Weapons Engineer Officer

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by amazonian, Dec 11, 2007.

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  1. Just a few questions to ask you guys if that's ok. I wanted to know how much sea time you are likely to get as a WE officer? I imagine you get more sea time than say if you were an information systems officer? Another thing I have always wondered is can you command a ship if you are a weapons engineer officer? I'm sure I heard that you have to be a warfare officer to get command of a ship. And if you cannot get command of a ship what role do you take on after you have gone as far as you can on ships?

    Thanks for any advice you give in advance.


    Sorry guys I'm a clutz and there was something I forgot that I wanted to ask. I mentioned on another thread that I have the intention of applying for sponsorship through university to get a good engineering degree. I live in Edinburgh and hope to go to Edinburgh university. I remember finding a list of universities that the RN will sponsor you in and Edinburgh wasn't on it. Does this mean I won't be able to get sponsorship unless I move to Aberdeen or Dundee uni's which are mentioned on the list? Or would it be possible to attend Edinburgh uni and attend an RNR unit instead of a University squadron?
  2. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    I'm not a WE Officer but work with them - Karma was in a previous life - he will no doubt answer more fully/correctly. Broadly;

    After BRNC, you will do SEMC - a systems engineering course at Collingwood, then go to sea for 18m as a Junior WE section Officer or possibly even as an CISO/ISE (a role the IS Officers also take on); 1-2 jobs later your next sea time will be as DWEO (18-24mths), after that its 1-2 more jobs then to see as a Lt Cdr for a charge WEO appointment(18-24m). The next and final time would be if you were lucky enough to be selected for Commander and were appointed as WEO on a capital platform.

    You will get more sea time than an E(IS) but following the convergence model we are becoming largely synonymous - all future E(IS) will do SEMC, a sea appointment, potentially DWEO time and then be eligible for a charge WEO appointment.

    E(IS) or pure WE - the choice may not be so black and white soon.

    As for command - we don't follow the USN model, in the RN all Commanding Officers are Warfare, with the exception of those bringing ships out of build (before the pedants jump in).
  3. Does this potentially mean that it won't be necessary to have a computer science degree for E(IS)?
    Because if so it will negate the biggest reason I am studying for such a degree just now :brilsmurf:
  4. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    No, for E(IS) joining we will still require an IS or IS heavy degree. Even with convergence if you wanted to be IS I believe we're still keeping that.

    We are however (alledgedly) going to start trying to forge links with the CIS ratings to try and encourage SUY/UY pull through - which is not before time. I have offered to be involved in that when I get back to Fleet next year.
  5. the only way for a WE to gain command is to branch change to warfare. It used to be quite straightforward; after a DWEO appointment go straight onto PWO course then during the PWO job take the opportunity to branch change and then go from there. From a career perspective it was an extremely quick way to PWO, which is where the warfare job gets interesting. It did mean that ex-WE warfare officers were about 4 or 5 years junior to their contemporaries, which put them in a good position for XCAB selection.

    There are a fair number now who have had commands and a couple more in the frame having done XO jobs.

    Notwithstanding all of that there have been recent changes in the process whereby anyone wanting to do PWO course has to go and do a full appointment as an OOW first, which does tend to reduce the attractiveness.

    WE's have tended to do well on PWO training and afterwards, regardless of the stream (A/U/C) they've chosen.

    Other than that I'd broadly agree with Wave Dodger about the WE career path, other than to observe that the vast majority don't get a second sea job as Lieutenants.

    It remains to be seen what the impact of WE/ IS convergence is on the career path, particularly when a range of PWO(C) jobs has also opened up as well.
  6. If you are really lucky you could have this happen, many do.

    12-24 months as a dweo and then up to 6/10 years shoreside before a 2 year draft as a weo. After that if you have not done too well, the rest of your time shoreside.

    Before you all jump up and down saying this is not so, IT IS.

    Know of many who have filled this criteria, sometimes explains the reason why some are out of touch when they return as a weo.

    They are some who go to sea longer and with less shoretime, they are normally the good weos with good leadership and man management skills, that want to get ahead. They will no doubt be promoted also to CDR or above.

    Have served with some of these also. Great peope to work for.
  7. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Just to clarify on this issue:

    For the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme (DTUS) to get the full £5.5k sponsorship you have to attend Aston, Nottingham, Newcastle or Southampton Uni, BUT as long as you undertake an accredited engineering degree, assuming you pass selection, you will get £4k sponsorship- you can help top this up by joining your local University Royal Naval Unit (or local RNR).

    Be aware many universities will encourage/try to sign you up to complete a 4 year, Masters, degree (They want bums on seats & generate more revenue this way). The RN will only sponsor you for 3 years & you can gain your Masters, if desired whilst "in service".

    Best bet is have a chat with your ACLO for clarification.

    Hope that helps.
  9. There was an initiative a couple of years ago to inject an additional sea job as a Lt, but in practice there just aren't enough hulls to support it.

    It's a valid criticism. Whilst there are some jobs available which are very ops focussed there is a clear risk of ending up spending a lot of time in the training empire or on the waterfront; not getting the chance to keep up to date with operations.
  10. Within the realms of the converged WE/ IS there is a requirement for a range of degrees, as long as its accredited by an EngC awarding body.

    It'll probably drive the type of jobs you're in the frame for, but the converged branch opens up a range of opportunities. The PWO(C) plot has also opened up to WE/ IS in some areas which presents some interesting, and pretty crunchy, opportunities (preparing powerpoint slide decks, I'll say it before anyone else does).
  11. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    [quote="Karma]The PWO(C) plot has also opened up to WE/ IS in some areas [/quote]

    Yes, because that long ppt course really makes them eligible to talk about any ICS issue with knowledge! :thumright:

    Parking my considerable cynicism to one side for the time being - whilst they are opening up posts, they are few and far between and very much the least favoured posts. If you want a good C/WE post you really have to fight hard.
  12. Wave Dodger could you expand on this

    As someone who is applying for the E(IS) role (AIB in January) I would be interested in your reading of the tea leaves about where the branch is heading!
  13. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    My personal view is that the E(IS) have a lot to offer but suffer greatly from a) no formal career path b) a major lack of awareness and c) a lack of branch direction/leadership

    Even in the rosey future you will join, attend BRNC, undertake SEMC then go to a CISO/ISE appointment. Thereafter the career path becomes a winding, rambling, saunter through a variety of appointments. You may get to do an MSc, you may get to work in a Joint Unit, you may get to work in SPVA. There just isn't a formalised path that all the other branches have and this has an effect on promotability. What I mean by this is you can take two E(IS) one can have sea time, op tours, be post ACSC and have had a charge appointment all with excellent well written reports and he can be up against (of many) a comparable Officer with no sea time, no operational experience, but lots of staff/HQ time. If there was a more defined career path they would have been in broadly similar appointments, have simialr experience and their personal qualities would be the key.

    I'm pretty certain the vast bulk of the Navy and the other services have no idea about the rich vein of talent that lies within the branch and what it can offer - indeed I am sure that despite all the good words you hear about NEC and IM/IX, its all regarded as geekery and the operators (PWO[C] et al) have more of a say than they should because its perceived they have operational knowledge to impart. I am of the view that actually its better to employ the E(IS) and give them operational experience because they know the true art of the possible and will stop projects from following expensive and unachievable goals.

    As for the branch leadership - most are decent, nice guys, but too many just won't set the world on fire. So our exposure suffers and we don't make the in roads we could...

    All that aside, I'd probably still join as an IS.
  14. Is there anything official been put about regarding this? I would be very interested to know but do not currently have access to the intranet to start searching.

    I have wondered what will become of the SUY X(C) deep specialists now they are being brought out of the CIS branch, especially as there are the rumours of CIS ratings becoming WEs rather than Warfare.

    Are we about to see X(C) becoming E(IS) officers or will the SUYs have a choice of C or IS ??
  15. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    A fine example of the "letters version" of Sudoku! [​IMG]
  16. I thought that they were going to get rid of the WEO/MEO post and just have one Engineering Officer. That's what was briefed a couple of years ago when PCP was been sorted out. Standing-by to be corrected.
  17. That's a hardy perrenial, as is the WE/ PWO merger proposal.

    Personally I think that WE/ PWO makes a lot more sense, but I'm a little biased there.
  18. Whould he/she have to bollock themselves when the gear goes down during a Thursday war?
  19. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    Karma is alluding to the Platform Engineer concept - which I think has been shelved. The general idea being the senior Engineer could be an ME, WE or IS - at the end of the day as long as he/she is charge qualified and has experience and can manage then it shouldn't matter as long as DWEO, DMEO and CISO are all on top of their game.

    To answer about the E(IS) - CIS linkage its all informal at the moment but it is about to be looked at. Makes a lot of sense to me!
  20. I'd draw a big distinction between officer and rating employment in this respect, although I'm of the view that the OM concept was sound but the implementation was flawed. there were structural and systemic issues which made it very difficult for the concept to succeed and there were very clear cultural issues which undermined it and led to it being the failure it turned out to be.

    Personally I'd say that engineering is systems related and sits well above the maintenance level, that's why we employ engineers and maintainers. However being an effective systems engineer in any of the domains we have does need a firm grounding in the principles of that domain. The differences are significant enough that at the Deputy level the length of training required would be prohibitive, so we'd end up with deputy/ section officers only trained in a subset of the systems engineering discipline; machinery systems, sensors and weapons, combat systems, control systems etc

    As Wave Dodger indicates, at the HoD level there is less of an issue, assuming that each of the deputies is completely on the ball with respect to their own discipline. that doesn't allow for people to arrive at TPS and then develop, and nobody starting a new job is completely on the ball from day one.

    On a practical note my view is that all WE Officers should be very firmly aware of the use that is made of the kit, that involves spending time in the ops room, working closely with the supervisors, directors and PWOs. That should be to the extent that he or she can confidently sit in the key seats in the ops room and be able to demonstrate a credible knowledge of both the combat system and the use that is made of it. MEs are already heavily committed to spending the time that would need in the MCR and machinery spaces.

    The step from DWEO to PWO hasn't been all that difficult for those that have made it, but each of those has taken the approach I've just outlined; understanding how the ship is fought as much as understanding the kit that is used to do that. I will concede that few in my former branch share that view, those that do are successful either as WEs or after their branch change. There are many very capable project managers and system engineers, but the ability to feel fully at home in the Ops Room is missing in many, as alluded to upthread.

    There is a big challenge coming the other direction though, there are many PWOs who have the capacity to be effective systems engineers, but there are many who haven't, either through preparation (the wrong type of education) or ability. I see PWO training as an option, and I find the recent obstacles placed in the way of engineers and loggies as intriguing. I'm sure there are well articulated reasons, but it looks defensive.

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