Navy Officer Questions

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by guy7389, Sep 2, 2009.

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  1. I've recently started my application process to join the Navy as a Warfare Officer with the idea of specializing as a Clearance Diving Officer once qualified.

    There were a couple of questions I wanted to ask and if anyone had information about them I would greatly appreciate the replies.

    - Is it possible to solely specialize in clearance diving provided I passed my Basic and Professional training?

    - How long is the MCDO course and is it possible to be stationed at a shore based dive team once qualified?

    - How long is the time period at sea during professional training i.e. will it be months at sea or will ships continue to return to port?

    - How easy is it to contact friends and family once on board ships?

    I apologize for all the question and will appreciate the responses.
  2. Re: Navy Officer Info

    Guy i cant help you with your questions because i am old navy,but reading your post it looks like your not that interested in going to sea,or not for long periods anyway,its just an observasion on my part, 8)
  3. Re: Navy Officer Info

    Guy, there are a group of people that are freakishly helpful with career stuff, they'll ask your questions in due course if you ask nicely enough.

    ..probably :p
  4. Thank you for your reply.

    The primary reason I'm concerned about time at sea is the long term relationship I'm currently in and the effect time away may have on that. Personally I think I would enjoy time at sea but trying to gauge how long I could theoreticallybe away.

    Understand that New Navy may be different to Old but appreciate your reply none the less.
  5. Only one thing for it guy and thats to give her the old heave ho,then you can go to sea for as long as your hearts content, :wink:
  6. Thinking outside of the box.. make her join as well, you can then take her along as a Deployment wife and get her to do all the Dhobying and Ironing!
    Spend lots of time at sea, take in more dhobying and run a profitable business with all the extras :D
  7. The normal place for a Warfare Officer is at sea until he/she is at least a Lt Cdr. First you need to finish your time at BRNC Dartmouth, complete your initial warfare courses and obtain your bridge watchkeeping certificate. This could be pursued in any type of ship and the entire process takes around three years, mostly at sea after Dartmouth and initial warfare courses. After that, you can apply to qualify as a Mine Warfare Officer (MWO) or, more normally, a Minewarfare & Clearance Diving Officer (MCDO) but you cannot qualify purely as a Clearance Diving Officer. Ratings (sailors) belong to either the Mine Warfare (MW) Branch or the Clearance Diving (CD) Branch but, as an MCDO, you straddle both specialisations.

    The full MCD Officers' Course takes almost a year to complete because it involves physically and mentally demanding modules in Diving, Minewarfare, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) which all include considerable theory and practical training. Your first job is then likely to involve roughly two years at sea as the Operations Officer (Ops) of a minehunter. You may then get a shore diving unit or even go back to sea as the Executive Officer (XO - First Lieutenant) of a minehunter. To fulfill your career development as a warfare officer, you are then likely to be sent on Principal Warfare Officers' Course (PWO), if you haven't done it earlier, before serving two years or more in a larger warship. From then on, you may stay at sea in larger warships or alternate with jobs in the Diving and Minewarfare community. There are also jobs on battle staffs, Integrated Project Teams (IPTs), Tactical Development and Operational Analysis organisations and in training establishments where you can impart your knowledge and experience to others coming along astern of you but most of these are for Lt Cdrs and above.

    How long you spend at sea depends on your ship's programme but the balance is likely to be at least 60/40 in favour of sea time unless you are appointed to a ship beginning refit (unlikely). You will spend a maximum of eight months deployed abroad but more normally six months. You will be entitled to three leave periods per year of two weeks or so each and will be able to proceed on night leave and weekend leave when alongside if you are not duty; you normally work a one watch in four routine at sea (except in defence watches when you are one in two) and a one day in four duty routine when alongside but still need to do your normal day work as well. In between operating in ships in UK waters, minehunter ships' companies are currently spending six months at a time in the Gulf using crew-swapping or six months with one of the roving NATO MCM (Mine Countermeasures) groups. The current NATO deployment includes port visits to Ponta De Portuga in the Azores, New York, Bermuda, and Kiel in Germany.

    Most ships are fitted with e-mail facilities and mobile phones can be used when alongside and when the ship is close to shore if operational circumstances permit.

    If any of this has changed recently, I'm sure someone will be along to correct me. For a flavour of what happens in the world of RN Minewarfare and Clearance Diving, take a look around the website at www.mcdoa,, especially the 'Latest News' and 'News Archives' pages.
  8. Not quite right - all MCDOs will do a tour as Ops, and then straight onto XO - effectively 4 years at sea. I've just left a MCMV and saw my Ops dive about 8 times in a 14 month period. There are only 6 shore drafts that involve (semi)regular diving, and they are wanted by every MCDO in the Fleet.

    I'm afraid if you want to dive, then don't join up as an Officer - that's what CD JRs are for; Officers plan and lead, nearly always from the surface, and generally from in front of their computer!!!!
  9. Showing my age but there was a time when no one below killick could dive deeper than 42m so the MCDO(s) on board got their head wet more often. The coxswain, a CD1, normally kept himself 'clean' as supervisor or standby diver. Quite rightly, that all changed around 1980 when ABs were allowed deeper than 42m and Ldg Dvrs were permitted to supervise air diving.
  10. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Yep, them's the facts.

    Many people get a bit confused with regard the role of Officers - particularly those aspiring to be an Engineer think they will be wielding spanners. Potential Commando Officers think they will be snipers & involved in close-quarter combat throughout their career, etc, etc.

    With the exception of Information Systems Officers, who do some "hands on" IT, the majority of Officers manage those that physically do the diving, shooting, maintenance, cooking etc., that's why they are officers. Likewise with Senior Ratings in many, but not all cases.
  11. Thank you for all the answers to my questions.

    Much appreciated!!!

    Now to make a decision. 8O
  12. Easy take the missus as deployment wife and set up your own laundry business :wink:
  13. Notable exceptions are Medical, Dental and Nursing Officers who practice what took them quite a few years of hard work to achieve. OK! Not a fair comparison, and as the man said "the majority".
  14. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    A fair point.
  15. If only to pick a fight.... I know a fair few Medical/Dental/Nursing Officers who are in non-clinical posts. Generally they are Consultants, but also a fair few Lts/Lt Cdrs.

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