Limited Duty Officer and Chief Warrant Officer Programs

The Limited Duty Officer (LDO) and Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) programs provide commissioning opportunities to qualified senior enlisted personnel and CWOs. Chief Petty Officers (CPOs) (E7 through E9), E6 personnel who are selection board eligible for E7, and CWOs (applying for lieutenant (junior grade) may qualify for these programs. The LDO and CWO programs are open to both active duty and SELRES personnel. Active duty, including FTS and U.S. Naval Reserve (USNR) general recall personnel, are considered for the active duty board while SELRES personnel are considered for the inactive duty board. A baccalaureate degree is not required, however, it is strongly encouraged.

LDOs are technically oriented officers who perform duties in specific occupational fields and require strong managerial skills. CWOs are technical specialists who perform duties requiring extensive knowledge and skills of a specific occupational field.

Active duty and FTS personnel selected for LDO receive an initial appointment as ensigns (O1E) in the U.S. Navy and incur a minimum active duty obligation of 4 years. SELRES personnel selected for LDO receive an initial appointment as ensigns (O1) in the U.S. Navy Reserve and incur a minimum Reserve service obligation of 3 years. A SELRES with more than 4 years of active duty service (active duty, Annual Training (AT), Active Duty Training (ADT), ADSW, CANREC, recall to active duty, Presidential Recall (PSRC) combined) will receive an appointment as an ensign (O1E).

Active duty and FTS personnel selected for CWO receive an initial appointment as a CWO2 in the U.S. Navy and incur a minimum active duty obligation of 4 years. SELRES personnel selected for CWO receive an initial appointment as a CWO2 in the U.S. Navy Reserve and incur a minimum Reserve service obligation of 3 years. Active duty and inactive duty personnel in paygrade E9, who have completed 2 years Time In Rate (TIR) as of 1 October of the year in which the board convenes, shall be appointed CWO3. For example, if an E9 applies for Fiscal Year (FY)-09 board and has 2 years TIR on 1 October 2008, the Service member shall be appointed to CWO3. Such service shall be computed from the TIR date for advancement to Master Chief Petty Officer (MCPO).

Active duty CWOs selected for LDO will be appointed in the permanent grade of LTJG (O2E) in the U.S. Navy. Inactive duty CWOs selected for LDO will be appointed in the permanent grade of LTJG (O2) in the U.S. Navy Reserve. A SELRES with more than 4 years of active duty service (active duty, AT, ADT, ADSW, CANREC, 1- to 3-year recall, PSRC combined) will receive an appointment as a LTJG (O2E).

LDO Basic Eligibility Requirements
Applicants must be:

  • Citizens of the United States. This cannot be waived.
  • Of good moral character and have no record of disciplinary action under Uniform Code of Military Justice, (UCMJ), article 15, no courts martial conviction or civilian felony conviction, or conviction by a civil court for misdemeanors (except minor traffic violations ($300 or less)) in the past 3 years as of 1 October of the year application is made. Any substantiated drug or alcohol abuse within the last 3 years as of 1 October of the year application is made will result in disqualification.
  • Serving on active duty, including FTS and USNR general recall personnel, in the U.S. Navy. SELRES must be members of the Ready Reserve at the time application is made and must apply to the inactive duty board (even if on active duty such as mobilization, ADSW, recall to active duty, PSRC, ADT, AT, etc.).
  • Serving in paygrade E7 through E8 or be an E6 selection board eligible for E7.
  • Active duty must have at least 8, but not more than 16 years of active duty service. SELRES must have at least 8, but not more than 16, years of Total Qualifying Federal Service (TQFS).
  • Active duty CWO applicants for LDO must have at least 2 years time in grade and no more than 19 years total active service.
  • High school graduates or hold a GED.
  • Physically qualified for appointment per the physical standards outlined in the Manual of Medical Department.
  • Meet physical fitness standards of “satisfactory medium” or higher per reference (a) at the time of application and appointment.
  • Favorably recommended by their CO. (For SELRES personnel the recommendation is from their unit CO.)

CWO Basic Eligibility Requirements
Applicants must be:

  • Citizens of the United States. This cannot be waived.
  • Of good moral character and have no record of disciplinary action under UCMJ, article 15, no courts martial conviction or civilian felony conviction, or conviction by a civil court for misdemeanors (except minor traffic violations ($300 or less)) in the past 3 years as of 1 October of the year application is made. Any substantiated drug or alcohol abuse within the last 3 years as of 1 October of the year application is made will result in disqualification.
  • Serving on active duty in the U.S. Navy. SELRES must be members of the Ready Reserve at time application is made.
  • Serving in paygrade E7 through E9 and E6 personnel selected for E7.
  • Active duty must have at least 12, but not more than 22 years of active duty service. SELRES must have at least 12, but not more than 22 years of TQFS.
  • High school graduates or hold a GED.
  • Physically qualified for appointment per the physical standards outlined in reference.
  • Meet physical fitness standards of “satisfactory medium” or higher per reference (a) at the time of application and appointment.
  • Favorably recommended by their CO. (For SELRES personnel the recommendation is from their unit CO.)