The four branches of the Information Dominance Corps (IDC)—intelligence, information professionals, information warfare, and meteorology and oceanography—are now consolidated into the Information Dominance type commander, which will man, train, and equip all information-dominance warriors across the Fleet. With this change, the Navy has made a commitment to its newest warfare community. Now the IDC needs to prove its value to the Navy at sea. Thus, we need to change the way the corps accesses officers and allow them to serve at sea.
Currently most IDC officers enter through the surface-warfare officer (SWO) option or lateral transfers from unrestricted-line training in aviation, special warfare, or nuclear-power school. This model is currently working well for the IDC, as it values Fleet warfare experience. However, it is a zero-sum game. Among unrestricted-line communities, surface in particular is negatively affected by the IDC SWO option, because for every officer who joins the IDC, one less is available to fill an unrestricted-line billet.