Defence Q&A Role of department heads on naval ships?

CynicOpt

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So, I know fictional series like Star Trek drew considerable inspiration from the real-world experience of several of its creators in the Armed Forces, particularly the Navy and the Air Force. On shows like Star Trek, department heads are always serving on the bridge - e.g., the Chief Helmsman is always piloting, the Chief Engineer is always getting their hands dirty with repairs, etc.

How much of this is true for a real naval vessel? For example, would the Chief Navigator or Chief Helmsman always be on the bridge navigating and piloting, or would they essentially be office jobs overseeing the coordination of the department while the junior officers under them do the navigating and piloting? Or is it a mix?
 

DAVEBLOGGINS

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So, I know fictional series like Star Trek drew considerable inspiration from the real-world experience of several of its creators in the Armed Forces, particularly the Navy and the Air Force. On shows like Star Trek, department heads are always serving on the bridge - e.g., the Chief Helmsman is always piloting, the Chief Engineer is always getting their hands dirty with repairs, etc.

How much of this is true for a real naval vessel? For example, would the Chief Navigator or Chief Helmsman always be on the bridge navigating and piloting, or would they essentially be office jobs overseeing the coordination of the department while the junior officers under them do the navigating and piloting? Or is it a mix?
Helo CynicOpt again. Department Heads on Canadian Naval Ships anyway are normally the rank of LCDR and don't "normally" stand watches but some do, such as the Executive Officer in a Port/Stbd watch rotation with the Commanding Officer on the bridge and Combat Officer/Ops Room Officer in the Ops Room. The Navigator is normally a Lieutenant in rank and does his Navigation "thingie" and takes the ship in and out of harbour and also stands Officer Of the Watch on the bridge in a watch rotation of officers in all watch systems. The Helmsman is normally part of the Non-Commissioned crew and stands watches on the bridge in all watch rotation systems. The Combat Officer/Operations Officer is normally a LCDR/Lieutenant and is in charge of the Ops Room watch rotation in the 1 in 2 rotation with the most senior other Lieutennants as Sonar or Electronic Warfare Officers on the rotation as either Ops O/Sonar or EW Officer or stands OOW rotations. The Combat Officer, Engineering Officer, Combat Engineering Officer and Air Detachment Officer are normally either LCDR or Major in rank and "most" do not stand watches. The Supply Officer is normally a Lieutenant in rank or he can be Air Force or Army and does not "normally" stand watches. Sometimes there is a mix of junior officers under the "wing" of more experienced officers for training that will stand these watches as well. The only other person on board the ship that definitely does NOT stand any watches is the "Coxswain" (Chief Petty Officer 1st Class) who is the only one of his rank on board and is in charge of all Non-Commissioned Crew Members (NCMs) on board and answers only to the Commanding Officer and is part of the Command Team. All Chief Petty Officers 2nd Class on board are normally Section Heads of Departments and also do not "normally" stand watches. All other Petty Officers 1st Class /2nd Class are either In Charge (IC) of their Sections and do stand watches at sea and in harbour as either Duty Coxswain or Petty Officer of the Day in harbour or Petty Officer Of the Watch at sea (POOD/POOW). Clear as mud....right?:rolleyes:
 

CynicOpt

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Helo CynicOpt again. Department Heads on Canadian Naval Ships anyway are normally the rank of LCDR and don't "normally" stand watches but some do, such as the Executive Officer in a Port/Stbd watch rotation with the Commanding Officer on the bridge and Combat Officer/Ops Room Officer in the Ops Room. The Navigator is normally a Lieutenant in rank and does his Navigation "thingie" and takes the ship in and out of harbour and also stands Officer Of the Watch on the bridge in a watch rotation of officers in all watch systems. The Helmsman is normally part of the Non-Commissioned crew and stands watches on the bridge in all watch rotation systems. The Combat Officer/Operations Officer is normally a LCDR/Lieutenant and is in charge of the Ops Room watch rotation in the 1 in 2 rotation with the most senior other Lieutennants as Sonar or Electronic Warfare Officers on the rotation as either Ops O/Sonar or EW Officer or stands OOW rotations. The Combat Officer, Engineering Officer, Combat Engineering Officer and Air Detachment Officer are normally either LCDR or Major in rank and "most" do not stand watches. The Supply Officer is normally a Lieutenant in rank or he can be Air Force or Army and does not "normally" stand watches. Sometimes there is a mix of junior officers under the "wing" of more experienced officers for training that will stand these watches as well. The only other person on board the ship that definitely does NOT stand any watches is the "Coxswain" (Chief Petty Officer 1st Class) who is the only one of his rank on board and is in charge of all Non-Commissioned Crew Members (NCMs) on board and answers only to the Commanding Officer and is part of the Command Team. All Chief Petty Officers 2nd Class on board are normally Section Heads of Departments and also do not "normally" stand watches. All other Petty Officers 1st Class /2nd Class are either In Charge (IC) of their Sections and do stand watches at sea and in harbour as either Duty Coxswain or Petty Officer of the Day in harbour or Petty Officer Of the Watch at sea (POOD/POOW). Clear as mud....right?:rolleyes:
This is great stuff, thank you!
 

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