Boarding Officers

Hello all,

At what point in a junior officer's career would they express an interest in and complete the relevant training to become a boarding officer? During SFT? First OOW job after IWOC, 2nd etc?

Is it a role many want thus making it very competitive?
Leaving aside the fact that after a certain incident involving iPods and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Navy the RN has been keen on having booties for boarding where necessary (no pun intended)- you may find that Boarding Officers tend to be Logistics Officers not warfairies.

Having said that, on NEWC one of the FCs was boarding officer, but then we didn't have a DLO.

In general, it is a course that you volunteer for, but only when required by the ship as it's not a job so much as an additional qualification. Therefore, if you go to a ship with a boarding officer, then they are not going to release you to be trained. Simple as. Anyway, it's really not that glamorous or exactly James Bond stuff- and you'll still have to stand watches on the bridge. Unless you go fish you could get jobbed by your ship as a first job OOW, but it's more likely to be 2nd job. As third is generally approaching NO, then you've missed the boat if you haven't done it by then.

What is not going to happen is someone sitting your class down or handing out forms saying "Right, who wants to be a boarding officer."
Not quite, kinross (at least not in my recent experience). As the surface world is spending a lot more of the time operating in Defence Watches, in the last couple of years there has been (in my opinion, a correct) reluctance to use the DLO/DMEO types as BOs as they could be called upon to act as FRPP officers (after all, State 1 is only ever a pipe away!). The same could be said for singleton FCs for the same type of Ops Room commitments.

Secondly, following a recent (post-CORNWALL) review of boarding, as from Sep 08, FF/DDs are now only supposed to have one (much better trained) BO, rather than 2, and with a minimum of 4 OOWs on most these days, it's very rare not to have a junior warfare officer (OOW/FC) as BO.

That said, a BO is an arbitrary job on a ship (like affiliation officer to Worshipful Company of Felchmongers, or Church Officer) not an ADQUAL or tied to a line number (unlike CBO or IntO), so chances of being a BO is 100% determined by who the BO is on the ship you join, when he/she leaves respective to when you arrive, the "cut of your gib" and whether the CO thinks it would be better for you to concentrate on other aspects (getted BWQ for example) rather than being a BO.

For example, on my ship, the CO thought (correctly) the new joiner OOW would make a better Boarding Officer that the current OOW (who was doing the job), so we sent him on the course and effectively sacked the other one (although we didn't specify that, we said that there were now 2 BOs, and never used the previous one, which kept everyone happy).

Hope that helps. Effectively, if you mention it to the CO on joining, and he thinks you've got what it takes, you have a good chance of becoming the ship's Boarding Officer.
Small ship life is very different from FF/DD+, however, to my mind Fish is dis-spiriting, boring and not what I joined the RN for. Some cushty routines are in place, but frankly I'd rather not be DEFRA's right hand man.
A Pompey Hunt, for a week; after the ship had been on duties for about 4 months. They were bored to tears, and my experience would back them up. If you liked it, good for you: as I said, it was not what I joined up for, nor could I in all good conscience recommend it to anyone.

And I think every one else is as equally as bored of this topic, so lets drop it....
Ah right fair enough I've never spent any time on a Hunt at sea so I can't comment on what fish was like. However on a OPV on fish for more than a week, I no doubt is different.
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