Navy Surface Warfare Insignia – Enlisted



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Criteria: Authorized for wear by any enlisted member of the United States Navy permanently stationed aboard a navy afloat command and completing the Enlisted Surface Warfare qualification program and personal qualification standards (PQS). The Navy Surface Warfare – Enlisted Badge must be obtained within eighteen (18) months of reporting to a ship, if in the pay grade of E-5 (Petty Officer Second Class) and above. It has become common for commanding officers of Navy ships to award the Badge to those in pay grades E-2 and E-3 after completion of the requisite qualifications. Those failing to qualify are unable to re-enlist in their current rate. On each assignment to a new sea-going command, if Surface Warfare is the sailor`s primary community, the sailor must re-qualify, though re-qualification standards are somewhat accelerated, and are often basically refreshers. Sailors for whom ESWS is their secondary community (mostly those in the Air Warfare community) are not required to re-qualify. An enlisted person who has qualified for his or her Badge places the designator (SW) after his or her rate and rating. For those enlisted personnel who are subsequently commissioned as officers, and receive a Surface Warfare Officer Badge, the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist Badge is replaced since Navy regulations do not permit the wearing of both the Enlisted and Officer Surface Warfare Badge simultaneously. However, ESWS may still be worn if the officer does not earn a SWO badge, but rather a specialization in another community (e.g., the officer becomes a SEAL, Diver, EOD, pilot or Naval Flight Officer). Unlike other warfare pins available to both enlisted and officers, the ESWS and SWO pins differ by more than just color (gold for officers and silver for enlisted is a common theme in U.S. Navy uniforms). The blade weapons behind the hull on the SWO pin are swords. The blade weapons on the enlisted pin are cutlasses. This can clearly be seen in the curvature of the blades and the shape of the hand guards. This derives from the sword being a symbol of naval officers and their authority, while cutlasses were traditionally the sidearm of the enlisted men

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