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Warfare Branch & diving stuff

RadioSilence

Lantern Swinger
I have applied as a Warfare Officer, and I have my interview in a few weeks. I have been doing a lot of research into career paths, training etc, and I understand that after completing the Initial Warfare Officers' Course you have the opportunity to specialise, or to continue as a General Service Warfare Officer. My question is, can you only complete the Principal Warfare Officer's course if you are a General Service Warfare Officer, or is this open to those who specialise in other areas as well?

Also, when I was last talking to the Careers Advisor, he said that the weekend before he had been talking to a female Warfare Officer who was to become the first ever woman to enter the training for the Mine Clearance Diving Officer. This is something that I would be very keen to consider as a specialisation, but as a woman would it seem very presumptuous for me to mention this during the interview?

Thanks for any help!
 
Re: Quick question on Warfare Branch!

I'll leave someone else to answer the first part of your question because I am not entirely sure, but as for the female who took the diving course recently, she passed.
 

RadioSilence

Lantern Swinger
Re: Quick question on Warfare Branch!

chris78290 said:
I'll leave someone else to answer the first part of your question because I am not entirely sure, but as for the female who took the diving course recently, she passed.

That's brilliant! Good luck to her!
 

IB08

Lantern Swinger
Re: Quick question on Warfare Branch!

So the mine clearance diving course is now open to female warfare officers? Good news for us girlies, I guess.
 

Gunner23

Badgeman
Re: Quick question on Warfare Branch!

I don't think it would be presumptuous at all. By mentioning it, you are showing an interest in your future career path and as long as you can demonstrate a basic understanding of the training involved, I think it would come across quite well.
 

IB08

Lantern Swinger
Re: Quick question on Warfare Branch!

Having just checked on the navy website, it appears that all sub specialisations within the surface warfare officer branch are open to women (a few months ago it said that the mine clearance diving officer specialisation was open to men only). Clearly that has changed. Army diver (royal engineers), is a specialisation open to both sexes, so its only clearing up the discrepancies between the two services I guess.
 

RadioSilence

Lantern Swinger
Re: Quick question on Warfare Branch!

Gunner23 said:
I don't think it would be presumptuous at all. By mentioning it, you are showing an interest in your future career path and as long as you can demonstrate a basic understanding of the training involved, I think it would come across quite well.

That was what I had hoped! I have been trying to find some information on the training though, and can't find any that mentions Officer training. Is it the same as the professional training given to those entering into the branch as a rating, or is it a different course?
 

RadioSilence

Lantern Swinger
Re: Quick question on Warfare Branch!

IB08 said:
Having just checked on the navy website, it appears that all sub specialisations within the surface warfare officer branch are open to women (a few months ago it said that the mine clearance diving officer specialisation was open to men only). Clearly that has changed. Army diver (royal engineers), is a specialisation open to both sexes, so its only clearing up the discrepancies between the two services I guess.

Out of interest, does anyone know why it was men only to begin with? I'm just curious!
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
Re: Quick question on Warfare Branch!

The reason MCD for ratings was males only (still is, but under current review) was two-fold:

Firstly it was supposedly due to the government directive barring the employment of females in the close-quarters combat role, such as infantry.

Secondly it was to do with mixed gas breathing apparatus & the potential harm inflicted on the unborn foetus, much the same as the latent levels of carbon monoxide supposedly preclude females serving safely on submarines.

Clearance Diving Officers, whilst trained divers, tend to be predominently employed in the diving supervisory role rather than the underwater role.

The current advice is that MCD is only open to male Ratings, however whether this subsequently changes is open to conjecture, much the same as females on submarines.
 
Re: Quick question on Warfare Branch!

To answer the main question, you can, and will become a PWO as a Warfare Officer (almost) regardless of the route you take to get there. I know Harrier Pilots, MCDs, Droggies, Fighter Controllers, Navigators and Engineers who have become PWOs, each bring something different to the party, but all will be given the same training.

Hope this helps.

Al
 

Alfacharlie

War Hero
Re: Quick question on Warfare Branch!

chris78290 said:
alfred_the_great said:
Engineers who have become PWOs.

How does this work? Presumably a branch change would have been necesarry?

This is true, I know of 2 M.E's who have become PWO(A)'s. They crossed as the promotion at the time was better for them to make Lt Cdr.
 

IB08

Lantern Swinger
Re: Quick question on Warfare Branch!

Ninja, surely the female MCDOs breathe in the exact same gas mixtures whilst diving? Seeeing as the MCDO route has quite recently been opened up to females, is the RN "testing the water" for opening up the MCD specialisation to women fully?
Its like opening up infantry officers to women because its more of a supervisory role, and leaving infantry soldiers to male only. Its either barred or it isnt, having a coed officer route and a male only non commissioned route is incredibly odd!!
 
Re: Quick question on Warfare Branch!

Nope - you require a Navigational Watch Certificate, Bridge Warfare Qualification and Ops Room Certificate, plus a firm recommendation for PWO Training by your CO. Entirely manageable within an Engineer's career path, and fully supported by the Career Managers....
 
Re: Quick question on Warfare Branch!

alfred_the_great said:
Nope - you require a Navigational Watch Certificate, Bridge Warfare Qualification and Ops Room Certificate, plus a firm recommendation for PWO Training by your CO. Entirely manageable within an Engineer's career path, and fully supported by the Career Managers....

Interesting, I never knew the possibility existed. Is the movement into the warfare side of things limited to PWO jobs or once past this stage are there opportunities for these engineers to move further toward XO or CO jobs?
 

RadioSilence

Lantern Swinger
Re: Quick question on Warfare Branch!

alfred_the_great said:
To answer the main question, you can, and will become a PWO as a Warfare Officer (almost) regardless of the route you take to get there. I know Harrier Pilots, MCDs, Droggies, Fighter Controllers, Navigators and Engineers who have become PWOs, each bring something different to the party, but all will be given the same training.

Hope this helps.

Al

Thanks very much, thats great! I had hoped it was possible, but I didn't want to say something totally wrong in the interview!
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
Re: Quick question on Warfare Branch!

IB08 said:
Ninja, surely the female MCDOs breathe in the exact same gas mixtures whilst diving? Seeeing as the MCDO route has quite recently been opened up to females, is the RN "testing the water" for opening up the MCD specialisation to women fully?
Its like opening up infantry officers to women because its more of a supervisory role, and leaving infantry soldiers to male only. Its either barred or it isnt, having a coed officer route and a male only non commissioned route is incredibly odd!!

Ah yes, one would have thought so - however I honestly don't know whether MCDOs regularly do mixed-gas dives - if they do then one would be inclined to agree there is a paradox waiting to be exploited. (Naval Gazer is the "whizz" on all things bubble-headed & "Officer-like" & is better informed than I)

When you consider the world record for "free diving" (no gas whatsoever!) was held by a female last time I looked, the advent of a female MCDO may also well help develop the branch in future - it's about time there were good looking divers anyway - pun intended toward male mirror-checkers.

At the moment though, we recruit very few MCD ratings to be honest - only a couple or three dozen a year & we've been waiting ages to see if they announce more PEDA dates beyond March 2010 (c'mon Soapy, send us a sign :wink: ). There are many "sideways entrants" but comparatively few direct entry ratings at present.
 

Spidiver

War Hero
The main reasons for females not being invited into the diving branch are basically,they do not have the physical atributes to enable them to carry out the function of a military diver, the equipment is very heavy, divers are considered "prone to capture" so that's the " no women in combat" fluffies opt out clause. Admittedley there are exceptions to this, there are some very strong and capable women, but military diving is not an "equal opportunity" employer, during the 80's and 90's, as a diving instructor, I witnessed only a few females qualifying as Ship's divers and to be brutally honest, it was pure tokenism that they were allowed to qualify.

CD's do breathe mix gas and there is some discussion as to whether this would be dangerous for an unborn feotus, I would have thought that it could even be beneficial for the feotus, as it would receive an oxygen enriched gas, however, there is neither the funding or the interest in carrying out such difficult research.

As for the amount of time a MCD Officer actually spends in the water, well once they have completed the 6 month course, they may get one job as a MW officer on a hunter, during this time they will have very limited time at the dive site due to all the other commitments they have bestowed upon them. They might then command a Fleet Diving Unit, they will supervise diving and even occasionally get in the water, but they are often kept well away from the important things as their knowledge has deteriorated since they passed their diving course. It used to be very embarrassing watching the boss flap about on the surface of the water whilst the lads are pi**ing themselves at his expense. Watching them put a diving set together for the first time in months was like watching a blind man trying to solve a Rubik's cube.

I used to physically cringe when the MCDO's would come up to Horsea to spend the odd half hour underwater in order to qualify for their SSP(Diving), as I was trying to explain to the trainees that the bunch of "divers in distress" were in fact officers and did not need rescueing...(Yet)

I see no reason why females should not join this elite bunch of semi skilled bubble blowing ranks, apart from the fact it would just be a further strain on the diving budget. The ship's divers trade was ditched because it was too expensive and ineffective, I believe that only MCDO's in diving appointments now receive the SSP(D) which has reduced the strain on the budget, which is why possibly, we have less volunteers for MCDO, no longer can they disappear into the fleet and claim SSP(D) for sitting in a warm ops room playing computer games.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
To my mind, Spidiver, as an experienced Diver rather than onlooker (such as myself) makes an entirely lucid explanation with regard MCD ratings currently being Male.

Similarly, as already stated, the physical diving aspects of the job are usually undertaken by ABs, Leading Rates and less so by the diving supervisors, and even less by the majority of mine clearance diving officers.

There are always exeptions to the rules, but again unlike Star Trek, we tend not to send our management team (Captain, Executive Officer, Engineering Officer, Diving Officer & Medical Officer etc.,) on boarding operations & suchlike.

The problem is that many potential aspiring Officers treat the service as a jobs supermarket, collect the set & decide they are going to be a Commando trained SBS combat diver Pilot M16 operative - forgetting that being an Officer tends to preclude the need for such a creature.

You don't need to be a Doctor to manage a hospital & a Warfare or Logistics officer doesn't currently need a degree.
 
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