Navy Advanced Electronics Computer Field (AECF)

Sailors Who Want to Work with Electronics Must Take AECF Training

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Sailors who want to be involved in electronics and computing for the United States Navy must be trained in the Navy Advanced Electronics/Computer Field (AECF), which is a demanding field but offers many benefits to sailors, including relevant skills in the civilian world once they leave the service. But there are a few things interested sailors should be aware of regarding this field.

What Is the Navy AECF Field?

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, Aegis.

Enlistees enter as E-1s (seaman recruits). The Navy will advance these sailors to pay grade E-2 (seaman apprentice) after successful completion of recruit training. Advancement to E-3 will happen after completion of all advancement-in-rate requirements (including minimum time and coursework). The Navy will advance those sailors pay grade E-4 (petty officer third class) after successful completion of initial school training and after all advancement-in-rate requirements (including minimum time and coursework) are completed.

Advancement to E-3 and E-4 is contingent upon maintaining eligibility in the AECF 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.

Because of the advanced technologies in the Navy, acceptance into the AECF is limited to highly motivated and qualified applicants. About 17,000 men and women work in the ET (electronic technician) and FC (fire controlman) ratings.

People who qualify and choose the AECF must agree to their active duty obligation for six years to accommodate the additional training involved.

Job Specialties

Only two Navy job specialties, called "ratings," are included in the Advanced Electronics/Computer Field: ET and FC. The rating in which an AECF 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 this field.

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

  • ETs maintain and repair electronics equipment, such as radar, communication and navigation equipment.
  • FCs operate, maintain, and repair the electronic, computer, and control mechanisms used in weapons systems.

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


The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) score is a test enlisted candidates with the recruiter that determines what field they enter. This is the score for AECF:


Other Requirements

Applicants must have normal color perception and normal hearing. Security clearance SECRET is required, and they must be a U.S. Citizen

Technical Training Information

Enlistees are taught the fundamentals of this rating through on-the-job training or formal Navy schooling. Additional training for specific aircraft or equipment is generally received before reporting to operational activities. Advanced technical and specific operational training is available in this rating during later stages of career development in the following increments:

  • Great Lakes, Ill.—19 weeks
  • (FC) Great Lakes, Ill.—11 weeks
  • (ET) Great Lakes, Ill.—13 weeks

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.

College Credits for Training/Experience

Here are the college credits that apply to both ETs and FCs:

ETs, 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 troubleshooting and maintenance, and two in electronic communication.

FCs, 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.

For more information, visit Submarine Electronics Computer Field