Each officer is different. Some guys love being haze grey and underway and others would rather be pilots. Out of USNA I took Air Option which enables you to complete your initial sea tour, obtain your Surface Warfare Qualification and then go to Pensacola for Pilot or NFO training. It's a great option to have. I didn't take it but switched to Special Operations and enjoyed serving on the smaller diving and rescue ships. It all depends what you want to do. Some Midshipmen choose Surface Line as they can do an initila sea tour, shore tour and then leave the service in five years yet enjoy the fruits of serving their country. There is nothing wrong with Surface Line if you enjoy going to sea and hands on leadership. It enables you to get opportunities to lead men and women sooner than any other field in the Navy. The aviation and submarine force require 1-2 years of post Annapolis training whereas Surface Line you're on your ship ready to go as soon as your post graduation leave is over. Lots of officers love Surface Warfare. That's why you have summer training opportunities to figure out what is best for YOU.
However, the fact remains that almost everyone at USNA wants to do anything BUT SWO, because all you need to do to become a SWO is fog a mirror. I remember every Plebe that ever said, "I want to go SWO" was looked at funny and asked if they had any real ambition.
Facts is facts.
I went in wanting to be an aviator. My eyesight killed that quickly enough. I then fell madly in love with submarines. They wer my passion for three years. So much so that I failed to STUDY and therefore screwed my grades up and ended up not being selected for nuke school. POOF! The dream died.
Since my grades were lousy (I ended up with a 2.65) and since I was less than physical, I was forced into SWO which, IMO, sucked. Five years of abject boredom masquerading as military service. The fact I went in the same year the USSR collapsed didn't help things. When Billy showed up and slashed our budgets (to the point we didn't have money to buy FUEL OIL to get underway) only made it worse.
If I had to do it all over again, I'd select USMC. If my eyesight was good, I'd try for SEAL or Aviation. I might even try for subs, but I'd avoid SWO like the plague.
This is why I tell all of you budding mids to STUDY and PERFORM, because while you may still graduate, going into the fleet doing something you DON'T want to do is pretty damned lousy.
sandie, I actually saw a recent statistic that showed that more mids go pilot than SWO, which is interesting because of the fact that the Naval Academy produces more pilots than boat drivers...defies logic, don't it?