More respect for US Navy officers and enlisted personnel needed


17 of my 20 years in the USN was served on a ship. Out of them 17 years the Nav Officer was ALWAYS the XO. I really find it amazing that someone else besides the XO was the Nav Officer. Heck I thought that was just the way it was, Guess Not. I got off ships in 2002 and did my last 3.5 years on shore so guess things have really changed.


Now days the Nav officer is a second tour division officer on most ships, with that being their primary job.


I appreciate the words of the person who started this thread. My time and experience aboard merchant vessels started with an Army Tugboat veteran who got his pre military sea time the old fashioned way, on engineless schooners sailing in whatever weather mother nature inflicted. He trained me and my peers to hold watch with him, port and starboard in fog and whatever times warranted it with him at the wheel. That said, it strikes me that a vessel that employs ten to twenty times the crew of a merchant vessel should be able to have a helmsman, bow watch, port and starboard watch and stern watch at all times underway. The information put out thus far says nothing to that effect. The results say a bit in themselves.
Your navy terms you may apply to my message but my point is simple: seamanship is something that needs to be drilled into every person who steps aboard military vessels. The reason being we who work aboard live there too and our lives depend on you who take control when we are asleep. That counts for why many of these writers are sleepless over this incident and may write in foul ways. We have enough to look out for ourselves. It is another measure when we have to be most careful when we are on similar paths with other vessels that should be properly and professionally manned. A lot of my own misgivings come from a time that I worked out of Newport, RI where I learned to keep a wary eye on vessels used to train Naval Officers in how to work busy waterways with lots of traffic.


In '85-'87 as XO I was specifically charged as Navigator. And yes, the LT(jg) who assisted and ran the division was a second tour DO.


Interesting. From my observations, the only Nav related thing I ever saw an XO do was review the Nav plan and sign off on it. The “navigator” (2nd tour) did the nav brief, help build the nav plans, managed updates, charts, etc. and during sea and anchor was giving out nav reports to the bridge. He was fully designated as the navigator.


It makes sense that the second most senior officer on board ship be in charge of navigation and be on the bridge during critical navigation evolutions. The cruiser I served on the XO was NAV.

Although I was never told, I always assumed that I was assigned the job after the grounding incident because of my NY Maritime College training. Regardless of why I was given the job, I’m certainly glad they did. We lost our primary A/C unit (which cooled our electronic nav and radar gear) while off the coast of Thailand and for the next two weeks we navigated entirely by celestial. Day in, day out, morning stars, LAN and evening stars. It was an excellent experience.


the depth of that fecal excrement in this thread goes down farther that the Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench…

it is unbelievable what this forum has turned into…


And with minimal help by your goodself. Amazing!!:laughing:


I think it would be safe to say that almost every mariner on this forum has had some interaction with the US Navy as they sailed around the globe. I’ll put my neck out here and say that they’ve had to maneuver around or slow down or etc. because of a Naval War Ship after repeated calls to find out their intentions. They’ve also probably had a Naval Veteran crossing over to the civilian sectors walk on their bridge and hurl frustrated questions about why they do things the way they do things. Some of the good ones I’ve heard: Why is this station bill so tiny? It clearly needs to be rewritten. Why is that mate changing course/heading with out calling the captain? Why is that check list so short? etc etc etc. I’ve also sat in a bar in Singapore while a US Navy war ship was in port and been yelled at by a sonar tech about why his sea time wouldn’t count towards getting a third mate’s license and he is certainly better qualified than I am and IT’S NOT FAIR! I’ll give him a little bit of a break off the “IT’S NOT FAIR” statement because there was plenty of booze involved. So while all this is trivial, (well, maybe not the part about having to steer around any war ships during a dark watch), it does add to the overall divisiveness between Naval Mariners and Merchant Mariners. I promise you, we have great respect for the sacrifices the US Naval personnel make - but usually when we see a Naval veteran walk on our ship, we know that it’s going to be a culture shock for them and he/she is usually going to piss off the entire crew with in the week. The best veteran mariners are US Army - odd! But at least they train via STCW standards and when they do get out of the Army, they are ready to go! Naval veterans? Still flummoxed about why the USCG won’t give them credit for the sea time they think they deserve, and they absolutely think their training is superior to anything offered out there (this from one of the horses mouth). This recent incident is embarrassing and completely preventable, just from the very superficial knowledge we possess. We’ve all been in this situation and avoided it successfully. Just a bit of insight about why so many mariners on this forum would go after the US Navy.


My experience with naval vessels has been ok.

My experience with ex-navy or retired navy guys onboard has been mixed.

My experience with ex-Coast Guard and retired Coast Guard guys onboard has been good.


I’ve had similar reactions from deep sea unlimited mates going to workboats. “You got underway without waking up the captain? Wow!”


Dig down a bit on that one … why on Earth would a sonar tech ever for one nanosecond think that he or she is any more of a mariner than a blue-haired cruise ship passenger? Just because they go for a boat ride but have nothing to do with propelling or guiding that boat from A to B is the reason their passenger time shouldn’t count for squat any more than a flight attendant’s flight time would count toward a pilot’s license.

In my opinion, unless their job is identical to that of a position on the minimum safe manning document of a commercial vessel, riding any boat, of any color shouldn’t earn a day of seatime required for a license or any other rating.


What about a Navy electrician? Sould they get sea time towards and engine rating? Maybe say they can’t qualify for a license but at least give them QMED?


I’m sure! Our business is nothing if not multicultural in multiple ways! I started on work boats straight out of school and, while I generally kept my mouth shut (or tried to) over stuff like that, it was a bit surprising to me as well! Then I got over it because I was laughed out of the galley LOL! I learned a lot of stuff the hard way through that first job. It was awesome!


What’s the pecking order there? Does the 3rd captain have to wake up the 2nd captain and let the 1st captain sleep? Does the 2nd captain have to tell the 3rd captain what is going on? Does the 1st captain know everything and would the 2nd captain feel slighted if he told the 3rd captain something but didn’t tell the 2nd?

If the 3rd captain t-bones a Navy ship do the 1st and 2nd captains get their peepees whacked by the CG or just the 3rd captain?


Oh relax.


Well I tried to explain that to the kid but he was having none of it. Speaking with other US Navy personnel who are getting ready to delve in to the private sectors, the Merchant Marine in particular, they can’t understand why the USCG only counts a fraction of their sea time toward a mate’s license. They are trying to rectify that, but they absolutely won’t change their training. The USCG puts it all out there fairly simply and in black and white too, and the USN absolutely refuses to change their courses JUST A LITTLE BIT to meet those standards. It’s mystifying.


If they can get a reefer/electrician and able seafarer - engine rating based on their Navy time then they meet the manning certificate requirement … they are the ones who have a path to commercial certification. Until the manning certificate calls for a rocket mechanic and a sonar operator those rates and a few others that have nothing to do with ship operations should start like every other entry level newbie.


Navy and USCG always seem to have had a combative relationship with their training standards.

Neither recognizes anything from the other’s training.
Common sense seems to dictate that seamanship training courses could be standardized across the sea services, and modified simply to ensure they meet the basic requirements for domestic and international licenses/endorsements.

I know that Army waterborne is STCW compliant. Pretty sure NOAA Corps is working towards all of their stuff being STCW compliant. Why cant Navy, USCG active duty do the same?

But if they want to screw their sailors out of opportunities after the Navy, who am I to say otherwise…


A) I never specified what kind of workboat I was talking about this happening on.

B) I can’t tell if you are being obtuse to be funny or if you just don’t know how the system they use works because that ain’t it.

I’ve had people insist vehemently that if you, as a mate, hold a master’s license you are 100% at fault for what you do on watch and the master of the vessel won’t bear any scrutiny. I could never convince them otherwise. (The reply I’d get: “I’ve seen these investigations happen!!! It’s how the USCG works!!!”)