearance requirements. Important qualifications include knowledge of arithmetic, the capability to understand modern computing devices, the ability to speak and write well, function as a member of a team, do detailed work and keep accurate records. Additionally they must possess some physical strength, good manual dexterity and normal color perception.

Career Path After Recruit Training

Enlistees are taught the fundamentals of this rating through formal Navy schooling. Advanced technical and operational training in these ratings are available during later stages of career development.

Apprentice Technical Training, Great Lakes, IL. FC=9 Weeks, ET=9 Weeks. Basic electronics and electronic circuitry, safety, digital theory, microcomputers, fiber optics, test equipment and trouble-shooting techniques.

FC Strand, Great Lakes, IL. 31 weeks of 2-D and 3-D radar, troubleshooting procedures, missile and gun system ballistics, firecontrol basics.

ET Strand, Great Lakes, IL. 42 weeks of communications suite (SATCOM, HF reliever/transmitter), 2-D surface radar transmitters/receivers, radar display.

All Training methods are self paced computer based training and laboratory application with written tests and practical laboratory performance tests.

After "A" school, ETs and FCs continue on to advanced "C" school. School lengths and content vary, but many colleges and universities offer college credits for these Navy courses. During a 20-year period in the Navy, ETs and FCs spend about 60 percent of their time assigned to fleet units or remote shore stations throughout the world and 40 percent to shore stations in the United States.


Because of the advanced technologies in the Navy, acceptance into the Advanced Electronics / Computer Field is limited to highly motivated and qualified applicants. 14,000 men and women work in the ET and FC ratings. Qualified personnel who choose the Advanced Electronics / Computer Field must obligate six years to accommodate the highly technical training involved.


College Credits for Training/Experience:

ET: In the lower-division baccalaureate / associate degree category: three semester hours in basic electronics laboratory, three in AC circuits, seven in solid state electronics, three in electronic systems trouble-shooting and maintenance and two in electronic communication.

FC: In the lower-division baccalaureate / associate degree category: three semester hours in solid state electronics, three in electromechanical systems, three in digital circuits, two in microwave fundamentals, one in electronics laboratory, one in digital laboratory and one in radar maintenance.



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