The Quick and Dirty on the Four Paths to Success in the SWO ReserveComponent

The Quick and Dirty on the Four Paths to Success in the SWO Reserve Component:
Why you care: 

The AC SWO career path is clear.  We can all quote it from memory.  DIVO Tours, Shore Tour, DH, O-4 Command, Joint Tour, O-5 XO-CO Fleet Up, Major Staff Tour, Major Command, etc.   Now you’re an RC SWO.  Unless you live near a Fleet Concentration, you’re alone  and unafraid.  Unless you’re activated, you haven’t been near anything haze gray in years.  There aren’t reserve ships anymore and unless you’re going to forego a civilian career and be a professional reservist, the career path is clear as mud.  
Fortunately, the Senior RC SWO’s recognized that and have spent three years hammering it out so that you can have a framework of milestones while you manage both your reserve and civilian career paths.  The items listed below are career tracks or specialty career paths.  There are four of them and in this post, we’ll touch on who they are and what they do.  Follow on posts will go further in depth on their details.  Since you now have a clearer idea of the RC SWO force structure, you can set about figuring out where you want to fit in and how to get there from here.
What they are:
  1. Naval Expeditionary Combatant Command:  provides rapid deployable and agile expeditionary forces, made up of active duty and reserve mission specialists, to warfare commanders in support of maritime security operations around the globe.  This is for all you SWO’s that initially thought about being Marines, but hated yelling Oorah all the time and wearing the high and tight.  Commands include:
    1. Coastal Riverine Force
    2. Maritime Civil Affairs and Security Training Command
    3. Navy Construction Force (Seabees)
    4. EOD Groups 1 and 2
    5. Navy Expeditionary Intelligence Command
    6. Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group
    7. Expeditionary Combat Readiness Command  

  • Military Sealift Command: Support our nation by delivering supplies and conducting specialized missions across the world’s oceans.  This is for all you SWO’s who thought that the active Navy didn’t provide you with enough opportunities to be at sea and wanted to prove to SUPPO that you can do his job better than he ever could.  Commands include:
  1. Cargo Afloat Rig Teams
  2. Expeditionary Port Units  
  3. TRANSCOM Detachment
  4. MSC Training Group
  5. MSC HQ

  • Operational Level of War: focused on delivering Surface Warfare Officers to the fleet and Combatant Commands who are skilled in operations and operational planning and able to apply maritime power effectively throughout the full spectrum of military operations.  For all you Alfred Thayer Mahan wannabe’s.  Commands include:  
  1. Numbered Fleets
  2. Navy Information Operations Command
  3. Combined Task Forces/Carrier Strike Groups/Expeditionary Strike Groups
  4. Commander Naval Forces Korea/Commander Naval Forces Japan

  • Surface Specialty: provides strategic reserve surface warriors for fleet and waterfront support missions. For all you SWO’s who are in withdrawal for a good old Surface Navy fix. We have three flavors: small boy, amphibious, and bird farm.  Commands include:
  1. Littoral Combat Ship
  2. Beach Group
  3. Surface Readiness
If you’ve got great gouge or experience please share at  Any comments and criticism of the information are greatly appreciated so that we can build a better resource for everyone to benefit from.  


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