Hot running surface warfare O-3s now have the chance to screen for one of the Navy’s new “lieutenant commands” that would put them in charge of a new Mark VI patrol boat.

“The surface warfare community values command at sea,” said Lt. Cmdr. Tim Yuhas, second tour department head and early command SWO detailer at Navy Personnel Command, in a Feb. 22 Navy Live announcement.

“It’s the pinnacle of leadership – and for a talented group of board-screened junior officers they get to command as early as year five of commissioned service.”

Mark VI patrol boats are one of the newest surface assets. There are a dozen of the 84-foot, 12-man boats Navy-wide that specialize in security force assistance, among a number of other capabilities. They assigned to the Navy Expeditionary combat command, based in Norfolk and San Diego.

A Mark VI patrol boat assigned to Coastal Riverine Group 1 operates during a proof of concept exercise. The Navy is opening up 18 lieutenant billets to command these boats and another six O-4 billets to command the three-boat companies (IT1 Gregory L. Parker/Navy)
A Mark VI patrol boat assigned to Coastal Riverine Group 1 operates during a proof of concept exercise. The Navy is opening up 18 lieutenant billets to command these boats and another six O-4 billets to command the three-boat companies (IT1 Gregory L. Parker/Navy)

The Navy has also opened up lieutenant commander positions to command the boat companies, equivalent command billets to coastal patrol and mine countermeasure ships.

“There are 18 O-3 billets and six O-4 billets associated with the Mk VI command positions,” said Cmdr. Cate Cook, spokeswoman for the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command. “The first officers to serve in the patrol boat and company commander positions have been selected and the timeline for their training path is currently being coordinated.”

More are expected to be screened soon.

Officers interested in applying should discuss it with command leadership and a detailer at Navy Personnel Command. Requirements can be found here.

The only drawback for some is that it could cost those accepting the commands the chance to roll to shore duty, because in order to fit a lieutenant command tour into a SWO’s career path, it must come after successful completion of division officer tours and prior screening for department head.

“Division Officers approaching the end of their 2nd DIVO tour need to assess their personal and professional goals” Yuhas said in the blog. “From the professional standpoint one can expect to leave their 2nd DIVO tour – spend approximately six months in their training pipeline before reporting to their craft...and should expect to have two deployments over the two year window they will be in command.”