Surface Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy

Surface Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy

I’m Lieutenant Eddie Allen, I’ve been in the Navy seventeen years and I’m a Surface Warfare Officer. A SWO, a Surface Warfare Officer, is a ship driver. Someone who mans the ship on the bridge, pretty much takes the ship overseas. A Surface Warfare Officer is unrestricted so, i.e. they can be commanders of ships, they can do whatever job is tasked. Such as OIDIVO, which is down in Operations, Repair Division Officer, Force Protection Officer, etc. Some of the missions of a Surface Warfare Officer would be ah conducting anti-piracy missions outside any rural area. Also to become an escort for the Carrier. As a Surface Warfare Officer which is pretty much on all the ships in the Battle Group. We as SWOs are manning the DDGs, the Cruisers, we are the fire support for the Carrier. The first eighteen months for a SWO, is intense. It’s a lot of qualifications. You pretty much report aboard your ship and you’re given a division. So you’re put in a leadership role immediately. You’re in charge of maybe 30-40 personnel at a time. Being able to, you know, influence somebody to go to school and get their degree or to further their career by achieving those milestones, such as getting an Enlisted Warfare pin or Surface Warfare pin, or become a Sailor of the year. So, that drives me. They’re not different. We’re all human. It’s just that Officers are put in the leadership and management roles. So, we are tasked to do certain things that involves utilizing your personnel to get that job accomplished. Leadership skills would be patience, would be a good one. Being able to motivate or just being a self-motivator yourself and just being able to adapt and adjust to any situation. Because it’s going to be times when you’re going to be challenged and you’re going to be pushed to do things that you might not want to do. But having the courage to stand up and voice your opinion, and then follow your orders. The best way for you to become a SWO, would be if you are currently in college and you are about to finish your degree. Get with a local recruiter, submit a package, get selected. From there it would be going through the OCS school, which is Officer Candidate School, for twelve weeks. And then from there they would send you to your ship. Your first ship. So that would be your first DIVO ride. Division Officer ride. As a Surface Warfare Officer you can be stationed at sea and shore. The basic rotation for a SWO is four years sea duty, three years shore duty. I’m normally in the gym working out or reviewing something on TV to enhance my knowledge. I enjoy movies, I mean, my pastime is, you know, watching a bunch of movies and just time to myself and my kids. If your goal is to lead, to be challenged, to just become a mentor and motivate people. I recommend you go Surface Warfare Officer. If you have any further questions about becoming a Surface Warfare Officer feel free to go to Thanks for watching and keep those questions coming on Facebook.


  1. @RoundenBrown Was just down at USMC base Quantico, I was one of the Staff in H & S company for part of the summer, seemed like half of the officers around there were Mustangs. When I went through Quantico as a candidate we had plenty of prior enlisted men in our platoons as well, idk maybe its different in the Navy.

  2. @flyinhigher1000

    He probably enlisted first, because he has many ribbons. If he was an Ensign right out of college, then he would defiantly be a Lt-Com now or pretty close to it.

  3. @flyinhigher1000 You must receive a Bachelor's Degree. You must also receive a recommendation from a superior to be considered for Navy OCS. OCS = Officer Candidate School that is located in Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island. Over the 12 weeks officer canidates in Leadership, Physical and Military training as well as Academics ranging from Navigation to Shipboard Engineering and Damage Control. Then the candidate is then now commissioned to Ensign.

  4. @flyinhigher1000 The LT might have enlisted after high school and then enlisted. after enlisting, he probably went to college and received his bachelor's. then he was probably recommened for OCS and now is an officer.

  5. I'm a cadet petty officer 3rd class in my navy jrotc unit in port orchard Washington and I plan to go in the navy, but I want to go to the naval academy and I want to do what my dad does which is "amo" Which means, assistant maintenance officer, or just something along those lines

  6. By looking at his ribbons (the red one). He was an enlisted anywhere from 9 -12 years. He either wants to be an enlisted with a degree because you see a lot of those people in today's Navy. Now, as an enlisted you have two option. You can either apply for LDO program which you have to be an E6 eligible for selection board to E7 or have a Bachelor degree and apply for OCS program. The Navy have so many programs to allow you to become a Commission Officer in the Navy.

  7. Hey I am going enlisted and was considering making the leap to officer after my second yr, would u happen to know the process that would have to undertake to make that transistion?

  8. May someone please tell me what the KEY difference(s) in a Surface Warfare Officer and a Nuclear Surface Warfare Officer? Thank you!

  9. I have some shipmates right now in the STA program. Basically you come in as enlisted and the Navy pays for you to go to school and you get commissioned once you complete your degree.

  10. Question would an engineering degree make me better qualified for being a SWO. Right now I'm a freshmen in NJROTC and plan to join the navy as an officer. I know they like candidates that take advanced math ,science ,and computer classes.

  11. I will be heading to Newport, RI for OCS early next year. I will be a SWO. Once on a ship, what divisions can a SWO be assigned to? Some examples were given in the video, but are there more division or a list of divisions to refer to? How are SWOs assigned to a division?

  12. I am interested in being a swo but I have no clue how to do it. I am a junior in highschool and I was going to be a pilot but I have lost unterest in it. Being in the navy seems more promising, and rewarding. My question is should I enlist after high school or just go to community college. I will be taking up to calculis b my senior year and I will have maxed out my math. If anyone could help I would be thankful

  13. I was wondering from the veterans here what is life like on a ship i've seen the navy's website and all but i think there is something they're "hiding" from me. Like i don't think they are evil and stuff like that but there is definitely something missing. Kinda just wanna know because it has me bouncing from navy and airforce because i keep on thinking how will i raise my family or even meet someone i could fall in love with on a ship. Also i've heard some "bad" things about ships from my cousin stationed on a navy ship (he's in the marines btw) over by Okinawa. I was just wondering what its like, if its possible could i get like a 1-10 (1 being all you can do is get up and when you do you hit your head against a plain gray steel ceiling about 6 feet off the ground with water dripping and drowning me in my sleep and 10 being a suite at the Marriott hotel in New York.) scale and a reason why. Btw sorry for the detailed 1-10 scale there i have kind of a… large imagination.

  14. how can I join if I live in the uk and what qualifications do I need and can I complete my qualifications the uk

  15. I'm a US Citizen living in the UK, will the US Navy recognise my qualifications if I get my degree in a UK university?

  16. I am about to graduate with my Finance degree. I want to be a SWO. How will my degree benefit this part of the navy? Will I use what I learned in college in the navy?

  17. being a staff officer is the best. screw line officer! line officers are sad and sorry because they don't have a profession like staff officers!

  18. I know it is different with the Navy, but NCO's run the military. Jr. Officers are a wasted uniform for many years of service!

  19. How much math and physics is involved in being and qualifying as a S.W.O???? I barely passed non-algebra math in college??

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