In July 2018, commander Naval Surface Forces, Vice Admiral Richard A. Brown, released an update to the instruction for surface warfare officer qualification, restricting it to “designators 116X, including lateral transfers into the surface warfare officer (SWO) community.”1 This was one of several changes to SWO training following the deadly 2017 collisions in the Pacific. It is designed to improve junior SWO competence before and following the first sea tour. The surface navy is endeavoring to be closer in kind to naval aviation and the submarine warfare community, both of which train officers far more extensively in their platforms before sending them to a first fleet tour.
1. U.S. Navy, “CNSF Announces Changes to the Surface Warfare Officer SWO Qualification Instruction,” Surface Warfare Magazine 59 (Summer 2018).
2. Bureau of Naval Personnel, Limited Duty Officer and Chief Warrant Officer Professional Guide Book, 2011, 1-3.