Leading the world’s greatest fleet Surface Warfare

America’s Navy has the most modern, advanced fleet of ships in the entire world. The Surface Warfare Officers (SWOs) who control them are trained extensively to maintain and operate these ships, their crews and their systems. Providing direction. Leading by example.

Job Description

In the Navy Reserve, these opportunities are available only to prior-service or currently serving (NAVET) Navy Surface Warfare Officers.

While the U.S. Navy has the most technically and tactically advanced defense and war-fighting capabilities on land, in the air and at sea, the mainstay of the force is the vast fleet of cruisers, destroyers, frigates, dock-landing ships and other surface vessels. These ships and their crews are commanded and managed by an elite group of ship drivers and ship fighters – the Navy’s Surface Warfare Officers.

Your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Reservists. And know this: The impact of your work and your service will go far beyond the time that you put in.

Part-Time Service, Full-Time Life

Family obligations. Career aspirations. The desire to settle down and settle in. These are the things that lead many to transition away from the military. In the Navy Reserve, you can fit it all in as you balance your priorities. You can:

  • Pursue a career path that is outside the military
  • Live wherever you want to live
  • Enjoy the same freedoms that civilian life affords
  • Retain most of the benefits you enjoyed serving Active Duty
  • Continue to earn points toward retirement

At the same time, you can keep the access to your military life open. Serving your country while continuing to serve your own interests. And with flexible drilling options that could enable you to serve on weekdays or in an extended mission capacity to meet annual commitment requirements.


Video: Navy Reserve - Lieutenant Carmen Ehret

Reserve Lieutenant Carmen Ehret, with Maritime Expeditionary Command and Control Division 104. Being in the Reserve allowed me to bridge that gap of wanting to stay home and raise my kids but at the same time keeping my foot in the door. The Navy is definitely another family to me.

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U.S. Navy


Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent of that.

Your prior experience as a Surface Warfare Officer satisfies the initial leadership training requirement – so you will not need to go through Officer Training again.

Career Advantages

Your continued unique experience, unmatched leadership skills and unrivaled training as a Surface Warfare Officer make you highly valuable in the civilian sector, whether in executive-level management or high-tech specialty system management.

Your specialized training in the Navy Reserve could prepare you for credentialing, certification and/or licensure opportunities from a number of national boards and organizations. Allowing you to become even more competitive in your challenging field.

And the more tangible benefits? Competitive pay. Points earned toward retirement benefits. Outstanding insurance options. And much more. Read about the benefits of serving in the Navy Reserve.


Video: Navy Reserve - Lieutenant Nick Wettels - Scientist

Reserve Lieutenant Nick Wettels Scientist, Nuclear Power Program. I just couldn’t put the uniform down. You know, I wanted to continue to serve, and this allows me to wear both hats. It’s kind of taking advantage of wearing the same Navy hat that I was wearing before. I …

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U.S. Navy


General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you are currently serving or have served before.

More Information

Want to explore further? Learn what you need to know about joining the Navy Reserve. Find us on Facebook to interact with actual Navy Reservists. Or, if you need more information, contact a Navy Reserve Recruiter.

Consider Your Service Options.

There are different ways that you can commit to serve in America’s Navy. Besides part-time opportunities in the Navy Reserve, full-time Active Duty positions are also available in this career area.