METEOROLOGY & OCEANOGRAPHY CAREERS
Planning an air strike, charting the best course for a deployed ship or identifying currents that affect a submarine underway - whatever the scenario, meteorology and oceanography are factors that inevitably come into play. Officers in this field help lead efforts to ensure safe and successful operations as they:
- Deliver a timely and accurate understanding of operational conditions from sea to space
- Manage those who monitor the surrounding physical environment
- Forecast weather conditions
- Serve as a key part of the Information Dominance Corps in its mission to gain a deep understanding of the inner workings of adversaries and develop unmatched knowledge of the battlespace during wartime
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Whether operating in the air, at sea or underwater, Navy equipment, people and decision-making all rely on the technical and tactical advice of Navy Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) Officers. They apply expertise in all facets of oceanography, meteorology, hydrography, and precise time and astronomy as they:
- Help guide ships, aircraft and troops with recommendations based on weather forecasts and ocean conditions
- Relay forecast updates and weather warnings to military and civilian authorities
- Prepare ocean, sea and waterway charts and maps for anything from basic navigation to search-and-rescue efforts
- Maintain the military’s primary master clock, which provides the most precise time interval in the world and drives the Global Positioning System (GPS)
- Oversee the work of Aerographer’s Mates – Enlisted Sailors (no degree required) who monitor weather conditions and provide forecast information
Navy Meteorologists and Oceanographers may serve in a wide variety of settings around the world, from serving aboard aircraft carriers or amphibious ships, to conducting research at the Naval Observatory or Naval Research Labs. You will also have the opportunity to further your education at Naval Postgraduate School.
Training & Advancement
Those pursuing a Meteorology and Oceanography Officer position are required to attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Newport, R.I. Upon completion, they typically attend a 5-week Basic Oceanography Accession Training (BOAT) in Gulfport, Miss. They also receive specialized training that includes methods of analyzing weather conditions, identification of common weather patterns, and techniques and procedures of forcecasting.
From there, METOC Officers embark on a career path that usually progresses from an operational tour (a non-oceanography role on a ship or with a deployable unit) to a Naval Oceanography tour (within a warfighting directorate or production center) followed by an education tour (which involves receiving formal education in a preferred discipline).After that, there are opportunities to serve on aircraft carriers, with Strike Group Staff, and in roles more specialized to one’s preferred discipline and with increasing leadership responsibilities. Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and based on performance. It’s also important to note that specialized training received and work experience gained in the course of service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational opportunities in related fields.
Beyond professional credentials and certifications, Meteorology and Oceanography Officers can advance their education by:
- Completing the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Degree Network System (SOC DNS)
- Pursuing opportunities at institutions such as Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) or Navy War College (NWC)
- Completing Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) at one of the various service colleges
Qualifications & Requirements
A four-year degree is required to work as a Meteorology and Oceanography Officer. Candidates seeking an Officer position in this community must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in a technical field, preferably in areas of study such as physics, physics-based oceanography, meteorology, hydrography, earth science, or engineering.
All candidates must also be U.S. citizens, eligible for a secret security clearance and qualified for sea duty.General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.