By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrea Perez, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs Office
MILLINGTON, Tenn. —The application deadline for E6-E9 Sailors for the Fiscal Year 2013 Limited Duty Officer (LDO) and Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) programs is fast approaching, officials said Sept. 12.
LDO/CWO applications must be postmarked no later than Oct. 1 for active-duty Sailors and Nov. 1 for Reservists.
Both programs provide the Navy with officers who are technical-based leaders and technical experts in key positions throughout the service, said Chief Warrant Officer Mitchell Allen, CWO community manager, Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS).
“Limited duty officers and chief warrant officers are technical experts selected from the enlisted ranks,” said Allen. “LDO’s become technical leaders, like commanding officers of schoolhouses or shipyard repair facilities, while chief warrant officers stay technical experts in their field often in repetitive assignments.”
The LDO and CWO programs provide outstanding senior enlisted personnel the opportunity to compete for a commission without the requirement of a college degree. Combined, these two communities make up 11 percent of the officer corps.
“Over the next several years, we will be revising the application windows in which senior enlisted Sailors can apply for the LDO/CWO programs,” said Allen. “Our hope is to create an even more technically-focused community, with a more predictable career path, more detailed opportunities and better career progression.”
Applicants must meet basic eligibility requirements, outlined in NAVADMIN 224/11 for active-duty or NAVADMIN 226/11 for Reserve, before applying for the LDO/CWO programs.
“For the LDO/CWO community, there’s only one way to get in and that’s sustained superior performance,” said Capt. John Jones, LDO/CWO community manager, BUPERS. “The application process is tough and many Sailors won’t pick up until at least their third try. We don’t want Sailors to give up, we’re looking for consistency and we want to see them continue to apply.”
Eligible Sailors are encouraged to apply for the designator for which they are most qualified, regardless of their current rating. Upon commissioning, Sailors selected for LDO/CWO will attend the four-week Officer Development School in Newport, R.I.
“Right now the LDO/CWO community is not undergoing any sort of reduction in force because of their technical necessity,” said Jones. “Even Sailors being looked at by the enlisted retention board can apply for either program.
Specific requirements and additional information about the programs can be found in OPNAVINST 1420.1B, Enlisted to Officer Commissioning Programs Application Administrative Manual, chapter 7.
More responsibilities as a limited duty officer or chief warrant officer mean more benefits too, said Jones.
“If you are selected for our program as a first class petty officer, your paycheck will double within four years. The long-term benefit is a substantial retirement check that is double what our great master chiefs receive,” said Jones. “Couple that with our promotion rates and that makes for a very attractive program.”
“But it’s not just about the financial benefits,” said Jones. “It’s about understanding the minds of Sailors and using that knowledge to shape your decisions and implement change which best serves our Navy. That’s what I really love about the program.”
Complete application procedures, eligibility requirements and links to other resources can be found in NAVADMIN 224/11 and NAVADMIN 226/11. Sailors may also learn more about the LDO/CWO communities in the 2011 LDO/CWO Guidebook available on the Navy Personnel Command website at www.npc.navy.mil.