General Career Path We encourage all officers to think long-term and develop a career plan whether you plan on staying for a career or not. To help you think along those lines, below is a generic tour progression up to O5. No two career paths look the same so try not to get too locked into this generic one: Operational tour Initial Navy experience in a non-OCEANO experience either on a ship or other deployable unit. The goal of this tour is to develop a solid understanding of the Navy missions and operations from a war-fighters perspective. Initial 1800 and/or Discipline tour Initial 1800 tour either within a Directorate or Center. The goal of this tour is to develop a solid understanding of the Navy missions and operations from an OCEANO perspective. By the end of this tour you should have a good understanding of both the OCEANO community (structure, mission, and operations) as well as a good idea of what you would like to focus in (Discipline and Focus Area). Your first tour does not lock you into any particular path. Education tour Formal education in the OCEANO Disciplines. All O4 and above billets have a sub-specialty code of 6401P which signifies graduate level education in Physical Oceanography and Meteorology. This is a 2+ year course of study at the Naval Postgraduate School and is normally accomplished at the 6-9yr point in a career. Your NPS thesis should be in your preferred Discipline area. Operational tour Mid-grade Navy experience in a non-OCEANO experience either on a ship or strike group staff. This is also known as the “O4 sea-tour” and is a wicket for promotion to O5. Discipline tour Your second (or third) OCEANO tour at a mid-grade level. Ideally in your preferred Discipline and/or Directorate. Education tour Informal education in the business of the Navy. This tour relies on your operational experience and discipline tours but is centered on a particular Focus Area (such as budget, manpower, etc.). Primarily accomplished via a STAFF tour (CNMOC, NOOC, N84). O5 Milestone tour This is a capstone tour of the previous 15 years or so of your Navy experience. Your specific career path can both qualify and disqualify you from specific milestone tours. For example: If you want to be CO of the Fleet Survey Team and have no hydrographic experience or education at this point, you are not the best fit for this job. If you have a strong acoustics background and have operational experience in either ASW or IUSS, then you would be a good fit for an ASW CO position.
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