RN Shortage

Discussion in 'The Quarterdeck' started by kagg, Aug 16, 2010.

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  1. Not sure if this is the right section, so hopefully the mods will move it if needed.

    Just wondered if anyone can enlighten me as to why there is a shortage or Warfare Officers in the RN?

    It seems the job of a Warfare Officer isn't very popular on this site, not sure why, but folk seem to have an aversion to working on the bridge!

    Can anyone shed some light on why this is the case?
  2. Chart based navigation is gash.

    In my opinion of course ;)
  3. Ive know idea :wink: [​IMG]
  4. Stumpy 42, blaaaaaarghh, I've just made a mess of my trousers.

    Watchkeeping on the bridge is a load of cock, hence the lack of Warfare Officers.
  5. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    That picture reminds me that the primary role of Bridge Watchkeeping Officers is to up revs to max chat as soon as Specials have fallen out (forgetting, of course, that the Forecastle POS hands are trying to secure the Cable Deck at the time...) :evil: :roll:
  6. So... you get a little wet sometimes!
  7. Err.... you never get wet, the Navy got rid of open Bridges in the 70's, do try to keep up.

    The point is, you have to spend 4 hours of every night staring into pitch darkness, usually while the ship is in auto pilot following the same heading for weeks at a time. Then as reward for doing this, you get to do it again during the day for another 4 hours. In the meantime you will be given a select handful of JRs to manage, your main role in this respect will be interviewing them for the umpteenth time about why they got shiters and knocked out someone down Guildhall.

    When alongside you will have the fun of being Officer of the day, this means you will have to dress up in your number 1s and salute every ship that goes past for 24 hrs, then you will have to get up during the night to watch the QM and BM unload their rifles into a concrete tube.

  8. Maybe a window was left open...probably no opening windows either...

    Well that sounds fun...doesn't it?!
  9. If you could guarantee it was concrete tube that would be fine - picture goes all wavy as dit spinning session becomes imminent....

    I was duty in the Endurance once when I was piped to the gangway, as they say, at the rush. Coming onto the quarterdeck I found the QM and BM arguing over which of them, if either, should be allowed to slot a guy lurking down by the skips on FLJ.

    Calming them down, we phoned Modplod. Turned out that an Afghan type chancer from Sangatte had stowed away on a lorry in France. Unfortunately for him, it was carrying parts from Thales for the Longbow trials barge, so, having left the ferry port, it did a lap of the roundabout before disappearing through Unicorn Gate. Afghan emerges, blinking into the sunshine, expecting to be a good way inland, and finds himself in a dockyard with HM's finest arguing over which end of the SA80 is the one they point at the target...

    Backon topic, because it is unutterably gash. I was one.
  10. You get to work towards commanding a ship don't you?
  11. On 42's you never got wet but on the old Island Class OPV's we did when we did bridge screen running championships in harry roughers! :D
  12. Well since you started it:

    I nearly got to slot someone the day the 7/7 bombings happened. Obviously the whole dockyard was on full alert with everyone flapping around expecting WW3 to kick off at any moment. The 2 deck rumour mill had been working overtime it seemed and many were expecting an RN ship to be targeted USS Cole style.

    As I turned to on the gangway for my watch, I did a quick lap of the upper deck, quickly realising this wasn't going to be one of those long afternoons where you order big eats and settle down in the caboosh to listen to the radio.

    About an hour into the watch a little sailing boat chugged up the river towards HMS Bristol, suddenly it turned sharply and started coming towards us. The QM and I cocked our weapons and started going through the card A* procedure. I genuinely thought I was going to get to fill a sailing yacht with 5.56 and was preparing to let rip when I noticed the dockyard police launch caning it towards the boat.

    Turns out it was just some old cnut completely oblivious to what was going on around him. The coppers set him straight and let him go. We spent our off watch filling out paperwork. :oops:
  13. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    P'ah - lightweight! When I was on HMS MAssive I headbutted a Newbie to death, for asking too many stupid questions... :twisted:
  14. Yes. Not for nothing have Warfare Branch officers (previously called Operations Branch officers, Seaman Branch officers, Executive Branch officers, etc) traditionally been known as 'The Master Race'.

    However, the early years can be painful with much time watchkeeping on the bridge at sea or at the brow (gangway) when alongside. As 2DD indicates, this is when you're not involved in Divisional work (dealing with your sailor's professional and personal requirements) or sorting out the wardroom wine accounts, acting as visit liaison officer, counting bullets, mustering stores, overseeing the upkeep, cleanliness and maintenance of your assigned 'part of ship', etc. There will be times when you think this phase of your career will never end.

    It is only when you have time to draw breath that you appreciate what an enormously satisfying job it is. You actually experience life in the raw and have enormous responsibility (e.g. the welfare of a couple of dozen sailors and the safety of a multi-million pound ship in a busy shipping lane at night) much earlier than any of your civilian contemporaries.

    To progress up the career ladder, you must pass demanding warfare courses and control a busy Operations Room (the ship's nerve centre) for hours at a time but at least this gets you off the bridge. You also have the responsibility for 'fighting the ship' on behalf of your Captain.

    If you have what it takes, you will eventually be given Command of your own warship, the best job in the world and, in my humble opinion, something that every Warfare Branch officer should aspire to from day one.
  15. Look out for the blue ensign, RNSA burgee and Whaley sticker next time. :)
  16. It was a red ensign. Fcuking civvy sailors, I shit em.
  17. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    You get to ensure the paintwork gets a good wash ..


    .. and you will be glad of the enclosed bridge I think.
  18. Honestly, because the people who want to join at the moment aren't very good (to make a massively sweeping statement). Add in the fact it's a branch that requires no little spacial perception (which we don't test for), and it adds up to a huge loss of people through the training pipeline.

    As a come-along-lately Warfare Officer, there is also an attitude of "eat your young" amongst the more Senior Warfare Officers, generally along the lines of "it did me no harm, so it won't do you any harm". There is some reason for the rather bloody way of progressing up the greasy pole - any mistake you make as a Warfare Officer can lead to either the ship running aground or taking a missile through the side. In each case, correction generally needs to be made fairly quickly, and the default (if not correct) setting is to issue a bollocking.

    Command at sea is an immense privilege, and one that requires only the very best* and dedicated. I would suggest that being an Inf or RAC Commanding Officer is the only thing that could come close to it!

    *However, we don't achieve that on quite a few occasions - a topic for another time.....
  19. Putting your last on one side (and I once joined a ship with DEVFLOT SWO and the SIB.....). I'd agree with that. The job can be great, but it is made or broken by the quality of your CO, XO and PWO. To a great extent, the other 2 can keep some sort of barrier between the chart chimps and the old man, but if he's a terror, then the bridge can be the most miserable place on earth.

    Put bluntly, at it's best it is a privelege and an honour, etc. At worst, it is a hell of a load of responsibility but no freedom of action or respect. Totally disenchanted ex-warfare mode/OFF
  20. Okay, so it can be good, but it can be horrendous, I'm beginning to see why there is a shortage! Even if Warfare Officers enjoy the job, nobody seems to have much time for them, including some CO's it would seem!

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