Navy Dads

Special Warfare Boat Operator SB
The members of SWCC drive a variety of Special Warfare craft. They support SEALs and other Special Operations Command forces during their maritime and riverine missions, and conduct unconventional small boat operations such as coastal/riverine patrols.



The Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman (SWCC) program evolved from the PT Boat Sailors of WWII and the “Brown Water Navy” of Vietnam. They are specially trained to operate NSW mobility platforms and support Special Operations missions in maritime environments worldwide.

The Navy Challenge Program is the preferred method for qualifying under the Delayed Entry Program for the Special Warfare Boat Operator (SB) rating and accounts for the majority of SWCC applicants. Sailors may also volunteer for SWCC during Basic Training at Recruit Training Center (RTC), or at any time during their first six years of active duty, and prior to their 30th birthday or promotion to PO1. Entry into the program via this process is based on availability and selection cannot be guaranteed.

NSW/NSO “Dive” Motivators, at RTC, give presentations on the Navy's NSW/NSO programs. Guidance on suitability for assignment to SWCC and how to complete an application is located in the MILPERSMAN 1220-400.

A qualified SWCC is eligible to receive incentive pays and extra pay for special duty assignment. After completion of the SWCC training pipeline selected SB personnel may attend Special Operations Combat Medic training, advanced language training, and parachute training in both Static Line and Military Free Fall.

Men interested in becoming a SWCC Operator can enlist under a Special Warfare Boat Operator (SB) contract.

What They Do

SWCC operators perform maritime special operations in open ocean, littoral, and riverine environments. The SWCC is proficient in:

• advanced small boat operations

• piloting, open-ocean, coastal and riverine navigation

• special operations tactics

• small unit leadership

• mission planning

• advanced and special weapons

• tactical communications

• tactical combat medicine

• maintenance and repair of special operations combatant-craft

Working Environment

SWCC operators are assigned to Special Boat Teams and operate NSW combatant-craft from a variety of fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, and Navy ships as insertion, extraction, and support platforms. SWCC operators may be deployed anywhere in the world and operate day or night in cold weather, desert, tropical or jungle environments. Some SWCC missions include working with and training foreign personnel in small boat handling and weapons training.

Qualifications and Interests

SWCC candidates should be motivated, self-assured and disciplined, willing to follow orders and able to work under stressful and hazardous conditions. SWCC training is physically and mentally demanding. They should be in excellent physical condition and motivated to withstand the rigorous physiological demands imposed by the maritime environment. The ability to swim and withstand fatigue is a major factor in successful completion of the Basic SWCC training.

Other necessary characteristics needed are good aptitude for mechanical skills, basic electronics, organized study habits, knowledge of arithmetic and basic algebra, and manual dexterity. SWCC candidates must be U.S. citizens eligible for security clearance. 

SB - Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Boat Captain (SWCC)

Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman Boat Captains are responsible for their craft and personnel placed under them. The safety of all personnel assigned to and embarked on his craft are his primary responsibility. While underway he is responsible for the safe navigation of his craft in support of Navy Special Warfare Operations. Because of the complexity of systems and operational experience required for combatant craft operations, U. S. Navy Regulations Article 1033 and MILPERSMAN 1200-030 states that an exception to the Senior Officer Present Afloat (SOPA) rule is those craft authorized by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) to have a Petty Officer In Charge (POIC). In this instance, the petty officer retains positional authority and is responsible for the safety and management of the boat. This position possesses weapons release authority.

SB - Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman (SWCC)

Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen perform a multitude of duties in support of Special Operations missions including land, maritime, and air operations; reconnaissance operations; conducting insertions and extractions; operation, maintenance and repair of special communications equipment; practicing chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear defense measures; and intelligence gathering and interpretation. SWCCs possess unique skills with respect to the operation, maintenance and repair of specially configured combatant craft, and are experts in the maritime clandestine insertion and extraction of Special Operations Forces and other persons of interest. SWCC Crewman are granted special authority per U. S. Navy Regulations, article 1033 and MILPERSMAN 1200-030.

SB - Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Patrol Officer (SWCC)

Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman Patrol Officers are responsible for the detachment craft and personnel placed under his command. The safety of all personnel assigned to and embarked on his craft is his primary responsibility. Patrol officers are also responsible for signing for all weapons, ammunition, and classified/cryptographic material for the detachment. Prior to any evolution he will ensure all required navigational charts and materials are on board and corrected. He will brief the entire mission/plan to the detachment personnel and other pertinent forces prior to getting underway. While underway he is responsible for the safe navigation of his craft. Patrol Officers are granted special authority per U. S. Navy Regulations, article 1033 and MILPERSMAN 1200-030. A Patrol Officer retains responsibility and authority for their craft and is an exception to the SOPA rule.


Other Requirements

  • Must Be U.S. citizen
  • Uncorrected vision can be no worse than 20/200 in each eye. Both eyes must be correctable to 20/20. You may request a waiver if you have had your vision corrected through a PRK/Lasik procedure.
  • Must have normal depth perception and normal color vision.
  • Must be age 30 or younger (waivers available on a case-by-case basis)
  • Not be under civil restraint, a substance abuser nor have a pattern of minor convictions or any non-minor, misdemeanor, or felony convictions (waivers are granted depending on number and severity).
  • This program is closed to women.

The physical screening test is designed to assess the applicant's physical ability to undergo initial training. The test will be administered exactly as indicated. No waiver will be granted for failure to successfully complete the physical screening test. The run/swim times and push-up/sit-up/pull-up standards are minimum standards only. Maximum effort is required for all exercises and will be reported on the physical fitness screening test form submitted with your application.

  • 500-yard swim using breast and/or sidestroke in under 13 minutes
  • 10-minute rest
  • Perform a minimum of 42 push-ups in 2 minutes
  • 2-minute rest
  • Perform a minimum of 50 sit-ups in 2 minutes
  • 2-minute rest
  • Perform a minimum of 6 pull-ups (no time limit)
  • 10-minute rest
  • Run 1 ½ miles wearing running shoes in under 12 minutes and 30 seconds

SB is open to new recruits under the SWCC-Challenge Program. The SWCC Challenge Program Option guarantees the opportunity to enter the Naval Special Warfare/SWCC community for individuals desiring a 4-year USN enlistment. This option provides for entry into Class "A" School. Applicants must volunteer for diving duty to become eligible for all training pipelines offered in Special Operations.

Individuals can also volunteer for the program during basic training, or at any time during their career (up to age 30).


Sea/Shore Rotation for This Rating

  • First Sea Tour: 60 months
  • First Shore Tour: 36 months
  • Second Sea Tour: 60 months
  • Second Shore Tour: 36 months
  • Third Sea Tour: 48 months
  • Third Shore Tour: 36 months
  • Fourth Sea Tour: 48 months
  • Forth Shore Tour: 36 months

Note: Sea tours and shore tours for sailors that have completed four sea tours will be 36 months at sea followed by 36 months ashore until retirement.

Note: The Naval Special Warfare community is a sea-intensive community. Due to the unique nature of the special warfare mission, sailors in the elite communities of Navy Special Warfare Operator (SO) and Naval Special Warfare Boat Operator (SB) should expect to serve back-to-back sea tours prior to assignment ashore. Sailors in these communities can expect their initial back-to-back sea tours to be within the same geographic location, contingent upon the needs of the Navy and NSW.



FT. KNOX, Ky. (Aug. 25, 2007) - A Special Warfare Combatant-craft crewman (SWCC) mans his GAU-17 minigun during live-fire patrol training along the Salt River in northern Kentucky. SWCCs attached to Special Boat Team 22 (SBT-22) from Stennis, Miss., employ the Special Operations Craft Riverine (SOC-R), which is specifically designed for the clandestine insertion and extraction of U.S. Navy SEALs and other special operations forces along shallow waterways and open water environments. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jayme Pastoric (RELEASED)




Stennis Space Center, Mississippi (Apr. 21, 2004) – Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen (SWCC) assigned to Special Boat Team Twenty-Two demonstrate the new Special Operations Craft-Riverine (SOC-R) while training at the Stennis Space Center. U.S. Navy photo by Intelligence Specialist 1st Class Jeremy Richardson. (RELEASED)

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