YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) - Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet pinned 21 officers, awarding them the new Information Dominance Warfare Officer (IDWO) pin Nov. 10.

Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk pinned the who were from the information warfare, naval intelligence, meteorological and oceanography communities.

"I think the information dominance pin, on the enlisted and officer side will be an outward sign to us and the rest of Navy, about the kind of qualifications and skill sets that we have," said Cmdr. Steven Weldon, executive assistant to the commander U.S. 7th Fleet. "This pin will signify the skill set and expertise without our community, all wrapped up under the information dominance core."

For officers to obtain the IDWO designation, they have to demonstrate they acquired specific knowledge, skills, and experience, and have performed at a proficiency at the professional level of competence required for satisfactory performance of assigned duties.

"Officers who are newer to the community will have to go through basic and intermediate qualifications, as well as an exam," said Capt. John Holmes, 7th Fleet assistant chief of staff communications and information systems officer.

The IDWO program was approved in February by Fleet Cyber Command, and a finalized instruction on the program was released Sept. 13 in OPNAV instruction 1412.13.

"It's new and interesting, and it's something I never thought we were really going to have," said LT Meredith Schley, 7th Fleet signals information warfare officer. "I never saw this as something this community would ever pick up and do."

The 21 U.S. 7th Fleet staff officers pinned by Van Buskirk were the first officers to receive the IDWO pin in the 7th Fleet area of operation.

"It's a good feeling, to be a part of history being made," said Cmdr. Weldon.

For more news from Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c7f/.