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AMDO Community Overview

The Aerospace Maintenance Duty Officer community is celebrating its 41st anniversary this summer.

Beginning in the late 1950s, and continuing through the early 1960s, various CNO-directed studies identified a need for an officer corps dedicated to providing full-time, professional aircraft maintenance in response to the challenges presented by the new generation of sophisticated and expensive weapon systems then being introduced into the fleet. Anticipated reliability and maintainability issues could not be permitted to compromise operational readiness or flight safety. There were simply too few professional maintenance officers available to meet these new challenges.

As a result of dedicated lobbying efforts led by Captain Howard Goben and Commander Virg Lemmon, in June 1967 BUPERS formally proposed the establishment of the Aviation Maintenance Duty Officer designator, 152X. HR 13050 amended Title 10 USC in November 1967 to permit SECNAV to create the AMDO specialty. SECNAV officially established the Restricted Line community in March 1968. December 1968 saw the selection of the "Original 100" AMDOs from the ranks of Naval Aviators, general aviation officers, Aviation Limited Duty Officers and Aeronautical Engineering Duty Officers. This group became the nucleus of a professional aircraft maintenance management corps which has since grown to over 600 officers. In 1969, formal line transfer boards commenced to bring highly qualified, fleet experienced officers into the community on a regular basis. AMDO entry level accessions come from the Naval Academy, AOCS, OCS, ROTC and flight school attrites. (Click here to read about one student's journey through OCS).

AMDOs start their professional education with an eleven week course at the Aviation Maintenance Officers school in Milton, FL near Pensacola. Mid-grade officers enhance their skills through a two-week Senior Aviation Maintenance Officers course. Many AMDOs earn their Masters Degree at the Navy Postgraduate School. The Defense Systems Management College provides material acquisition and logistics support training for many Washington-bound 1520s. The Naval War College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces are both available to 1520s and offer challenging curricula which broaden the horizons of the AMDO.

Sea/shore rotation continues from Ensign through Commander. The junior AMDO is primarily operational with fleet tours in all types of squadrons and Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Departments. Mid-grade AMDOs serve as air wing maintenance officers, assistant AIMD officers, AIMD production control officers, L-Class ship AIMD officers and in staff tours both in the fleet and in Washington. The highlight of the Commander years is a tour as an AIMD officer, which the community equates to the aviator's squadron command tour.

In 1981, a decision was made to join the AMDOs and AEDOs at the Captain level into a new, single competitive category with a 1500 designator. In 1983, the community instituted a formal selection board to select Commanders for assignment as Department Head of major shore and afloat Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Departments.

In December 1988, the first AMDO was selected to Flag Rank. In 1990, the Chief of Naval Operations formed the AMDO Training and Administration of Reserve (TAR) program (designator 1527). These dedicated, full time reserve officers provide fleet experience and professionalism to the management of reserve AIMDs, staffs and squadrons.

The original AMDO mission "To provide full-time direction in the development, establishment, and implementation of maintenance and material management policies and procedures for the support of naval aircraft, airborne weapons, attendant systems and related support equipment" is still very valid. Today, however, in addition to working in fleet maintenance organizations throughout the fleet, AMDOs are very much involved in all aspects of material acquisition and support as top level Program Managers in NAVAIR and as Commanding Officers of the Naval Aviation Depots. Most senior AMDOs are qualified Acquisition Professionals.

For additional information, contact the AMDO Association.

Last updated 6.8.09