- Surface Warfare insignia
The Surface Warfare Insignia is a military badge of the
United States Navywhich is issued to those Naval personnel who are trained and qualified to perform duties aboard United States surface warships. The Surface Warfare Pin was first proposed in 1972 and, by 1980, several classes of the Surface Warfare Pin had been approved for issuance. There are presently five classes of the Surface Warfare Pin, being that of Line, Supply, Staff, Special Operations, and Enlisted. The Line and Enlisted Surface Warfare Badges may be earned by United States Coast Guardpersonnel assigned to Navy commands. The various badge types are as follows:
The Surface Warfare Officer Insignia is the first milestone qualification an eligible
line officermay receive in surface warfare. This device is commonly called the "SWO Pin" in the U.S. Navysince "badge" is more of a European rather than American term for metal military insignia. Those receiving the Surface Warfare Officer Pin must qualify as a line Surface Warfare Officer and must hold certifications as Officer of the Deck(both underway and inport), Small Boat Officer, Combat Information CenterWatch Officer, and must be trained in shipboard engineering, damage control and quality maintenance (3M), and attend Surface Warfare Officers' School (SWOS) in Newport, R.I.. The Surface Warfare Officer Badge is typically a prerequisite for Tactical Action Officer (TAO) training and the Command-at-Sea Pin.
Junior officers, typically ensigns, assigned to the Surface Warfare community are known as “unqualified” or "non-quals" until they receive qualification as a Surface Warfare Officer and receive the Surface Warfare Officer Badge. Such junior officers are granted 18 months to qualify Surface Warfare and may be transferred to a different branch of the Navy or separated from the navy administratively if qualification is not obtained in the required amount of time. Such officers are known as “SWO non-attainees” with this designation entered into permanent military records.
The Surface Warfare Officer Pin was designed to depict the traditional and typical elements of Naval service: waves breaking before the bow of a ship, overlaid on crossed swords, rendered in gold. After the insignia recognizing Surface Warfare Officers was introduced in 1975, the Surface Warfare leadership wanted to award the first "SWO Pin" to someone who best represented the community. It was given to Admiral Arleigh Burke.
The Surface Supply Corps Insignia is granted to those members of the
Navy Supply Corpswho qualify as Surface (Warfare) Supply Officers. Such officers are trained in damage control, flight operations, shipboard supply systems, and receive a limited amount of training as an Officer of the Deck.
For advancement in the Surface Supply Community, the Surface Warfare Supply Pin must be obtained by junior supply officers within 18 months from reporting onboard a naval vessel. Those failing to qualify as a Surface Supply Officer are transferred to permanent ground assignment as Shore Supply Officers. This provides ample motivation for Supply Officers to qualify for a Surface Warfare Supply Pin.
Other versions of the Supply Corps Pin include the Submarine Supply Corps Badge and the
Aviation Supply Corps Badge.
Medical Staff Officer
The Staff Surface Warfare Pins comprise the qualifications which are available to general staff officers in the medical, dental, science, and nursing fields. To receive the Staff Surface Warfare Pins, an officer must undergo an abbreviated amount of general surface warfare training and also must qualify in field specific training and instruction.
* Surface Warfare Medical Corps Insignia: A gold metal pin, with a spread oak leaf surcharged with a silver acorn on two crossed swords, on a background of ocean swells.
* Surface Warfare Dental Corps Insignia: A gold metal pin, with a spread oak leaf, a silver acorn on each side of the stem on two crossed swords, on a background of ocean swells.
* Surface Warfare Medical Service Corps Insignia: A gold metal pin, with a spread oak leaf, attached to a slanting twig on two crossed swords, on a background of ocean swells.
* Surface Warfare Nurse Corps Insignia: A gold metal pin, with a spread oak leaf on two crossed swords, on a background of ocean swells.
The Staff Surface Warfare Pins are voluntary and an officer does not need to receive the badge to advance in a given staff career field. The Staff Surface Warfare Pins are most often granted to staff personnel permanently assigned to afloat naval commands, such as the medical department onboard an
The Special Operations Insignia is the rarest of the Surface Warfare qualifications. It is granted to those officers who have qualified in underway special operations tactics to include mine warfare, small boat interdiction, and counter-surface evasion. Such officers are normally qualified and trained in other special operations areas such as diving and
special warfare. The breast insignia is the same ship and bow wave as the Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) Insignia. In lieu of crossed swords, there is an ordnance disposal bomb over crossed lightning rays on one side, and a diving helmet over two tridents on the other.
The Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist Insignia (also known as the "ESWS pin") is authorized for wear by any enlisted member of the United States Navy who is permanently stationed aboard a navy afloat command and completes the Enlisted Surface Warfare qualification program and personal qualification standards (PQS). The Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist Badge must be obtained within eighteen (18) months of reporting to a ship, if in the paygrade of E-5 (Petty Officer Second Class) and above. It has become common for commanding officers of Navy ships to award the ESWS pin to those in paygrades E-2 and E-3 after they complete the requisite qualifications. Those failing to qualify are unable to re-enlist in their current rate. On each assignment to a new seagoing command, if Surface Warfare is the sailor's primary community, the sailor must re-qualify ESWS, though requalification standards are somewhat accelerated, and are often basically refreshers. Sailors for whom ESWS is their secondary community (mostly those in the
Air Warfarecommunity) are not required to requalify.
An enlisted person who has qualified for his or her ESWS Pin places the designator (SW) after his or her rate and rating; for example, Boatswain's Mate Second Class Jones, having qualified for his ESWS Pin, is identified as BM2(SW) Jones.
For those enlisted personnel who are subsequently commissioned as officers, and receive a Surface Warfare Officer Badge, the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist Badge is replaced since Navy regulations do not permit the wearing of both the Enlisted and Officer Surface Warfare Badge simultaneously. However, ESWS may still be worn if the officer does not earn an SWO badge, but rather a specialization in another community (e.g., the officer becomes a SEAL, Diver, EOD, pilot or
Naval Flight Officer).
Unlike other warfare pins available to both enlisted and officers, the ESWS and SWO pins differ by more than just color (gold for officers and silver for enlisted is a common theme in U.S. Navy uniforms). The blade weapons behind the hull on the SWO pin are
swords. The blade weapons on the enlisted pin are cutlasses. This can clearly be seen in the curvature of the blades and the shape of the handguards. This derives from the sword being a symbol of naval officers and their authority, while cutlasses were traditionally the sidearm of the enlisted men.
The United States Coast Guard does not issue the Surface Warfare Pin. Coast Guard personnel who are permanently cross assigned to afloat Navy commands may qualify for the Surface Warfare Badge through the standard Navy qualification system. Coast Guard personnel serving on Coast Guard cutters are eligible to receive either the
Cutterman Officer Badgeor Cutterman Enlisted Badge, whichever is appropriate.
* [http://doni.daps.dla.mil/Directives/01000%20Military%20Personnel%20Support/01-400%20Promotion%20and%20Advancement%20Programs/1412.2H.pdf OPNAV Instruction 1412.2H] Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) Qualificaion and Designation
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