The Seabee Combat Warfare (SCW) Specialist qualification was established in OPNAVINST 1410.1, released in March, 1992 following a Master Chief’s conference that recommended that a formal designation should be created not only in recognition of the past contributions and accomplishment of Seabees, but also to acknowledge that a Seabee has acquired a high level of proficiency in the various skills and knowledge related to combat construction.

In March, 2010, the Chief of Naval Operations released OPNAVINST 1410.1D, revising the requirements SCW qualification. One of the most significant changes involved the final written examination that candidates must take; the passing score for the 100-question test was reduced to 70 from 80. The new requirements were crafted to ensure that SCW specialist were competent across a very broad range of fields, including supply and logistics, hazardous materials, communications, first aid, basic military tactics, CBR (chemical, biological, and radiological) warfare, civil engineering, and more.

In the Navy, eligibility for the SCW qualification is limited to officers and enlisted personnel (including those in the U.S. Navy Selected Reserve) who are permanently assigned to one of four types of qualifying units: Amphibious Construction Battalion, Naval Construction Regiment, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion, or Underwater Construction Team. Members of other branches of the United States Armed Forces are eligible to earn the SCW qualification, but are constrained by their parent branch’s rules regarding wear and use of the designation and insignia.

Candidates for SCW training must be recommended by a superior in their chain of command, and must have at least one fitness report (officers) or evaluation (enlisted) from the most recent reporting period with a promotion recommendation of Promotable. The training program, which includes qualifying in the TOA (table of allowance) weapon usually assigned to the position the candidate currently holds, includes four courses (NAVEDTRA 12543, 12003/4, AND 12971) and several PQS, as well as completion of a specified field exercise.

The SCW insignia features the “Fighting Bee” superimposed over a fouled anchor and an M1903 Springfield crossed with a saber, and is issued in gold to officers and in silver to enlisted personnel.

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