- The second senior officer rank is the first promotion without specifically delineated criteria. Promotion to commander is obtained through consistently strong personal activity, project work, and or leadership as a lieutenant commander. The activities from previous cadet and junior officer ranks should used as examples on what sort of activities are required to further advance to Commander and beyond. When nominating members to this rank, unit and department leaders will consider the sum total of a member's activity and contributions to the fleet since their previous promotion. Generally, successful nominations for this rank are for members who have obtained at least one Merit or Recognition Award as lieutenant commanders.
- While leadership is not required for this rank, mentorship, recruitment, staff work and measurable project work will count highly in OCS considerations of nominations. Consistency in activity and/or service must be seen across the TIG; if a member spends some time in the reserves or does not demonstrate measurable activity for a period of time, they should demonstrate consistent activity equivalent to the full TIG before they are nominated for promotion to commander. Meeting the TIG does not mean that a member will automatically be nominated for this rank, as it will take someone with less activity longer to demonstrate their suitability for promotion.