By Rear Adm. Stephen C. Evans
Commander, Naval Service Training Command
There are many exceptional paths to serve as an officer in the Navy. As Commander, Naval Service Training Command, I have the honor of overseeing basic military training for two commands that specialize in transforming young men and women into professional naval officers.
I have previously discussed one commissioning path through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC). Now, I would like to highlight the excellent opportunities available at Officer Training Command (OTCN) in Newport, Rhode Island.
The mission at OTCN is to morally, mentally and physically develop civilians, enlisted and newly commissioned personnel and imbue them with the highest ideals of honor, courage and commitment in order to prepare them for service in the fleet as naval officers.
Every year nearly 3,200 officers are commissioned or trained through officer programs in Newport.
Whether you are a prior enlisted service member, civilian college graduate or a current working professional, the key to achieving your commissioning goals is determining which of the following programs fits you best.
Officer Candidate School (OCS)
OCS is a 12-week course for civilians and enlisted service members who have earned a college degree.
Graduates of OCS serve in the fields of Surface Warfare, Aviation, Submarines, Special Warfare, Special Operations, Intelligence, Information Dominance, Supply and Civil Engineering. They serve aboard ships, with aircraft squadrons and at shore bases around the world.
The course is designed to give candidates a working knowledge of the Navy (afloat and ashore), prepare them to assume the responsibilities of an officer, and to begin developing them to their fullest potential.
OCS is extremely demanding. Officer Candidates will be tested and challenged to live up to the highest standards of Navy core values. Course curriculum demands high performance in academics, military inspections and physical training.
These future officers are trained by Marine Corps Drill Instructors (DI) and Navy Recruit Division Commanders (RDC). They motivate and challenge the candidates as well as teach everything from naval history, proper uniform wear, discipline, teamwork and leadership skills.
Officer Development School (ODS)
ODS is a five-week long course designed to provide the Staff Corps and Restricted Line with training necessary to prepare them for their role as newly commissioned officers.
ODS graduates serve in Cyber Warfare, the Medical Corps, Dental Corps, Nurse Corps, Chaplain Corps, Judge Advocate General Corps, Nuclear Power instructors and engineers. They serve aboard ships, with aircraft squadrons and at shore bases around the world.
ODS instruction is led by an RDC and includes Naval Leadership, Naval Administration, Naval Organization, Sea Power, Military Law, Military Indoctrination, Naval Warfare and Damage Control. It also provides leadership training through the Division Officer Leadership Course.
Direct Commission Officer Indoctrination Course (DCIOC)
DCOIC provides Staff Corps and Restricted Line Reservists with indoctrination training necessary to function in their role as newly commissioned Naval officers. It provides a basic introduction to the fundamental aspects of leadership while providing a working knowledge of available references.
DCOIC participants attend the two-week course and receive specialized follow-on training to further prepare them for initial fleet assignment. All newly commissioned Navy Reservists must attend DCOIC within one year of commissioning.
Limited Duty Officer/Chief Warrant Officer (LDO/CWO)
LDO/CWO Academy is a four-week course designed to prepare prior senior enlisted Sailors for their new roles as officers.
LDO and CWO are commissioned officers with special technical expertise who lead and manage critical systems, technical programs, and capabilities throughout the fleet. Both programs provide the opportunity for outstanding senior enlisted personnel to compete for a commission.
STA-21 is a multi-year program that selects Fleet Sailors without a degree and allows them to earn a commission while concurrently earning a bachelor’s degree from a college or university affiliated with an NROTC unit.
Selectees attend an eight-week Naval Science Institute (NSI) course prior to assignment at an NROTC unit for degree completion and commissioning.
NSI builds upon previous naval experience and is designed to teach the core concepts of leadership and the principles of a Navy officer.
Some of the Navy’s best instructors conduct the finest Naval training in Newport at Officer Training Command. If you are interested in serving as an officer in our Navy, I urge you to explore your options by visiting: http://www.netc.navy.mil/nstc/otcn/index.html