Navy OOD (Officer of the Deck) qualifications and experience


Ah yeah, could agree with that maybe. COs currently tend to be pretty good at responding to such things, the problem is the culture is very much “don’t wake up the skipper if you can help it” on some ships. It might help to have a WO4 or something they can call where they don’t feel the same apprehension about calling.

Though it’s interesting, every set Standing Orders I’ve ever read heavily included the “IF YOU’RE IN DOUBT CALL ME!” line, and yet here we are. Can’t ever be scared to call someone if you’re unsure or if the situation is simply over your head, and that needs to be a culture shift. Either by hiring the WO4 as you suggest, or just pushing hard for JOs to be more confident calling their CO.


That’s what I was implying. I could replace the bridge team with Chinese officers and achieve better results. Something a Naval Officer should really think about, that they are not as proficient at the tactical level as their adversaries and they don’t seem to mind.


The solution is simple. Standardized training for a dedicated deck track for ships officers. Whatever money the USN saved with the current training program has been flushed in spades with the Fitz’s accident alone, not to mention the other collisions.


I was saying that because you want the guy to call the person that actually knows how to run a ship, not manage an office. We’ve already established that the Sea service requirements to be a CO are lower than to be a second mate most places so why call him?


Being at sea half the year, every year, IS full time work.


It’s an interesting idea, I’m just not sure that another officer is the way to go, at least for the CRUDES / small boys who have career surface officers commanding them(though they’re the ones having trouble, so maybe there’s something to be said for doing it your way). I think we really just need to get back to actually training our officers to be career ship drivers instead of this general officer stuff. Have career paths for engineering officers and career paths for bridge officers, then command tracks stemming from that. If you want to command a surface vessel, you go through the bridge / topside path.

I will absolutely agree that it would be a great idea to put a WO4 or something like that on the big decks. We’ve not had too much trouble with them yet, but having career pilots commanding them probably isn’t a good idea. Put an officer in there that’s the equivalent of a Master and just tell him where to drive the ship, and do any side training on how to do flight ops / chase winds as required.


Plus all the other things that you do on off time for work, classes, training, studying for upgrades, physicals, etc… It is full time work.


It already is on three commissioned ships…

I will also point out the solution is quite simple. I’ve pointed out many times, all we need to do is follow the european naval model. Get our officers STCW qualified, and split them into two or three career paths. Simple as that. Or get a sailing master (AGT Merchant Master) and commission as a warrant on the ship with some mates as (master mates), just like the British model in the 1800s and before…


One other thing I have yet to point out is the recent degradation of skill in the enlisted rates! Consider this heavily. The last decade or more has seen a drastic change in being promotable, and it not having to do at all with how well you do your job.

Rather “evals” are based on collateral duties, such as MWR (moral wellfare and recreation), or treasurer, or some other BS PC collateral. Without doing well and having many of these, and doing volunteer work, sailors fail to advance.

You could be terrible at your job and still get outstanding evals, and advance quickly. That system is very broken. Sailors suffer on and struggle at doing basic tasks. I’ve seen BMs, who couldn’t splice 6 strand aramid, QMs who didn’t understand pub 102 vice naval signals, and HTs who couldn’t weld. There is a reason for the drastic increase in civilians doing ship work in port.

There is an asinine level of dogmatic, inefficient and lunatic PC policies that are having a devastating effect. So many policies and not enough skill make it hard to accomplish the most basic of tasks.

Engineering casaulties do not get talked about much, but there has been many as well!

Getting back to the basics must happen.

BELOW: The top response from enlisted sailors to a meme from “Shit my LPO says on FB” about why all these problems are happening.


Yes I think you are right, but why mention Chinese specifically? I believe you could obtain better result with officers of any nationality, as long as they have the education, training and experience that would be expected from merchant marine officers, since all maritime nations adhere to the standard set by IMO’s STCW’10, with a few notable exceptions.


I seem to remember the engineering guys got quite a butt kicking here on the LCS thread.


And there have been a few more since the LCS mishaps on other naval ships.

For example: USS Anchorage


Because they are seen, by naval officers, as an adversary and considered by them and others to be the bottom of the barrel.


I’m not sure I’d say that. The Chinese have a huge merchant fleet and at least one good academy. I expect their officers are top notch. I normally think of Greeks and Eastern Europeans in less than favorable light, but that’s mostly from reputation and not personal experience.


The Navy seems to be keeping the details of that one under wraps … more embarrassing details I guess.

Let’s not forget the Iwo Jima (LPH-2) disaster where 10 incredibly brave men died because of systemic incompetence.


Who remembers this one? Thank god no one was hurt or killed!


I just wonder how many here have actually sailed with Chinese crews, or worked with Chinese officers?

It surely is a difference in opinion between nationalities who is the best and the worst seamen. Norwegians are convinced of their superior seafaring skills in general, while the Dutch is just as convinced that they are the best in towing, salvage and dredging.

It appears that Americans also thinks they are the best, with a superior Maritime Education and Certification system and Training Institutes, but the rest of the maritime world may not be as convinced.

The Chinese don’t brag as much, but they have a long seafaring history and are the largest maritime nation today. The number of Chinese seafarers far exceeds that of Norwegian, Dutch and American combined. If you include the Inland and Fishing fleets as well, they become even more numerous. (Throw in the Navies as well for good measures)

The fact is that you find good and bad seamen of all nationalities, but the education and certification system has a lot to do with the average standard in the various countries.

I’m looking forward to a meeting in the Aalesund Shipping Club next week, where Mr. Jo Even Tomren of the Norwegian Training Center in Manila will be one of the speakers, on the subject of; “26 years with Norwegian-trained Filipino Seafarers”.
It may be enlightening to learn about the standard of Maritime Education in the Philippines and how NTC Manila is able to ensure the quality of their graduates, many of whom will serve on Norwegian owned and operated ships throughout their career and reach the highest levels in their profession.

PS> For those who may be interested in how the Chinese Maritime Education system works, here is a link:
And a link to the web page for Norwegian Maritime Foundation of the Philippines, of which NTC Manila is a part:


Didn’t that happen during the years we balanced the budget? Military cuts were a big reason for that balanced budget.

Miltary having to use duct tape, seriously?
I learned what a hammer and screwdriver could really do during those 3 years… LOL!!!

Just looked it up… It happened before all the budget cuts, 1990. I do remember about the story coming out about sailors writing home worried about the engine room due to the duct tape. My old XO was CO on that ship and seems like he got relieved by change of command about 1 month prior.


paying USMM mates $80K-$100K (or more) a year for half-time work just isn’t likely to come up on the solutions list.

Please don’t keep this idea of “you only work 1/2 the year” rolling around. Everyone makes choices…and most mariners became sailors understanding that in exchange for being away from friends and family, working goofy hours in sometimes crappy wx, and a myriad of other pros and cons we would work roughly 1/2 the year.


You seem to be a little obsessed about this.