The National Naval Aviation Museum has a volunteer staff of over 400 people, adding a very important personal touch to each visitor’s experience. Our volunteers perform myriad functions including security, restoration, special events, and hosting tours. Many volunteers have backgrounds in Naval Aviation – giving our visitors a sense of “been there, done that.” We couldn’t open our doors and provide our guests with a high quality experience without the enthusiastic commitment of our volunteers.
How to Apply
Please send completed application to Volunteer Coordinator, Ricky Haun, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (850) 452-3604, extension 3139.
Click below to download volunteer applications.
Volunteers are asked to commit at least eight (8) hours per month to maintain volunteer status in most divisions. Volunteers work independently with other volunteers and with permanent Museum staff personnel. Volunteer placement is a selective process and not all applicants are accepted into our program. Volunteers will be placed in assignments that are best matched with the applicant’s skills and the needs of the Museum. Qualified applicants will be interviewed and scheduled for an orientation session.
Available Volunteer Positions
Information Services volunteers are the first point of contact visitors have upon entering the Museum or Hangar Bay One. They not only assist the general public while they visit, but also answer myriad questions unrelated to the Museum, such as inquiries about the Pensacola area, Naval Air Station and the area’s many attractions.
Volunteers are scheduled in two shifts on the Information Desk seven days a week, 8:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and 12:45 p.m. to closing. Two or more volunteers are scheduled for each four-hour watch. A pleasant demeanor, knowledge of the Museum and a real desire to meet people and make them feel comfortable is essential.
Homefront is a display of a typical small “downtown” area during WWII. The display includes a grocery store, a 1943 home (kitchen and living room), theater and storefronts. Volunteers working in this exhibit normally wear casual clothing typical of this era for working people. Homefront volunteers provide security for the general Homefront area and talk to visitors about the way life was at home in the WWII era.
The Museum employs a Library director and staff. Volunteers in this division assist the staff in the research of naval aviation history, cataloging, processing and filing of the Museum’s sizable collection of technical manuals, historical documents, photographs, reference books and other aviation oriented publications.
They also function as receptionists at the Reception Desk located in the front lobby of the Library. Library hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Library Reception Desk is also open Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Security volunteers ensure the safety and comfort of Museum guests. They keep a watchful eye on the aircraft and displays in the main Museum and in Hangar Bay One to prevent damage or theft. If vandalism or theft is observed, security personnel must call for staff assistance (since they have no authority to detain or reprimand a guest) or call for Base Police.
Security personnel also act as greeters at the main entrance and serve as roving ambassadors in the main Museum and Hangar Bay One to answer questions, give directions or tell guests about the aircraft and displays. Security personnel help to maintain order and must be alert to report any threat to the safety and comfort of Museum guests.
A subset of the Security Division is the volunteers who work during the Blue Angel Practice sessions. These volunteers assist in directing the guests to the flight line observation area, setting up security perimeters, maintaining order and any other assistance that a guest might require.
Flight Adventure Deck
The Flight Adventure Deck (FAD) is an area of the Museum that is closed to the general public except for scheduled tours that have a docent to escort visitors through the area. The FAD aeronautical science exhibit is an interactive classroom laboratory designed to motivate youth and stimulate an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The FAD was designed and built by the staff of the National Naval Aviation Museum, with funding provided by the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation.
Each weekday morning, during the scheduled school year, students from Santa Rosa and Escambia County schools are first introduced to the principles of flight as a prelude to an organized tour of the exhibit, taught by two Flight Adventure Deck teachers, one from each county. During the afternoon hours of the week and on weekends, specially trained Museum volunteers offer tours for visitors through the FAD.
Flight Deck Operations
The FDO volunteers manage the interactive program showcasing the experience of being on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis CVN 74 during takeoffs and landings. While some visitors are engaged in the interactive program, the volunteers use a variety of static displays and the benefit of their personal experience, to explain to those who are waiting how aircraft are launched and recovered from the flight deck.
General office duties, answering telephones, typing, record keeping and computer data input.
Logging of artifacts donated to the Museum.
Restoration/Tour Guides/Trolley Tour Drivers
These divisions require special skills or training in order to volunteer.
A volunteer candidate for volunteering in the Restoration division must have a discussion with the head of the Restoration area to determine that the volunteer possesses the skills needed for the work being done. The requirements vary, depending on what stage of restoration is currently being done on a particular aircraft. The head of Restoration has the final say regarding a volunteer’s ability to perform the duties needed at any given time.
The pool of tour guides determines whether or not there is availability in that division at any given time. The Division Head will make decisions about the needs of his division. If there is an opening, volunteers must conduct research on the aircraft at the museum, shadow other tours and then conduct three solo tours prior to being placed on the schedule.
Trolley Tour Guide
Trolley Tour Guides conduct tours of the outdoor flight line, explaining the relevance and history of the aircraft located there. In order to qualify to drive the trolley, a volunteer must acquire a CDL license. There is also a training program involved for the tour portion of this job.