Warfare Officer - Actual Role

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by TangoWhiskey, Aug 19, 2010.

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  1. Sorry for starting a new thread, I've tried the search but didn't quite find what I'm after.

    I'm looking at applying for Warfare Officer, although before I do I'd like to find out exactly what one would be doing. I've read all the offical info and trawled the web only to find generally vauge answers. I'm looking for more in depth info not on the website/dvds etc.

    What are the responsibilities on an officer of the watch? Is this a secondary job on a ship. For example would one say work on weapons systems part of the week and be on watch the rest?

    What does an officer of the watch do? Is it Nav, looking out and "driving" the ship? Or is it all three but on different watches?

    What do you find are the most rewarding parts of the job?

    Thanks for anybody who can spare the time to write up an answer!
  2. Go to the last posts of the 'All about BRNC' thread, there are a few people posting in there - 'Quinny' for example who are just beginning their Initial Warfare Officers (Foundation) course who can help no doubt. PM them i'm sure they'll be happy
  3. Read the threads suggested. Officer of the Watch is your primary job on the ship, at least for the first few years. You will not work on weapons systems at any point in your career, that's what WE officers are for.

    In answer to your other question, it is all three on the same watch.
  4. Thanks for the help. I'll direct any future questions to the thread you've given me.
  5. TW

    You're welcome.

    Don't spend too long sitting at home pondering on the ins and outs of the day to day work of a Warfare Officer, though. I'd recommend starting the ball rolling with your local Careers Advisors as soon as you can, if you haven't already. At the moment, time pondering on the detail is best done from within the application process rather than outside it, to be honest. While you ponder, another candidate is going through the door of the AFCO and pushing you just a little bit further down the queue .......
  6. I suggest you don't mention that in front of WE Senior Rates. In 2.5 years as a DWEO I never, ever fixed a piece of equipment - that wasn't my job!
  7. Someone mentioned that point to me, along with "Rates get rather "nervous" (insert suitable alternative here) when they see officers handling tools".
  8. Mind you, I did hack off my SCOT maintainer: every time it went down he'd ban me from the MCO, because the moment I stepped through the door it started working again....

    Back to the actual role of the Warfare Officer (the point of this thread):

    I'm more than happy to repeat myself, probably because it'll be read more.

    A typical day in my life as a Bridge Watchkeeper -

    0315 - wake up, stumble around cabin, get dressed, head to wardroom with thermos mug and make cup of tea (strong!)
    0330ish - stick my head in the Ship Control Centre to ask the Marine Engineers about the equipment, any limitations etc
    0340 - (post a quick p*ss before heading up to the bridge) Go onto bridge, get a quick brief on the Nav situation from the Officer of the Watch (OOW) already up there, before placing my own fix and gaining "situation awareness" about where the Ship is in the sea before starting the Handover. Handover covers everything the ship is doing, and what is around us, taking about 10 minutes in total. Finish with the magic words "I have the Ship", which means I am now legally responsible for the safety of the ship and everybody within it.
    0345 - 0745 - "on watch", running the Ship's routine (i.e. making sure everyone is awake at 0700), keeping us navigationally safe, watching out for other ships and their movements (and if necessary moving our ship in accordance with the "Rules of the Road" and if the CO is happy). I've had watches where I haven't seen a single other ship, and the nearest point of land is 250nm away; I've had watches where I've spent four hours 30m from going aground and I've tried to dodge the Campbletown Fishing Fleet for 90 minutes!
    0750 - after the Watch handover (see above, but in reverse), head down to the Wardroom for breakfast and cuppa.
    0800 - 0900 Admin time, shower, shave, dress etc etc.
    0900 - head down to the Ship's Office, which is where I work. Spend the forenoon (i.e. before 1200) sorting out pay stuff for members of the Ship's Company, write a letter to the Legal Advisor to an Admiral submitting a request to put someone in Jail for 28 days, wander around 2 deck speaking to the "lads" in an attempt to clear my head of legal bollocks!
    1200 - lunch time. I generally had this in the Wardroom, and thankfully as I'm the Leading Chef's Divisional Officer I make sure there aren't too many chips on the menu!
    1230 - head back to my cabin to pick up my Gunnery book. Yesterday we had a firing brief for the 30mm cannon as it's time for our monthly shoot. I took about 8 hours to write the paperwork, book the area at sea and prepare the brief before my Gunner's Yeoman (a bright AB) gave it. The aim will be to practice mis-fire drills for two 2 man crews.
    1300 - everyone involved in the Shoot closes up
    1315 - I bollock 1 of the lads who didn't turn up on time, and didn't bring the right stuff, despite me checking he had it all yesterday.
    1335 - function the gun for the first time, 5 minutes late. Get bollocked by the CO for not achieving this at 1330 (the time "first gun" was supposed to be).
    1530 - finish firing, quick de-brief about how we did with CO and the lads. Head down for a quick p*ss and repeat the pre-watch routine.
    1550 - come on watch late, annoying the Navigator. Doesn't matter, because he was late the last time we went to sea, so now all even!
    1600 - "mentor" the 2OOW, a Warfare Officer under training, in astro-navigation, making him work out the time and bearing of sunset. Once he's completed that, then I give him the "con" to enable him to run the watch, reporting to the CO etc as necessary. I maintain the "ship" (i.e. the responsibility).
    1950 - come off watch, head straight down for supper with 2OOW. Discuss how he did on watch, and things he might want to improve before he does astro-nav again.
    2030 - Quick chat with CO about the legal letter, and drop off the first draft. Hopefully he'll have turned it around by 0900 tomorrow, so I can send it off via email.
    2100 - into bed, read for 30 mins and get my head down before repeating from 0315....

    This is an example of a day at sea, in an MCMV, on transit, in the Channel, of a Gunnery Officer. Life gets a lot more stressed (and timings compressed) when you head into exercises, and especially Operational Sea Training. Life on a Frigate/Destroyer is somewhat different, as your watches change everyday, and you have different "paperwork" to do (i.e. not legal or gunnery!). Your first job may be on a small ship (MCMV or Patrol Vessel) or a big ship (everything else); there's about a 50/50 mix, and it doesn't really matter which.

    Hopefully, Guns will be along in a bit and will give the day in the life of a PWO.... (hint!!!)
  9. Guns

    Guns War Hero Moderator

    PWO. Defence Watch routine. Sleep is for the weak. Get up 0600 shower change breakfast, if the wardroom has remembered that the PWO is in Defence Watches (in my case only me and the other PWO were in Defence FOR THE WHOLE TG). 0700 take over from my Oppo. Check over the inputs for the morning brief. Spend the forenoon with my hair on fire covering for everyone else and taking bollockings for everyone else. 1300 relief arrives. Leave the Ops Room, in an LPD wearing your fleece or puffer jacket because it is sooooo cold. This is whilst the ship is in the Med and everyone else is in tropicals. To the Wardroom were if you are lucky the staff remember you are on watch. Eat what ever left overs there are. Back to your cabin. Then do all the staff work needed as the DHOD of a capital ship, write reports, write orders - hell still do your day job. May be get an hour, people complain because you were asleep in the afternoon. Then trip to the gym. Punch the hell out of the punch bag and release anger. Back for a shower and then evening brief to prepare. Your Oppo on watch has done most of the leg work but you need to give it. Brief is at 1830. Finishes 1900. You are back on watch at 1900. Somehow you need to eat. Early scran in the wardroom is 1930. You solve this by having a good oppo who lets you eat and turn up late. Night watch. You have to stay awake right up to 0100. If you fall off then hit the coffee. This means that at 0030 with 30 mins to bed you are driving dividers in to your leg and jumping up and down like and idiot to stay awake. Your Oppo arrives. He has 0100 - 0700. You trudge off to bed and see all the copies of daily orders outside the cabins of your fellow officers, in the knowledge they will still be there the next morning. You get to bed at no earlier than 0130. You can't sleep because coffee still surges through you. You drop off. Alarm goes and you start again.

    If you are lucky the Loggy officer will comment on how tired you look. For this you get paid the same as all the other Lt Cdrs (in fact less as you will be a Lt PWO at first). You will be expected to nice as pie, to not collapse with exhaustion and whent he moment comes make the life or death decision on that fast moving aircraft now at 10 miles with a CPA of 1-2NM. Not answering Guard and descending. Could be as there is an airport nearby and he is on finals, but then it could be the rouge Low Slow Flyer coming for a suicide run. But luckily you are bright and alert as you have plenty of sleep.

    It has its bad sides too.
  10. Thanks guys, this was exactly the type of thing I was after! Just out of interest what types of things do you have to do to get sent to jail in the Navy?
  11. always good to set your sights high... :wink:
  12. Reminds me of the tramp (Dixon of Dock Green, Z Cars or some such) who was looking for a cosy billet over Christmas and asked a policeman, "What do I have to do to get arrested?"

    "Punch a Bobby," said the policeman obligingly.

    "Okay then..." Wallop!
  13. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    a. Asking Mong questions.
    b. Being called Merlin.

    :shock: :twisted:
  14. I should have seen this coming :)
  15. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Why? Are you joining the Clairvoyancy Branch (aka 'HM')? :shock: :lol:
  16. Be disrespectful to stokers :D
  17. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Do Stokers deserve any respect? All they have to do is make steam - and they can't even do that when everyone is trying to have showers... :oops: :twisted:
  18. You think there was no hot water because we couldn't make steam?All the stokers had nice hot showers.Perhaps you had been disrespectful!! :lol:
  19. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Never! :salut: :wink:

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