U.S. NAVY SURFACE WARFARE NURSE CORPS BADGE

For members of the United States Nurse Corps who are assigned to a commissioned ship in either the U.S. Navy or Military Sealift Command, earning their Surface Warfare Qualification will rank extremely high on their “to do” list. Though it isn’t nearly as stringent or comprehensive as the Surface Warfare qualification program that Line Officers are required to complete, the Surface Warfare Medical Department Officer (SWMDO) qualification ensures that Nurse Corps members can, when needed, contribute substantially to ship performance and safety in roles not associated with their career paths.

The first step most Nurse Corps officers take toward earning the right to wear the SWMDO breast insignia is completing the SWMDO Indoctrination Course. Also, open to officers from the Medical and Medical Service Corps, the course is available to Nurse Corps officers within the first eight months they report to duty aboard a ship, as a member of a Fleet Surgical Team, or a Marine Corps units slated for deployment with an Expeditionary Strike Group. (Members of the Reserve Component of the Navy Reserve are eligible for the course if they actively drill with fleet command or have taken part in fleet medical exercises.)

While Nurse Corps officers seeking the SWMDO qualification must also complete courses in basic damage control and shipboard firefighting hosted by the Surface Warfare Officers School at various locations around the country, the biggest challenge is the SWOSDOC (Surface Warfare Officer Division Officer Course) At-Sea Curriculum. Successfully passing this course provides Nurse Corps officers with the general knowledge of their own ships’ systems, equipment, capabilities, organization, and mission that makes them holistically qualified to contribute to maximum shipboard efficiency.
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