While OPNAV 1412.6D says that the information it contains on the eligibility requirements necessary for the Surface Warfare Supply Corps Officer (SWSCO) designator is “designed to recognize the significant contributions made by officers of the Supply Corps while serving in surface ships,” one sentence in the third paragraph tells the real story: “The SWSCO qualification program is mandatory for all afloat Supply Corps Officers.”

Both active-duty and Ready Reserve Officers are eligible for the SWSCO qualification. In the case of active-duty officers, they must be assigned permanently to a commissioned U.S. Navy or Military Sealift Command surface ship or afloat staff. Eligibility requirements for a Ready Reserve Officer include, among other things, being assigned to an afloat reserve unit for at least 96 drill periods over a three-year span, with 40 of those performed aboard ship.

Besides displaying effective management and leadership skills (as evidenced by the absence of any unsatisfactory scores on a Supply Management Inspection or Supply Management Assist, or making corrections of poor grades were received), Supply Corps officers seeking the SWSCO qualification must complete three Personal Qualification Standards and the SWOSDOC—Surface Warfare Officer Division Officer Course At-Sea Curriculum.

There are, of course, other requirements and standards related to the Supply Corps officers becoming qualified in Surface Warfare. Refer to the previously mentioned OPNAV to learn more.

It’s also possible for Surface Warfare Officers to earn the SWSCO qualification and the right to wear the breast insignia by achieving the requisite supply-management inspection standards. Those Surface Warfare Officers who achieve that qualification and transfer into the Supply Corps are assigned an ADQ (Additional Qualification Designation) LA8 and are authorized to wear the Surface Warfare Supply Corps breast insignia. Officers transferring into the Supply Corps who have earned the right to wear warfare specialty insignia may still do so according to uniform regulations.

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