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Can you wear the Enlisted Surface Warfare Device as an O-4?


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2007-08-02 16:21:59
2007-08-02 16:21:59

Yes you can as long as you earned it when you were Enlisted. You are authorized to wear up to 2 Warfare devices. If you have earned your SWO, then the ESWS must be worn in the secondary position.

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The Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist Designator, like all Navy Warfare emblems before it (Submarine Dolphins, SEAL Trident device, etc.) is worn on the left breast of the uniform above the ribbon devices, if any are authorized. However, if the member is qualified in more than one Warfare Specialty, the current warfare specialty the member is working in takes precedence for uniform requirements. For example, as a Submariner, I of course had Dolphins to wear once I became Qualified in Submarines, but we did have the occasional skimmer (surface navy guy) go insane and volunteer for the Submarine Force. If he was Qualified as an ESWS, and then subsequently became Qualified in Submarines, he would wear the Submarine Warfare badge (Dolphins) in the normal spot above the ribbon device, since he was currently serving in the Submarine Force and not the Surface Navy. The ESWS badge would then be worn underneath the ribbon device.

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US military officers wear their rank on their shoulders and enlisted personnel wear their rank on their sleeves. This is meant to be symbolic of the fact that the enlisted use their arms (strength) to win battles. Officers on the other hand have the weight of command (decisions) on their shoulders . Thus, the tradition follows.

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No - the Fleet Marine Force Service Ribbon was established in 1984 by then Secretary of the Navy John Lehman, to be worn by eligible Navy personnel serving with the Marines between 1984 and 2006. The FMF Ribbon is a separate device altogether from the FMFW, and as such has different eligibility requirements. If you meet eligibility requirements for both devices (you rate and are eligible to wear the FMFW device, and also rate and are eligible to wear the ribbon), then yes, you can wear both. Otherwise, just rating the FMFW device does not automatically entitle you to wear the FMF ribbon.

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The device that officials usually wear on their belt is a battery pack for the lavaliere microphone that they wear on their shirt collar. This battery pack has an on and off switch for when they need to address the crowd about their rulings.

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I found that it was not until 1950 that enlisted Submariners were allowed to wear the silver dolphins as a breast insigna on their dress uniforms - replacing the silk, embroidered, sleeve insignia. A history of the US Submarine Insigna (on AboutSubs.com) also indicated that in 1943 an enlisted Submariner who wascommissioned as an officer could wear silver dolphins as a breast insigna until he earned his "gold" dolphins. AboutSubs.com also has examples of the various designs for the insignia.


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