WASHINGTON - Naval Sea System Command (NAVSEA) and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) officers are among the first to wear the Engineering Duty Officer (EDO) insignia, during a ceremony Jan. 8 at the Washington Navy Yard.
The EDO insignia is the latest qualification pin approved to be worn by qualified active and reserve-duty Navy officers, according to the Chief of Naval Personnel, Uniform Policy and Initiative Updates NAVADMIN 310/17 announcement.
Like other specialized warfare or qualification insignias within the Navy, such as the Professional Aviation Maintenance Officer, Information Dominance Warfare Officer, and the Fleet Marine Force Officer, the EDO qualification signifies that the wearer has achieved a high level of proficiency in their warfare community.
"The EDO insignia provides a means to visually identify an officer's technical expertise to others," said Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Commander Vice Adm. Tom Moore in a letter to the Chief of Naval Personnel.
To be fully qualified as an EDO with a 144X designator, the individual must have a graduate degree in a technical engineering discipline; demonstrate a specific level of technical knowledge and proficiency through the completion of a qualification program; and pass a final oral examination administered by a board comprised of Navy EDO captains.
"The EDO community distinguishes itself by its rigorous selection process," said NAVSEA Deputy Chief Information Officer Capt. Huan Nguyen, an EDO with a combined 25 years of active and reserve Navy experience. "The qualification pin is a way of showing pride in our community and signifies its growing significance in the Navy. This is an important talent acquisition initiative. The insignia also provides a means to visually identify our technical expertise to others."
Upon arriving at NAVSEA five years ago, Nguyen spearheaded the efforts to write the insignia qualification instructions and design the pin. He said, now retired, Rear Adm. Alma Grocki played an integral role in bringing the pin to fruition and that Rear Adm. Ronald Fritzemeier, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) chief engineer, continued to support the effort.
"Originally, we recommended the pin as a Reserve pin, but the Chief of Naval Personnel wanted us to focus on the active/reserve integration, so it grew from there," Fritzemeier said. "I was pleased to see how the EDO community is behind this effort."
"On the Reserve side in particular, folks are really excited about this," said Fritzemeier. "In the Navy, this [gesturing to his left upper pocket] is where you wear your resume. It means a lot to folks to be recognized in this way for their hard work."
Nguyen said most new active-duty EDOs have done a mid-career change known as a lateral transfer from unrestricted line communities, or they chose to exercise an EDO option granted upon commissioning.
"The requirement for transfer or for exercising the option is the completion of either a submarine warfare or surface warfare qualification," he said.
"Therefore, the majority of EDOs wear the same submarine or surface warfare insignia as their unrestricted line counterparts. Another option for EDO is to go through the Engineering Duty Dolphin Program, and by successfully completing it, earn their submarine engineering duty insignia."
According to NAVADMIN 310/17, the new EDO qualification insignia was approved, and qualified EDOs can wear this insignia. Warfare-qualified EDOs have the option of wearing the EDO insignia in the secondary position, since warfare devices take precedence over the EDO qualification insignia.
The EDO qualification pin features a propeller with oak leaves, two swords and a gold fouled anchor. The oak leaves represent naval constructors. The swords represent line officers. The fouled anchor represents a link to the enlisted community in the SurgeMain program, which is part of a NAVSEA Reserve component for qualified Sailors interested in expanding their trade skills or engineering discipline.
Learn more about the EDO community at http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/officer/Detailing/rlstaffcorps/engineering/Pages/CareerInformation.aspx