Question for the Navy/Coast Guard

Question for the Navy/Coast Guard

This is a discussion on Question for the Navy/Coast Guard within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Everyone in my family that has served in the navy (not joining till im done with school) has been a Boatswains mate. From what I ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array SilenceDoGood's Avatar
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    Question for the Navy/Coast Guard

    Everyone in my family that has served in the navy (not joining till im done with school) has been a Boatswains mate. From what I understand they epitomize what it is to be a sailor. I've done some searching to find a list of thier duties, but each list is a little vauge. Just curious as to what the job entails. Thank you!

    EDIT: would ask those who served, but they are all grandfathers/greatgrandfathers that have passed away.
    "A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master." -- George Washington


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array blueyedevil's Avatar
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    Like alot of jobs in the military, what your actual job entails depends a whole lot on where you're at, what rank you are and who you're workin' for. Generally shipboard duty for a junior BM involves a whole lot of regular old manual labor, maintaining chain, rope and line. Painting, cleaning, standing various watches. Basically a regular deckhand. As you move up in to NCO ranks you end up supervising the juniors and driving various small craft (LCU's, LCAC's utility boats etc.) and other similar duties as well as doing quite a bit of the junior duties. Then like most military jobs as you move into the staff NCO positions you end up doing more and more administrative duties and drinking of coffee. Unless of course you get into the high speed, low drag side of the house.

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    My step-son joined up early this year - and chose to follow flight/aircrew aspects. He is already a petty officer and now stationed in Jacksonville FL - due to start active flying middle of next month.

    So - he is not let's say the average ''sea salt'' but hopes to go far in flying. Seems there are many choices these days and as he has done good with results will probably not be on a ship much at all - other than I guess later maybe a carrier.
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    Senior Member Array SilenceDoGood's Avatar
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    I just want to be an old salty sailor, so I think BM is the job (or is called a rate/rating) for me. Can't wait.
    "A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master." -- George Washington

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    Senior Member Array blueyedevil's Avatar
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    Just wait untill you finish school before you go, you can still enlist with a college degree. You'll be kickin' yourself later if you don't, trust me.

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    Member Array Cocolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilenceDoGood View Post
    I just want to be an old salty sailor, so I think BM is the job (or is called a rate/rating) for me. Can't wait.
    No you don't. There is no shame in the rate, but it is a harsh rate. A lot of responsibility will be thrown upon you too early. Deck life on a ship is hard. One silly policy is "no standing water on the deck", so while it rains you and a lot of other guys will be constantly sweeping the deck to prevent water from pooling. You'll do this even thru a typhoon or hurricane when it will rain for several days. Also the deck department is composed of a lot of "borrowed" (TAD) people from other departments. So guess who they send TAD to the deck department? It won't be their stellar performers, but most likely their trouble guys, the guys that are always missing the watches, not wearing their uniforms right, and causing "alcohol related incidents". The only good thing is that it is a source rating for SPECWAR. My recommendation, finish college and come in as an officer. It is a night and day difference not only in pay but in quality of life isues.


    PS. By the way I am an old salt and my neighbor is an older salt. I retired in 2005 and served during the good ol' days of the Navy. My neighbor retired in 1993 and was a Master Chief Boatswain who went SPECWAR.

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    Senior Member Array SilenceDoGood's Avatar
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    school first. then enlistment. then ocs. thats 1.5 years away tho. my mind will change 10000 times before then. but defenitly school first.
    "A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master." -- George Washington

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    Member Array Dolphin's Avatar
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    Unless you are considering a career in the military or with the Merchant Marines in my opinion Boatswains mate would be a less than mentally challenging choice, I feel that with all the hi tech training available in todays military you would be better served learning a trade that would carry over into the civilian world.

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    Senior Member Array SilenceDoGood's Avatar
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    Well my first pick is Master at Arms, but I have a red/green color defficency... i can't see the stupid numbers in the stupid dots (i'm a bit bitter about the whole thing). It severly limits what I can and cannot do in the military.
    "A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master." -- George Washington

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilenceDoGood View Post
    I have a red/green color defficency... i can't see the stupid numbers in the stupid dots (i'm a bit bitter about the whole thing). It severly limits what I can and cannot do in the military.
    Sadly that "little" problem eliminates a whole bunch of jobs for you, including almost everything in electronics I guess.
    Rick

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    Distinguished Member Array P7fanatic's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by rstickle View Post
    Sadly that "little" problem eliminates a whole bunch of jobs for you, including almost everything in electronics I guess.
    YEP.

    But like you said. Finish college first and have that degree in your hand is a good idea.
    "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." -Thomas Jefferson

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    Senior Member Array purple88yj's Avatar
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    Find a job that isn't color sensitive. Nothing wrong with being a Deck Ape (I was one) IF you are going to be a lifer. Get back out into the real world, and you are qualified for zip. You are capable of performing a lot of jobs, but employers hire in regards to qualification, and not assumed abilities.

    Trust me, if you think even remotely that you might get out and re-join the civilian life (can't say that I would suggest it), get a transferable job. Electronics, electrical, computer programming, JAG, avionics, anything that is a "re-usable" skill. Being able to swing a swab or a paint brush doesn't lend itself well to being much of a livable income in the civie world.

    Now, that said, being a BM is an absolute riot. I served on a "Gator Freighter", or an amphibious assault ship. The Austin Class U.S.S. Ogden LPD-5 was my floating home for two years. Aboard ship I had more fun than a person should be allowed to have at work, but there were days that the monotony seemed that it would never end. You can only paint the same color for so long before you go mad.
    "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in ... And how many want out." British Prime Minister Tony Blair

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    Member Array Manzanita's Avatar
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    You could always be a corpsman. I was signed up for electronics until I hit the AFEES (now MEPS) station in Memphis and discovered I was red/green deficient. I thought the recruiter was going to cry until I asked about being a corpsman.

    Funny thing. After leaving the navy I went back to school and got an electronics degree. I now work as a television broadcast engineer, of all things. It has never been an issue. As long as I have a 47B blue filter and some NTSC color bars, I'm good to go.

    Most of my sea duty was "green water" with the USMC, but I do remember that Boatswains Mates were often referred to with a somewhat derogatory term "deck ape". I would try real hard for some "A" school if possible (do they still call them 'A' schools?).

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    Senior Member Array blueyedevil's Avatar
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    Hey, welcome aboard there shipmate. I too was an FMF corpsman out of ol' camp swampy.

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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilenceDoGood View Post
    Well my first pick is Master at Arms, but I have a red/green color defficency... i can't see the stupid numbers in the stupid dots (i'm a bit bitter about the whole thing). It severly limits what I can and cannot do in the military.
    Might I also recommend you stay away from EOD

    Is it the blue wire or the red wire?

    RED!

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    (BLUE)
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

    martyr is a fancy name for crappy fighter
    You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know

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