Life after graduation: SWO chapter

<p>Hello all,
I realize that upon graduation, midshipmen are required to serve 5 years. Could someone please explain to me if all 5 of these years are active duty? My daughter would want to go SWO. What would she potentially do after graduation. Also, do mids get to choose what ships they want to serve on (and the location)?
Please explain in lame man's terms!
:)
thanks</p>

<p>Hi, I don't know much about going SWO (as I'm still a candidate) but here are some links to articles about service selection. Mids who select SWO recently chose their ships (and home ports). Service selection takes place in November and ship selection, flight school dates, TBS dates, etc. are selected in February.
Mids</a> Make First Career Selection
<a href="http://www.usna.com/NetCommunity/Document.Doc?id=673%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.usna.com/NetCommunity/Document.Doc?id=673&lt;/a> (not Mailboat, but the Feature article)</p>

<p>Yes all 5 years are active duty and you are active duty while at the Academy. I don't know a lot of the particulars about going SWO (I want to become a Marine), but I do know that it is the only service selection that does not require a special school, ie after graduation you have leave and then report to your ship.</p>

<p>I remember talking to one SWO when I was visiting the Academy that reported to her ship after graduation and 3 days later was in the Gulf performing guided missile strikes in support of OEF.</p>

<p>I thought I read somewhere that SWO got to pick the type of ship they first serve on and duty station, but don't quote me on that.</p>

<p>Hopefully someone more knowledgable than I will reply.</p>

<p>Report directly to ship after basket leave, which is dependent on the needs of the Navy. </p>

<p>If the ship is at the homeport, you report to the homeport. If the ship is on deployment, there is a good chance you might meet her on deployment.</p>

<p>There is no school right after graduation. Once you have the Officer of the Deck Underway letter (qualification), then you will be sent to Surface Warfare Officer School (SWOS) in Newport, RI. Once SWOS is completed, then the SWO Board (few hours of intense questioning) will take place within a few weeks after returning, to determine your SWO Qualification.</p>

<p>Ship selection (ship and location) occurs in order of class standing.</p>

<p>i've read about people failing the swo board and not getting qualified. some swo boards are now 2.5 hours long (saw this on airwarriors.com). if you don't get swo qualified within 18 months, you have to leave the navy. that seems pretty tough.</p>

<p>if your daughter is thinking about swo, she should first look at some of the articles on the following forum:
Surface</a> Warfare Officer (SWO) - Airwarriors</p>

<p>especially take a look at these four:
SWO</a> VS Aviation - Airwarriors
what</a> is the deal with SWO - Airwarriors
A</a> Day in the Life of a SWO on an Aircraft Carrier - Airwarriors
steve wilkins' contribution in What</a> do SWOS do? - Airwarriors</p>

<p>she might change her mind :)</p>

<p>The primary factor determining if you get SWO qualified is the CO. If you can earn his/her trust, you pretty much are going to get it. If he/she doesn't trust you, no matter how much you know, you will not be qualified.</p>

<p>I would really appreciate it if someone could help me out. I am really confused about how the training sequence occurs. I know first is OCS. After that it all gets really fuzzy for me. I think the SWO candidate then reports to Newport for SWO school... i THINK.... after "basket leave". How long does SWO training take place? I have heard all different kinds of things, from 3 months to 6 or 7 months. Also, does that initial SWO training after OCS take place on a ship, or is it land based?</p>

<p>USNA grads do not attend OCS.
They are commissioned as officers.</p>

<p>Jadler is best able to answer this for you-
I will take a stab at it to "check" my understanding of the process- Jadler, please correct me where I get it wrong!</p>

<p>For commissioned graduates of USNA:</p>

<p>SWO: report to US Navy Vessel [surface ship]</p>

<p>Nuclear SWO:
US navy vessel [2yrs]
nuclear power school [6 months]
navy prototype school [6 months]
then go back to US navy vessel [aircraft carrrier]</p>

<p>In "taking notes", the following was suggested when choosing a ship for those going SWO:
-choose a ship that is deploying as soon as you check on board- it makes the time to qualifying a lot easier
-know the ship schedule ahead of time: avoid ships scheduled for drydock of heading in for major repairs
-you need as much sea time as possible to get your pin [thus, avoid the yards]
-determine what junior officer positions they are in need of</p>

<p>ok- enough knowledge to make me dangerous, however perhaps a framework for "those with real knowledge" to build upon!</p>

<p>[jadler- how did I do??? :) ]</p>

<p>Hey everyone,</p>

<p>I have recently selected surface warfare as my community. A lot of people on here have extensive knowledge that cannot be found on other websites.</p>

<p>I was wondering if anyone could PM me a link to some ship's schedules or availability of some of the billets coming up to USNA mids. I've gone on the Naval Personnel Command website and they don't have the ship selection billets there yet. Was wondering if anyone knew how many billets would be available by homeport, ship type, etc.</p>

<p>If not, it would be cool to discuss life as a SWO or get advice to what we should do when we report to our ships.</p>

<p>-GoNavyXC</p>

<p>Thank you for that info.... but I am still confused. I know for sure that the person i am talking about is going to OCS, and he was selected for SWO. I am just confused because I found out that there are several SWO schools, and I don't understand when they find out which swo school they will be attending, and also whether or not these swo schools, which are supposed to be six months long, take place at sea, or if it is land based.... Sorry about all the questions, it's just that the websites I have found don't really give any good answers, or really any answers that help much at all. I would really appreciate it if anyone could give any further info on this, or if anyone knows of a good website I can look at. Thanks so much!</p>

<p>Ok... so I have been reading that response to my initial post over and over again. I'm not the one actually going into the Navy right now, so everything kind of gets jumbled in my head :). Now... all the info that we had was from a recruiter (i have heard they don't always know what they are talking about). So, let me re-phrase my last post. From what the recruiter said.... he will be attending OCS, which is for sure, since he will be starting february 14. Then, the recruiter said he would be going to SWO school. Now, he told us that it would be about 6 months long and he would have weekends off... I am beginning to see that this is not at all the case. The reason I am asking all of these questions is because I am trying to plan a wedding, and it was going to be on one of these weekends off.... but it doesn't seem that plan will work out... so I am trying to figure out what exactly will be going on during training so that I may plan accordingly... if anyone knows for sure what will happen (like when he finds out what SWO school he will be going to, how to find out the schedule or if I can find out what the schedule will be, etc) I would greatly appreciate it.... I have already gotten more help on here than I have with researching all of this for hours. THanks so much, and I would appreicate any help....</p>

<p>angel, you are probably not in the best place for OCS advice unless a recent surface grad who is stationed with an OCS type comes along. OCS is in Newport, RI and is supposed to last 12 weeks. Many get set back to subsequent classes for varieties of reasons, maybe more than once. During OCS, their weekends are not entirely their own. Therefore, unless you plan to elope, I would not plan a wedding for at least four or five months after he reports to OCS. For USNA grads, as navy2010 states, go straight to the fleet from graduation. I cannot imagine this happening for OCS grads. There are probably required schools. I think all the SWO schools are in Newport and their weekends might be free. However, the question here would be why does he think he wants to be a SWO. Other opportunities, of which he is now unaware, might present themselves during OCS. Then again, once he graduates from SWO training, he may be required to report to a deployed ship. All in all, a bad time to make long term plans for a wedding.</p>

<p>Angel,
It is confusing.
USNA grads "service select" during their senior [firstie] year. Among the selections that might be made are "SWO." One rotation that I am aware of consisted of the grad going straight to a ship that deployed to the Pacific; later, while the ship remained at sea, the grad returned to the US for a school, which lasted just over a month, and then returned to the ship. She will obtain here SWO certification, presumably, while the ship is at sea.<br>
USNA grads DO NOT go t hrough OCS and are commissioned Ensigns upon graduation.</p>

<p>A college graduate, on the other hand, before being commissioned an Ensign in the Navy must attend [and graduate from] OCS in R.I. While at OCS, the graduate will "service select." I suspect, since the graduate is now an Ensign, that person will be assigned to a ship and start down their path as would a USNA graduate.</p>

<p>PM Jadler, he had been very helpful and accurate over the years. He would be able to give you more current information on what to expect upon assignment to a ship. [But he did not attend OCS].</p>

<p>Oh . . . and it is very possible that your "friend" may have a SWO contract, i.e. he is guaranteed a SWO slot upon graduation from OCS. THe Navy is more and more likely to offer "contracts" to entering candidates.</p>

<p>So what type of discharge does the officer receive if he does not meet the qualification?</p>

<p>I read the thread regarding SWOs not meeting quals and being let go. I would really like to know, if the naval officer is unable to meet the last qual, what is that discharge if the officer has a clean file?</p>

<p>Ironically, SWO is one of the least popular of all the service selections. There are a lot of midshipman who do not like being on ships. This irony is puzzling to cadets from USMA and USAFA. To them, that would be like an Air Force cadet not wanting to fly an airplane. They wonder, "If you hate ships so much, then why did you go to the Naval Academy?"</p>

<p>Sadly, many midshipmen learn to hate ships while at the Naval Academy. Youngster Cruise is one of the biggest contributors to the disdain for ships. In my day ('79 grad) the Naval Academy went to great lengths to place us on ships that were deployed during our Youngster Cruise. Even if they had to fly us to somewhere in Europe to meet up with the ship - they would do it. We all came back with stories about places we've been, things we saw, and things we did. Nowadays, it's not the least bit uncommon to spend 4-6 weeks on a ship that is dockside in Norfolk. It's boring and uninspiring.</p>

<p>The SWO community is its own worse enemy for their bad reputation amongst the midshipmen. Many of the officers complain to the impressionable young midshipmen about how much they hate their jobs. The enlisted personnel also complain. The midshipmen are frequently treated like an annoyance while assigned to the ship. They are tasked with mind-numbing tasks.</p>

<p>Another thing that leaves a foul impression of shipboard life at the Naval Academy are YP's (Yard Patrol). They're old, smelly, and uncomfortable. The academy is slated to get some new ones which are much improved, however.</p>

<p>As usual, right on, Memphis. And sadly so. And my read is that the disdain for SWOdom has little or nothing to do with "being at sea." As noted, more often, it's NOT being at sea. Too much down time absent freedom to explore alternative activities and diversions beyond the local McDonalds or whatever. And it really leaves a bad taste so unnecessarily and unmerited in the bigger picture.</p>

<p>A number of years back, the contention was offered that this issue was a function of the SWOs not engendering a sense of "community" like flyers, and submariners and SEALS and Marines and ... virtually all other professional groups of USN/USMC. There was no pin. Well now those things, which are important but perhaps not primary have been addressed. Too many are too superficial it seems. Thankfully, while many are turned off by their Midshipman exposures, many are not, and many who find themselves on a ship, learn the love of the sea in due time. Unfortunately, it seems many work like mad to make sure they serve no "due time." At least on ships. Sad and unfortunate.</p>

<p>S1 did NROTC. Just as others have said when he returned from his Mediterranean cruise after his soph, year, he announced that there was no way he could "ride a boat". Apparently, most of those he came in contact with on the ship (a destroyer) seemed fairly miserable and couldn't wait for their time to be up. He did fly across the world to board the ship in Turkey. Also had stops at Isle of Crete, Greece,Italy. </p>

<p>EOD became his ultimate goal. He worked hard to make sure he didn't have to ride a boat upon commissioning and was thrilled when he got an EOD slot on Service Selection day. The strong sense of community/comraderie that exists among that group really appealed to him.</p>

<p>I recently connected with a young USN officer, VERY bright guy, who'd been admitted to med school 4 or 5 years into his service commitment. Said he'd previously been a surface nuke officer. In noting to him, "that must have been pretty cool, interesting.", he noted, "Not. There is only one group on a carrier who seem to enjoy their time and work. And it wasn't us."</p>

<p>Important to retain the big pic on all these things, I think. And to remember that none of these cruises last forever. Some only seem to.</p>