General Service Warfare Officer Career Path

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by m.c31, Sep 27, 2013.

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  1. Can anyone help with outlining the career path of a general service warfare officer from first job to PWO.
    I've heard mention of OOW1-4 but I don't understand what these roles (defined by the numbers 1-4) entail, the way they were mentioned made them sound more than just shift numbers for instance.

    I'd also appreciate any information specifically about the roles/ paths open to a general service warfare officer, i.e specialist navigator, UN secondment etc/ any others. And which of these would be reasonable to achieve within 5 years.

    Thanks to anyone who can help, let me know if i can clarify anything further

  2. Search bar, use it, if in doubt put 'warfare' and my username in.
  3. Oh, and why do you want to know?
  4. Hi alfred_the_great, I did try that but there doesnt seem to be any posts that answer this question, nor are there any official documents I can find online.

    This question, or variations on it, have been asked a lot but I cant find anywhere in the last 5 years where they have been answered beyond the cursory information available online, I was just seeing if anyone by chance knew any more than this.

    And I am mid application for said position

    thanks again
  5. Having had another look just now, and searching warfare and your username I still can't find any information on the role of General Service Warfare Officer and the role break-downs within this, as opposed to lists of warfare officer sub-specs.

    There's nothing on this site about the role of OOW1-4 and what this means, nor can I find anything on an example career map for a general service warfare officer from entry to PWO

    any help appreciated
  6. On the basis I want a break from tidying my house*

    Generic Warfare Path:

    Training (I've no idea what this is called nowadays, or how it happens.)

    Lets start from your first complement assignment (FCA):

    OOW 2 - 4, GO, Small Ships Navs, FC, HM Officer. All pretty similar to be honest. Your main job is to keep watches, most likely 2 a day, i.e. 8 hours, for every moment you are at sea. Each one has different secondary duties, the OOW 2 - 4 dependent upon which ship you are in and what your XO and Ops Officer have decided. Typically these might include:

    Classified Books Officer - OOW2 (generally). Looks after all the Secret and Top Secret Books and CDs on-board. An easy way to be Court-Martialled.
    Intelligence Officer - OOW3 (generally). Does a 4 week course (not compulsory) and does the first line Int stuff at sea. But don't forget your principal job is to watchkeep.
    XO's Assistant - OOW4 (generally). XO's bitch. A shit job, but one that can give you quite a lot of insight into how the XO runs the ship, which will be useful down the line.

    You're assigned to one of these jobs randomly after training, and the CO/Ops can move you around when you're in the ship as necessary. If the appointer needs to send you small ships you'll cover some of the same secondary jobs, get some different ones (GO on a MCMV/PP gets to look after the cash safe, another ideal Court Martial opportunity).

    After your FCA you can volunteer for the sub-specs (FC, MCD/MW, HM, Int) or head to the OOW1 job. OOW1 is the lead watchkeeper and the most experienced OOW. You are also the Signals Communications Officer (SCO) and have to look after the cryptographic codes; yet another opportunity to be taken to Court Martial. You don't have to be OOW 2 - 4 to be OOW1 - small ships guys can go straight here as well.

    After OOW1 then you can either go to be a Navigator, fulfil a job in your sub-spec, or head to something like 1st Lt of an OPV, P2000 CO (if you pass your Command Exams) or a shore job. Shore Jobs are pretty rare, and I wouldn't bank on it. Taking a shore job (unless it's good) might be viewed as a duffer's way out.

    Navs is the Navigator, head of the Bridge Team, Ops' right hand man/woman, works closely with the CO, all round important job. Most people who've been Navs loved it; I've never been Navs, so can't comment.

    After Navs, you might get a shore job (slightly less dufferish this time), head to P2000 Command/OPV XO or straight to PWO Course. If you're really unlucky you might be selected to be a Specialist Navigator.

    PWO Course, and the PWO job, is cracking. Easily the best job on-board, especially if you get to be the Command PWO. It comes down to you to tell the CO how you're going to fight the battle and protect the ship - everyone at Action works for you. I was a Command PWO.

    Timeframes: work on 18 - 30 months per job. I'd be impressed if you were a Navs before 2 jobs (can be done), and very impressed if you were a PWO before 8-9 years service (can also be done). Opportunities for OpTours etc are available, but there aren't very many for shag OsOW who know little beyond being a bridge watchkeeper. I wouldn't join up thinking you'd get to do one before being a Lt Cdr.

    Other opportunities: you can veer from the traditional career path, but the RN doesn't like deviating from the mean. I personally think this is shit, but as I'm not First Sea Lord or Rear Admiral Surface Ships, no-one really cares. Leaving the OOW - OOW - NO - (stuff) - PWO path (or sub-spec equivalent) is taken at risk.

    At some point you'll have to do Initial Staff Course(Maritime) and some more leadership training - take maximum advantage of these opportunities.


    *See, even Officers have to do Mess Chefs, well, at least the Officers who want their wives to talk to them!
  7. I was so proud when, b*ggering about in the Med*, I saw an old oppo from BRNC's name in the CM signal for that very crime - although I think he'd managed to up the ante by screwing up some exchange rates when they went foreign. We have an entire branch of both officers and ratings to deal with this sort of thing and yet you can dish it out (apparently) to a baby dabber after a 2 week course and hope for the best....

    *a happy, and unproductive time during a week long multinational exercise where we'd said goodnight Vienna in the first 2 minutes and, unbelievably, that was it for the week. We drifted for a couple of days, fishing off the flight deck.
  8. 2 week course? Which Navy are you in? I had 4 hours, and a very understanding CPOWtr in Faslane to keep me safe!

    An Oppo of mine was CM'd for it, but the biggest thing that was drummed into us for 3 hours and 55 minutes was - if you're not sure, ask LO(Cash) or the CPOWtr. I spent about 3 days trying to work out why I was 40p short on balancing. Turns out 4 x 20p = 80p, not 40p as I'd put in the Cash Balance Book.
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  9. And Logs Officers refuse to watchkeep. Makes them a waste of space on a MM/PP where everyone does at least 2 jobs.
  10. Thanks a lot for that alfred_the_great I really appreciate your time and the detail in that answer; there's not a job among those you just described that doesn't sound exciting to me and knowing it's come from a former Command PWO makes me appreciate it even more!

    Thanks again!
  11. Come back to me after 3 years watchkeeping 1 in 3 and let me know how you feel. If you're really unlucky, I might be your CO......
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  12. Fixed that for you... (I never ever want to go near logistics again. The 2 1/2 day Corro's course is not fit for purpose when you have a jumped up Leading Writer dealing with your Contingent Account that refuses to advise and thinks you should know it. (I'd like to see them competently run a bridge on 2 1/2 day's experience!)) I'm not bitter I promise...

    You know that's the understatement of the century, Guns has got secondary duties coming out of his ears! That said, I should have made more of my time as Guns, I'd argue that the GO on a small ship has a broader responsibility than an FF/DD FCA officer, but will have a more narrow Warfare Experience.
  13. You say that, but I'm shoreside at the moment, and you know what I miss that! This job is surrounded by people in can't see me suits that say "brew" for wet, "scoff" for scran and don't understand that working past 1200 on a Friday is socially unacceptable!
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  14. ATG - I enjoyed reading your post but you missed out a couple of points:

    ...yet another opportunity to be taken to Court Martial (collision, grounding, poor station-keeping, sleeping on watch, allowing oneself to be knuckled by obstreperous sailor, moral turpitude, offending VIPs at CTP, etc.).

    ...yet another opportunity to be taken to Court Martial (collision, grounding, getting ETA wrong, hoisting incorrect ensign, etc).

    ...yet another opportunity to be taken to Court Martial (crypto screw-up, cash screw-up, collision, grounding, lapse in duty of care, living off immoral earnings, bullying, failure to engage the enemy more closely, etc.).
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
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  15. NG - I didn't want to scare the lad.
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