Officer's Ranks and associated rings.

"Lecky"
27th June 2012, 07:10
Can anyone tell me the latest ranks and rings compared with what used to be in say 1960's?
There seems to be more Captains, Commodores etc than I ever remember.
Particularly Engineering dept'

Thanks "Lecky"

septiclecky
27th June 2012, 16:21
What company are we talking about or are you talking about the RN?

RetiredPMSO
27th June 2012, 20:54
Can anyone tell me the latest ranks and rings compared with what used to be in say 1960's?
There seems to be more Captains, Commodores etc than I ever remember.
Particularly Engineering dept'

Thanks "Lecky"

Hi John,

From what I know the RFA structure changed sometime after the Falklands War, I am sure some currently serving people will know more.
There is still a Commodore both Deck and Eng but they are now shore based unlike the old days when they were afloat. The Radio and Electrical Dept combined to be Systems Engineers (SE) and the Chief Enginners became Capt (E)'s, Second Eng - Chief Officer (E) and so on.

See you have not yet picked up my Private Messge to you.

Ron

"Lecky"
28th June 2012, 06:51
Yes talking about RFA's Septiclecky!

hillshepherd
28th June 2012, 09:42
Can anyone tell me the latest ranks and rings compared with what used to be in say 1960's?
There seems to be more Captains, Commodores etc than I ever remember.
Particularly Engineering dept'

Thanks "Lecky"

It may seem there are more top brass than 50 years ago but in reality there are less due to the severe contraction of the fleet. A unified rank structure introduced about 25 years ago meant that professional or specialist ranks were replaced by a single path from Third Officer to Captain, with a departmental suffix. This was unifying and more easily understood by the Armed Forces the RFA are in dail contact with. As the Chief Engineer is now styled Captain (E) that means that most ships have two captains but there is no change in numbers borne. The other big change was the move to full naval command in 1994 (I think) when the professional heads of the Service (both Commodores) took over from civil service management, reporting to the relevant flag officers or directorates. There is one further Commodore - HRH the Earl of Wessex who is appointed Commodore in Chief by the Queen. In unform matters the colour insertion between stripes is proudly adhered to - and all chief officers and all captains of all branches wear laurel leaves on their caps. The civil service stores department in the stores ships also wear uniform - in this case RN stripes but with green colour insertion. Hope that covers it - I am a bit out of date having been retired for 20 years and no doubt any serving Members can correct any mistakes.
Regards H/S

"Lecky"
28th June 2012, 10:09
Thanks for all that,
So do I assume a 2nd Eng is now known as Chief Officer [E],a Snr El Off as 1st Officer [SE],a 1st El Off as 2nd Officer[SE],3rd Eng Off as 2nd Officer[E] etc?
I had spotted a photograph of Dave Bates, ex Clerical Officer aboard "Reliant"[The Yacht] wearing what I took to be a Commander RN's stripes.
That was a jump for my old mate Dave!

Do we have a Captain [SE]?

All too much for an "Old 2nd Lecky"

Cheers

RetiredPMSO
28th June 2012, 16:39
John,

I believe there is a Capt (SE), but the old Snr Elect Off is now a 3 striper and thus a Chief Off (SE). From a search of the internet it appears the structure is now:

Third Officer
Second Officer
First Officer
Chief Officer
Captain
Commodore

Ron

"Lecky"
29th June 2012, 09:02
Thanks to hillshephard and Ron,
Does anyone know what the total electrical staff is on modern RFA's,Officers and other ranks?
Also what technical qualifications are required of Officers?
In my time there were no BOT tickets for electrical officers,and consequently our stripes were 1/4 inch wide compared with "Ticketed" officers 3/8 inch.
There was talk about making City & Guilds Technicians Certificate,the accepted qualification.Did this happen?

Thanks again
"Lecky"

RetiredPMSO
29th June 2012, 11:08
The standard now is HND or equivalent, I believe even those guys who were serving back in the 1980's and who had T4 were sent to college to get an HND. New entrants are also sent to Dartmouth for initial training.

"Lecky"
30th June 2012, 01:11
Thanks Ron,
I would dearly love to have a tour of a modern RFA;how different they must be to the old "Reliant",a converted "merchantman".
What a change in numbers;I believe about 40 vessels in the '60's,20 involved in The Falklands and what 13 nowadays?

I was a civilian Electrical Supervisor, with USN in Exmouth WA whilst the Falklands was going on.Keeping a very close eye on things,,with daily trips to "The Comm' centre".Believe me my heart was with The Troops throughout!

"Lecky"

hillshepherd
30th June 2012, 05:48
Thanks Ron,
I would dearly love to have a tour of a modern RFA;how different they must be to the old "Reliant",a converted "merchantman".
What a change in numbers;I believe about 40 vessels in the '60's,20 involved in The Falklands and what 13 nowadays?

I was a civilian Electrical Supervisor, with USN in Exmouth WA whilst the Falklands was going on.Keeping a very close eye on things,,with daily trips to "The Comm' centre".Believe me my heart was with The Troops throughout!

"Lecky"

Lecky - sounds like a bad case of needing to join the RFA Association ! If you go to their web site you can read more about it and find a joining form. There are often chances to visit ships - it depends where you live and which branch area you would be in. A modern RFA is certainly impressive - there is a hum and a tautness and you are left wondering if you are on board an RFA or a warship. Part of that is in the appearance and bearing of the crew - now all in uniform with rank and branch badges, all apparently well-trained and motivated. Interested to hear you were following the Falklands from the States - if you have not already done so I suggest you get hold of a copy of the RFA Falklands story - No Sea Too Rough - a good narrative. Coming back to your earlier questions - all branches have the chance to reach captain, although there is only one post in the SE branch, and he is head of the specialization and based in Bristol. The SE branch was formed by merging the electrical and radio officers, but I believe they have found it necessary to re-introduce communications officers - it is after all a different field.
Best wishes H/S

RetiredPMSO
30th June 2012, 13:02
It is my understanding that they have not reintroduced Communications Officers but the communications are undertaken by communications ratings, with upkeep/repairs of the communications/navaids kit being undertaken by the Systems Engineering Dept.

"Lecky"
1st July 2012, 01:43
Once again a double reply;H/S and Ron[PMSO],
I appreciate your information,
A point of clarification[H/S],I was not in USA,but employed at NAVCOMMSTA Harold E Holt in Exmouth Western Australia.A combined USN/RAN VLF and HFT/R station,mainly to talk to submerged submarines.Geographically extremely remote,stuck on the tip of Norwest Cape.
The VLF Transmitters[2] were 1megawatt each at 11kv,which had of course circuit breakers supplying them.The Comm's Technicians maintained these and the associated gear[although we were often called in to assist].Most of these blokes were ex Woomera Techs,no I am not giving away secrets;it was all out of date when I went there.
The Antenna Field was/is quite impressive,a "Witches Hat" of 13 towers,covers several kilometers[Google it for a good look].

I have looked at RFAA and am a member of Historical RFA,so my finger is on the pulse so to speak.Several entries in "Life in the RFA" are from R/Os and it is obvious reading them that the traditional "Dual Radio Rooms"have long gone,as have most of the R/O's positions.

I look forward to any more comments.

"Lecky"

hillshepherd
1st July 2012, 06:10
It is my understanding that they have not reintroduced Communications Officers but the communications are undertaken by communications ratings, with upkeep/repairs of the communications/navaids kit being undertaken by the Systems Engineering Dept.

You are right on that score of course, but I do know there is a small number of mid-ranking communications officers in the command and training structures ashore. I imagine these are filled by promotions from the CPO(C) stream.

Anixtu
1st July 2012, 11:26
It is my understanding that they have not reintroduced Communications Officers but the communications are undertaken by communications ratings, with upkeep/repairs of the communications/navaids kit being undertaken by the Systems Engineering Dept.

You are right on that score of course, but I do know there is a small number of mid-ranking communications officers in the command and training structures ashore. I imagine these are filled by promotions from the CPO(C) stream.

There are Communications Officers (3/O(C) and 2/O(C) at the moment, no Captain(Blue Rinse) yet), but they are not radio officers reborn. There is one per ship, 3/O or 2/O depending on the size of the ship/department and complexity of the comms fit - Forts and Waves 2/O, the others 3/O AFAIK. Principal duties acting as Comms HoD and CBO. They have been CSS admins, but I don't know if that is shifting down to CRs with their morph into 'CIS' branch instead of simply 'Comms'. CRs of LH and above are eligible to apply for RTO to become Communications Officers.

RetiredPMSO
1st July 2012, 13:44
What does AFAIK mean.

R58484956
1st July 2012, 14:44
As far as I know.

hillshepherd
1st July 2012, 17:07
There are Communications Officers (3/O(C) and 2/O(C) at the moment, no Captain(Blue Rinse) yet), but they are not radio officers reborn. There is one per ship, 3/O or 2/O depending on the size of the ship/department and complexity of the comms fit - Forts and Waves 2/O, the others 3/O AFAIK. Principal duties acting as Comms HoD and CBO. They have been CSS admins, but I don't know if that is shifting down to CRs with their morph into 'CIS' branch instead of simply 'Comms'. CRs of LH and above are eligible to apply for RTO to become Communications Officers.

Anixtu - thank you for clarifying that - and for a few more acronyms ! I think I have got or remembered most, and I think RTO is Rating To Officer ? AFAIK had me beat until I looked at Google though ! I am please to hear there is again a proper career path for communicators - I look forward to seeing Captain (Blue Rinse) taking his rightful place alongside Captain (Sandwiches). Not my joke but an in-house one, I believe.
Regards H/S

dab
1st July 2012, 17:41
Hi John (lecky), did you get the private message I sent you regarding our time together on "Tidepool" and life since the RFA?
Regards (dab),
Dave Burns.

Anixtu
1st July 2012, 20:36
Anixtu - thank you for clarifying that - and for a few more acronyms ! I think I have got or remembered most, and I think RTO is Rating To Officer ?

I wasn't sure how familiar the TLAs would be. Correct on RTO.

The others (for anyone unfamiliar):
CBO - confidential books officer
CSS - command support system (a Navy-wide computer network for classified data)
CR - communications rating
CIS - communications and information systems - the new branch name for the former Communications branch in RN and RFA

Captain (Sandwiches).

I've only heard that as Captain (Sausages) before, and they are multiplying. Three (or more!) on last count, but I think one or two may have recently retired or returned to substantive grade from temporary-acting after pressure on the LS branch from recent cuts.

"Lecky"
3rd July 2012, 07:10
One from "Down Under";WIBF.Translated Whale Oil Beef Hooked!
Yes I did get your PM,Dave and tried to reply,but I failed somewhere.Got your email so will send you a reply that way.

"Lecky" John.

chadburn
3rd July 2012, 11:46
I was amazed to read in the N.N. in a article about one RFA vessel that it had 6 Chef's on board, is that the norm?

trotterdotpom
3rd July 2012, 11:49
Too many Chefs and not enough Indians?

John T

joebuckham
3rd July 2012, 12:14
Too many Chefs and not enough Indians?

John T

john,that's very topical at the moment considering the crew hullabaloo that carnival / p & o are involved in:rolleyes:

Tony Morris
3rd July 2012, 12:52
Link to what is happening with P&O Indian waiters.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jul/01/arcadia-cruise-ship-indian-crew

Enri
26th August 2014, 06:53
It appears to me that basically all heads of department have been given Captain status, except for the Chief Officer! The master of the vessel is a Captain, but he is the Master, (unfortunately nowadays with communications as they are, not under God). In Salvage etc the Chief officer (deck), is normally aligned with the chief engineer, as HOD's,so has this changed? Does the Grocer and Chief Eng, now get the same as rewards as the Master?
Seems to me that although it takes everybody from the deck boy to the master to make the team work, there is a lot of BS about titles, which has reduced the status of the chief officer (deck), to a lesser status even though he is an HOD, and second in command.

zero
26th August 2014, 17:23
There's more gold braid, medals and superfluous titles nowadays than in a comic opera.

Klaatu83
26th August 2014, 18:28
Can anyone tell me the latest ranks and rings compared with what used to be in say 1960's?
There seems to be more Captains, Commodores etc than I ever remember.
Particularly Engineering dept'

Thanks "Lecky"

I have only ever sailed with one "Commodore". That was during the sole occasion when I sailed for United States Lines, on the American Marketer. I have been with one or two companies that had a "Senior Captain", but he was the only one that insisted that he was a "Commodore". In fact, as soon as I joined the ship he made a point of informing me that I enjoyed the rare distinction of sailing under "The Commodore of U.S. Lines". However, he never sported any distinctive gee-gaws that were different from what was worn by any other captain although, knowing him, I have no doubt that he would have if he could.

I have never heard a Chief Engineer referred to as a "Captain". The Chief Engineer was always known simply as "The Chief", as opposed to the Captain, who was invariably referred to as "The Old Man". The Chief Mate was always known as "The Mate", to distinguish him from the First Assistant Engineer, who was invariably referred to as "The First".

nickwilson89
4th September 2014, 01:51
I notice on some cruise ships nowadays the captain wears the same amount of braid as a British Admiral (full). I have yet to run into a Commodore master; he may get one more ring and match Prince Philip and others.

Purser52
2nd December 2014, 16:57
As far as I know (and I left the RFA in 1994), only the Commanding Officer and Chief Engineer wear four stripes on board - both enjoying Captain rank of course. The other Four Stripe officers are based ashore in various management roles. The Chief Officer (XO) still wears 3 stripes, Logistics Officer (Supply Officer or Purser in old money) wears 2, two and a half or three stripes depending on size of ship and the Senior SE Officer generally wears 2 and a half or three stripes. To answer a later comment, in larger cruise vessels, the Master wears one broad band with three conventional sized bands above. The Staff Captain (2nd in command) wears the more conventional 4 four stripes.

tiachapman
2nd December 2014, 18:21
There Was Only One Man Who Signed On As A Officer The Radio Officer

twogrumpy
3rd December 2014, 15:55
Oh for the old days when life was much more relaxed.(Jester)

RFA 1952

NoR
3rd December 2014, 17:29
The only 'officer' on a merchant ship was the radio officer. The rest were divided into engineers, mates and the master.

LouisB
3rd December 2014, 18:18
The only 'officer' on a merchant ship was the radio officer. The rest were divided into engineers, mates and the master.

A rose by any other name is still a rose. signed WS.

LouisB. (Scribe)

Waighty
10th April 2015, 10:48
Tongue in cheek - once you've decided on what braid to have, you then have the onerous task of choosing what thickness of braid it should be. As I recall from MN days the standard thickness was three eighths on an inch whereas RN I think was half an inch. Is the same true today?

slick
10th April 2015, 12:21
All,
Another four letter abbreviation of an Officer is S.L.J.O. - S----- Little Jobs Officer, there that rounds it out.

Yours aye,

slick

onestar
10th April 2015, 21:27
Waighty, as stated on another thread, RN (and Commonwealth navies) was 9/16 of an inch. What that is in decimals (mm) I do not know!