Commissioning and Careers
Upon graduation, the midshipmen are commissioned as officers in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps. All new officers receive orders to active duty and are assigned to a broad spectrum of communities such as naval aviation, surface warfare, submarines, Marine ground or aviation forces, or other specialized fields.
Surface Warfare is the "traditional" community within the Navy that employs surface ships for the missions of forward naval presence, sea control, and projection of power ashore. Surface Warfare Officers are the men and women who, as junior officers just out of college, lead the sailors within the many specialized divisions of a ship's crew. Surface Warfare Officers are Navy officers whose training and primary duties focus on the operation of Navy ships at sea and the management of various shipboard systems. Their ultimate goal is to command a Navy surface ship.
Naval aviation is renowned for the demands it places upon its fliers. The skills and concentration required to land a high-performance jet on board an aircraft carrier deck pitching in the black of night, or to track a submarine while flying at only a few feet above stormy seas, are not only linked to a solid academic background or to top physical conditioning. There is more to it than that: It requires a combination of talents and dedication that many people possess, but few are challenged to use to full measure.
Naval flight officers (NFOs) are the men and women who operate the advance systems onboard naval aircraft, and some may also act as the overall tactical coordinators of multiple air assets during a mission. They differ from Naval aviators in that they do not pilot the aircraft in which they serve. This division of labor between aviators and NFOs allows for each to concentrate more closely on mission tasks that require specific occupational training. NFOs are integral members of the Naval aviation community and are just as competitive as Naval aviators for command of aircraft squadrons, air wings, and even aircraft carriers.
Midshipmen who select Submarine Warfare can look forward to a challenging career as a member of an elite, technically advanced, multimission community. Newly commissioned ensigns will find themselves serving onboard the most capable submarines in the world today.
The newly commissioned officer from the NROTC program will complete the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Training. EOD Training is a 10-month course that is both physically and mentally demanding. The mission is to train officers and enlisted personnel in the best methods of detection, identification, render safe, and disposal of explosive ordnance and related devices. This includes all known foreign ordnance, chemical weapons, biological weapons, nuclear weapons, clandestine improvised devices and any and all ordnance/devices which may be encountered under water.
Naval Special Warfare (NSW) is the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command which deploys forces to conduct special operations and activities in support of combatant commanders and U.S. national interests. NSW operational forces are comprised of SEAL teams, SEAL delivery vehicle teams, and special boat teams specially organized and trained to conduct the full spectrum of special operations in maritime and other extreme environments.
After graduating college and successfully completing Officer Candidate School (OCS) and the NROTC program, midshipmen will earn a commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. Assignments are given according to the needs of the Marine Corps, and officers seek assignments that will give them a balance of command experience, combat experience and joint staff appointments.