U.S. NAVY SUBMARINE ENGINEERING DUTY BADGE

The Submarine Engineering Duty breast insignia is awarded only to Engineering Duty Officers (EDOs) (144X) or officers in training to become EDOs (146X), a requirement that thins the ranks of hopefuls by quite a bit due to the fact that all EDOs must not only have a Master’s degree in a technical curriculum, but one that was earned at the Naval Postgraduate School or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

MILPERSMAN 1210-110, which specifies the requirements for EDOs to become qualified in submarines, does not specify the order in which EDOs must accomplish each of the mandated activities. Instead, it allows each officer pursuing the qualification to undertake them in a sequence that best suits his or her individual situation.

All EDOs seeking submarine qualification must serve successfully for at least one year in a submarine-related waterfront assignment at nuclear shipyard or Supervisor of Shipbuilding Officer, or SOS. During that time, the EDO’s commanding officer will create duty assignments designed to provide experience in seven areas: Combat Systems, Design/engineering process, Docking (i.e., take part in one docking and one docking evolution), Systems Testing (nuclear and non-nuclear), Quality Assurance, Safety, and Watertight Integrity Control.

It’s no surprise that the submarine qualification process for EDOs includes attending the 12-week Submarine Officer Basic Course before taking part in an SSBN (nuclear ballistic missile submarine) patrol, with a total of 13 weeks devoted to learning the vessels systems, equipment and operation. Qualification as Officer of the Deck is encourage; qualification as Diving Officer of the Watch is mandatory. Further, the successful EDO candidate must earn the Nuclear Ship Superintendent Qualification (see NAVSEAINST 1520.B), which includes attending a five-week course at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. And of course all candidates must pass the requisite physical and radiation examinations attendant with submarine service.

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