Won’t You Be My Wingman?


July 19 was the birthday of Anthony Edwards—perhaps best known for his role as Goose in the classic 1986 movie Top Gun. Goose helped bring “wingman” into popular vernacular in the eighties, but the term has long meant a variety of things.

According to its military definition, “wingman” refers to the flying patterns of jet fighter pilots. In the Air Force, a lead aircraft is traditionally followed by another aircraft which flies off the right wing. This second pilot is called the “wingman’” because he or she protects the lead by watching his or her back.

There is, additionally, the social meaning of the term. A “wingman” can be helpful in social situations. Many could make use of one, but might more often end up being one.

It is an interesting word no matter the usage. It serves as reminder that no one really goes it alone, and that people are inclined to help and support one another. At any given moment, friends, family, teachers, co-workers or comrades can step up and be there when you need them most.

National Aviation Academy (NAA) calls for its own kind of “wingmen”—individuals with an interest in aviation who are looking for a specialized career in an industry that demands skilled workers and supplies high-paying jobs.

The work of aircraft mechanics ensures the safety of fliers on a daily basis. Their diligent work on the ground is necessary to those in the air. With a growing demand for aviation maintenance technicians in all sectors, now is the time to begin your career in the aviation industry.

NAA has been training aviation professionals since 1932 and offers programs in aviation maintenance and advanced aircraft systems. NAA is dedicated to its mission of preparing its students for employment in the aviation industry. As you pursue your career as a wingman, let us be yours.

NAA Career Fairs – How to distinguish yourself and land the job you WANT


Career Fairs take place three times per year at each NAA campus. The objective is to help students secure gainful employment in the aviation industry. We do this by putting our students in direct contact with industry hiring personnel.

NAA has built industry relationships based on the quality of our instruction and the high level of technicians that we produce. Whether you attend in Tampa Bay or New England, you will have opportunities to connect with a variety of employers who know and trust NAA’s reputation.

As an NAA student, employers are brought directly to you. However, landing the job you want means being prepared to get it.

Here are some simple ways to make the most of NAA Career Fairs:

  • Bring Your Resume (…lots of them!)
    It might seem like just a sheet of paper, but your resume is your most powerful marketing tool. Employers often spend less than a minute looking at a resume and it typically determines initial cuts from consideration.Strengthen your resume by making it a fluid, organized document that reflects your skills and your sensibilities. Verify that all information is accurate and up to date, with proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. Bring many copies of your resume to the Career Fair so that you can approach each employer that interests you.

    NAA’s Career Services department will help you build your resume and provide you an adequate number of copies. Be sure to contact them in advance!

  • Dress Appropriately
    All NAA students attending the Career Fair are encouraged to dress in professional wear. Please use discretion when choosing your attire. A collared shirt, slacks and dress shoes, for example, would be a good option. Steer clear of items such as jeans, T-shirts and hats. If you do not own any professional attire, you may wear your NAA uniform. Remember that your appearance is important when approaching prospective employers.
  • Prepare and Prioritize
    Prepare for the Career Fair by knowing who will be there. Research attendees and identify the companies that you are most interested in. If you know some background information about a company, you can ask more specific, focused questions. This reflects genuine interest, which impresses representatives.Prioritize the companies that you are most interested in and focus on them. One strategy is to visit a couple of employers that you are less excited about before the ones that really interest you. This can help you to warm up and be confident in front of your top selections. Be realistic about this tip though—do not miss out on opportunities or get bogged down trying to plan a schedule.

    Similarly, and perhaps most importantly, be flexible. Know that you cannot plan for everything. There might be a wait to speak to a certain employer, or you might find your dream job somewhere you least expected.

  • Know Your Pitch, Make an Impression
    In addition to representing yourself at the Career Fair, you also represent NAA. Career Fair attendees are there because of their interest in hiring NAA students. Use this to your advantage! Think critically about what you want to say about yourself, your skills and what you can offer an employer.Always be courteous and respectful. Engage in direct, meaningful conversation and offer to continue the conversation at a later time—or know which companies to approach about an on-site interview. Enjoy yourself, meet employers and let your positive attitude show!

Upcoming Career Fairs are scheduled on 7/21/2016 in New England and 9/15/2016 in Tampa Bay. On-site recruiter visits and on-site interviews will take place. All students are encouraged to attend.

Using GI Bill Benefits

Qualified students that choose to attend National Aviation Academy (NAA) are eligible to use GI Bill benefits to help pay for tuition.

To use GI Bill benefits, the student must be:

  • Active Duty
  • A Veteran
  • A Member of the Selected Reserve
  • A Member of the National Guard Armed Forces
  • A Spouse or Dependent of a Veteran (if benefits have been transferred)

How does it work?

There are currently six active GI Bill programs:

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill
  • Active Duty Montgomery GI Bill (MGBI–AD)
  • Reserve and Guard Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB-SR)
  • Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)
  • Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)
  • Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA)

The GI Bill can cover the cost of attending a university, but can also be used to help cover costs for training at non-college-degree institutions such as NAA. The tuition payment amount depends on the GI Bill program being used, the school attended, and the amount of time spent training. Students in the Aviation Maintenance Technology program need to complete a total of 2,000 clock hours (or 35 hours per week) while those in the Aviation Maintenance Professional* program need to complete a total of 3,000 clock hours (or 35 hours per week). In addition, those students enrolled in just the Advanced Aircraft Systems* program will need to complete a total of 1,000 clock hours (or 35 hours per week).

There are also certain time limits for using GI Bill benefits. For example, with the Post-9/11 GI Bill, duration of benefits is generally fifteen years from last day of active duty. With the Montgomery GI Bill, duration of benefits is generally ten years from last day of active duty.

The terms of receiving benefits will vary depending on the GI Bill. The Montgomery GI Bill tuition payment is made directly to the student while the Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition is paid directly to the school.

Get started

Application for the GI Bill benefits can be completed online through the VA’s Online Application (VONAPP) website: http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp. Questions can be directed to the VA Education Benefits office at: 1-888-442-4551.

Keep in mind that the processing time for a GI Bill application can be over six weeks. Application should be made before the student plans to start school in order to reduce the wait time for receiving benefits.


*Aviation Maintenance Professional and Advanced Aircraft Systems programs are only offered at the Tampa Bay campus at this time.