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Are stories of the SWO community valid?

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
And can you believe somewhere out there, there is a JO on terminal leave as a O-1/O-2 because he didn't heed these amusing quirks and never got a SWO pin?
I find it a little hard to believe, mostly because I've seen some people not have their pin until a week before their transfer, and they got the pin just so they could move along to their next command. Hopefully that was something specific to the frigate world, but I have my doubts.
 

BigRed389

Registered User
None
I find it a little hard to believe, mostly because I've seen some people not have their pin until a week before their transfer, and they got the pin just so they could move along to their next command. Hopefully that was something specific to the frigate world, but I have my doubts.
It's not exactly common, but also not unheard of.

I think overmanning at O-1 as much as we have recently plus better retention numbers have made it easier to do lately.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
It's also very possible my experience in the matter is slightly dated. They did pass on some "winners," though.
 

BackOrdered

Well-Known Member
Contributor
I've seen it a few times now. The common trend was the CO's perception of the JO. One piece of advice I had received about the hunt for a pin is to remember that a CO rarely will interact with you directly relative to their scope of tasking. However if in those few moments he only recollects you being unimpressive, it will be duly noted regardless of how on point you think you are. Come board time, it has less to do with how much you know, and more about communicating to you just how much you don't know.

Here you can see how a tactless JO may poorly navigate themselves into not qualifying.
 

Gatordev

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pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
I've seen it a few times now. The common trend was the CO's perception of the JO. One piece of advice I had received about the hunt for a pin is to remember that a CO rarely will interact with you directly relative to their scope of tasking. However if in those few moments he only recollects you being unimpressive, it will be duly noted regardless of how on point you think you are. Come board time, it has less to do with how much you know, and more about communicating to you just how much you don't know.

Here you can see how a tactless JO may poorly navigate themselves into not qualifying.
Admittedly my exposure is as an observer or listening to my OIC when he was getting his pin on my second cruise, but having spent almost 2 years in several different wardrooms and watching guys work through the PQS, I've seen much more interaction between the JO and CO, at least on the FFG. I've seen some COs take an active role in personally mentoring JOOD/OODs during evolutions, which is pretty cool to see. I've also seen the tactless JO you mention stand in front of the CO and make his (poor) impression during the daily meeting/brief/random reason to stand around in the wardroom looking at powerpoints.

But the couple of guys I was referring to were either intelligent, but with limited social skills and a severe lack of SA and command authority while on the bridge. One of the guys was even working on how to get out of the Navy so he could marry his girlfriend...and by girlfriend, I mean Panamanian hooker that occassionally emailed him.

Frigate life...it's faaaaaantastic. I'm sure Uncle Fester is loving it (again)!
 
...and by girlfriend, I mean Panamanian hooker that occassionally emailed him.
It's sad, but I have heard similar stories multiple times. I worked with a guy that fell in love with a "tourist" that was supposedly lost in Nigeria, and needed money sent so she could get back to the USA. Of course she turned out to be a dude emailing pics of some random woman.
 

BigRed389

Registered User
None
Admittedly my exposure is as an observer or listening to my OIC when he was getting his pin on my second cruise, but having spent almost 2 years in several different wardrooms and watching guys work through the PQS, I've seen much more interaction between the JO and CO, at least on the FFG. I've seen some COs take an active role in personally mentoring JOOD/OODs during evolutions, which is pretty cool to see. I've also seen the tactless JO you mention stand in front of the CO and make his (poor) impression during the daily meeting/brief/random reason to stand around in the wardroom looking at powerpoints.

But the couple of guys I was referring to were either intelligent, but with limited social skills and a severe lack of SA and command authority while on the bridge. One of the guys was even working on how to get out of the Navy so he could marry his girlfriend...and by girlfriend, I mean Panamanian hooker that occassionally emailed him.

Frigate life...it's faaaaaantastic. I'm sure Uncle Fester is loving it (again)!
Unless you've got some highly specialized critical skills...wouldn't you say those qualities would make it hard to succeed in any job in or out of the Navy?
 

BackOrdered

Well-Known Member
Contributor
I've seen some COs take an active role in personally mentoring JOOD/OODs during evolutions, which is pretty cool to see. I've also seen the tactless JO you mention stand in front of the CO and make his (poor) impression during the daily meeting/brief/random reason to stand around in the wardroom looking at powerpoints.
And this is where everyone's mileage will vary. I've had that kind of CO, and ALOT of the suck of being afloat just doesn't apply under guys like that. He has the command climate in the palm of his hands and realizes the XOs job is to be the heavy. Life is good!

Then you have your Blighs, Queegs and Mortons.......

But like I said, the JO has a play in all this as well. We joke here about the "games", but in the CO's eyes he see wardroom unity and teamwork. A JO going against that perception willingly is in for trouble.
 

Renegade One

Well-Known Member
None
Admittedly my exposure is as an observer ...One of the guys was even working on how to get out of the Navy so he could marry his girlfriend...and by girlfriend, I mean Panamanian hooker that occassionally emailed him.
Can we agree: "Not that there's anything wrong with that…"?
 

Renegade One

Well-Known Member
None
A question about SWO ...Hiyall,

I have a question ...I turned down offers from investment banks because my priority right now (at my young foolish age, I guess) is experience rather than money. I've seen too many of my i-banking friends sacrifice their health, relationships, and the "best years of their lives" to cash in as quickly as possible. My greatest fear is of being chained to a desk for the rest of my life.
Hey…late to the fray/thread, but here's my $.02: Yes. Do something in your younger years that (1) will make your life extraordinary, (2) will forever separate (distinguish?) you from your peers, and (3) however it works out, you will always look back on with incredible pride of service, accomplishment, and shared friends/experiences.

As a SWO, I would be able to a A) get great experience traveling all over the world to beautiful and exotic locations, B) acquire real leadership experience at a young age, C) keep myself physically fit and D) serve my country. You have no idea how close I was to calling up a recruiter and asking where I needed to sign my name.
Yes to that. Not sure about today's version of "beautiful and exotic locations"…but yes to the rest.

From the research I did on my own, however, I learned that it wasn't all peaches and cream.
True dat. Not all peaches and cream. No military service is. Not even "fighter pilot". [Oops…may have just shined my ass here…]

there are (relatively) few women on board ...So please, if you could share a few thoughts on this matter, I'd be very grateful.
There are "relatively few women on board". If this was your motivation for joining, good luck in Investment Banking.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
Unless you've got some highly specialized critical skills...wouldn't you say those qualities would make it hard to succeed in any job in or out of the Navy?
Mostly, yes. Didn't mean for it to sound otherwise. Ironically, one of those guys I mentioned should be an analyst, hunched over a computer in a dark room doing good work. He spoke Chinese, went to one of the Ivy league schools, and knew the book stuff. He just struggled to function in the real world.
 

NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
I find it a little hard to believe, mostly because I've seen some people not have their pin until a week before their transfer, and they got the pin just so they could move along to their next command. Hopefully that was something specific to the frigate world, but I have my doubts.
I have seen 2 JO's sent home for not earning their pin, about 2 years apart, both from FFG's, one worked directly for a LCDR I knew, he said this person worked hard but just couldn't do it, the other worked with a CPO friend of mine and said this person didn't care.
 

BackOrdered

Well-Known Member
Contributor
I think the scariest piece of bad SWO gouge floating around today is,"don't worry, they WILL qualify you."
 

SWO Bubba

Well-Known Member
None
I think the scariest piece of bad SWO gouge floating around today is,"don't worry, they WILL qualify you."
Haven't been on AW in a couple of years given time demands at sea.

I agree, tiz84, this is bad gouge.

Here are a couple of thoughts from a SWO CO's perspective:

1) CO should be actively involved in mentoring JOs and if they aren't they are doing something wrong.
2) It's very easy to learn the strengths and weaknesses of the Officers in a small (25-35) wardroom.
3) A SWO board is important for the Officer, but an OOD board/qual is critical for the safety of the ship and crew. I can overlook a lot of boardisms at a SWO board - not so much at an OOD board.
4) The CICWO and OOD qual are about knowing and operating the ship.
5) The SWO qual is about how the ship fits into the larger battle group and fleet operations as well as bigger Navy items.
6) I get the most frustrated and disappointed at boards when an Officer fails to retain information from past qualifications. SWO boards should not be stump-the-chump, but I expect core questions from previous boards and quals to be "softballs" at a SWO board. If the knowledge isn't retained, my first rhetorical question to the Officer and myself is, "Why the hell am I allowing you to stand this particular watch!"


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