The Marine Corps has released details of the fiscal 2016 board that screens pilots to join the famed unit responsible for transporting the president.
The FY16 Marine Helicopter Squadron -1 Rotary Wing and Tiltrotor Pilot selection panel is taking will now accept packages from active-duty Mmajors and Ccaptains in the rotary and tiltrotor communities who want are interested in one of the most coveted billets in the Corps' service's aviation community.
"An assignment with HMX-1 is one of high visibility and great responsibility," reads Marine administrative message 262/15, signed May 26 by the service's top aviator, Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, deputy commandant for aviation.
"All Marines assigned to HMX-1 must meet specific and very stringent criteria mandated by the White House military office," the message goes on to read.
Those interested in applying can find pre-screening forms and the HMX-1 volunteer pilot form — due no later than July 31 — on the unit's website at www.HQMC.marines.mil/hmx-1/resources.aspx. Letters of recommendation with packages are highly encouraged and all packages must be endorsed by a squadron commander.
The board will convene on or about Aug. 15.
The selection process is rigorous and Marines with transgressions on their records are unlikely to make the cut, particularly if it involves anything that could jeopardize a "Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (Yankee White)" clearance required for all personnel who work with the president.
Board results from the board are reviewed and endorsed at the highest levels, including not only the commanding officer of HMX-1, but also Davis.
Those selected will go on to fly one of the unit's fleet of helicopters, including the VH-3D based on the Sea Knight, VH-60N based on the Blackhawk or an MV-22B Osprey.
The MV-22 is the latest addition to the president's fleet, added two years ago in spring 2013 as a medium-lift replacement for the CH-46 Sea Knight. It does not carry the president, but rather is instead charged with transporting support staff, media and foreign dignitaries.
Besides the president, members of the unit are also responsible for transporting the vice president, visiting heads of state and administrative support for headquarters Marine Corps and Marine Corps Combat Development Command which includes supporting The Basic School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.
While pilot and flight crew member billets are the unit's most prestigious, HMX-1, like any other unit, needs an array of Marines in various other MOSs for everything from logistics to administration.
As such, Enlisted and officers in other jobs are encouraged to contact their field monitors for potential opportunities with the unit. Both officers and enlisted members are screened to fill vacant billets on a continual basis, according to the MARADMIN.