U.S. NAVY CWO ELECTRONICS TECHNICIAN (ET) SOFT EPAULETS

Sailors in the Electronics Technician rating (ET) or one of its non-nuclear service ratings (ETV for Submarine Communications, ETR for Submarine Navigation) will spend, on average, at least a dozen years in the U.S. Navy before they become eligible for commissioning as Chief Warrant Officer at the W2 paygrade (CWO2). This isn’t really that much or a hurdle because applicants to the CWO program must have spent at least twelve years (but not more than twenty-two) on active duty to even be eligible to be recommended by their commanding officers for the program.

The Limited Duty Officer (LDO) program, on the other hand, gives Electronics Technicians the opportunity to vie for officer commissioning much earlier in their career: First Class Electronics Technicians who have spent at least a year at that grade are eligible provided they meet other requirements, and depending on the particular ET rating that comes far earlier, on average, than CPO status (the minimum rate that must be achieved to enter the CWO program). Electronics Technicians serving in Communications or Navigations on submarines typically reach the E6 paygrade after seven to seven-and-a-half years of service, while those in the ET rating spend nine-and-a-half years before being promoted to the E6 paygrade.

One thing all Sailors considering a lifetime career in the Navy need to consider is that the CWO and LDO designators that are open to them are constantly being adjusted and tweaked in order to regulate the flow of commissioned officers into any given officer community or category.

For example, as of April, 2016, the CWO designators open to Electronics Technicians are 7181, Surface Electronics Technician for those who are permanent CWOs, and 7281, Submarine Electronics Technicians (also permanent CWOs). LDO designators are also open in the categories of Surface Electronics and Submarine Electronics.

Changes to LDO and CWO designators are typically announced by the Bureau of Personnel at the Naval Personnel Command Web site.

Important: Due to the extremely low demand on this item, it is manufactured on order.
While we might have some in stock, please allow for up to 10 business days processing time.
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