Navy EDO: Engineering Duty Officer Program (2024)

Last Updated on November 16, 2023

This guide provides information that will help you with your decision to become a Navy Engineering Duty Officer during Fiscal Year 2024.

Let us start with basic definitions, then we shall move on into more specifics.

What is an Engineering Duty Officer?

Navy Engineering Duty Officer EDO-1 Image 704X396

Engineering Duty Officers (EDOs) are Restricted Line Officers in the Navy who are combat-ready and technically educated, having completed Engineering Master’s Degree and/or Doctoral studies at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

EDOs become Department of Defense Acquisition Workforce members and are admitted as Department of the Navy Acquisition Professional Members.

What Does An Engineering Duty Officer Do?

Navy Engineering Duty Officers guarantee that the Navy and Joint Forces of the United States operate and battle with the most capable vessels, systems, and equipment feasible. 

Their math, scientific, and business management skills will be critical to the Navy’s continuous improvement of warfighting capabilities and the maintenance of a secure cybersecurity network. 

Among the job duties that may be assigned to EDOs are the following:

  • Conducting research on critical operational requirements
  • Overseeing the integration of weapons and electrical systems into new ships, as well as designing new ships and their systems.
  • Supervise the development, testing, purchasing, and certification of salvage, towing, pollution mitigation, and diving life support systems.
  • Creating, engineering, and maintaining sophisticated and integrated space and weapon systems
  • Managing the Navy’s fleet’s construction, delivery, maintenance, conversion, and overhaul
  • Conducting dive and salvage operations, which may include search and recovery, submarine rescue, underwater ship maintenance, and experimental diving research.
  • Fleet salvage and diving operations, deep sea search and recovery operations, and major undersea ship, submarine, and aircraft carrier repairs are all part of this job.

Navy Engineering Duty Officer Duty Stations

The Navy Engineering Duty Officer profession is highly regarded and may take officers practically everywhere. 

The majority of EDOs are assigned to shore commands, such as:

  • Washington, DC
  • San Diego, CA
  • Norfolk, VA
  • Bremerton, WA
  • Pearl Harbor, HI

But there are also fascinating sea and shore tours available throughout the world, such as:

  • Australia
  • Singapore
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Bahrain

How to Become an Engineering Duty Officer

The Engineering Duty Officer Community does not have direct access to commissioning sources such as the Naval Academy (USNA), Officer Candidate School (OCS), or Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC).

The EDO community obtains accessions from the Unrestricted Line communities, specifically the Surface Warfare community. 

A typical new EDO is knowledgeable about combat, a high performer, and academically competent to earn a technical master’s degree.

Ways to become an EDO

Lateral Transfer

In February and August of each year, the Lateral Transfer/Redesignation boards convene. 

For more information on how to do this, look at MILPERSMAN 1212-010 or contact the EDO Community Manager.

EDO Commissioning Option

The ED Option is accessible to candidates selected through USNA, NROTC, OCS, Seaman-to-Admiral 21, and the Merchant Marine Reserve during Service Selection. 

MILPERSMAN 1212-040 contains the details of the EDO Option Program.

a) SWO EDO Option

To acquire their SWO pin, they must complete a SWO EDO Option. Within six months of becoming a Lieutenant, the SWO EDO Option’s designator code will be changed to 1460.

SWO ED Option holders who choose to stay in the Surface Warfare Community must submit a command-endorsed request letter to the Engineering Duty Officer Community Manager (OCM) via the Surface Warfare Officer Community Manager requesting to refuse the EDO Option and continue in the URL community. 

Approval of the request to not take the EDO Option must be given by both the EDO and SWO Community Managers.

b) Submarine EDO Option

A Submarine EDO Option is required for Submarine Officers to complete their Division Officer and Department Head tours. 

Submarine EDO Options must enroll in graduate school at the Naval Postgraduate School in order to receive a technical Master’s degree. 

Also, Submarine EDO Options are welcome to attend MIT but must contact the Junior EDO Detailer to inquire about quota availability. 

If they don’t go to graduate school after their Division Officer tour, they won’t be able to use their EDO Option.

To execute their option, submarine EDO Options must submit a command-endorsed ED Option Execution letter to BUPERS-314C (EDO Community Manager) with a copy to PERS-42 (Submarine Distribution Division).

Navy Engineering Duty Officer Requirements

Surface Warfare Engineering Duty Officer

The following basic requirements to become a SWO (EDO option) are current as of January 2023, per the Navy Personnel Command. No updates have been issued so far.


SWO EDO option applicants must be citizens of the United States.


Must comply with the age criteria of the SWO community.


Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering or physical science from a college or university that is approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) or a regional accrediting body.

Engineering (aeronautical, aerospace, and astronautical), architecture, bio/biological/biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, cybersecurity, electrical, general, industrial, marine, materials, mechanical, nuclear, ocean, optical, power, systems, and software are all approved bachelor’s degree fields of study.

So are chemistry, computer science, engineering mechanics, ceramics, metallurgy, polymers, or materials science/engineering, and math. Bachelor’s degrees in engineering technology and engineering management are not included.

You must have at least a 2.7 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, a “C+” average in a calculus series, and a “C+” average in a physics series based on calculus.

You don’t need a bachelor’s degree to get a master’s degree or better in engineering or physical science from a recognized college or university.


Selectees shall maintain eligibility for sea duty and worldwide assignment in accordance with Chapter 15 of the Medical Department’s Manual. 

Physical fitness requirements must be met by candidates when they apply and when they are commissioned. 

Candidates must meet the weight and body fat percentage requirements.


There may be times when an application doesn’t meet all of the requirements but still has a great record or the skills the Navy needs. In these cases, a waiver may be given.

Accession Source

The US Naval Academy, the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, Officer Candidate School, Seaman to Admiral-21, the Strategic Sealift Midshipman Program, or as specified in the yearly plan for bringing in new people to the Navy.

Upon Commissioning

Candidates will be commissioned as ensigns, designator 1160, in the limited line of the United States Navy. The training track is identical to that of ordinary SWOs.

These officers are assigned to division officer afloat responsibilities within a Fleet unit, where they will earn their SWO qualification. 

When these officers don’t specifically say they don’t want to participate in the optional program, they don’t get to keep their SWO pay.

Officers will be automatically redesignated to 1460 upon successful completion of their SWO qualification and within approximately six months of promotion to lieutenant. 

They will be allocated future engineering duty officer (EDO) responsibilities by the EDO junior detailer. 

The designation as 1460 will occur without board action in accordance with MILPERSMAN 1212-040, EDO Option Program. Officers will not be reassigned in the middle of their tours.

If an officer no longer wants to use their choice to redesignate to 1460, they can send a letter through BUPERS-314C to the Surface Warfare Officer Community Manager (BUPERS-311), saying that they want to stay a SWO.

This letter needs to be signed by the officer’s superior. The request must be approved by all three: OCMs, SWO, and ED. If the request is granted, the officer can stay in the line community.

Service Obligation

Upon redesignation to SWO EDO Option, officers are required to serve a minimum of 2 years simultaneously with any other obligations. 

Officers who use their option must still meet their first active duty commitment, based on where they were commissioned.

When officers give up this option, they still have to fulfill their initial active duty duty responsibility that goes with their commissioning source.

Service in excess of 8 years total obligatory service may be served in a ready reserve status.

Submarine Engineering Duty Officer


Submarine EDO Option applicants must be citizens of the United States.


The Submarine EDO position is open to both men and women.


Applicants must meet the age requirements for commissioning through the USNA or the NROTC, whichever is applicable.


Submarine EDO candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree in engineering or physical science from an approved institution or university.

Academic excellence is required. This generally means that applicants to this program must have a grade point average of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale and a class ranking in the top 25%of their graduating class.

A master’s of science degree in engineering or physical science from an accredited college or university meets the requirement in lieu of a baccalaureate degree, as long as the college or university is accredited.

In between their division officer and department head deployments, submarine EDO options must get a master’s degree in a technical field authorized by the EDO community. 

Typically, this master’s degree is achieved by enrolling at the Naval Postgraduate School through the submarine officer community quota. 

There will be a limit on how many people from the EDO community can attend a naval construction/engineering program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Selectees shall maintain eligibility for sea duty and worldwide assignment in accordance with Chapter 15 of the Medical Department’s Manual. 

Candidates must meet the physical fitness weight or percentage of body fat norms when they apply and when they are hired.

Accession Source

The primary source for this program are the midshipmen at the US Naval Academy or in NROTC units.

Upon Commissioning

Candidates will be commissioned as an ensign in the United States Navy’s unrestricted line, designator code 1170. The training program is identical to that of ordinary submarine officers. 

After completing a department head tour aboard a submarine, the officer will be able to apply for a transition to the EDO community.

Warfare-qualified EDO option officers who can no longer serve as department heads on submarines but still meet all other program requirements can apply to join the EDO community. 

The submarine OCM must approve this application request to transfer communities.

Without the board’s approval, officers who were approved for a move to the EDO community under this clause can be quickly changed back.

Candidates for the submarine officer (EDO option) program may withdraw at any time prior to their redesignation as 1460.

If a submarine EDO option becomes ineligible for graduate school or elects not to attend, another submarine officer from the same or adjacent year group may apply or be nominated for the submarine EDO option program with the concurrence of the engineering duty and submarine OCMs.

The candidate may choose to convert to the restricted line community, or they may elect to remain in the unrestricted line for the duration of their careers without incurring any penalties.

Service Obligation

Submarine officers who do not use the EDO option have a 5-year initial active-duty commitment.

Upon redesignation to 1460, officers are required to serve a minimum of 2 years from the date of designation, simultaneously with any other commitments.

Engineering Duty Officer Career Path

Engineering Duty Officers must get professional training and experience in the following areas:

  • Engineering Duty Officer Qualification Program, 
  • Engineering Duty Basic Acquisition Course, and 
  • Engineering Duty Senior Leadership Course Opportunities for LEAN/Six Sigma Green Belt training and certification 
  • Membership in the Defense Acquisition Corps Professional Community Advanced Management Program (AMP) Course
  • Postgraduate Education with the Potential for a Doctorate degree

Those who already hold a degree will have to go to Navy OCS, a roughly three-month Navy program in Newport, Rhode Island.

All Engineering Duty Officers have a warfighting background, are technically proficient, and are devoted to further education and training. 

A small group of Engineering Duty Officers is chosen to receive Joint Diving Officer training and certification as deep sea diving and salvage officers.

Engineering Duty Officer Qualification Program

The Engineering Duty Qualification Program (EDQP) is the Department of Education’s “apprenticeship” program. 

Typically, the program begins with the completion of a technical Master’s degree, followed by a qualifying tour during which officers use the fundamental tools necessary for success while being observed and guided by senior EDOs.

The EDQP serves the following functions:

  • To guarantee that each EDO receives the necessary professional development.
  • To ensure that each EDO is familiar with the Community’s plans, programs, policies, and procedures.
  • To encourage each EDO to meet the standards for Career Field Certification in the Department of the Navy Acquisition Workforce and selection to the Acquisition Professional Community.
  • To allow senior EDOs to observe and train each officer assigned to an EDO billet prior to assigning the 144X designator.
  • To foster community pride and professionalism via the provision of a shared professional experience.

The EDQP is divided into the following stages:

  • The selection phase during which competent officers are admitted to the Community.
  • The postgraduate education phase, during which officers earn a suitable subspecialty code after earning a technical Master’s degree in an authorized subject.
  • The Basic Course phase, during which officers attend the EDO School and finish the Basic Course. Additionally, the Basic Course is approved as equal to ACQ 101 and ACQ 201, which are prerequisites for accreditation as an Acquisition Workforce under the congressionally required Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA).
  • The experience phase, during which officers obtain fundamental qualifications, complete on-the-job training, are observed and instructed by senior EDOs, complete designated correspondence courses, continue to acquire the education, training, and professional experience required for career field certification within the Navy Acquisition Workforce, author a professional paper, and successfully perform for at least one year in an EDO billet.
  • Prior to being designated 144X, each officer must pass an oral examination and submit the results of his or her Process Improvement Paper. Within two years, this phase must be finished. The two-year clock begins when a candidate reports to his final command upon graduation from the Basic Course or, in exceptional circumstances, on a date agreed upon by the Commanding Officer of the EDO School and the prospective Certifying Officer.

Engineering Duty Officer School

The EDO School’s purpose is to enhance the professional competency of active-duty and Reserve Engineering Duty Officers by providing training in the plans, programs, policies, and procedures used by the Navy to manage the life cycle of naval ships and equipment.

Navy Engineering Duty Officer School-1 Image 704X396

The Navy’s Engineering Duty Officer School is situated at Naval Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme, California. 

The EDO School administers a continuum of training aimed at providing fundamental and advanced teaching critical to the professional development of the Navy’s engineering duty officers. 

It acts as a focal point for the growth of the EDO community, enabling them to apply practical knowledge and expertise to the integration of science, technology, and design into economical ships and systems.

At some time throughout their careers, every EDO comes into contact with EDO School. 

Over 20% of the EDO community will pass through the school during any given year, either as a student or as a guest speaker. 

This positions EDO School at the forefront of a rigorous and dynamic training environment vital to the success of each EDO and the Navy as a whole.

Post-Graduate Educational Opportunities

In order to be an Engineering Duty Officer, you must get a Master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a technical field.

Naval Postgraduate School

The following fields of study are available at the NPS (with doctorate opportunities):

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The following fields of study are available at the MIT (with doctorate opportunities):

More Information

If you want more information about becoming a Navy Engineering Duty Officer, the next logical step is to contact a Naval Officer Recruiter.

Qualified enlisted personnel should consider applying for the Engineering Duty Officer In-Service Procurement Program.

Let us start figuring out how you can benefit from becoming a Navy EDO – or if it is even the right move for you considering your current life situation.

Others were also interested in other Restricted Line jobs, such as Naval Nuclear Instructor and Aviation Maintenance Duty Officer jobs. Check them out.

Hope this was helpful for your career planning.

Scroll to Top