Who is Surface Warfare?
We are Surface Warfare – Hear Our Story
LT Shun White - Warfare Tactics Instructor
"I've always loved the tactics part of being a SWO. To me, it is an extension of how I grew up thinking about tactics on the football field.
I get the same rush preparing for an Air Warfare or Ballistic Missile Defense scenario as I did for a big game; the difference is that now so much more is on the line. I'm fighting for something so much bigger than I could have dreamed before.
Similar to football, I feel like I worked really hard to get good at my skill set and now I was selected for the Varsity team when the SWO community selected me for the Warfare Tactics Instructor (WTI) program. It lets me continue to hone those skills of warfighting while teaching and leading others."
LT Rich Ray - Department Head
"Serving as a Surface Warfare Officer in Japan has provided so many opportunities for both myself and my family that I couldn't think about serving elsewhere… My daughter has only known her Japanese classmates at her pre-kindergarten outside the base. Our three-month-old son has visited more countries than I had before eighteen. The opportunities to travel and develop friendships will forever define how we remember this time spent serving overseas"
LCDR Jonathan Long - Department Head
"Perhaps my most poignant leadership moment was during my first division officer tour. I was still an Ensign and had the deck as OOD.
Our Strike Group Commander was aboard, having previously commanded the ship. As we were approaching position as the center ship when engineering called up with a casualty.
Without hesitation I analyzed the situation - our speed, nearby hazards, and weighing the options I gave my Conning Officer direction while directing my JOOD and TAO in Combat to contact the other ships of my intentions.
Fortunately, our engineers were able to quickly clear the casualty allowing the ship to join the formation safely. For the first time I was able to demonstrate my understanding of the ship and her crew and take charge, but knew I had a help ready to assist if required. As an ensign in that high pressure situation it felt good to be trusted and encouraged."
LT Matt Harris – Department Head
“I’m now a Department Head on the newest type of warship, LCS. Every day I’m amazed at the quality of Sailors that we have the honor of leading. I told myself as a Midshipmen I’d keep doing this job as long as I’m having fun; and I don’t have any intention of stopping soon!”
ENS Yvonne Payne
"The summer before attending Officer Candidate School I worked as a cashier at El Superior, a grocery store in Pacoima, CA. We had a small jar of pens and pencils on the desk where we clocked in everyday, one of which had a quote etched into it, “It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure.” That pencil was a constant reminder of the world I was about to enter…
The opportunity to drive ships, learn about major critical equipment, travel around the world, and lead Sailors to ensure the safety and freedom of my family back home has been exciting and rewarding.
There is a wealth of pertinent technical knowledge expected to be taken in and skills developed as a junior officer, and it can seem overwhelming at times. However, having great mentors and a good team has made it manageable. I could not have hoped for a better team than the Sailors of USS CARNEY, and it’s an honor to serve with them."
LTJG Marina Nanartowich – Division Officer
“I remember my first underway as a Surface Warfare Officer. Despite all the training I had received in school and leading up to getting underway, nothing quite prepared me for the way the decks came alive as we set sail.
In the days, and now years to follow, I am continually blown away by the impressive service and the amazing group of people of which I am able to be a part. The Navy has afforded me many amazing opportunities. I have travelled to places I never imagined going, driven warships in foreign waters, and been tested professionally in ways that have helped me become who I am today.
But above all, it’s the people. It is the bonds you make with people from all over the world and it’s the amazing Sailors who work so hard every day and exhibit unmatched patriotism. It is inspiring. I’m honored to serve.”
Midshipmen Spotlight - The Future of Surface Warfare
MIDN Sean Gallagher – USNA
USS WILLIAM P LAWRENCE (DDG 110)
I was drawn to the Navy because of the leadership challenges and the life experiences that few people get to experience. I wanted to do something different and rewarding with my life
I am going to Pearl Harbor aboard USS WILLIAM P LAWRENCE (DDG 110). I am excited to lead sailors and make positive influences on the people around me. Also to travel the world.
MIDN Pierce Demarreau – USNA
USS SOMERSET (LPD 25)
What drew me to the Navy is that I grew up in a military family, my Dad retiring as an E-8 in the Air Force, but I liked the culture and traditions as the Navy and also had a desire to be near the sea. What drew me to SWO specifically is the opportunity to lead sailors. While one can certainly get that in other communities, I think SWO affords the greatest opportunity for a JO to impact other people's lives in a positive way.
I am going to LPD-25 Somerset in San Diego and I am excited to finally become a part of the action in the U.S. Navy instead of just being a student, and to finally get out on my own and see some new parts of the world.
MIDN Henry Lu– USNA
USS BOHOMME RICHARD (LHD 6)
For the longest time, I thought I wanted to be a Marine. However, my brother's experiences as a SWO pushed me towards the Navy the day before the service assignment module closed.
I put SWO as my first choice and cannot be more excited. My biggest reasons for choosing SWO was the privilege of working with and leading people, while having the opportunity to experience the world.
I will be going to Sasebo, Japan on LHD-6 BONHOMME RICHARD. I look forward to the unique experiences of being overseas, as well as tackling the challenges of current events in the Pacific.
MIDN Allison Hunt – USNA
USS SPRUANCE (DDG 111)
I was drawn to the Navy because, among all the branches of the military service, it seemed to me to offer the best blend between technical competence and leadership opportunities for its officers.
For nuclear surface warfare specifically, I am excited about the opportunity to lead sailors, learn about the specifics of my division, and learn how to stand watch and fight the ship right off the bat, and am looking forward to the opportunity to become nuclear power qualified later down the road.
I am going to grad school at NPS for a year, and then after that to USS SPRUANCE. I am excited to sharpen my EE skills and then hit the ground running leading a division.
MIDN Lyle Punsalan – USNA
USS HALSEY (DDG 97)
I grew up in a Navy family, so I have learned to love the lifestyle. What drew me to SWO was the fact that you get to make an immediate impact and contribute to a command's mission as an ensign right after graduation.
I'm excited to help my future sailors be successful while pushing myself to be as competent and knowledgeable as I can be in order to induce success upon the whole command. I'm most excited about getting to know my division and to work with people in order to induce a positive attitude.
MIDN Teo Ledesma – USNA
USS PORT ROYAL (CG-73)
I have lived all over the country and overseas since my father was in the military.
The thing that drew me to the Navy and specifically SWO is the broad spectrum of what SWOs can do and the fact they travel all over the world. Also, being a SWO enables you to be in charge of sailors at a very young age.
I have picked USS PORT ROYAL (CG73) stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and just the fact that I will be in Hawaii is what excites me.