(Disclaimer: I have nothing against or ill will towards detailers)So are the forced orders to DH School a scare tactic? Before I redesignated, my detailer told me that I was going to DH School unless I told them I was getting out of the Navy. This was in 2017 so times change but I can't imagine the retention for SWOs has gotten any better.
I remember asking the same question to the divo detailers during a roadshow as an Ensign. A detailers sole purpose in life is to make you "competitive" for your next milestone. That's it. For SWO's that's to get you in DH school around 7.5 ycs so that your first look for O-4 has a ranked DH FITREP on a grey hull. They will continue to attempt to make you competitive by trying to give you "career enhancing" jobs every job post DH tours based off your DH FITREPS so you have every possible chance at CO Afloat. And that will continue for major command, etc. Their road shows PowerPoint never talks about the off ramps and those that are NDC. They will not answer questions about off ramps in big groups but normally will individually.
If you aren't beholden to the bonus, they have no ammunition to send you to DH school. We certainly would not prefer an Officer who doesn't want to be DH, to be a serving DH. We already have enough of those Officers who took the bonus. When these types of situations come across the email or phones of the detailer, it doesn't fit the mold of you becoming a CO, so they get a little shook sometimes. You have to be very clear on your intent and understand the ramifications of your request. Once they know you understand, then you can move forward.
I fully intend to retire in a couple years on this post DH shore tour. I got exactly what I wanted and can continue to support the fleet albeit non-DH working hours. My billet is considered competitive for my next milestone but because I'm already past 20 years and signaled my intent to retire to my detailer, I was detailed individually and outside of the slating process. This was to prevent me from going to a DESRON/PHIBRON. It's all about communication sprinkled with a little timing.