Warfare Officer

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by NewNewbie, Jun 12, 2013.

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Guns

    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.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Ninja_Stoker

    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.
  5. Guns

    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!!!)
  6. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Like I say, they arse about on the bridge.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. That was from a long time ago. Search under my user name and you'll see I've done some more posts like that.
  8. @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.
  9. 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.
  10. You got up at 0315 for the middle?

    That's keen, most OOW's used to book a shake 5 minutes before the start of the watch handover.
  11. tiddlyoggy

    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.
  12. NewNewbie

    How far into the application process are you?
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  13. As the QM/BM, I used to regularly pop into the MCR prior to going on watch, if only to remind the stokers that they were a bunch of ***** and laugh at the HQ1 watchkeeper because he had the shittest job in NATO.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. tiddlyoggy

    tiddlyoggy War Hero Book Reviewer

    Yeah, seen loads of lads come into the SCC/MCR for social visits, but never the ongoing OOW.
  15. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Yep SCC/HQ1 watchkeeper, always the target for the late night reveller wishing to debrief a captive audience on their night's achievements and an offer of a bite on the mandatory fiery kebab.

    Funny how kebabs just don't appeal when sober.
  16. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    As a QM/BM I would often pop into the SCC/MCR during the night watches, if only to snaffle some jacket spuds or pot mess... :lol:
  17. tiddlyoggy

    tiddlyoggy War Hero Book Reviewer

    Jacket spuds cooked on the Tyne exhaust, handsome!
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Totally off thread but ATG's account has inspired me to write my own, from the point of view of a Warfare JR.

    0330 - Receive a terror shake from the outgoing Bosun's Mate, the bloke I shall be relieving shortly. If he is a good lad he might have a lukewarm wet for me, if he's a **** he might have awoken me by electrocuting me with a BM80. It's usually the latter. Go back to sleep for 5 minutes until I can hear the QM crashing around.

    0335 - Jump out of my rack, scrabble around in the dark trying to find my stuff without waking up any of the other 50 or so lads, fail miserably when the ship rolls and I trip over, landing on top of the killick of the mess who then wakes up and punches me in the throat.

    0340 - Have a very quick piss and a quick top half dhobi to try and wake up a bit. Vigorous brushing of teeth removes some of the stench of alcohol on my breath. It was a heavy night in the mess last night and I only stopped drinking 3 hours ago.

    0345 - 0745 - "On watch" carry out a handover similar to the OOW's taking into account all aspects of the mechanical state of the ship. The OOW might be in charge of the ship itself and where it is in the ocean, but I'm definitely in charge of the wheel and engines. The outgoing QM/BM will reel off the ship's bearing, engine states, RPM of each engine, plus a load of other shit. I repeat this back to him in order to confirm that I understand, finally saying "I have the wheel" this confirms to everyone on the bridge that 2_Deck_Dash is now driving (God ******* help them). At the same time the Ops Room will have also handed over, using a microphone on the console, I speak to them confirming weather states and radar states. We try to reel it off as quickly as possible in order to stitch each other up and make them miss something. For the next four hours the QM and I take it in turns on the wheel, while one steers, the other looks out of the window looking for other ships on the horizon. If the weather is good you can go out on the bridge wing for a sneaky tab. When the OOW wants to change direction or speed, he will tell you what to do and you simply turn the wheel or adjust the revs of the engines accordingly. Mostly the four hours are spent ditting on, about half way through the watch you will probably have to go and make the wets. At 0700 you will pipe call the hands and either you, the QM or OOW will give a little dit over the main broadcast, something like "Good morning HMS Hoopstretcher, Bosun's Mate speaking, it's a glorious day outside, with light airs and temperatures well in the 20s. We are currently 100 miles off the coast of Somalia and will be docking in beautiful Sallalah later this evening, there is also a RAS this afternoon with RFA Dangleberry which I'm sure you will all enjoy. So wakey wakey hands off snakey."

    0745 - Your relief should be on the bridge by now, you'll carry out a handover as before. The skipper will probably also be on the bridge now, giving you a bollocking for the sarcastic nature of your call the hands speech.

    0755 - Get off the bridge, snaffle some cold leftover scran if the chefs have bothered to save you any. Go for a shower only to be told to **** off by the lads who are now cleaning it, use the Senior Rate's shower instead, get a bollocking "what the **** are you doing in the Senior Rate's shower?" Clean the mess for about half an hour.

    0830 - Turn up on your part of ship, receive a bollocking for being late, even though you told your PO yesterday that you had the morning on the bridge. As punishment for being late you get the wets in, before spending the morning stripping back and painting something that you only stripped back and painted two days before.

    1000 - Stand easy. Queue for ten minutes at the NAAFI for a warm can of Coke and some crisps, finally get to the front of the queue to find a very limited choice because the fat wren in front of you has just spent 45 quid, emptying the NAAFI shelves. Walk away with an out of date bottle of Panda Lemonade and a Chinese version of a pot noodle because that is all that the fat bitch left for you.

    1015 - Sit down the mess eating your shitty pot noodle while watching 10 minutes of a scratched DVD featuring Arnie.

    1016 - Have your stand easy cut short when they pipe "Away Seaboat." It's alright you didn't like the pot noodle anyway and someone else will finish it for you.

    1020 - Arrive to launch the seaboat and find that apart from a few IST Junior Officers, you are the only **** who has turned up. Receive a bollocking on behalf of everyone else for not being there. Launch the seaboat by yourself, while the ISTs watch and generally get in the way.

    1029 - Run back down the mess to find someone has eaten the remains of your pot noodle and left it on the side. Receive a bollocking from the killick of the mess for leaving gash loafing, as punishment you get sent up fwd to collect the laundry for the entire mess.

    1035 - Turn to on your part of ship again, receive a bollocking for being late, explain you got jiffed to collect the laundry, get punched for answering back. Spend the rest of the morning doing more painting.

    1145 - Scran time. Grab an onion and tuna roll (notice I put onion first, this is an accurate reflection of the roll's contents) because you don't fancy eating last night's curry blended into soup. Try to grab an extra one for your killick because he couldn't be arsed to go up to the galley himself. Get caught by the PO chef and receive a bollocking, ordered to go to the back of the queue. Queue for 20 mins to get another roll, find all the tuna ones have now gone so you have to grab the secondary option (cold roast lamb and cheese anyone?). Return to the mess were the killick then steals your roll because you failed to get one for him. Receive a bollocking because it's not tuna like he asked for. Go hungry while you watch some more of the Arnie film.

    1225 - Lunch is cut short when they pipe "prepare for RAS."

    1230 - Spend the rest of the afternoon stood on the upperdeck in blistering sun while wearing full ovies and anti flash. It's very important for safety. Watch as the lads on the RFA do the exact same thing as you but wearing shorts, negative tops. Pull a rope occasionally when told too, generally get bored and sweaty.

    1500 - Stand easy again - but not for you ********, you're doing the RAS.

    1600 - Finish the RAS, stow everything away. head down the mess, queue for a shower, when you eventually get in there is no hot water left. Change into 3s/5s.

    1630 - Clean the mess.

    1730 - Scran, queue up for onion and beef stew and chips (notice the order of the ingredients again). Eat it with a spoon because there aren't any clean forks left.

    1800 - Rounds. Stand about for ages waiting for an officer to come and inspect the mess, wait for half an hour before you hear the pipe "do you hear there, tonight's rounds will be working rounds." This means an officer isn't coming because he can't be arsed. Do some more cleaning instead.

    1900 - Get in the fridge, drink as many cans of lager as you possibly can before 2200 when the fridge closes. Vote to watch a movie, regardless of the result of the vote, the Arnie film gets put on again because one of the killicks missed the beginning of it earlier. Just as the best bit of the film is coming up, get called up to the Ops room by the Chops (R) for a chat.

    2000 - Go to the Ops room, one of the wrens is on the blob and feeling unwell, congratulations you have been jiffed to cover her watch. Spend the next 4 hours staring at an empty radar screen and drinking tea.

    2359 - Go to bed, the other lads have opened the fridge with the spare key and are still pissing up. Oasis's 'Slide Away' is being played on repeat at full volume. Your rack is next to the mess square so you get to appreciate every single note of Noel Gallagher's musical genius while trying to sleep.
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  19. I've just started my application. I've been to a careers presentation and have asked to receive the application pack and am now deliberating over the "officer application questionnaire".
  20. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Half an hour?! Keen bastard; five minutes with Henry the Hoover and Colin the Cloth then watch whichever BFBS DVD is still playing from last night... :wink:

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