Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Command commemorated the creation of the new Special Warfare Operator (SO) and Special Warfare Boat Operator (SB) ratings in a ceremony Oct. 2 in Coronado, Calif.Big Navy: Bravo Zulu; you hit the 10 ring on this one. Took a couple of decades too long, but whoever finally made this happen should have a beer or a dozen sent their way.
The new ratings replace previous source ratings, which had been used to distinguish SEALs (Sea, Air, Land) and Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) by job classifications.
“When candidates made it through Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL school (BUD/S) and Basic Crewmember school, they were required to switch over to one of the chosen source ratings, such as gunnerÃ’s mate and boatswain’s mate,” said Ronald Cooper, executive director for Naval Special Warfare Center for SEAL and SWCC.
For many years, the idea of having SEAL and SWCC ratings was discussed.
“It’s been talked about for at least 20 years that I know of,” Cooper said. “The problem was, the NSW community always advanced well under the previous rating system. It was always a concern about limiting our advancement if we went to a new rating. Once we resolved that, the new ratings were looked at a little more favorably.”
Thursday, October 19, 2006
This has been a subject of puzzler puzzl'n since my days as an Ensign: why should a SEAL have to study something that has nothing to do with being a SEAL just so he can get promoted? Well, that at last has been fixed.