Author Topic: Presently Army, being posted to a ship  (Read 2188 times)

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Offline IanLaw

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Presently Army, being posted to a ship
« on: February 20, 2018, 16:57:47 »
I apologize if this question has already been answered. I am not the most computer proficient. Also, I am a longtime lurker but this is my first post as I am generally a private person who does not like sharing personal details.

Here is my background. I was sworn into the CAF about ten years ago. I have been Army my entire career and enjoyed various postings in my trade.

Because of some recent and unexpected retirements the Career Manager asked me to take a posting with the Navy come this APS that will eventually include going to sea. Other than a couple short-term taskings with the Air Force my entire career has been Army. What can I expect as life-long soldier being posted to fleet?

I know this question is open-ended but I don't feel I know enough right now to even know what questions I should be asking. So I appreciate any feedback and advice. Thank-you.

Offline Colin P

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Re: Presently Army, being posted to a ship
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2018, 17:11:51 »
Go with an open mind and a sense of humour, you will get ribbed a bit and perhaps a few harmless practical jokes. You find sailors generally good hearted, hard working and totally silly at times. Plus they speak an entirely different language and studying some of it will help greatly. Generally everything that happens on a ship, happens for a reason and often to prevent small things from becoming big problems.


jollyjacktar

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Re: Presently Army, being posted to a ship
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2018, 17:26:53 »
It is going to somewhat depend upon: 1. your rank and 2. your trade.

You are going to have some culture shock, for starters.  The navy is a different beast to the army.  You might feel in some respects more anal, here and in other respects totally slack, there.

You will need to go through the Naval Environmental Training Program (NETP).  Its our version of the Soldier Qualification Course introduction all new soldiers get.  The NETP will give you a bit of our history, language, traditions and some basic seamanship skills.  In amongst this will be learning how to fight fires and floods and other emergency situations on ship.  This will give you the basics you'll need to build upon your professionalism as a member of a ship's company.

There will be training onboard the ship when you first arrive too.  You'll be double banking (OJT) for Duty Watches on ship until you finish all your ticks in tbe box and can fly on your own.

You will appreciate having three hots and a cot.  No more slit trenches, digging in or stripping down at the MLBU in freezing Wainwright weather for the shower and scramble back to the Mod Tent to shiver the night away.

It may look daunting now.  And yes, there will be some crap times but you'll get to (hopefully) see parts of the world you'd never get the chance to with the army.  It's not going to be belt fed all the time.  Just some times.   :nod:

Online Loachman

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Re: Presently Army, being posted to a ship
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2018, 19:41:48 »
more anal

Yes, the second of the Three Great Naval Traditions - Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash.

You probably get to state your preferences, but the needs of the Service come first.

Offline army n navy medic

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Re: Presently Army, being posted to a ship
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2018, 19:50:13 »
I was in a simular situation many years ago- 12 years army then boom onto ship I went. I must say it was a learning curve for sure but between the crew and the travel best 5 years of my career..

jollyjacktar

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Re: Presently Army, being posted to a ship
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2018, 19:53:58 »
Yes, the second of the Three Great Naval Traditions - Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash.

You probably get to state your preferences, but the needs of the Service come first.
Well, seeing as they got rid of the booze... ;D

Offline Furniture

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Re: Presently Army, being posted to a ship
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2018, 21:07:18 »
Six years ago I was an air force guy heading to ship for the first time, since then I've spent  a few years away from home on ships and can without a doubt say they were the best 5 1/2 years of my career and life.

As stated earlier, so in with an open mind. Don't be "that guy" talking about how stupid the navy is and how amazing the army is. Nobody wants to hear it and nobody is impressed. You'll likely find several of the sailors you are preaching to have done some army time and made the switch. The caveat to this is of course if you want to joke around, sailors in my experience tend to have a good sense of humour about almost everything. They also know all about how dumb the navy can be, and love to make fun of it.

Get duty watch qualified as quickly as you can, it can be difficult to take it all in but it is key if you want to be respected and treated as a real member of the crew. Nobody likes a freeloader or the guy with the constant excuses.

Spend time in the mess, don't spend all your time at sea in your rack watching movies/TV on your tablet/laptop. The people you sail with are going to be the people you spend time with in ports all over the globe, friends make even bad ports fun. The beauty of a ship is all trades work and live together in the same tin can, my best friends in the navy are from all the different trades and departments.

Last and most important, be in the mess at 0955 every day! The cooks never make enough soup, you need to get there before the operators eat it all.

Offline IanLaw

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Re: Presently Army, being posted to a ship
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2018, 22:28:29 »
Thank-you to everyone for your good advice and encouragement. I was happy to go Navy not knowing what to expect. But everything I keep hearing is very positive. So each day I find myself looking forward even more to this new posting. (Of course things can still change until the message is cut.) How does mess life and visits to port work on ship? What are some extra duties that I can volunteer for that will help me better transition to life on a ship?

jollyjacktar

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Re: Presently Army, being posted to a ship
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2018, 22:57:23 »
In foreign ports there still is a need for the duty watch.  It is normal to be on duty for a day or two while there depending upon the length of visit.

Its not unusual to have activities laid on that you can take advantage of too like tours, Fleet Weeks....  Lots of possibilities. 

The different messes have different levels of engagement.  The Wardroom folks are, as a rule, more active in a formal sense.  Dinners, Cocktail parties etc.

Things have changed in the fleet since l came inland, with the booze rules and its possible that many mess members go ashore when in port too.   

Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: Presently Army, being posted to a ship
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2018, 06:31:43 »
I just want to echo what WeatherdoG and JJT have said. 

You cannot beat the travel.  And because the tight living quarters and shared adversity you will make some very close friends. 

Also they are right about getting duty watch qualified.  Get it done as fast as possible.  Remember the key to enjoying shared adversity is sharing in them ;)

I am a storesman (Sup Tech) so if you have any questions about the Log Dept in general and more specifically Supply feel free to PM me.
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Offline Pusser

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Re: Presently Army, being posted to a ship
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2018, 12:52:18 »
The culture shock will be your biggest challenge, but there will be plenty of folks around to "help" you through it - all in good fun of course.  ;D  Be prepared to deal with buckets of steam (although I suppose there are fewer of those in frigates than there were in DDEs), boxes of radar contacts, port/starboard running oil, shore line, prop wash, etc.  At least they got rid of the anchor pocket doors, so no more pesky keys to worry about!  Learning the language will be fun.  No explosives or ammunition will be involved in "securing" anything, but "securing for sea" is serious business.  In the Army, "no duff" means it's real, but in the Navy it's cause for mutiny.

Some of the great advantages the Navy has over sleeping in a hole (that you had to dig yourself) is regular (sometimes even hot) showers, clean sheets, hot food, crockery, cutlery, etc.  The down side is having your naked, soapy body flung out of the shower and across the compartment or having all that crockery (filled with food of course dumped in your lap when the ship rolls at the most inopportune time.  There is nothing quite like the experience of, "HANDS TO DINNER.  CLOSE UP FOR OOW MANOEUVRES.  STAND BY FOR HEAVY ROLLS."  Notwithstanding the motion of the ocean, I'd rather be there than in any field environment. The Army really knows how to take the fun out of camping.

Good luck! 
« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 11:42:09 by Pusser »
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Presently Army, being posted to a ship
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2018, 14:53:08 »
The Army really knows how to take the fun out of camping.

There's fun in camping?  Not according to this guy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdqIpYhM6PE

Offline Furniture

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Re: Presently Army, being posted to a ship
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2018, 18:22:24 »
Thank-you to everyone for your good advice and encouragement. I was happy to go Navy not knowing what to expect. But everything I keep hearing is very positive. So each day I find myself looking forward even more to this new posting. (Of course things can still change until the message is cut.) How does mess life and visits to port work on ship? What are some extra duties that I can volunteer for that will help me better transition to life on a ship?

I just came off ship in September, so my experiences are fairly recent. If you want to become friends with everybody really fast volunteer to become RPO(Regulating Petty Officer... Everybody loves the RPO...

Port visits can vary by trip/deployment but usually for every five or six days alongside you will work a duty watch in foreign ports. As stated earlier departmental work and ship wide taskings can change that amount as well, but fortunately most of those jobs are a few hours rather than a 24 hour duty watch.

I have found in my experience that the C&POs(WO&Sgts) mess tends to do few organized events, but usually the members have a drink or two in the mess to make plans for the day/evening in foreign ports. After a few drinks is usually when the groups split up and head out to whatever it is they have planned(often more drinking). As I only sailed as a Sgt I can't comment with any authority on the other messes other than to reiterate what JJT said about the Weirdroom.

As far as groups or cliques in the mess break down in my experience, usually the stokers stick together(spec 2 elitism is my guess), the hull techs like to mingle(mangle) and party, CSE are a mixed bag(comm techs are nerds), and combat is usually bitter and sullen about sitting in a dark room all the time(except Nav Comms, joke lots about USB sticks and cell phones, they love it). Finally Met Techs... avoid them like the plague, very odd and they tell horrible jokes to torture you every day at sea.  ;D

PS. Remember if you have any choice, West is Best!