Leadership in the Navy

Discussion in 'The Fleet' started by Harry4997, Feb 29, 2012.

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  1. Hello all,

    As part of my degree we had a lecturer from the National Royal Navy museum come and talk to us about life aboard a modern submarine (he himself being in the navy for 10 years). Although the talk itself was pretty decent, I left it with a slight unease about the extent to which a Junior officer is expected to lead on a ship. This officer was a navigator, and from what I could infer from the talk there was no one else under his control/ in his department. It made me realise that I can pretty accurately think of the leadership roles that an Army Officer performs on operations, I have no idea what a Royal Navy Warfare Officer does.

    So to cut my ramble short, what command positions do Warfare Officers take, and is the leadership that they exhibit in anyway comparable to the other services?


  2. silverfox

    silverfox War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Warfare Officers are the only people who can command a ship or indeed the Navy, should they get to the dizzy heights of First sea Lord. Although to go a little off piste, I wouldn't bet against a Royal Marine CinCFleet in the mid term.

    As far as comparisons with their counterparts in the other services, the nearest comparable would be the Army. The principles are the same, its the application that varies. An Army officer will use his through infantry tactics etc whilst the Navy through the management of a bridge/ops room or control room team. Navy officers seldom have to use the 'follow me' method, but do have a far greater hands on involvement with the welfare and day to day mangement of their subordinates.

    To try and say who is better would be inviting invidious comparison, and is pointless as we do different jobs. Unless of course you are talking about the RAF. From my observations over the years I doubt if RAF Officer aircrew would recognise an OR even if they bit them on the foot, much less be concerned about their leadership and management.
  3. Harry although silverfox has given you good example, I feel sure Hornblower will get back to you shortly with the chapter and verse, Its a safe bet ATG will not miss the chance to Inform you exactly how a PWO leads!:thumbup:
    • Like Like x 1
  4. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    PWOs don't lead - they just take the credit for other people's ideas... :twisted:
    • Like Like x 2
  5. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Many of us have been asking ourselves that very same question for decades..! :shock:
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Surely everyone knows it is The Killick that provides the leadership within the hallowed confines of a ship ? ..... :) ..... ;)
  7. Damn straight. What else are my Senior Rates for if not to provide me with OJAR moments? Sessh, I mean, some people these days.....
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  8. Leadership is a lie. I manage 9-16 people (career wise) daily and have around 213 people in my charge, for the same pay as a PO I might add. And I'm a ******* moron. See? I even start a sentence with a conjunction!!
  9. Thanks for the replies,

    So as a sort of follow up from these last couple of posts, would it be safe to say then that its a matter of Junior Officer's managing their ratings rather then leading them per se ? I imagine (hope?) that command and leadership positions will be found a lot longer down the line, and so assume a new entrant into the fleet spends quite a bit of their time looking after their department on board (making sure the crew are fighting fit etc), rather then leading that department, which would be done by the people in the Op's Room?

    I would ask what jobs Warfare Officer's do on deployments/on shore, but I assume I will get half a dozen links to google, so I shall save that question for when I am stuck.
  10. 1. Lick finger.
    2. Stand on bridge wing.
    3. Raise finger into wind.
    4. Bingo.
  11. If you want to see the type of leadership a naval officer employs, wait until there's an "incident" onboard. You won't see any hossifers at all until after the incident is over when the wardroom firefighting party turn up at the rush armed with a pusser's right angled to "torch" it to death.
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  12. Nor me!! .
  13. Hmm, leadership doesn't necessarily leap out of the woodwork or manifest itself in living colour 24 hours a day. Early in my naval career, one of my COs asked me (quite hypothetically) whether L/S Bloggins would be willing to go out on the forecastle in a raging Force 10 if I ordered him to secure the cable when the wildly swinging anchor was threatening to pierce the ship's bow.

    "I don't know." I replied.

    "Neither do I." he said. "But that's when you'll find out if you're making it as a leader."
    • Like Like x 1
  14. I do know one thing. The absolute shite and dribble I was exposed to at Excellent and now Collingwood is a f****** embarrassment. If the RN feels that senior rates need to sit down in two groups and thrash it out as how to collect water from imaginary stations, then we may as well pack up and fcuk off home. Problem is the spleens that work there believe all the shite. Best brief there, was how to conduct yourself talking to juniors and that was off the bish. Leadership is not about S1 S2 stances and holding a friggin clipboard barking **** orders.
    • Like Like x 3
  15. silverfox

    silverfox War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    I only had to produce a MIG in the Ops Room to generate an air of nervousness amongst the team, followed by the CHOPS(R) diving full stretch in slow motion shouting "Noooooooooooo......."
  16. All interesting stuff. I will resist the temptation to bite on some.

    Having just deleted a load of drivel that I typed, I would just say to the OP, that Leadership is many different things. Be it getting your section base team to organise themselves quickly to put out a fire; be it taking a team ashore to conduct humanitarian and disaster relief ops; be it processing evacuees from Libya; be it making sure your Navs Yeoman is up to date with the charts; focusing the Ops Room so they spot the missile; getting the HODs to work together so your BOST goes smoothly; going down onto the Focsle in bad weather so that the team know that you understand what you will be asking of them when they have to go down and secure the anchor on that dark night; be it picking up the QM every morning for not taking the f***ing bulbs out of the gangway necklace etc etc etc

    More drivel, but regular leadership tasks carried out by Officers, WOs, SRs and LHs of all branches (the latter being one of my favourites).

    The Army and RAF have their needs and their styles. We have ours.

    Frogman, I agree you don't learn it in a classroom.
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  17. Leadership must be one of the most difficult things to get right.

    You can learn it in the classroom and get it totally wrong. Some people can receive no training and be a natural leader.

    What is leadership? Is it being charge and ordering your staff to carry out things for you? Or is it training your staff so that you do not have to order them, they will simply do what is expected!

    Do you lead from the front or stand behind and let others go first? Which is right? Kinda depends on the circumstances I guess.

    What a question!!!!
  18. The best definition I can remember is that leadership is the ability to elicit the willing obedience of subordinates.

    Sounds simple in theory...
    • Like Like x 1
  19. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

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