What can a Navy Surface Warfare Officer do for your company?

From their very first day on the job, a Navy Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) is thrust into a position of leadership. Every warship in the fleet is operated, maintained, and inspected by SWOs. As the front-line leaders and supervisors of the Navy’s highly technical war fighters, SWOs pride themselves as, “Jacks of all trades,” developing a broad set of organizational, problem solving, planning, and conflict resolution skills to deal with the rigors of life deployed at sea. They live where they fight and develop a sense of pride and ownership not only for their equipment, but also the teams of dedicated personnel that work and live side by side with them. Ships are full of complex engineering equipment, highly calibrated electronics, and powerful radar systems; they’re also fully functioning supply depots, industrial kitchens, mobile airports, and dormitories. This breadth of functional areas and diversity of experiences prepare Navy SWOs for leadership roles like:

  • Technical Project Manager
  • Operations Supervisor
  • Reliability/Maintenance Managers
  • Process Engineer/Six Sigma Black Belt
  • Production Supervisor

The nature and scope of a Navy Surface Warfare Officer’s responsibilities are similar to those of the civilian careers listed above. All will have experience managing a Division (small to large teams of operators and technicians), solving complex issues during high speed operations, planning and executing training programs, and monitoring preventative and corrective maintenance.

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A Surface Warfare Officer…

  • Spends 4-14 years in the Navy
  • Schedules and supervises maintenance, trains and develops operations teams, plans and executes complex missions, all while safely navigating the ship at sea
  • Develops plans and procures resources to maintain the operability of millions of dollars of complex ship propulsion engineering equipment, infrastructure, weapons systems, and electronics
  • Excels at working in a fast-paced, resource-constrained environment where decision making skills are paramount to smooth execution of complex plans

Military Career Fields:

  • Combat Systems (radar, targeting, computer processing systems)
  • Weapons (hydraulic, pneumatic, electro/mechanical systems)
  • Damage Control (firefighting, industrial repair/welding, emergency preparedness, safety supervision)
  • Main Propulsion (gas turbine/diesel/nuclear propulsion systems and associated auxiliaries)
  • Electrical systems (gas turbine/diesel power generation for use in complex electronics)
  • Navigation (voyage planning, crew certification, transit oversight/safety supervision)
  • Operations (scheduling, interagency/unit coordination, execution of the daily schedule, budgeting)
  • Force Protection/Security (training, readiness, equipment maintenance and procurement, physical training and tactics)

Characteristics Gained:

  • Decision Making
    • When a Surface Warfare Officer is qualified to stand Officer of the Deck, he or she directs the safe navigation of the ship and her crew with the trust and authority of the Commanding Officer, deputized to make decisions in his or her absence.
  • Maturity
  • Loyalty
  • Conscientiousness
  • Efficiency
  • Time Management

Top 3 Potential Civilian Careers: