Senior Rate or Officer?

ToonPatriot

Badgeman
What would people say the main differences between a senior rate and an officer were?

Would I be going far wrong if I was to say that an Officer would have a vision - ie. set the objectives and a senior rate would be the one to create the strategy to achieve that objective?

Interested to see what peoples' thoughts are.

Thanks
 

slim

War Hero
The occifer knows how to give an order.
The senior rate Knows how to get the object of the given order completed to the occifers satisfaction.
The Junior rates carry out most of any manual labour required to achieve this.
 

Purple_twiglet

War Hero
Moderator
Officers tend to be in roles that over time drive them to take on a wider strategic leadership role, but rarely as deep SME.

SR tend to be hugely expert in specific areas, able to provide deep technical/professional advice but are not usually employed in wider strategic roles in same way as officers.

Whether the time is right to look again at how we handle CPOWO2 and Lt/Lt Cdr posts and how they interact is an interesting question indeed.
 

tommo

War Hero
Officer asks SR for coffee, SR details AB to make coffee, LH supervises AB making coffee, Officer get's coffee
 

ToonPatriot

Badgeman
Thanks Purple Twiglet. Summed it up very well. But SME??? (Pardon my abbrv. ignorance!)
And I must say that tommo on Slim have certainly hit the nail on the head according to my experience. Hah.
 

Sumo

War Hero
Officer joins as an office, can come through the ranks. Senior rates tend, (direct entry different) to take 10 years or more to become a senior rate?
My advice as an ex senior rate is join as an office if you can, that is the advice I would have given my own kids, but they said sod off we are not joining.
 
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RabC

MIA
Thanks Purple Twiglet. Summed it up very well. But SME??? (Pardon my abbrv. ignorance!)
And I must say that tommo on Slim have certainly hit the nail on the head according to my experience. Hah.
Officers love making up and using Acronyms, SRs say what they actually mean.
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
Would I be going far wrong if I was to say that an Officer would have a vision - ie. set the objectives and a senior rate would be the one to create the strategy to achieve that objective?
All depends on context but in general Senior Rates are subject matter experts in particular area (branch of engineering, logistics, warfare discipline). They make the day to day operation work and in many areas are used to generate, validate and support the future requirement.

Officers develop broad understanding of their branch area, and may get deep training in particular aspects (i.e. Loggies - law [use to do management accountancy], Weapons Engineers - radar systems and guided weapons, Marine Engineers - Nuclear training, Warfare - specialist Navigation or deep warfare training).

We employ Officers to develop a wider strategic ability, to look further than the current day and in some appointments go well outside of their specialisation and create future constructs (blueprints), be that for platforms, aviation, operations, support or personnel capability. They also need to be able to construct the strategy that will realise these blueprints. Having defined what the Navy needs, how we can deliver that, all in costed/validated business cases, you'd then create projects and project teams to deliver and there you'd see Officer/Senior Rate mixes as the SR are brought in to add deep experience.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
Must admit I've yet to see a serious, succinct and accurate definition of the difference between an Officer and a Senior Rate.

Can anyone do the same for the difference between Officers & Ratings? It is something the RN website has struggled to achieve.

Sir Michael Betts found it difficult to comprehend the justification of a two tier management structure in the Armed Forces and the need for so many rates & ranks between AB to Captain when he reviewed the established structure. Did he have a valid point?

If we started to build a Navy from scratch, arguably there would still be a valid argument to fast-track those with a broader, relevant subject knowledge AND good leadership potential, so a rank structure would remain.

One of the anomalies I've always struggled to comprehend in a disciplined, modern service, is why we continue to adopt an increasingly reverential subservience to the higher-end of the rank structure, over and above that already afforded those maybe one or two ranks above our own.

For example: I remember wondering how Admirals Rounds on a ship would somehow require a higher standard of presentation than Captains Rounds. In actual fact we all knew the standard would be less exacting than our own Captain's.
 
B

Billy Q

Guest
Must admit I've yet to see a serious, succinct and accurate definition of the difference between an Officer and a Senior Rate.

Can anyone do the same for the difference between Officers & Ratings? It is something the RN website has struggled to achieve.

Sir Michael Betts found it difficult to comprehend the justification of a two tier management structure in the Armed Forces and the need for so many rates & ranks between AB to Captain when he reviewed the established structure. Did he have a valid point?

If we started to build a Navy from scratch, arguably there would still be a valid argument to fast-track those with a broader, relevant subject knowledge AND good leadership potential, so a rank structure would remain.

One of the anomalies I've always struggled to comprehend in a disciplined, modern service, is why we continue to adopt an increasingly reverential subservience to the higher-end of the rank structure, over and above that already afforded those maybe one or two ranks above our own.

For example: I remember wondering how Admirals Rounds on a ship would somehow require a higher standard of presentation than Captains Rounds. In actual fact we all knew the standard would be less exacting than our own Captain's.
The Army are gentlemen trying to be officers; the Navy are officers trying to be

gentlemen; the RAF are neither trying to be both.
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
One of the anomalies I've always struggled to comprehend in a disciplined, modern service, is why we continue to adopt an increasingly reverential subservience to the higher-end of the rank structure, over and above that already afforded those maybe one or two ranks above our own.
In part I think it's because people struggle to understand, accept, or even care, what it is - the load, the responsibility, the breadth - that those two up and higher actually do.

Once you get to SO1 and upwards the jobs get ever harder to describe as they become so broad and all encompassing, the totality of what some people do and their span of responsibility is quite shocking.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
In part I think it's because people struggle to understand, accept, or even care, what it is - the load, the responsibility, the breadth - that those two up and higher actually do.

Once you get to SO1 and upwards the jobs get ever harder to describe as they become so broad and all encompassing, the totality of what some people do and their span of responsibility is quite shocking.
I understand they have a wider responsibility and an income which reflects it, but whilst having no problem offering appropriate marks of respect, I draw the line at addressing very senior personnel in a manner any different to senior personnel, based on the size of the pay-packet or responsibility ;)
 

Trainer

War Hero
Book Reviewer
Officer asks SR for coffee, SR details AB to make coffee, LH supervises AB making coffee, AB wipes his Penis around the inside of Officer's Mug, Officer get's coffee
Fixed that for you, no charge!!
 
B

Billy Q

Guest
I understand they have a wider responsibility and an income which reflects it, but whilst having no problem offering appropriate marks of respect, I draw the line at addressing very senior personnel in a manner any different to senior personnel, based on the size of the pay-packet or responsibility ;)
Ahem! Chief. Similar to
Different from.
Is that what separates them?
 
Must admit I've yet to see a serious, succinct and accurate definition of the difference between an Officer and a Senior Rate.

Can anyone do the same for the difference between Officers & Ratings? It is something the RN website has struggled to achieve.

Sir Michael Betts found it difficult to comprehend the justification of a two tier management structure in the Armed Forces and the need for so many rates & ranks between AB to Captain when he reviewed the established structure. Did he have a valid point?

If we started to build a Navy from scratch, arguably there would still be a valid argument to fast-track those with a broader, relevant subject knowledge AND good leadership potential, so a rank structure would remain.

One of the anomalies I've always struggled to comprehend in a disciplined, modern service, is why we continue to adopt an increasingly reverential subservience to the higher-end of the rank structure, over and above that already afforded those maybe one or two ranks above our own.

For example: I remember wondering how Admirals Rounds on a ship would somehow require a higher standard of presentation than Captains Rounds. In actual fact we all knew the standard would be less exacting than our own Captain's.
I've never actually seen an Admiral do rounds on a ship - I rather get the feeling it is a historic title used to apply the little more bullshit.

And for those of you who have ever seen a 2*'s life (or above), you would quickly understand quite why they get the "perks" they do:

Driver and Car - not to swan around in, but because it gives them (yet another) opportunity to work. I used to watch as the EA printed out enough work for "there and back again" (a 6 hour round trip) in addition to a full working day.
Chef/Steward - the 2* who are entitled to these typically host dinner parties etc 4 - 5 nights a week. I know the 2* I used to interact with most loathed having other people cook for him, but when he had 6 - 8 people to dinner every night, he didn't stand a chance of cooking for them. If you suggest his wife should do it, she'd simply ask why she should give up her fulltime job for hte RN's convenience.
Outer Office Staff - The 2* worked 6 days a week generally, and his diary was full from 0700 - 2100 most days. They organised his life such that there wasn't a moment wasted.

I genuinely think most people don't understand quite how bloody hard these people work. There are, and have been, and no doubt will be, some utter tossers in the Flag Ranks, but that is no different to any other rank. They can, frankly, keep their workload and gongs - I'm going to go home and see my family.
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
I'm going to go home and see my family.
No you're not, I'm going to dangle ACSC and a potential future drive in front of you...... :rolleyes:

and therein to my mind is another difference between SR and Officers; the career path for SR is pretty much well mapped out to a full career and is normally pretty straightforward, the path for an Officer has many milestones (or millstones) and junctions, lots of opportunities for divergence and some great hooks to nibble on.
 

Purple_twiglet

War Hero
Moderator
ATG - excellent posts, the only thing you didnt mention is the total lack of job security at 2* level, where you exist on a post to post basis, not knowing when your career is over.
 

RabC

MIA
No you're not, I'm going to dangle ACSC and a potential future drive in front of you...... :rolleyes:

and therein to my mind is another difference between SR and Officers; the career path for SR is pretty much well mapped out to a full career and is normally pretty straightforward, the path for an Officer has many milestones (or millstones) and junctions, lots of opportunities for divergence and some great hooks to nibble on.
I agree, I remember a discussion with my Skipper, I was a CPO and HOD and alongside in Devonport I was over the gangway spot on secure every day, home time was at a premium. My skipper thought I should have had more commitment to my work, then talked himself out of it by saying that he had a career to fight for where as I had a job.
 
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