What is SWCC?



Naval Special Warfare Combatant Craft

What is SWCC?

10-31-06, GMCM Jim Gray (SWCC) ret.     What is SWCC? They are Naval Special Warfare Combatant Craft crewmen. The SWCC are the modern descendant of the BSU, CRD, and SBU boatguy. Their history is what you, the old boatguys has done through the decades. They wouldn't be here without your contributions to NSW history. The SWCC are the Boatguys of today serving in Special Boat Teams and making their own history and adding to ours, for we are a Brotherhood.

What makes the SWCC Unique to our history is that it is a professional career in the Navy like the SEAL, part of Naval Special Warfare. He can spend their entire time in the Navy in the Special Boat Teams rising in pay grade from E-3 to E-9 and even CWO. The concept of a career path for the boatguy has been floating around for many years. I personally remember hearing talk about it back in 1977. However momentum grew slowly and active duty sailors be came proficient boatguys, did their tours and rotated out, some were fortunate enough for a return tour. Only the reservist could make a entire career as a boatguy.

SEAL Teams even in years of peace still needed Boat Support Detachments for the deployments and ARGs. NSW involvement in real world conflicts such as Vietnam, Grenada, Lebanon, Persian Gulf 1987-1989 Panama, Desert Storm, Somalia etc. gave lessons learned to the NSW Leadership. What became clear that it is not the "boats" that are special but the Crewmen! Finally in the early 1990s NSW got serious about a career path for the BoatGuy. Naval Special Warfare Command (NAVSOF) and Naval Special Warfare Center started developing a career path and school for the boatguy. A key figure at NSW Command that kept the program on track and performed the much needed sanity checks was boatguy, Master Chief Kelly Webb.

In 1994 it became official that an active duty sailor could make a career as a Special Warfare Combat Craft crewman (SWCC). At that time active duty fully qualified boatguys holding the 9533 Nec (Naval Enlisted Classification Code) serving in a Special Boat Unit received the designation of SWCC. For the reservist the rules changed some. If you were fully qualified and had your 9533 Nec and serving in a Special Boat Unit you also received the SWCC designator. However, at that point, only a SWCC with prior active duty service could come into the reserves as a SWCC reservist. The days of "in House training " OJT qualification were over.

The 9533 Nec would be replaced with the Special Warfare Naval Nec 5352. Also at this point all new active duty personnel wanting to become SWCC would go through Naval Special Warfare Center's SWCC school. The school is physically and mentally demanding and water orientated. To get to the Special Boat Teams you have to prove yourself. Many of these hopefuls do not make the grade.

At the SBT training always continues. SERE school and even Parachute qualifications are now required, as some SBT craft are air dropped. Physical fitness training is a normal way of life in the SBTs and the command will regularly perform a graded SWCC P.T. tests during the year.

In 2001 the SWCC received a SWCC Warfare Insignia to acknowledge this special warfare specialty. The SWCC today of the SBTs are the living legacy of the BSU/CRD/SBU boatguy and like a proud family member we watch our community grow and make their own history.

The SWCC section here will focus on the professional development of the SWCC and will grow with articles of interest as they become available.

For now the OFFICIAL NAVY SWCC website is: www.swcc.navy.mil

[ Home ]  [ Top ]   [ Back ]