After graduation, Ensigns designated as Surface Warfare Officers (SWO) report to the Navy's Surface Warfare Officer School (SWOS) to attend the Division Officer school along with some follow-on job specific training. After completing this six month course, a prospective SWO will report to his or her first ship, usually a frigate, cruiser, or destroyer, or possibly an amphibious landing ship or a support ship. Possible home ports include Norfolk, VA, Mayport, FL, Pascagoula, MS, San Diego, CA, Everett, WA, Pearl Harbor, HI, with the prospect of being ported in Yokosuka or Sasebo, Japan.
Once having reported to a ship, a surface designated officer must officially qualify as a Surface Warfare Officer (earn the gold pin) within 18 months. During the two years aboard the first ship, a SWO will likely be the Division Officer for two divisions in two different departments.
After the first tour, a SWO can expect to be transferred to a second ship, most likely of a different class than the first. Here, he or she will be responsible for qualifying as the Engineering Officer of the Watch. Upon completion of a second tour, they will rotate to shore duty (Training command, NROTC Unit, Instructor Duty, US Naval Academy, Staff Position, or the Naval Post-graduate School).