America's Navy has the most modern, advanced fleet of ships in
the entire world. Surface Warfare Officers (SWOs) are trained
extensively to maintain and operate these ships, their crews and
their systems. Providing direction. Leading by example.
Surface Warfare Officers form the backbone of Fleet leadership.
In this role, you will have the opportunity to excel as a leader.
You could serve as Commanding Officer over an elite crew and be an
authority in every aspect of your Navy assignments. Doing any or
all of the following:
* Directing personnel operations aboard Navy vessels, such as
aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, amphibious warfare ships,
mine warfare ships and frigates
* Managing shipboard vertical launch systems
* Using computer displays and advanced technology in battle and
* Providing support to Navy expeditionary forces, Theater Air
Missile operations, anti-submarine warfare, surface-to-air warfare,
and support and supply missions
Surface Warfare Officers are involved in virtually every aspect
of Navy missions. As a SWO, you may be in charge of any number of
shipboard operations and activities while at sea, working with or
within any of these specialized forces:
Aircraft Carrier Forces: Provide and coordinate air, submarine
and surface ship defense for aircraft carriers
Cruiser-Destroyer Forces: Provide ship attack and defensive
measures with a wide array of missile and fire power capabilities,
providing anti-air, -submarine and -surface warfare support
Amphibious Forces: Embark and transport vehicles, equipment and
personnel for amphibious assault operations
Combat-Logistics Forces: Provide combatant ships with fuel,
ammunition, food and supplies, and provide repair, maintenance and
rescue capabilities through Fleet Support Ships
Mine Warfare Forces: Detect, identify and neutralize threats
from hostile use of maritime mines
You may also be interested in becoming a Surface Warfare Officer
within the prestigious Navy Nuclear community, where you will have
the opportunity to work on some of the world's most powerful
nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers.
As a Surface Warfare Officer, you will work at sea and on shore,
in a variety of environments. Sea duty could place you aboard ships
within the fleet. Shore duty may involve a tour of duty at the
Pentagon; a student assignment at the Naval Postgraduate School in
Monterey, Calif.; or command and management positions at shore
bases and stations around the world.
TRAINING & ADVANCEMENT
Unless they have already been commissioned through the Naval
Academy or ROTC, those pursuing a Surface Warfare Officer position
are required to attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Newport,
R.I. Newly commissioned SWOs can expect an advanced training
process that includes comprehensive training at sea and ashore.
Newly commissioned Surface Warfare Officers will be assigned to
a surface ship, leading a team of Sailors responsible for a
component of the ship - anything from electronics to weapons to
engineering systems. In this setting, Officers are working toward
full Surface Warfare qualification.
After completing these initial sea tours, Surface Warfare
Officers may be selected to serve on high-level staffs, commands or
strategic projects, or they may be selected to work in recruitment.
Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and
based on performance. It's also important to note that specialized
training received and work experience gained in the course of
service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational
opportunities in related fields. The ultimate goal for many: to one
day command their own ship.
Beyond professional credentials and certifications, Surface
Warfare Officers can advance their education by:
* Pursuing opportunities at institutions such as Naval
Postgraduate School (NPS) or Navy War College (NWC)
* Completing Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) at one
of the various service colleges
QUALIFICATIONS & REQUIREMENTS
A four-year degree from an accredited U.S. college or university
is required to become a Surface Warfare Officer. There are
different ways to become a SWO. If you're a high school student or
an undergraduate, you can enter through the Naval Reserve Officers
Training Corps (NROTC) or through the U.S. Naval Academy. Those
already having a degree attend Officer Candidate School (OCS), a
12-week Navy school in Newport, R.I.
To be an eligible candidate, you must:
* Be a U.S. citizen
* Be at least 19 years of age and no older than 29 at the time
* Meet the Navy's physical standards
General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you're
currently serving, whether you've served before or whether you've
never served before.