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Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC)

Navy Authorizes Command at Sea Designation for Qualified O-5 Reserve Surface Warfare Officers Commanding Security Boat Companies

by Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs
10 July 2023 For the first time in over a decade, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command’s (NECC) Maritime Expeditionary Security Force (MESF) is authorizing O-5 Reserve surface warfare officers command at sea opportunities, and the qualified officers who command Reserve Security Boat Companies will now be authorized to wear the associated insignia.

Previously, the O-5 commanding officer billets did not qualify for the command at sea designation and only O-6 MESF squadron commanding officers were eligible. The Navy established the command-at-sea insignia to recognize the responsibility placed on unrestricted line officers who are in command of, or have successfully commanded, afloat, deploying, and or operational units defined as sea-going commands under the Navy and Marine Corps. NECC Reserve leaders said the shift recognizes the responsibility and accountability the Navy asks of its leaders regardless of their component status. 

“As we continue to prepare our forces to be ready to fight, we must organize, man and train our Reserve warfighting commands for combat. This includes properly screening candidates for command and recognizing the roles and responsibilities of our Reserve leaders who have met these high standards,” said Rear Adm. Mark Haigis, deputy commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command. “I’m excited for this opportunity to screen and select at-sea commanding officers from our Reserve Component who will lead combat credible naval fighting forces.”

The change in designation comes as part of the MESF’s force redesign, as they analyze force organization and force generation models to build readiness and competency for combat operations and look to build new competencies in the Indo-Pacific.

​To be eligible for command at sea of a Reserve security boat company, officers must meet the following requirements:
  • Must have an 1115 designator (Reserve surface warfare officer)
  • Must have previously completed a MESF officer-in-charge tour, served at a Navy Reserve Readiness Unit, or have the BX3 qualification, symbolizing successful completion of at least 18 months in an operational expeditionary warfare billet within the NECC Force
  • Must have the 2N1 qualification, symbolizing successful completion of the Navy Reserve Augment commanding officer/officer-in-charge command qualification process
  • Must have a nomination/endorsement from reporting senior for the command screening board
  • Must have the the 2D1 qualification, symbolizing successful completion of the MESF command qualification board
  • Must pass a rules of the road exam with at least an 80% score
Reserve surface warfare officers who are interested in applying for Reserve O-5 command at sea should contact the NECC Reserve Program Director for more information at
The MESF deploys globally and operates throughout the sea-to-shore and inland operating environment protecting maritime infrastructure, providing insertion and extraction capabilities and supporting Fleet assets in support of maritime operations. Learn more about NECC and the MESF by visiting our website.