May 14, 2020
I'm well aware that if I attend USNA, it is very hard to land a slot in intel when you initially commission. However, I came across that there are Option programs where you serve X amount of time as a SWO and then automatically transfer to another area such as Intel or IP. I'm a bit confused on how the service obligation works for that. Is it easier to join IP or Intel by going this way? Approximately, how many USNA grads take this path since when they release career choices, they don't show any who took the SWO Option. Thanks!


15-Year Member
Jun 9, 2006
You might post this in the USNA forum where you can get gouge from a current mid or recent grad. If memory serves, the number who can do this is pretty small -- maybe less than 10. I think these folks must stand very high in their class. If you can find a recent SWO selection night video on YouTube, you can see the number of those billets b/c the placards are color coded.


10-Year Member
Jul 8, 2011
There are a handful of guys who commission with that in their job description. Just like you stated, a handful of guys serve a short period of time as a SWO (long enough to earn their SWO pin) then transfer. These handful of guys know from the time of service assignment on that they will automatically transfer.

There is a second group of guys however. These guys go regular SWO with no guarantee of transferring. They may still put in a package to transfer upon earning their SWO pin, but there are no guarantees. If you're an intel or bust kind of dude, don't pick USNA thinking that it's in the bag - because it's not.