For Sailors who have volunteered for Submarine service and been accepted for training in one of the three submarine-related Electronics Technician (ET) service ratings—Nuclear Power, Communications, and Navigation—2011 saw the announcement of news that might have discouraged some longtime veterans who had been hoping to earn the status of Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) as an Electronics Technician.
On July 11, 2011, the Chief of Naval Operations announced that because of the mandates outlined in its 2010 LDO/CWO Sustainability Initiative, a number of CWO designators—i.e., categories of CWOs—would be closed beginning in Fiscal Year 2013. Among these was the 728x designator for Submarine Electronics Technician; other designators deemed “unsustainable” were Submarine Engineering Technician (723x) and Chief Supply Officer (751x). That same year, no applications were accepted for Limited Duty Officers in the Special Warfare community (615x) and Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians (748x).
While the closure of the CWO path of advancement for ET Sailors was no doubt disheartening, the Navy has retained its LDO program for Sailors in that rating. Just this year (2016), it announced in July that it was encouraging applications for the LDO Designator 628x for Limited Duty Officers in the Submarine Electronics category. Source ratings for this LDO designator included Electronics Technician, Fire Controlman (FC), Fire Control Technician (FT) and Sonar Technician (ST).
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