The Strategic Sealift Officer Program (SSOP) was established in June, 2011 from the former Merchant Marine Reserve, U.S. Naval Reserve. As a part of U.S. Naval Reserve, the SSOP consists of Selected Reserve components with a primary (but not exclusive) mission of supporting Military Sealift Command, and Individual Ready Reserve officers who are actively sailing in the U.S. Merchant Marine and are qualified to helm merchant ships in the role of naval auxiliaries. With the creation of the SSOP, the old Merchant Marine Naval Reserve breast insignia was no longer authorized for wear, replaced by Strategic Sealift Officer Warfare designation and insignia.

There are three ways to earn the SSOW designation. The first is to graduate from the United States Merchant Marine Academy, one of five state maritime academies, or the Great Lakes Maritime Academy, successfully complete the Naval Science curriculum while serving under a Training Support Agent, and become a commissioned officer with a rank of at least ensign. Officers who have an unlimited United States Coast Guard (USCG) officer credential at the level of at least first mate or first assistant engineer and have a current Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) endorsement can receive direct appointment to the SSOP.

Lastly, Navy Reserve officers who were originally commissioned through other programs and possess the credentials of at least a second mate or second assistant engineer (unlimited tonnage and horsepower) with STCW endorsement can have their officer designator changed if they are employed in a mission that the SSOP Manger deems useful.

About us

As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


100% secure payment

Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.