Warfare, Seaman and Steward

I’m thinking of joining as either a Warfare Specialist, Seaman Specialist or as a Steward (most closely matched to my current job, although not sure I want to be waiting hand and foot on officers all the time!) and would like a bit more information and insight, asides from what can be found on the Navy’s website, into the roles from anyone who has or is doing the same. I’ve read older post with all the comments about the constant painting of the ship etc. and understand ship upkeep is important but wanted to get a more ‘positive’ spin on the role.

Thanks in advance.

Dave B

As a long retired Buffer of a few ships, I started out as a Seaman Gunner, then when they killed the branch transferred to Seaman Specialist, which I understand is a long way from what the branch is nowadays.
I would advise you go for either Warfare or Seaman branch, I cant see its changed that much from when I was in over 20 years ago, the titles may be different but the roles will be the same. Yes you will have the ships husbandry to contend with, all branches have their own responsibilitys that way, but you will find life as a ringbolt kicker has it challenges, or if you prefer sit in a warm Ops Room or SCR with the warfare teams.
Good luck if you do decide to join up, I dont think you will regret it.
Thanks for that Dave B
Seaman Specialist is the one I’m leaning more towards, and the husbandry side of it doesn’t particularly bother me, like you say, everyone will have their own bits to contend with.
I’m not familiar with the term ‘ringbolt kicker’?
Thanks for the help.

Dave B

There will be a lot of terms you wont be familiar with but you will learn, Ringbolt kicker os one of the slang words for upper deck bods, Dabber is another amongst the many others.
And what about the classic image of a dabtoe (dabber) with his chipping hammer and pot of red lead (not to be confused with worms in red lead).


Lantern Swinger
To be fair the role of the Steward is changing to be more focussed on high end hospitality and Defence Engagement rather than officer’s skivy. There’s even talk of hot counters in the Wardroom and officers feeding themselves! Along with cleaning their own cabins etc, this will free up Stewards to fulfil the valet and retinue roles as well as running the Mess Accounts. In shore jobs they tend to look after Senior Officers including as drivers (and completing Defence driving courses). It’s one of the few roles that will get you a shoo-in to work in the Royal Households, and at Chequers. It’s not for everyone, granted, but please don’t discount it because you think it’ll just be waiting ‘hand and foot on officers all the time’.
Thanks for the info there Spare_Rib, very interesting and helpful! I’ll definetly try and find more out on what you’ve said before I make a decision! Sorry if my comment (meant with some sarcasm) came across as naive and judgemental!
You actually get more civvy recognised quals as a Steward.

As a dit, when I was a Phase 2 DO in Raleigh I had a 2 badge Mine Warfare rating branch change to Steward Submariner, his reasoning was he and his Mrs were buying a pub when he went outside and he wanted to learn about hospitality, bar accounts etc and Steward ticked all the boxes, reason behind going submariner was he thought he might as well get the extra pay whilst he was in his last 5 years.

Horses for courses.
Warfare specialist must be the new branch of Om (AW) (EW) (UW) and (C) which used to be source branch - Radar Plotter, Gunner, Seamen etc. ..... Basically they made source branch into the Om branch jack of all trades where you kept watches in the ops room and/or positioned on one of the upper decks weapon systems as operator and maintainer plus part of ship. Basically the ships dogs body. In my experience stewards were always very busy as were chef's. If I could have my time again I'd join as an SA as they always stayed SA part of ship and basically had a 9 to 5 except at action stations or defence watches where they were probably closed up as first aiders or BA.....

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