The college course that you are presently completing should help you a little in your choice. if it has an engineering bias then you may be able to use it to your advantage as an MEO.
What exactly is the course?
AWard said:
Well at college I study Physics, Chemistry, Maths and French but what to study in University; I don't know.

In my question I was trying to ask what jobs an MEO does. There is a lot on Warfare Officers i.e. They have various jobs leading up to commanding a ship. But I was wondering what do MEOs do? Obviously they can't command ships; so what kind of roles do they take once they have been promoted a couple of times past DMEO and MEO onboard ships?

As in the title they are Engineering officers so tend to be in charge of engineering departments. They normally specialise as either mechanical or electrical. However they seldom get their hands dirty. If you want to be and MEO then I would suggest an engineering degree preferably in maritime engineering. Or an electrical degree for an electrically biased WEO


Lantern Swinger
AWard said:
Obviously they can't command ships
What do you mean can't? They've got all the ability and intellect to command. I think you mean "under current practice they are not permitted, as Engineers, to Command ships...." but who knows what might happen if the RN decides to encourage Engineers by offering the sort of career incentives that are open to say Pilots/Observers.....
Why does the CO need to be a warfare specialist, when he's got HODs who are subject matter experts? Just a thought....
Can't Command Ships???????? me thinks that a look back at who commanded HMS Sultan, Collingwood, Defiance, NCG, LRG might change your attitude has to who can and can not command ships. Horses for courses!


Lantern Swinger
letthecatoutofthebag said:
scabz said:
AWard said:
Obviously they can't command ships
<snip>Why does the CO need to be a warfare specialist, when he's got HODs who are subject matter experts? Just a thought....
STCW requires warfare? Since when? Who's going to teach the merchant navy those battle winning steely eyed warrior skills.....
Let's get summat sorted here. They are Marine Engineer Officers - the word Engineering does not feature in their title.

Jobs are wide and wonderful. Other than doing initial sea training then DMEO and MEO job, these are interspaced with shore appointments in such exotic locations as the Naval Nases (as Support Engineering Managers), the RNSME (Sultan), jobs in Recruiting andother Fleet HQ functions as well as continuation training courses such as Initial Staff Course.

Once topped out as an MEO, you can (if promoted) go on to be MEO of a floating gin palace (CVS) and a range of appointments in the Equipment & Support Agency open up. Platform or equipment development/design and support stuff. Or you widen out into HQ staff functions in HR, OpLogs etc etc.

Plenty to keep you occupied and when your time comes to leave you have a profession to fall back on, which at the current time is quite beneficial. There is huge demand for engineers and it is likely to be that way for years to come.

Of course you could be a War-Fairy and have a devil of a job finding some fighting to do when you leave!

And before anyone asks, yes, I woz a Ginger Beer and loved everymoment of my 37 years before they threw me out on old age!

Go on - do it. You know you really want to!


Lantern Swinger
The thoughts on the "afterlife" are very true - lots of people want an "engineer" at whatever level he/she has been working but here is not mch demand otside the forces for a "warfare" specialist. Sad but true.

The average Merchant Navy deck officer is far more employable than his RN counterpart as the role covers all aspects of logistics, safety etc. etc.

As to Engineers in command of seagoing ships - in the MN there are people who have joint tickets (Engineer and Deck) that meet STCW requirements. If he RN is now meeting STCW rules then this is the road they should follow if you want to see MEOs in command.

sukitansee said:
Let's get summat sorted here.

And before anyone asks, yes, I woz a Ginger Beer and loved everymoment of my 37 years before they threw me out on old age!

Go on - do it. You know you really want to!
Please tell me that you have got your cockney rhyming slang mixed up:
I was always of the opinion that a Ginger beer was slang for Queer :thumright:
how about going AEO and having your cake and eating it

chicks galore,
jet noise,
pilots to deal with , alright then thats a -ve
prestige of being part of FAA


Lantern Swinger
letthecatoutofthebag said:
We no longer drive a bunch of matelots around the oceans between runs ashore. We are fighting force who face credible threats every time we leave the wall (and in some cases whilst we are still attached to that wall). The sooner we realise this and stop living in the past we will be able to present ourselves as a entity worthy of support and funding.
Um, yeah - sorry about that. I'll collect my bike on Monday morning. ^_^;


Lantern Swinger
Have I just received a bollicking from "letthecatoutofthebag"?

If so I say look I only pointed out the truth - be as qualified as you like in warefare the job opportunities in the real world (apart from so called security firms in Africa) tend to be limited. People need enginers and look for ex MN tanker officers in my business. There are very few ex RN deck qualified people here - we do not need them!

Yes, I DO live with the RN as I knew it and the only people that drove HM Ships were the X Branch in those days - I have no problem with that and actually agree with it for your very reasons.

I simply pointed out that STCW allowed dual qualified MN officers and that if an Engineer wanted to do both jobs then this was a way.

LTCOOTB then goes on to describe how specialised today's RN CO has to be and implies that that the Master of a MN ship could not possibly understand what goes on.

Firstly, history's great RN Commanders acted in accordance with the ROE and SOP of the day - the difference being that they could not get on a radio/comms link and check what was the current policy. I submit that Naval commanders in the 18th/19th century had a far greater "instinctive knowledge of warefare" than todays classroom trained, PC, TLA aquainted warriors. Also, at least one of the RN's great commanders and best navigators in Cook happened to be a MN Officer before he went RN.

You should also remember that many MN Officers have been in and trade into war zones that the average RN officer may never see - never mind that the sea time that MN guys do will be greater than their RN counterparts.

I am in no way knocking people who have done things that I have not done but look at your history and the deployment of the RN even in the cold-war period. In the 1950s and 1960s there were plenty of RN personnel who saw just as much action as those of today do - and basically as it was a time of "peace" they are largely forgotten.

I for one resent the idea that the RN of 20/30 years ago simply drove "a bunch of matelots around the oceans between runs ashore". In those times that was the RN job - showing the flag in best cold war style, dealing with insurgents in Malya, supporting the SF up the gulf, peace keeing in Cyprus, NI squadron, taking people out of Lebanon, Aden etc. etc. Oh yes and of course the small altrication with the Argentinians 25 odd years ago!

Sorry LTCOOTB - I have no idea who you are or indeed what you have done - but you come accross in a public forum as a pompous git, full of his own self importance, without any knowledge at all of the real world.

Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

It seems to me that engineers and loggies get the better deal any way. Some engineers only go to sea twice in 20 years. Only watchkeeping when they are qualifying for their MEOOW1/2 tickets. A shipmate who recently passed AIB admits he's only goin SUY to get away from the sea/shore cycle. I doubt thats what he told the board though!


Lantern Swinger

Being in Singapore and six/seven hours ahead of Europe does tend to mean that I miss the "immediacy" of a forum!

Apolgies accepted.

Thank you for getting back.



Book Reviewer
"We no longer drive a bunch of matelots around the oceans between runs ashore."

I too found the above offensive, Submariners could tell you a different story as to what they were doing during the '60's in particular, with in the main very outdated equipment and boats.

I suggest you read through this site

and update yourself with a very proud Naval history. Matelots were ashore in many of the hotspots supporting RM's.


War Hero
Rolls up sleeves.

A Commanding Officer of any HM Ship must have the following.

Navigational Watch Cert - NWC
Bridge Warfare Cert - BWC
Pass all the Ship Command Exams (about 12 exams which anyone can sit)
Pass Command Boards CQ1 and CQ2
Be selected via the Sea Command Board.
Complete Commanding Officers Desig Course

Easy really ;-)

Now there is nothing to stop anyone doing the above. It would all depend on Career Management. WAFUS for example.

That said in the real world, stand fast HM fleet, the trend is to PWO qualified officers getting Command. Rights and wrongs can be argued but PWO qual is a good indicator of ability. If you can't pass PWO course I would suggest you will struggle as a CO.

As to ex Warfare Officers not being employable in civi street - bollocks. You are very employable. You have demonstrated strong leadership and management skills which are much in demand. Most of my friends (ex Warfare) are in well paid, interesting and worth while careers.

Back on thread. ME Officers can have a varied career. Normally 2 - 3 sea jobs but that doesn't mean no fun. A Lt ME Officer could be a recruitment officer, divisional officer at BRNC, Intel jobs, Staff Officers appointments on a battle staff or Joint HQ or even working at the DLO (or what ever we are calling them) in Bath. There are i/c jobs with mobile engineering teams, testing and certification roles and future projects need ME officers as part of the team. You could be the i/c of the Firefighting school.

At Lt Cdr level much the same but more managerial jobs based around Policy or Future stuff.

Cdr - Could be a Strategic planning job, team leader on future ships or Naval Attache abroad.

The thing to remember is you are an Officer first and an Engineer second. More and more jobs are Common Appointments (ie anyone can do them with the correct rank and experience/skill set)

Hope that helps
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