Navy AG Rating: Aerographer’s Mate (2024)

Last Updated on November 16, 2023

This guide provides helpful information for those looking to join the Navy as an Aerographer’s Mate (AG) during the Fiscal Year 2024.

We can’t control the weather, but Aerographer’s Mates can make predictions to help Navy forces succeed. As an AG you’ll be responsible for meteorology and oceanography, using science and math skills to calculate weather patterns, analyze data, and provide forecasts globally.

You won’t only be a “weatherman” – you’ll be a vital member of the Information Warfare Community, providing crucial knowledge in battle spaces.

Job Description

Aerographer’s Mates (AG) are Navy enlisted Sailors who collect data on the physical environment of land, sea, air and space, then analyzing and producing information involving safety of flight, navigation and other naval/joint operations.

AGs possess technical skills in Hydrography, Geospatial Information and Services (GIS), datum issues, and Tactical Decision Aids (TDA). They combine their knowledge of the physical environment with understanding of warfare capabilities to evaluate and forecast how the environment may affect friendly and enemy assets, sensors, and weapon systems.

AGs provide tactical, technical and procedural advice based on environmental factors that minimize risk and assist with decision making in all aspects of warfare. They also exchange information between aircraft, ships, shore activities and other personnel using communication systems or web structures to assist activities at sea and fleet or operational commanders.

Aerographer’s Mates carry out duties on large ships and in shore-base facilities such a Naval air stations, weather centers and other offices. They perform their work with minimal supervision in a comfortable office-type environment. The job is highly analytical, often done in collaboration with others.

The AG rating offers various opportunities, with approximately 1,300 people working in the field. Over the course of 20 years in the Navy, personnel assigned to this rating will usually spend 60% of their time at fleet units and 40% at shore stations.


Specific Responsibilities

As an Aerographer’s Mate, you will provide critical environmental data that influences various Navy operations. Duties may involve:

  • Gathering, registering, and studying weather and oceanographic data
  • Observing weather and sea conditions visually and instrumentally
  • Monitoring meteorological satellite data
  • Analyzing satellite, radar, meteorological and oceanographic data
  • Updating weather maps and ocean data
  • Issuing weather alerts
  • Giving weather/oceanographic briefings
  • Working with meteorological instruments includes conducting tests, calibrations, minor repairs and preventative maintenance
  • Working under METOC Officers, who oversee information related to meteorology and oceanography

Different Roles

Master Meteorological and Oceanographic (METOC) Forecaster

METOC Forecasters apply a variety of scientific principles, techniques and processes across a wide range of circumstances. They must show autonomy and responsibility when generating METOC products, assessing numerical model performance and establishing METOC support requirements to ensure mission success.

As a forecaster, duties involve examining hydrographic features and elements from nautical/navigation charts and the physical and biological properties of the oceans. They must predict METOC conditions for Synoptic, Meso and Micro scales in multi-facet environments, validate side-scan, multi-beam, and single-beam sonar imageries along with creating tactical advice depending on expected atmospheric refractive conditions and acoustic properties of the ocean that are generated by outputs from tactical decision aid. Coordination must ensure continuity of support with other METOC activities.

Master Meteorological and Oceanographic (METOC) Forecasters integrate effects from the physical environment into warfighter mission plans, managing METOC quality control and environmental impact metrics programs, overseeing personnel training, re-training and management of METOC assets, adhering to international and governmental regulations and local procedures and priorities, and providing solutions to gain/train suitable METOC equipment.

Meteorological and Oceanographic (METOC) Analyst

METOC Analysts observe and measure atmospheric and oceanographic data, phenomena, and parameters. These are used to assess the performance of platforms, sensors, and weapon systems. They also analyze numerical prediction models and operationally significant weather data (e.g. cloud cover, freezing level, fronts and pressure centers, significant weather, and hazards to flight).

An analyst’s responsibilities include performing a routine analysis of hydrographic features and elements on nautical/navigation charts, creating regular forecasts of METOC conditions based on Synoptic, Meso, and Micro scales in low-risk areas, using tactical decision aids to generate graphical depictions of atmospheric refractive conditions and acoustic properties of the ocean, as well as deploying unmanned systems, small boats, and expeditionary survey vehicles to gather meteorological, hydrographic and oceanographic data.

METOC Analysts process and analyze sonar data, provide accurate weather and oceanographic conditions for Warfare Operations such as Anti-Submarine Warfare, Mine Warfare, Strike Warfare and Navy Special Warfare, operate related software and systems, and share METOC information internally and with other platforms and activities as needed

Meteorological and Oceanographic (METOC) Forecaster

METOC Forecasters perform a variety of complex and non-routine forecasting activities. These include critical thinking and applying scientific knowledge to elements of the physical environment such as land, sea, air, and space and their intersection with friendly or enemy platforms. They must be able to assess sensor and weapon system performance, safety of flight navigation, naval or joint operations and missions, as well as evaluating numerical model performance for accuracy and reliability in low-to-moderate risk operating areas.

The forecaster performs tasks such as analyzing hydrographic features and elements on nautical/navigation charts, making forecasts on METOC conditions on Synoptic, Meso and Micro scales in moderate risk operating areas, analyzing side-scan, multi-beam and single-beam sonar imagery, collecting and analyzing data from unmanned underwater vehicles and creating climatological studies to support Naval Warfare Planning. This includes the production of forecasts and warnings.

METOC Forecasters use a variety of meteorological and oceanographic data to analyze the operational environment and propose steps for successful mission completion, supporting activities such as ASW, MIW, STW, and NSW operations, with relevant information conveyed through various communication systems or web-based architectures to aircraft, vessels, and shore establishments alike..

Training and Promotion Opportunities

Upon completion of initial Recruit Training (known as Navy Boot Camp), those who have chosen the Aerographer’s Mate role will report to Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi to receive 18 weeks of technical training in meteorological observation, recording and equipment. This is also called “A” School.

AGs progress through environmental observer qualifications, “C” School training, and eventually transition from observer to forecaster to supervisor.

Upon graduation from “A” School, AGs fulfill Personnel Qualification Standards (PQS) to qualify as environmental observers. Aerographer’s Mates typically complete advanced training in their fourth to sixth year of service, after which they may be assigned to larger ships like aircraft carriers and cruisers, naval air stations, weather centers or shore facilities in the US or elsewhere.

Periodic promotion opportunities are based on performance.

Qualifications to Join

To enlist in the Navy in the meteorology and oceanography field, an individual must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Useful abilities include an enthusiasm for concepts and information, problem-solving skills, inquisitiveness, skill with tools and machines, manual agility, and the ability to work collaboratively.

Eligibility requirements for Aerographer’s Mate positions include U.S. citizenship, normal hearing and color perception, and eligibility for security clearance, as well as an interest in aviation and weather, good speaking, writing and record-keeping skills; good aptitude of math; and an ability to do detail-orientated work. General qualification requirements may vary based on an individual’s prior military service history.

ASVAB Requirement

Applicants must score the minimum ASVAB score below to qualify to join the Navy as an Aerographer’s Mate.

  • VE + MK + GS >= 162 (PAY 97); or
  • GS + AR + MK >= 165 (PAY 80)

The enlistment qualification requirements above are current as of Fiscal Year 2024, per the Navy Personnel Command. This information is not readily available to the public. So, contact your local Navy Enlisted Recruiter for the most current requirements to join the Navy as an enlisted Sailor.

More Information

If you wish to learn more about becoming an Aerographer’s Mate (AG), contact your local Navy Enlisted Recruiter. They will provide you with more detailed information you’re unlikely to find online.

You may also be interested in the following related Navy Enlisted jobs in Intelligence and Information Warfare:

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