Got Wings?
The Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist Game

Game design by: Lisa M. Vella

| Instructional Objective | Learners & Context | Object of Game | Game Materials |

| Visuals | Time Required | Rules | Design Process | References |

Instructional Objective

  • The learners will be able to identify a variety of questions that could be asked of them by a Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist (EAWS) board.
  • The learners will be able to respond correctly to questions that might be asked by an EAWS board.
  • The learners will become proficient at confidentially answering the questions correctly to earn their EAWS wings from the EAWS board.

Learners & Context of Use

The game is designed for enlisted Naval personnel, generally E-5 and above, whom are seeking EAWS qualification. (ages vary depending on rank) This game is designed for 2 to 6 players. This game can be played in many locations, whether in port stationed, at a squadron or on a ship at sea. The official design of the game allows play at work or at home. However, because of a diverse amount of information, each player should have completed at least 50 percent of the Personnel Qualification Standard (PQS) for EAWS qualification. The PQS program requires qualifying enlisted personnel to perform certain duties in preparation for the EAWS board.

Object of the Game

The object of the game is to be the first player awarded EAWS wings.

Game Materials

  • Game board
  • 6 playing pieces
  • A six sided die
  • Cards
    • 1 stack of Administration cards ( brown )
    • 1 stack of Medical and Safety cards ( white )
    • 1 stack of Basic Aviation cards ( green )
    • 1 stack of Aircraft cards ( blue )
    • 1 stack of Aircraft Carrier cards ( grey )
    • 1 stack of Operations cards ( purple )
    • 1 stack of EAWS Wing cards ( yellow )
    • 1 stack of Chance cards ( ?)
  • 1 pad of signature cards; each player receives one sheet
  • 6 ballpoint pens
  • 1 Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist pin


Overview of board

Detail of board

Card Samples

Q. State the different types of aircraft used in naval aviation Anti-Air Warfare.


A. Hornet, Superhornet, Tomcat


Q. Name three symptoms related to hypoxia.


A. Blurring of vision, a vague weak feeling, slight shortness of breath, dizziness


Q. On board ship, when you hear the general alarm, what does it sound like and what does it mean?

A. Series of single gong tones before the work is passed all hands are directed to man their battle stations, and type of emergency is identified.


Q. Explain the purpose of the mission planning board.

A. A tool used to communicate between the reconnaissance coordinator, squadron operations coordinator, and the imaging facility or CVIC personnel.


Q. What are the six categories of hazardous materials?

A. Flammable/Combustible materials, Toxic materials, Corrosive materials, Oxidizing materials, Aerosol materials, Compressed gases.



Q. State the purpose of the Enlisted Distribution Verification Report(EDVR)

A. It's a monthly statement that comes to the command that lists all personnel assigned to the command, their rotation dates, NEC's, rates, rank, social security numbers, and other information.


Congratulations …You have been selected for the command advancement program, proceed to a category square in which you need a signature.



Q. Describe a TACAN approach.

A. An approach 180 degrees relative to the final bearing with a left hand holding pattern at an altitude and range specified by CATCC.

Q. State the principal components of the helicopter rotor head.

A. The hub, the swashplate


Got Wings? Signature Card





Medical & Safety

Basic Aviation


Aircraft Carriers

Player's name

Time Required

The game takes only a few minutes to set up. The game should take no longer than 60 minutes to complete. However after the time allotted, if no player has received his/her EAWS wings, then the players can choose to carry the game into another playing period.

The Rules


  1. Open the game board and place on a level surface.

  2. Separate each of the cards by color and identifying icon and place into matched stacks.

  3. Place each of the shuffled stacks of cards face down to the right edge of the board. Each stack of cards is a different color, and should have its identifying icon face up.

  4. Each player selects a playing piece and places it in the EAWS wing circle located in the center of the board.

  5. Each player takes one signature card from the signature pad.

  6. Each player takes a pen from the box.


  1. Roll the die to see who goes first. Highest roll goes first (Player 1). Player order is counterclockwise from Player 1.

  2. On their turn, each player roles the die and moves their game piece in any direction the rolled number of spaces. The player is asked a question that corresponds to the square landed upon. The player to the right of the current player removes a card from the corresponding stack and asks the question. A correct answer allows the player to roll again, an incorrect answer ends the current player's turn.

  3. Each player moves around the board in an attempt to land on each of the icon category squares, answer the questions correctly, and obtain the qualifying signature on their signature pad.

  4. A qualification signature can only be obtained when landing on an icon category square, and answering the question correctly.

  5. You'll need to understand the following squares and cards:

    * Icon Category Square- Represented by the picture squares located at the ends of each of the six straight line portions of the board. When a player lands on these squares the person to the right of the current player removes a card from the corresponding stack and asks the current player the question. If the question is answered correctly, the reader will sign the current players signature pad, indicating that player is now qualified in that specific category. The player is then free to continue playing until they answer a question incorrectly. If the current player answers incorrectly, the player's turn is ended, and the player must attempt to land on the icon square again during another turn.
    * Color Coded Category Card- These cards are located at the far right of the game board. These cards contain questions pertaining to the specific category indicated by their color and their icon label. These cards are pulled from the top of the pile and read by the player to the right of the current player. The card color/icon category is chosen automatically by the square that the player lands on. These cards are read when the player lands on either the color coded square, or the icon category square. These cards are read and then placed at the bottom of the corresponding stack.
    * Color Coded Square - These squares are used to transit the player around the board in an effort to land on the color coded icon square. Qualification signatures are not granted for correct answers. If the player answers correctly, they are granted another turn until they answer incorrectly.
    * Chance Square- A player landing on this square will find that they will be either helped or hindered in their pursuit of their EAWS wings, depending on the Chance card picked.
    * Chance Card- This action card is identified by a black question mark on the top of the card. These are considered mystery cards and can indicate a positive action or a negative consequence. Players may select their own chance cards.
    * The Brig Square
    - Players who land on this square or draw a Chance card which orders them to the Brig lose their current turn.

  6. Once a players has all qualification signatures s/he must attempt to roll the die correctly to land in the EAWS circle in the center of the board. The player must obey the rules pertaining to the square landed upon in their pursuit of the EAWS circle. Correct answers allow them to continue, incorrect answers end their turn.

    * EAWS Circle- This is the yellow circle with the EAWS wings located in the middle of the game board. It is the final stop for all players before EAWS wings are awarded. It represents the actual EAWS Board that you will face , this time however, the other players serve as the Board members.
    * EAWS Card
    - These are yellow cards with EAWS wings on the top of the card. Each card contains two questions. Each card reader selects one question to ask of the current player. The questions on these cards can relate to any category and typically are more difficult than other "Got Wings?" cards.
  7. Once the player successfully lands in the EAWS circle, all other players each remove an EAWS card from the pile and select one question from each card to read to the current player. The questions are read in turn starting from the person to the right of the player. Each question must be answered correctly for the player to obtain his/her EAWS wings. If the player answers incorrectly, the players turn ends and they must wait until their next turn to have new EAWS cards read to them. This continues until the player gets all questions correct and becomes the winner of the game.

  8. The first person to earn their wings is the winner, despite how many others have made it to the EAWS circle. The winner receives the EAWS pin.

  9. Good Luck!!!

Design Process

Got Wings? game premise bases itself on a current educational need. I wanted to take an existing EAWS study program and streamline its components. The EAWS study material was very densely written and found in multiple sources; publication (book) form, study site web pages, as well as hand written notes from classroom lecture. I started by incorporating the known study materials into a condensed user friendly package. My next step was to make it fun and inspire competition. The sheer volume of information each EAWS candidate was expected to learn was staggering. My research indicated that the information in its current form was overwhelming. Demographic and learning based analysis indicated that Navy personnel (target audience) would respond well to the EAWS educational package presented in game form.

The following justifications support my theory:

- Target audience personnel prefer to use the categorized card. Information cards provide an efficient, portable, bullet form information breakdown.

- Target personnel desire to study in groups. Camaraderie and action based learning ingrained into Naval personnel. They enjoy good natured competition amongst their fellow shipmates (peers).

- The asking of a question in an adrenaline based scenario is effective to simulate the emotion that will be felt during questioning by the actual EAWS board. The player must be able to answer all EAWS questions with confidence, despite any nervousness that is organic to the game, as well as the real thing.

I selected a circular board route (trivial pursuit style), with specific required stops, to ensure that the player will experience questions from all EAWS categories. The player learn the information actively, when the questions are asked directly to them, or passively when they hear the question asked to a fellow player.

The Signature Qualification Pad portion of the game is reality based. Each Naval EAWS candidate has to complete a Personnel Qualification Standard (PQS) for EAWS qualification. The PQS requires signatures to prove that each candidate completes each portion of the syllabus.

The Navy blue die is an accepted tool to add the element of "chance". This adds the unknown factor which elevates emotion. I added the "Chance" cards to take the excitement a step further.

To become completely accurate in my analysis I prototype the board, the game, and the learning objectives with Navy personnel who have already earned their wings, as well as, with current EAWS board members.

I found during my studies that sailors are tired after a long day on the job. They are expected to study from dryly written manuals, and can not do it effectively because of fatigue. In order to make "Got Wings" effective I designed colorful cards and board, easy rules of play, and group participation. I feel strongly that this game will become an effective addition to the current EAWS study material. The pace and tempo of the game should reduce study time, and encourage learning.

Lessons Learned:

During game testing Naval enlisted personnel of all ranks noted:

* The game boards colors were too pastel. They would have preferred a darker primary color scheme.

* The competition during the game raised the players adrenaline level to mimic what they would feel when sitting before an actual EAWS Board. The reading of the questions aloud, as well as the memorization of the answers added to retaining the information.

* Generalized visuals and playing pieces are a better choice than specific helicopters, squadrons, and fixed wing aircraft. Specific identifiable images and icons caused too much discussion on who wanted to "be" what, and questions as to "why" another favorite image or specific aviation related item was not "good enough" to be included in the game.

* The cards should be made out of a harder cardboard and laminated. The cards need to be able to stand up to dirt and excessive playing conditions.

* I was challenged in trying to fold the game correctly. My final solution was to cut the board and require each half to be joined before play.

* Players enjoyed being awarded actual wings upon winning the game.

* I initially designed the game board to resemble an aircraft carrier, then a air base overhead map. Both prototypes did not work. The game took too long to play. I knew it was more important to finish the game in a timely manner, players became lagged down at each stop trying to answer correctly before moving on.


Study Guides

  • Naval Education and Training Command (1995). Personal qualification standard for enlisted aviation warfare specialist (EAWS). Pensacola, Florida: Naval Education and Training Program Support Activity.
  • USS Abraham Lincoln Workgroup (CVN-72) (1997). Aviation warfare study guide . USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72): Weapons Department Quality Assurance.


Helpful web sites:


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Last updated October 25, 1999