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January 2, 2014 / iDriveWarships

SWO Junior Officer Survey Results Are Out

Lt. j.g. Conte onboard USS Antietam (CG 54) stands watch as officer of the deck in the bridge as the ship enters port in Busan

By Vice Adm. Tom Copeman, Commander Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet

The most recent JO survey is complete and I thought you’d be interested in hearing the results. The good news is we know what you think about SWO life. As has been the case for years, the more junior you are the less you seem to enjoy being a SWO. As your seniority increases, the more courses you complete and more experience and responsibility you gain, the better you like what you do.

Here is a sampling of the results for consideration: Junior female SWOs were somewhat less inclined to remain in the community than their male counterparts. Married SWOs had more negative responses than their unmarried fellow SWOs. Deployments and regular underways stressed everyone, but married SWOs in particular had issues in terms of impact on planning, stresses on family life and added demands of an increased OPTEMPO.

Improvements in DIVO sequencing were noted positively as were the new WTI courses and BDOC.

You should know that I personally appreciate your responses and that so many of you took the time to respond honestly. In fact, the response rate we had for this survey is statistically significant, so the results really help inform us how you feel as a group.

I pay particular attention to the free text responses. Your thoughts come through honestly and clearly. You may be glad to know the results of the survey are absolutely in line with what we are working on at SURFPAC. We are doing our best to fix what we can, given the resources we have.

An initiative that is underway now is to find ways to reduce the time consuming, burdensome, and often unnecessary, administrivia that you face.

Everything we do should be passed through the lens of CNO’s direction: Warfighting First, Operate Forward, Be Ready. If something is critical, do it, otherwise weigh where it fits in support of CNO’s priorities.

There isn’t enough time to do everything, and we are working a continuous scrub of what we do and how we do it to make sure we end up with a distillation of what is absolutely necessary to support our primary principle of “warfighting first.”

We know the life of a SWO isn’t easy and has never been easy. Being the best at what you do takes long hours and hard work—it is that way for most professions—and with the responsibilities that you carry, your best is what our nation requires. You should know we are working hard every day to make sure you come home safe and that you return as winners.

But the oceans aren’t getting smaller and the world isn’t getting safer, so the Surface Navy will always be in demand. Bottom line is that SWOs are at the heart of our Navy.

Finally, thank you for choosing to be a SWO and for taking on the hard tasks and performing admirably. We always need to be able to take a fix on the horizon and calibrate course as required. We…I…rely on you to help with that.

View the full results of the survey here.



Leave a Comment
  1. mud fur and feathers / Jan 2 2014 1:04 pm

    Hats off to all our Navy personnel from a very appreciative US citizen! A safe and blessed New Year to each and every one of you.

  2. Questioning LT / Jan 2 2014 5:54 pm


    After reviewing the published survey results, I believe it is possible that the conclusions were drawn based on improper statistical analysis. Without going into too much technical details, I believe that the person(s) performing the analysis may have inappropriately used the mean value of Likert-type data in order to draw conclusions.

    Is it possible to publish the raw data so that inquisitive minds like myself can crunch the numbers?

    Questioning LT

    • iDriveWarships / Jan 3 2014 2:07 pm

      Questioning LT,
      Thanks for your candid concerns. You show some familiarity with statistical analysis, and your desire to ensure accuracy is appreciated. Rest assured the data has been reviewed and vetted by personnel experts (and fellow SWOs) who understand that mean response values alone do not indicate conclusive findings. When it does in fact support the findings, then the mean is very useful in representing the results in a summary brief.

  3. Alan Cummings / Jan 3 2014 9:49 pm

    Sir, one alternative explanation to the correlation between increased job satisfaction and time in service is that rather than the job getting better, it’s just a selective population who has remained. Those who can do better (as well as those who just can’t hang) get out or lat xfer.


  1. Surface Warfare Junior Officer Survey Results Released
  2. | Surface Warfare Junior Officer Survey Results Released

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