What Is Navy “A” School?

Navy “A” school is the advanced or technical training a sailor moves on to after finishing boot camp. During “A” school, the restrictions imposed at basic training are gradually eased, and students are faced with the increased freedom and responsibilities of regular sailor life.

Not all jobs after boot camp require advanced training, but those who move on to “A” school receive a combination of hands-on and classroom instruction. “A” schools in the United States include centers for learning about submarines, surface combat systems, security forces, explosive ordnance disposal diving, aviation technical training, facilities engineering and chaplaincy. Although boot camp training is centered in Great Lakes, Ill., “A” schools are based in a number of centers throughout the United States. New recruits and non-designated sailors who request further training to advance their careers attend these schools.

For those arriving from boot camp, an “A” school provides an opportunity to learn to adapt to the policies and restrictions of Navy life. Students are gradually given more liberty as they maintain a satisfactory uniform appearance, academic standing and military performance. During the first three-week phase of “A” school, students are not allowed to wear civilian clothing or consume alcoholic drinks, and they must remain on base during liberties. By phase three, students are allowed the same off-base liberties as school staff. At “A” school, students also learn about shipboard gender integration and ethics, policies regarding civilian clothing, uniform fit and maintenance, standing watch, and the daily routines of sailors.