The design of the device for CWO Operations Technicians reflects the essential tasks that fall under their bailiwick. The focal point of the design is the wheel of the ship’s helm, reflecting the critical role that Operations Specialists play in providing advice for navigation and operating vital Command and Control Equipment. Sonar Technicians, which have been a source rating for this CWO designator since it was first created in 1958, also provide invaluable data
A diagonal lightning bolt or spark represents the role that Cryptologic Technicians play in the providing information for effective operations; it is drawn from the four sparks used for the Communications Technician device, which is where the Cryptologic Technician rating came from. The lightning bolt or spark also hearkens back to the time when the Electronic Warfare Technician was a source rating for CWO Operations Technicians; it was disestablished in 2003.
In heraldry, arrows indicate the ability to deal an offensive blow or to strike an enemy. The upward pointing arrow in the device for CWO Operations Technicians is symbolic of the offensive strike capabilities that fall under the close supervision of Operations Technicians. Sailors from the rating of Operations Specialists who have been recognized by their outstanding performance and willingness to go the extra mile and have been selected as CWOs will have spent countless hours working intimately with a variety of warfare systems, making them the perfect liaison between Line Officers from a variety of disciplines and the enlisted personnel working hands-on with the latest equipment.