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Shortest time at sea?

Late to the party here, but some SA.

They recently changed SWO to be 30 month / 18 month sea tours back to back. That means in your first tour you will almost certainly (unless you arrive at the worst time, as I did in the middle of an 18 moth avail) end up on at least one deployment. In that window two are easily possible. They've also removed LCS and MCM from the list of 1st tour jobs, so the ships least likely to do extended underways (those two) are no longer options.

Other than deployment most small boy underways in the States run between a week and six weeks. Can't speak to FDNF from experience but those I know that went to ships other than McCain and Fitz have gotten their asses handed to them in Japan.

You're going to spend time at sea. If you're smart you'll enjoy it, because until you get qualified your life blows, and you can't get qualified in port.


Well-Known Member
Also late, I'll echo many other posts. Don't join the Navy, especially as a SWO, if you're wary of going to sea. You'll have plenty of things to worry about and being super-apprehensive about leaving your family shouldn't be one of them.

FDNF (Rota, Bahrain, Japan) tends to be more cyclic - shorter underway periods, more often; because they don't have to transit 10,000 miles to get on station. Schedules change more often, but some people enjoy knowing that they'll never have to do 6+ months away from home.

In the US, 6-8 month deployments are the norm. Expect to do ~1.5 deployments in that first tour, assuming CONUS. There will be some outliers (0 or 3 deployments in a 30 month period, but that'll be very rare). The Navy has done a lot of work to add stability to the deployment schedule (Google "OFRP" if you're incredibly bored), and it's far from a perfect system, but we're better off than we were in the 2000s.