Natchitoches native trains Navy surface warriors


By Alvin Plexico, Navy Office of Community Outreach

Photo by Dusty Good

Lt. Cmdr. Mike Moran applied the lessons learned from Natchitoches, Louisiana, to become one of the most elite surface warriors. “My hometown taught me that it’s people that matter,” said Moran. “If you want to get anything done, it’s the relationships you have and learning how to work with different people to get things done.” Those lessons, along with training and application learned during Moran’s 14 years of naval service, turned into an opportunity to teach the most innovative tactics of surface warfare at Surface Warfare Officers School, located in Newport, Rhode Island. “Serving here gives me the opportunity to prepare the next generation of officers who have the watch on the ships,” said Moran. “We get to influence how training takes place for the future as well.”

Considered one of the Navy’s greatest assets, the instructors of Surface Warfare Officers School train and mentor the students who will use what they learn to lead sailors at sea. The students must pass a rigorous course structure in order to serve as surface warfare officers. The mission of Surface Warfare Officers School is to ready sea-bound warriors to serve on surface combatants as officers, enlisted engineers, and enlisted navigation professionals to fulfill the Navy’s mission maintaining global maritime superiority. Once service members finish training they are deployed around the world putting their skill set to work aboard Navy ships, such as aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, amphibious warfare ships, mine warfare ships and littoral combat ships.

“At Surface Warfare Officers School, we are committed to training, developing and inspiring our Navy’s surface warfare officers,” said Capt. Scott Robertson, SWOS commanding officer. “Our graduates leave our courses ethically, intellectually, professionally and physically prepared to deliver professional leadership on every surface vessel in the fleet.” Moran is a 2000 graduate of St. Mary’s High School and a 2004 graduate of the Naval Academy. There are many sacrifices and goals one must achieve to be selected as an instructor and Moran is most proud of serving as executive assistant to the Commander, Navy Region Hawaii. “Part of my time serving in Hawaii was the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor,” said Moran. “The day before the commemoration event, there was an older gentleman who walked into our office who stood at the window. We found out that the same man stared out the same window and watched the attack the day it occurred.”

The future of surface warfare is rapidly changing, so the course and materials at Surface Warfare Officer School are constantly evolving to create the most dynamic, lethal, safe and professional warfighting team for the Navy the nation needs. “It is critical that students report to the fleet with the academic baseline required to perform as warfighters in today’s maritime environment,” said Lt. Matt Gallagher, the command’s public affairs officer. “SWOS training is at the epicenter of professional development for surface warfare officers throughout their careers.” Surface warfare has been a part of world history for more than 3,000 years, and the United States has its stamp on that history with actions ranging from the American Revolution to modern day operations at sea around the world. Moran is continuing a family tradition of military service.

“My dad and grandfather were in the Army, and my other grandfather was in the Navy,” said Moran. “I’ve had a lot of legacy of service in my family.” As Moran and other instructors train future surface warriors, they take pride in what it means to serve their country in the US Navy.