OCEANO Career Progression
We encourage all officers to think long-term and develop a career plan whether you plan on staying for a career or not. To help you think along those lines, below is a generic tour progression up to O5. Keep in mind, however, that no two career paths look the same.
Junior Officers (O1-O3) should seek a mix of experience/operational, leadership and education tours. The number of tours prior to promotion to O-4 will be dependent upon accession source and individual timing.
Experience / Operational Tour: The goal of this tour is to develop a solid understanding of the Navy missions and operations from an OCEANO perspective. By the end of this tour you should have a good understanding of both the OCEANO community (structure, mission and operations). These tours include:
Sea Duty: Hydrographic Team (Fleet Survey Team), UUV Platoon (MIW), Naval Oceanography ASW Teams (ASW), Naval Special Warfare
Shore Duty: Reach-back cells (Naval Oceanography Operations Command, Fleet Weather Center Norfolk / San Diego), Global operational centers (CNMOC)
Leadership Tour: The goal of this type of tour is to focus on developing leadership skills through billets such as OIC.
Education Tour: This tour is in pursuit of your formal graduate education at either the Naval Postgraduate School or MIT/WHOI program.
All O4 and above billets have a sub-specialty code of 6401P which signifies graduate level education in Physical Oceanography and Meteorology. This is a 2+ year course of study at the Naval Postgraduate School and is normally accomplished at the 6-9 year point in a career.
Mid-Grade Officers (O4) will complete an operational “afloat” milestone tour. Following this tour, mid-grade officers should seek a mix of leadership and staff tours.
Operational "Afloat" Milestone Tour: The goal of this tour is to gain mid-grade Navy experience in a non-OCEANO tour either on a ship or strike group staff. Milestone billets are defined as critical operational assignments that have significant scope, complexity, leadership, and depth of expertise requirements to prepare you for future jobs. A successful afloat milestone tour is required for promotion to O-5.
Leadership Tour: The goal of this type of tour is to focus on developing leadership skills through billets such as major center Department Head, OIC and XO.
Staff Tour: he purpose of this tour is to gain an informal education in the business of the Navy. This tour relies on your operational experience, but is centered on a particular focus area (such as requirements, budget, manpower, etc.) and is primarily accomplished via a tour at N2/N6, CNMOC or IFOR.
Senior Officers (O-5 and above) Upon selection for promotion to O-5, officers are screened for O-5 milestone and O-5 command opportunities. Tours for O-5s and O-6s include a mix of milestone, command, Major Staff and Headquarters tours.
O5 Milestone: This is a capstone tour of the previous 15 years or so of your Navy experience. Your specific career path can influence your suitability for specific milestone tours. Milestone tours include serving as a numbered Fleet Oceanographer and designated billets at PACOM, STRATCOM, JCS and DIA.
O5 Command: Opportunities include Naval Oceanography ASW Center Stennis Space Center / Yokosuka, Naval Oceanography MIW Center, Naval Ice Center, Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Professional Development Center, Center Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit, Fleet Survey Team and Naval Oceanography Special Warfare Center.
O6 Command: Opportunities include Fleet Weather Center San Diego / Norfolk, Naval Oceanographic Office, Naval Oceanography Operations Command, Naval Observatory, and Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center.