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The Navy's oldest warfare community is submarines. The pin was established in 1923 and authorized in 1924. Aviation wings were authorized in the late 20's and SWO pins in the early 70's.
Midshipmen who select Submarine Warfare can look forward to a challenging career as a member of an elite, technically advanced, multi-mission community. Newly commissioned Ensigns will find themselves serving on board the most capable submarines in the world today.
Upon commissioning every Ensign selected for Submarine Warfare will attend one year of advanced nuclear power training, starting with six months of classroom training at Nuclear Power School (NPS) in Charleston, S.C. After NPS, you will have six months of practical, hands-on training at one of the Navy's two shore-based reactor training facilities (Nuclear Power Training Units - NPTU) in upstate New York or Charleston, South Carolina.
Upon completion of Nuclear Power School and NPTU, you will be assigned to a submarine. Prior to reporting to your first submarine, you will attend a 12-week Submarine Officer Basic Course in New London, Connecticut. This period of instruction will provide you an opportunity to learn the theory and principles of submarine operation and control, the basic administrative responsibilities of a division officer, the theory of the submerged fire control problem and weapons systems, and the basic fundamentals of submarine operations and tactics. Some officers may attend the 6 week strategic weapons system course at either the Trident Training Facility in Kings Bay, Georgia or Bangor, Washington.
Upon arriving at your first submarine, you will be assigned as a division officer. In addition to managing a group of highly trained enlisted submariners you will begin your own personal submarine qualification program. The culmination of your qualification is the awarding of the coveted Gold Dolphins and your designation as "Qualified in Submarines". This is the first of many rewarding career milestones, which await you in the Silent Service.
The first shore assignment normally occurs after 3 years at sea and are normally about 2 years in length. Many junior officers going ashore will fill shore billets at Nuclear Power School, NPTU, Submarine School, and group and squadron staffs. Others will fill important billets at, NROTC units, recruiting districts, or will attend Naval Postgraduate School (NPGS). Other billets are available is such diverse areas as intelligence, overseas submarine staffs and major Washington area staffs including Naval Military Personnel Command, Strategic Projects and OPNAV.
The Submarine community is full of history and tradition as well as a strong commitment to the defense of the country and the support of its commitments around the world. The United States Submarine Force, an acknowledged symbol of military excellence, is poised to enter its second century of undersea dominance with the most highly trained people and advanced platforms in its history. Nuclear submarines, the product of American ingenuity and technological prowess, are a unique asset whose unprecedented contribution to deterrence, conflict prevention and war fighting will continue to be at the very foundation of our nation's security.