Strategic Sealift Officers
Make Great SWOs
By Commander Justin Harts, U.S. Navy
In a time of tight budgets and rapidly evolving operational concepts, today’s surface Navy is seeking new ways of doing business. It is time to look beyond the “do more with less” mentality and revisit history for a lesson in “doing more with more!”
For nearly 200 years U.S. naval and merchant marine officers were so indistinguishable that their careers were almost interchangeable. In times of conflict, mariners manned warships in support of U.S. war efforts, and in times of peace sailors sought work on merchantmen to help pay the bills. The Navy’s birth was based on arming the Continental merchant fleet when mariners such as John Paul Jones and John Barry traded their cargo booms for cannons.