The Coast Guard’s Boatswain Warrant Officer specialty requires consummate seamanship skills, strong leadership attributes, and a take-charge, can-do attitude. At sea in on patrol boats, construction tenders, and buoy tenders, Boatswain Warrant Officers serve as executive and commanding officers; ashore, they serve in those same positions and as operations officers at small-boat stations. Experts in waterway management and aids to navigation, Boatswains frequently serve in Tactical Coxswains, Heavy Weather Coxswain, Surfman, and district or sector operations or training billets.

They also serve as structural integrity experts, planning and overseeing the maintenance and preservation of the boat’s hull and superstructure. Other areas of operations that are part of their bailiwicks include cargo, replenishment at sea, small-boat equipping and deployment, the creation of training programs, and care of anchor and mooring equipment. Boatswain Warrant Officers also prepare and maintain materiel and operations reports.

Applicants seeking to advance to the rank of CW2 Boatswain come from just one Coast Guard rating, Boatswain’s Mate (BM). Coast Guard personnel serving in the BM rating may also apply for the Warrant Officer specialties of Marine Safety Specialist Deck (MSSD) or Marine Safety Specialist Response (MSSR).

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