Response to the following FAQs was provided by Past NMA National Presidents:
What is the definition of a “Mustang?”
The NMA has committed a lot of time into researching the definition of a “Mustang” Officer and the best combined definition from several sources is an Officer promoted from the ranks of Navy enlisted personnel with no interruption in their active duty status. It is also accepted that the Mustang Officer normally was a career intended enlisted member of the Navy having earned one or more Good Conduct Medals prior to commissioning.
Does the NMA see itself in the role of helping enlisted personnel achieve a commission?
Most definitely! First off you must remember the NMA is comprised of only “Mustang Officers” and what better example is there for an enlisted person for guidance and mentoring? With that as a NMA membership cadre, it is easier, from purely a sheer numbers point of view, to voice and put forth a stronger message of “Honor, Courage, and Commitment” via service to your country and Navy as a Sea Service professional. An Officer with the best technical training background the military has to offer, and the tremendous value and experience derived from “coming up from the ranks”. The NMA sees it’s principle role as developing follow-on “Mustangs” to take over as “reliefs” for the many many assignments requiring the caliber of “specialized performance excellence” often only a “Mustang” can provide.
What is the purpose of the NMA?
As a natural follow-on to my preceding comments, the purpose of the NMA is: To actively mentor and develop top performing career progression by all enlisted personnel and to further encourage their active pursuit of the challenges and personal satisfaction derived from service to the Navy as a Sea Service professional officer, a “Mustang”; to set an example in professional excellence, military bearing, physical readiness, and demonstrated leadership; to provide a forum whereby all “Mustang Officers” can come together to share experiences, fellowship, and camaraderie.
How many “Mustangs” does it take to form a NMA Chapter and how do you go about establishing the Chapter??
It only takes ten “Mustangs” to form their own NMA Chapter. The process can be started by calling the NMA Headquarter Office at 1-703-960-6805 or sending an email to navymustang.org and asking for a “Chapter Start Up Kit”. At the present time there are fifteen Chapters. We have an increasing number of members “at large”, but in order to really accomplish the mission and purpose of the organization at the grass roots level, we need to excite this membership into coming together in the form of Chapters. It takes Chapter activity in local communities throughout the far ranging places Navy personnel can be assigned to really foster NMA principles. Locations can include any and all overseas duty stations. And, a Chapter does not have to be limited to shore stations. Afloat Chapters are possible and encouraged as long as the minimum number of Mustangs are available.
Is the NMA membership open to all Sea Service Mustangs??
Yes, most definitely. Surface, Subsurface, and Air Service “Mustangs” are all actively sought for NMA membership. The basic premise of the NMA depends on representation by all the Sea Services in order to reach the full and collective objective of the organization as I have commented on above. The NMA is undertaking several initiatives to best ensure proportionate representation across the membership, to include close coordination with the LDO/CWO Community Manager and Navy School’s Command LDO/CWO Indoctrination course for Association advertisement. If you continue to follow the Pony Express newsletter, you will see other related initiatives.
What are all the different sources/programs an enlisted member can pursue commission status?
First, I would say a professionally trained Command Career Counselor is the most authoritative source for the answer to that question. Secondly, that is a tough question because there is such a wide selection of commissioning programs available, I’m not sure I could accurately do justice to all. To specifically address the programs most commonly held as leading to “Mustang” status, I would start with the Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) Program, followed by the Limited Duty Officer (LDO) Program, the Seaman to Admiral Program and the Enlisted Commissioning Program (ECP). I am sure there are others, but when you follow the “Mustang” thread of uninterrupted active duty up from the ranks, it gets a little fuzzy and I’ll stop while I feel I’m still on firm ground.