Electronics Technician: “A Very Special Man” 1968 US Navy04:33

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Published on January 9, 2018

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Navy recruiting film emphasizes the importance of electronics to the Navy and opportunities available for recruits in advanced electronics.

US Navy film MN-10402

Public domain film from the US Navy, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

The United States Navy occupational rating of electronics technician (abbreviated as ET) is a designation given by the Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS) to enlisted members who satisfactorily complete initial Electronics Technician “A” school training.

History of the rating

The electronics technician rating was originally established as radio technician in 1942 during the height of World War II. The rating badge adopted was that of the established radioman rating, and remained until 1945, when the rating name was changed to electronic technician’s mate. In 1948, the Navy changed the name of the rating to electronics technician, and a new rating badge was created, both of which are still in use today.

“A” School and “C” School Training

Surface ETs must complete Apprentice Technical Training (ATT), followed by Electronics Technician “A” School. Non-Nuclear ET’s attend ATT and “A” School at Naval Training Center Great Lakes, Illinois. Submarine ETs (navigation and communications) must complete Basic Enlisted Submarine School, ATT, Tactical Computer and Network Operator, and “A” School at Naval Submarine School in Groton, CT. Nuclear ET’s attend “A” School at Naval Weapons Station Charleston in Goose Creek, South Carolina for Nuclear Field “A” School. While the Surface ET’s “A” school was originally very hands-on, it is now entirely conducted through self-study computer based training with 7 hands-on labs used to demonstrate the student’s aptitude with the equipment they will be working with once out in fleet. Nuclear ET’s “A” school is extremely hands on with a curriculum that includes basic math, basic electrical theory, electrical fundamentals, digital microprocessor design, and instrumentation and control equipment. Nuclear ET’s endure eight hours of lecture and labs five days a week for six months with extra study hours ranging from voluntary to forty additional hours per week. Once “A” school is complete, most ETs move onto a “C” school to learn more in-depth knowledge of electronics for one specific system used aboard ship. This earns them a DNEC, which is further used to determine where they will be stationed after schooling is finished. ETs may be in training for 2 years or more and the rating often requires the sailor to extend their enlistment to 6 years.

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

Nuclear ETs are responsible for the electronic equipment used to monitor and control the nuclear reactors onboard US Navy vessels. They maintain, repair, calibrate, tune, adjust, and operate all nuclear electronic equipment responsible for safe operation of the nuclear reactor(s).


Surface ETs maintain and repair electronics equipment such as radar, communication and navigation equipment…

Entry rates PO3-PO2 (E4-E5) specialize as electronics communications technician, electronics data systems technician, or electronics radar systems technician. PO1-CPO (E6-E7) are electronics systems managers.

Submarines: radio and navigation

Submarine ETs are divided into two distinct job functions, radio ET(R) and navigation ET(V). Radio ETs are responsible for maintaining, operating, and administrating the submarine’s radio communication and ESM equipment, systems and programs, including the submarine’s masts and antennas. Navigation ETs are responsible for maintaining, operating, and administrating the submarine’s navigation, military/commercial radar, interior communications, non-nuclear remote indication and control circuitry equipment systems and programs in addition to being responsible for all honors and naval ceremonies conducted on the ship.


Nuclear-trained ETs perform duties in nuclear propulsion plants primarily in operating, maintaining, and repairing reactor instrumentation and control systems…

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