As a Social Worker and Officer in the Navy Medical Service Corps, you will typically provide:
- Advocacy, guidance and counsel for currently serving and retired military personnel and their families
- Resource coordination for social, psychological, behavioral, medical, financial, substance abuse, educational and transitional areas
- Mental health therapy, from physical illness and disease to family issues and traumatic experiences
- Crisis intervention
As a Navy Social Worker, you’ll serve in a variety of locations, including Medical Treatment Facilities (MTF), Major Military Medical Centers, and Fleet and Family Support Centers around the world.
Training & Advancement
Those pursuing a Social Worker position are required to attend Officer Development School (ODS) in Newport, RI. ODS is a five-week program that provides a comprehensive and intense introduction to the responsibilities of Navy Staff Corps Officers. Here they learn about the military structure of the U.S. Navy, its rich history of traditions and customs, leadership development and military etiquette.
Once that training is complete, you will learn the ins and outs of life as a Social Worker at your first assignment.
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.
The Navy offers generous scholarships, financial assistance and continuing education programs. You can finish your education with little or no debt and learn to lead others, further distinguishing your career, enhancing your credentials and expanding the boundaries of your expertise. Plus, if you’re a student or resident, you can concentrate on your education or training, with no military/training obligation until after your program is completed.
The Navy may pay for your medical education. You don’t need to attend a military medical school. Attend a school of your choice and you may emerge debt-free. With the Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP), you may receive 100% tuition coverage during medical school, plus a monthly stipend, reimbursement of expenses and up to $20,000 sign-on bonus. Or, with the Navy Health Services Collegiate Program (HSCP), you may receive from $134,600* while attending medical school. This amount includes a generous monthly salary and housing allowance ranging from $3,280 to $5,610 for up to 24 months.*
*Navy HSCP housing allowance based on graduate school location. Increased offer amounts available in areas with a higher cost of living.
Practicing Social Workers
Through the Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP), you may be eligible to receive financial assistance to pay down the cost of your graduate education.
All offers have many variables. To get details and find out which offer would benefit you most, request a medical recruiter contact you.
Qualifications & Requirements
To qualify for employment consideration as a Social Worker in the Navy Medical Service Corps, you must meet these basic requirements:
- Be a U.S. citizen currently practicing in the U.S.
- Master of social work (MSW) from a graduate school of social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
- Minimum of two years’ full-time supervised clinical social work experience (post-master’s degree)
- Current licensure/certification as a clinical social worker by the jurisdiction where practicing; licensure/certification must allow the social worker to practice independently
- Be willing to serve a minimum of three years of Active Duty
- Be between the ages of 18 and 41
- Be in good physical condition and pass a full medical examination
You may also be expected to meet certain preferred requirements:
- Experience in mental health (inpatient and outpatient) with knowledge and skills in diagnosis, evaluation and treatment, medical social work, case management and discharge planning, family violence, including child and spousal abuse and developmental delays in children
- Supervisory program management or other leadership experience
- Knowledge, skill and comfort in working with diverse populations from various cultural backgrounds
Serving part-time as a Reserve Sailor, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, Social Workers in the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their homes. This gives you the flexibility to expand your medical experience in the Navy without compromising your civilian practice at home.
For annual training, Social Workers may serve anywhere in the world, whether at sea, in hospitals stateside, or in bases and camps in countries around the world.
Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Navy Reserve Sailors.
Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent.
Social Workers in the Navy Reserve serve in an Officer role. Before receiving the ongoing professional training that comes with this job, initial training requirements must first be met.
For current or former Navy Officers (NAVET): Prior experience satisfies the initial leadership training requirement – so you will not need to go through Officer Training again.
For current or former Officers of military branches other than the Navy (OSVET), as well as for Officer candidates without prior military experience: Officer Candidates will be required to attend the Officer Development School (ODS) in Newport, RI. ODS is a five-week program that provides a comprehensive and intense introduction to the responsibilities of Navy Staff Corps Officers. Here you will learn about the military structure of the U.S. Navy, its rich history of traditions and customs, leadership development and military etiquette. There may be an option for attendees to request to split the five-week program into two sessions.
With flexible training options, Medical Officers in the Navy Reserve can comfortably balance civilian and military schedules. You can maintain your own life and your own practice – enriching both with the rewarding work you do for others.
The Navy Medical Corps offers you a truly diverse variety of academic, clinical and operational settings in which to practice. In some cases, you can even work in the same civilian hospital or setting you work in now. What’s more, you will enjoy an unrivaled sense of pride and fulfillment known only to those who serve.
As a Social Worker in the Navy Medical Corps Reserve, you’ll receive a first-rate benefits package – including your choice of any one of these two generous financial offers:
- Up to $40,000 per year in specialty pay
- An immediate one-time sign-on bonus of up to $30,000
Navy Reserve Sailors joining the Medical Corps as residents can get monthly stipend in excess of $2,200 while completing residency, plus up to $250,000 in medical school loan repayment assistance. Offers based on service commitment. For complete offer details, request a medical recruiter contact you.