Warfare Officer

N

NewNewbie

Guest
Hi,

I'm very interested in applying to join the RN as a warfare officer. Are there any current/past warfare officers out there who can tell me what the job is actually like? I've seen all the recruitment blurb and videos and they all say "not one day is the same", but I'm curious whether that's actually true.

Also, I'm interested in the hydrography and oceanography roles and I'm sure someone told me that it was once part of the warfare officer role or you could specialise in it. What I'd like to know is whether it's possible to specialise in hydrography/oceanography even if you have followed the warfare officer route?

Sorry, maaaany questions.

Thanks in advance.
 

shipscat

Midshipman
Yes, Hydro/Oceanography is part of the Warfare Branch, you can specialise in it just like other warfare officers specialise in diving, mine warfare, aircrew and so on.
 

Guns

War Hero
Moderator
The ability to touch type, live on less than 5 hours sleep a day and be devilishly handsome is all you need.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
As general service Warfare Officers Officers usually keep bridge watches, I guess whilst the ship is is underway, they are one of a limited number of individuals who work in a room with a constantly changing view of the outside for a large part of their working day.
 

Guns

War Hero
Moderator
From A-T-G, posted many moons ago

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!!!)
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
From A-T-G, posted many moons ago

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!!!)
Like I say, they arse about on the bridge.
 
N

NewNewbie

Guest
@Guns, I'll have to improve my pout, ha ha :D

These replies are really helpful. I have another question: whilst on leave, are there opportunities to go on training courses and what kind of courses are they?

p.s. @alfred_the_great, I'll have a look right now.
 
N

NewNewbie

Guest
Thanks, chaps! These replies are really helpful. @Guns, I'll have to work on my pout, ha ha :D @alfred_the_great, I had a quick browse through some of the topics on which you commented - trying to understand all the abbreviations - I gather that those who have asked similar questions are a lot younger (I'm 23), does this mean that I'm at a disadvantage? I'm very ambitious, very competitive and I want to succeed.

P.S. There was a topic about a menage a cinq which took up a bit of my time.
 

tiddlyoggy

War Hero
Book Reviewer
"0330ish - stick my head in the Ship Control Centre to ask the Marine Engineers about the equipment, any limitations etc" I have never, ever seen this done in my entire 27 years. Only X, Navs or the big dipper have popped in the SCC during my time.
 

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