If you are driven by the ambition to soar high in the sky and wish to be part of an elite force, you might be interested to know how to become a marine pilot. If you are armed with excellent leadership skills and an overpowering passion to fly, then this is the career for you.
What exactly does a marine pilot do?
Before you embark on the challenging but rewarding course of becoming a marine pilot, it would be worthwhile to know what are the duties and responsibilities of this position.
Following is the job description of a marine pilot
- Refer to maps, weather reports and charts to help direct ship movement
- Direct and command ships to steer them in and out of straits and harbours
- Plot courses of ships so as to avoid reefs and such hazards and also based on depth of water, currents and tides
- Ensure that ships remain clear of any unsafe activities and operations
- Offer all support during maritime rescue operations
- Ship repair and maintenance
- Give advice about custom regulations and harbour rules
- Maintaining accurate and efficient ship logs
If the job profile of a marine pilot appeals to you, you should gear up towards making your goal into a reality. Here is how you can go about achieving your dream.
Steps to become a Marine Pilot
- Becoming an officer: You need to become an officer first as it is a mandatory requisite to becoming a pilot. College graduates could opt for the Officer Candidate Course while those still in college could seek entry into the Platoon Leaders Class or NROTC. High School students should try for a seat in the United States Naval Academy.
- TBS: On completion of your commissioning program, you need to apply for The Basic School which consists of a six month course where you will be taught how to lead and direct Marines. Here you will get to choose your specialty based on how well you have performed. You would opt for marine pilot as that is your field of interest.
- Clear physical and medical requirements: It is absolutely essential for you to pass the Class 1 physical examination. You must have 40/20 vision that can be corrected to 20/20 with the use of contact lenses
- Flight Training: You will complete the final stages of your training in Pensacola. You will then get to choose between helicopters and fixed wing aircraft and on culmination of the course, you will get to specialize in the aircraft of your choice. The entire duration of the training can last for many months.
What specific knowledge do marine pilots require?
- Principles and methods of transporting people and goods by sea, road, air or rail
- Excellent knowledge of geography, topography, natural features and distribution of plant, animal and human life
- Thorough information about equipment, procedures and strategies to promote national security
- Administration and management skills to help mobilize human resource during operations of any kind
- Good knowledge of machinery and tools to help repair, maintenance and troubleshooting
Special Abilities that you would need as a Marine Pilot
- Good spatial orientation: Knowing where other objects are located in relation to you
- Excellent long distance vision
- Sensitivity: The innate ability to discern when something is wrong or could go wrong.
- Perception of depth: The ability to know how far or near an object is located from you; the ability to gauge the distance between objects
- Sensitivity to light: You need to be able to see objects clearly despite the presence of a glare or a bright beam of light
As you can see for yourself, the job of a marine pilot is very specialized and full of challenges that will put to test your physical and mental skills. However it is a satisfying profession and one you will feel proud to be a part of.