Through the NROTC program Midshipmen will prepare themselves for earning their commission in Unrestricted Line communities within the Navy as well as the Marine Corps. Unrestricted Line communities are groups within the Navy where all officers within each respective community is capable of being a Commanding Officer wherever they may be stationed as opposed to Restricted Line communities, which, while still have officers with the same ranks and levels of respect, those officers are not in line to take command at any time.
The surface fleet is the backbone of the American Navy. From Aircraft Carriers to Destroyers to Mine Countermeasure vessels, the surface forces are equipped to handle a variety of tasks both in homeport and around the globe in order to maintain freedom of the seas. Those who desire to pursue a career as a Surface Warfare Officer will train and hone their skills in a number of different categories including seamanship, damage control, anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, mine warfare, anti-surface warfare, ballistic missile defense, etc. The minimum time requirement for SWOs to serve active duty post-commission is typically 5 years.
Known as the silent service of the American Navy, the submarine community has always been a vital part to the USN's ability to maintain undersea dominance worldwide. The two primary types of submarines used out in the fleet consist of fast-attack submarines capable of slipping behind enemy lines, inserting chaos, and exiting the scene without a trace and the "boomers" which are submarines that are equipped with and tasked with transporting guided and ballistic missiles. Those who desire to be a Nuclear Officer will go through advanced nuclear power training post- commission and serve a minimum commitment of 5 years post-commission. Those who are interested in both a SWO and Nuclear career can also strive to become a SWO Nuke which allows Nuclear Officers to apply their training onboard surface vessels with nuclear reactors.
One of the more demanding communities within the USN, Naval Aviators and Naval Flight Officers go through intense training in order to be the best air force patrolling the seas. Aviators focus their skills on becoming pilots of numerous types of aircraft, while Flight Officers, instead of piloting aircraft themselves, learn to operate the advanced operating systems onboard naval aircraft. Post-commissioning, both careers will report to the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, FL for flight school. Their overall time commitment is increased due to the 3 years it takes to complete flight school plus 5 years of commitment afterwards, which gives Aviators and NFOs 8 full years to meet their minimum service requirement.
explosive ordinance disposal
The joint-service Explosive Ordinance Disposal community is certainly not one to be taken lightly. EOD Officers will undergo extensive training that is both physically and mentally demanding in order to be prepared for when the worst comes to worst. Members of this community will learn the best methods for detection, identification, rendering safe, and disposing of explosive ordnance and related devices whether they be chemical, biological, nuclear, or other types of weapons. Post-commission, those selected for this community will go through a 10 month school to train in various elements of warfare before serving their service requirement of 5 years of active duty. Additionally, this community is highly competitive to get into, which will require those interested in becoming an EOD Officer to compile a packet to submit to measure their competitiveness to join the community.
The Naval Special Warfare component of the USN is a highly specialized and select group that primarily conducts special operations in line with US National Interests. The NSW community is divided mainly between SEAL Teams, SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams, and Special Boat Teams. Similarly to the EOD community, members of the NSW community will undergo extensive physical and mental training in order to prepare for a multitude of situations. Also like the EODs, service selection to become an NSW Officer is highly competitive and will require the compilation of a packet for the Navy to use in measuring your competitiveness against other Midshipmen across the nation. Post-commission, new NSW Officers will go through various types of intense training ranging out to be at least 55 weeks long. After completion of their training, they will have a minimum service requirement of 5 years.
The few. The proud. Those who progress through the NROTC program also have the opportunity to commission into the Marine Corps. In addition to obtaining their bachelor's degree, aspiring Marines must also pass through Officer Candidates School going into their 1/C (Senior) year of college in order to earn their commission and MOS (Military Occupational Specialty). As the first line of defense for the Department of the Navy, Marines should expect to undergo more physical training than the average Midshipman in addition to maintaining high academic standards. Post-commission, Marine Officers will have a minimum service requirement of 4 years on active duty.