Navy vs Merchant Marine

The Navy does some things better the Merchant Marine and the merchants do other things better.

How would merchant mariners do on crewing up nuclear-powered aircraft carrier? Could they take it to sea and launch aircraft without incident? For the navy it’s routine.

The Navy has a system, recruitment, training and so forth. The merchant has a different system for a different purpose.To compare the two is apples and oranges

K.C.

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;96071]The Navy does some things better the Merchant Marine and the merchants do other things better.

How would merchant mariners do on crewing up nuclear-powered aircraft carrier? Could they take it to sea and launch aircraft without incident? For the navy it’s routine.

The Navy has a system, recruitment, training and so forth. The merchant has a different system for a different purpose.To compare the two is apples and oranges[/QUOTE]

All fine for a nuke carrier or a sub or pushing buttons to launch missiles but the US Navy today has shown themselves to be rather less than adept to safely navigate ships through well traveled waters or perform elementary seamanship like bring a stranded ship off a shoal. Besides, can ANY naval vessel be steamed without at least 15 men on a bridge and a similar number in an ER?

So to compare those apples to those other apples, I’d say merchant mariners are better SEAMEN!

as I love to say…STOOPID SQUIDS!

The navy is projection of power at sea and ashore, the merchant marine is transportation of cargo between shores.

My only experience with this is seeing 5 CG sailors manning one of the same model winch that I ran two of myself as an AB on the Lakes. I think they had a safety guy for the safety guy.

But of course, training for war and casualties is a totally different game.

Recent studies of large, formal organizations that perform complex, inherently hazardous, and highly technical tasks under conditions of tight coupling and severe time pressure have generally concluded that most will fail spectacularly at some point, with attendant human and social costs of great severity. [ 1] The notion that accidents in these systems are “normal,” that is, to be expected given the conditions and risks of operation, appears to be as well grounded in experience as in theory. [ 2] Yet there is a small group of organizations in American society that appears to succeed under trying circumstances, performing daily a number of highly complex technical tasks in which they cannot afford to “fail.” We are currently studying three unusually salient examples whereby devotion to a zero rate of error is almost matched by performance–utility grid management (Pacific Gas & Electric Company), air traffic control, and [B][B]flight operations aboard U.S. Navy aircraft carriers[/B][/B].

The Self-Designing
High-Reliability Organization:
Aircraft Carrier Flight Operations at Sea

Of all activities studied by our research group,[B] flight operations at sea is the closest to the “edge of the envelope”–operating under the most extreme conditions in the least stable environment, and with the greatest tension between preserving safety and reliability and attaining maximum operational efficienc[/B]y. [ 3] Both electrical utilities and air traffic control emphasize the importance of long training, careful selection, task and team stability, and cumulative experience. [B]Yet the Navy demonstrably performs very well with a young and largely inexperienced crew, with a “management” staff of officers that turns over half its complement each year, and in a working environment that must rebuild itself from scratch approximately every eighteen months[/B]. Such performance strongly challenges our theoretical under standing of the Navy as an organization, its training and operational processes, and the problem of high-reliability organizations generally.

I used to think the Navy officers were anal Momma’s boys and weaklings hiding behind ribbons like the CO in “The Caine Mutiny”, but after working around them for over 20 years and observing how their industry has changed, I’ve got a tremendous respect for their dedication and hard work that is fully emerged in tension and political correctness. We complain about shoreside management… But the Navy takes it to levels unfathonable. Hundreds of crew barely out of their teens and from every imaginable background… And they live their lives resigned to the Code of Military Justice that could have their pensions and freedom eliminated with the kiss of another woman in town etc…

I spend a lot of stand by time with the CO’s and XO’s on bridge wings in the shipyards, get to hear them work their crew as well as sharing personal challenges from fatherhood to finances… They are truly inspiring people in general… And they… Like me… Like most of us… Make some bad decisions sometimes. Go Navy!

I am very much all for the continuation of the discussion about the US Navy’s general lack of seamanship or navigational skills. I am not anti-american, I am not anti-military, I am not even anti-navy. I love 'Murica (as it is sometimes called with an over-abundance of enthusiasm) and I love her floating war machine, more power to them both, but as with everything else these days the official nincompoops hired to run these official operations they call the federal government lack the experience of slogging it out in the trenches, so to speak. That is how you end up with the single largest floating killing-machine in the history of the world with seemingly no knowledge what so ever as to which direction the pointy end goes.

It’s not the sailors’ fault, it’s not their lieutenants’ fault, it’s not their captains’ fault, hell it may not even be their admirals’ fault, but it is the fault of the department of the Navy as a whole and the over-all governing body of this nation that young men and women are being sent to sea in ships and don’t even know how to read a compass or tie a bowline. Ask them to fire up the nuclear reactor or launch a missile from the North Atlantic and shove it up the asshole of a termite in North Korea, no problem, have it done in 5 minutes, but ask them to safely navigate an extremely well marked ship channel without hitting anyone or anything, well the jury is still out on that one.

The Bottom line is this: the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis needs to DE-emphasize all their little computer games that teach the kiddos how to fly radio controlled bombes out of submarines and they need to take a note from the nation’s maritime academies and RE-emphasize seamanship and navigational skills, FOR A START. That is the very least they can do but it’s what needs to be done ASAP. It’s time we stopped producing floating computer-geeks and time we started (or restarted, as it were) producing manilla-line-chewing, fire-pissing, octopus-boxing, Davy-Jones’-Locker-escaping, hardcore, tough-as-popeye-on-a-spinach-binge SAILORS.

Oorah.

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;96120] they need to take a note from the nation’s maritime academies and RE-emphasize seamanship and navigational skills,[/QUOTE]

Your estimation of the skill level of maritime academy graduates is far higher then mine is.

K.C.

Padddy
How many Navy Ships are in the old country now a days? I imagine not many as there was a big downsizing after the potato famine when my folks came across. You have a point but then the young fella puttin that one on the reef is holding the electronic and paper chart responsible and he has a point even though he was too close to the beach. Most likely there should be a little more use of local pilots when our Navy is within 25 miles of land. Guess there will a need for bigger pilot boats.

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;96120]The Bottom line is this: the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis needs to DE-emphasize all their little computer games that teach the kiddos how to fly radio controlled bombes out of submarines and they need to take a note from the nation’s maritime academies and RE-emphasize seamanship and navigational skills, FOR A START. That is the very least they can do but it’s what needs to be done ASAP. It’s time we stopped producing floating computer-geeks and time we started (or restarted, as it were) producing manilla-line-chewing, fire-pissing, octopus-boxing, Davy-Jones’-Locker-escaping, hardcore, tough-as-popeye-on-a-spinach-binge SAILORS.

Oorah.[/QUOTE]

What makes you think we are not still there, Paddy, if you look in all the right places?

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;96124]Your estimation of the skill level of maritime academy graduates is far higher then mine is.

K.C.[/QUOTE]

There is an ongoing debate as to the merits of maritime academy students and graduates, that I can certainly agree on. I do think however that it can be said that the maritime academies, whatever might be said of their attributes, are doing more in the respect of safe navigation and seamanship than the United States Navy.

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;96127]There is an ongoing debate as to the merits of maritime academy students and graduates, that I can certainly agree on. I do think however that it can be said that the maritime academies, whatever might be said of their attributes, are doing more in the respect of safe navigation and seamanship than the United States Navy.[/QUOTE]

Totally different missions, PaddyWest. We need not get into who is better, now, do we. Don’t take this as mean on my part but who is teaching you what? Do you find your enlightenment simply through your own experiences?

[QUOTE=Sweat-n-Grease;96128]Totally different missions, PaddyWest. We need not get into who is better, now, do we. Don’t take this as mean on my part but who is teaching you what? Do you find your enlightenment simply through your own experiences?[/QUOTE]

No offense taken Sweat-n-Grease, and I hope you don’t think it was my intention to paint the USN as a dangerous gang of rum-soaked lunatic pirates rampaging across the seven seas looking for any poor and unsuspecting merchant vessel they can run into just for fun. That is certainly not what I think or believe. I guess coming right down to it my argument may be more with changing times than with the “establishment” itself. The way I see it the education of the modern naval officer is so weighed down with non-maritime related things (the elaborate computer game-like weapons systems, etc. mentioned above) that it is hardly any surprise when some naval vessel has some terrible snafu, but such are the terribly modern times in which we live.

This brings me back to my original intention of replying to your question: where I get these opinions from. I count myself fortunate to have been the friend and acquaintance of, or to have at least crossed paths with, a number of naval sailors, midshipmen, and officers over the years. I have always enjoyed talking at length with them about their tradecraft and the state of the modern navy. It is surprising how many of them I have met who agree, and are disparaged by the departure of the modern navy from traditional values when it comes to the handling and care of their ships.

I hope this was a more identifiable and metered approach than my previous ramblings, I just feel quite strongly about this topic sometimes.

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;96133]I count myself fortunate to have been the friend and acquaintance of, or to have at least crossed paths with, a number of naval sailors, midshipmen, and officers over the years. I have always enjoyed talking at length with them about their tradecraft and the state of the modern navy. It is surprising how many of them I have met who agree, and are disparaged by the departure of the modern navy from traditional values when it comes to the handling and care of their ships.[/QUOTE]

One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.
– Bertrand Russell

If mariners claim to a reincarnation of Admiral Nelson there is good reason to be skeptical.

More about the hazards of self-evaluation at this article about the Dunning-Kruger effect here

K.C.

When my old Squadron Mates get together, and we do every now and then, we agree that should we be active in the Navy these days, and we acted the way we did back 40 years ago, we’d receive adverse fitness reports which is a ticket to get lost, the Navy doesn’t want your types any more. The differences from today’s Navy and my days in the Navy are profound. I’ve never dwelt much upon this change, whether it was for the good or not, but certainly I am aware of the many differences.

May I state there are profound differences in the US Merchant Marine of today and what it was like when I sailed?

[QUOTE=Sweat-n-Grease;96163]When my old Squadron Mates get together, and we do every now and then, we agree that should we be active in the Navy these days, and we acted the way we did back 40 years ago, we’d receive adverse fitness reports which is a ticket to get lost, the Navy doesn’t want your types any more. The differences from today’s Navy and my days in the Navy are profound. I’ve never dwelt much upon this change, whether it was for the good or not, but certainly I am aware of the many differences.

May I state there are profound differences in the US Merchant Marine of today and what it was like when I sailed?[/QUOTE]

I agree with S&G on the changes even at the Academy’s. I remember going on training cruises with the ships electrician and utility man drunk off their asses and hollering out their port hole at people going ashore. We had keg parties in my dorm room. You would be fired for the former and thrown out of school for the latter. I’m glad I grew up when having fun wasn’t against the law. Life is short have fun and work hard. Both the Navy and the Merchant marine need to realize people need to “lift safety’s” occasionally.

[QUOTE=Too bad steam is gone;9617] Both the Navy and the Merchant marine need to realize people need to “lift safety’s” occasionally.[/QUOTE]

The Guardian was en route from Olongapo City.

K.C.

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;96173]The Guardian was en route from Olongapo City.

K.C.[/QUOTE]

I remember Olongapo City ~~~~~ Uh-Oh :smiley:

[QUOTE=Too bad steam is gone;96171] Both the Navy and the Merchant marine need to realize people need to “lift safety’s” occasionally.[/QUOTE]

Couldn’t agree more.

The main problem with the U.S. Navy is that each person has to change their job every 18 months. Imagine that happening in the merchant marine or in corporate America. One day you are a navigation officer on a patrol vessel, the next you are an engineer on a frigate, the next you are in an Ethics school, the next you are assistant manager for repairs on a destroyer, the next you are a Chaplin, then a gas turbine safety officer, then an administrative aid for an old guy, then Navy Postgraduate School, then CO of a Cruiser… Oh, and throw in a few weeks as a helicopter pilot and base commander at Camp David or a Commissary…

Makes it hard to actually get very good at anything. Even those teaching you are relatively new at their positions. Certainly makes for an interesting career though!

(OBVIOUSLY EXAGGERATING FOR EFFECT).

Have a fine Navy day.