Author Topic: naval communicator jobs  (Read 23396 times)

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Offline koss78a

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naval communicator jobs
« on: September 16, 2005, 16:59:34 »
I know this thread is on here in some way or another.

I would like to know if naval communicator is a good career  and if many people who go into that profession?
Do they stay in it for all of their lives?

Is it a very demanding job? Does this position have to wave flags lots or do they get to work all over ship?

WHat is the demand on this job right now?
Is lots of math needed in it?
thank you

Offline Gunner_Pyza

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2005, 17:36:27 »
You should start with going to this link, look under Regular NCM and then Naval Communicator.  It gives you a lot of information about that trade.

http://www.recruiting.forces.ca/engraph/navy/jobs_e.aspx

As for personal experiances about that trade, I can't help you with that.

Offline airmich

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2005, 23:17:32 »
I began as a signalman and then it became the communicator trade.  In total, it has been 14 years for me.  I am a reservist, but have been employed (most recently) for over 3 years continuously.  Although I preferred the trade as a sig, NavComm is okay too.

I am sure that someone will reply on the Reg force position, but I can let you know about being a reserve comm.  As a reservist working full-time, you will be one of 3 or 4 comms onboard an MCDV.  While alongside, you will be busy with sending and receiving messages which will involve typing and computer skills.  While sailing, you will be standing watches in the Communication Control Room where you will be also working with incoming and outgoing messages, radio communications including sending, receiving and setting up the frequencies or channels.  You may also be employed on the bridge of the ship with communications by radio, flags, semaphore or flashing light (morse code).  You may also be tasked with IT responsibilites and keeping all of the computers onboard working.  And you are relied upon for all matters of ceremony.  As you work through your qualifications, you will be working to sign off on-the-job training packages for yourself, as well as help junior members of the department advance on theirs. 

To answer some of your specific questions:  This job does not require math in the day-to-day aspect of it.  You do get to work throughout the ship also.  For instance, you may be part of "part ship hands" and handle lines for departing from, or coming alongside, the jetty.  You will also be part of the manning pool for shipboard emergencies and aid in fighting fires and floods.  This job can be quite intense and demanding.  When you are on course, most of the pass marks for the exams are 100%.  You must be exact in your radio procedures, ceremonial, signalling etc.  You are often reporting directly to the Commanding Officer and must be confident and right!  You must think quickly on your feet, especially when it comes to radio communication.

This job is not for everyone, but it is excitement-packed and enjoyable.  Like any position, it is what you make of it.  If you have any other questions, please ask.  And the link above will give you some other background too.
So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

Offline tempestrunner

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2006, 18:00:54 »
I began as a signalman and then it became the communicator trade.  In total, it has been 14 years for me.  I am a reservist, but have been employed (most recently) for over 3 years continuously.  Although I preferred the trade as a sig, NavComm is okay too.

I am sure that someone will reply on the Reg force position, but I can let you know about being a reserve comm.  As a reservist working full-time, you will be one of 3 or 4 comms onboard an MCDV.  While alongside, you will be busy with sending and receiving messages which will involve typing and computer skills.  While sailing, you will be standing watches in the Communication Control Room where you will be also working with incoming and outgoing messages, radio communications including sending, receiving and setting up the frequencies or channels.  You may also be employed on the bridge of the ship with communications by radio, flags, semaphore or flashing light (morse code).  You may also be tasked with IT responsibilites and keeping all of the computers onboard working.  And you are relied upon for all matters of ceremony.  As you work through your qualifications, you will be working to sign off on-the-job training packages for yourself, as well as help junior members of the department advance on theirs. 

To answer some of your specific questions:  This job does not require math in the day-to-day aspect of it.  You do get to work throughout the ship also.  For instance, you may be part of "part ship hands" and handle lines for departing from, or coming alongside, the jetty.  You will also be part of the manning pool for shipboard emergencies and aid in fighting fires and floods.  This job can be quite intense and demanding.  When you are on course, most of the pass marks for the exams are 100%.  You must be exact in your radio procedures, ceremonial, signalling etc.  You are often reporting directly to the Commanding Officer and must be confident and right!  You must think quickly on your feet, especially when it comes to radio communication.

This job is not for everyone, but it is excitement-packed and enjoyable.  Like any position, it is what you make of it.  If you have any other questions, please ask.  And the link above will give you some other background too.

Thanks for sharing.  I have a few more questions regarding the trade that I can't seem to find.  These questions are directed to ALL Naval Communicators. 

Of all the NCM trades, how stressful (in your opinion) is this trade compared to that of the others?  I read something about the turnover rate being quite high.  Is this because of  the stress in the job or because people missing  their families and such?  I'm trying to figure out if I'd make a good NAV Comm or not.  I meet all the requirements on paper, but I feel there might be more to it than this.  The unwritten requirements for a lack of better words.

You mentioned you must be 100% accurate when it comes to certain tests.  How does a potential like myself know if I have what it takes to complete these objectives?  I hate wasting time and more so the time of others.   What if I fail these tests?  How many times do they let you re-do these tests (if at all!)? 

If you could give me a breakdown of how much time you spend with the following duties, I would appreciate it.    I tailored the duties based on the "What they do" section from the jobs website. Please feel free to rewrite these duties to however you see fit as I'm quite green and learning the jargon still.

IE:

Ships Husbandry: 20%
Operate on board communications systems : 20%
Computer/IT: 20%
Communicate inter-ship by ship/shore: 15%
Ceremonial Flags: 5%
Advise Command on tactical signalling and ship manoeuvring: 15%
Misc (Ship's Diver, etc): 5%


Next, I have some questions in regards to the NAVY in general;

1) I'm a big guy.  I'm 6'4 or 6'5.  Will I be comfortable for space in my bunk or will I be having problems waking up sore all over? 
2) With my size mentioned, will my clothes fit?  I have a 36 inseam.  If the Navy can't provide me adequate wear, could I purchase my own clothing that meets their standards? 

If my 2 personal requirements can't be met in the NAVY, would I be better off as a Sig Op in the ARMY?

I'll probably have more questions later, but I really want all of these addressed first.  Thanks for reading!
« Last Edit: March 28, 2006, 18:11:18 by tempest77 »

Offline Navy_Blue

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2006, 18:17:04 »
As far as height and fit.  I'm 6'2" and no real issues with my bunk but you tend to nail your head allot throughout the ship.  You kinda get used to walking through the ship though and I've seen many people taller than me.  Clothing...the military will find stuff to fit no worries there.  As far as Army vs Navy been both now.  The warm racks and hot food are big perks but the biggest perk is in the main cave it cost 1$, its lit up and purs all 24/7.  >:D

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Offline airmich

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2006, 21:25:18 »
Tempest,

You can't break down the NavComm trade into percentages like that.  What you do is completely based on what operation, evolution or training the ship is involved in.  For example, if you are conducting a MARS Officer training program, you will be heavily involved in radio communications utilizing tactical signalling, if you are conducting a tow or other seamanship evolution, you will most likely be spending alot of time on the flag deck with signals or semaphore.

As for ship's husbandry, that is a never ending job, it seems.  You will be in cleaning stations every day, and other times you could be involved in upper deck scrub downs, and paint ship routines.

IT is dependent upon what happens to work (or not work) at the time, and could be busy one day, and nothing new for weeks.

As for the tests on your courses, you will be given ample time to learn things, and if you do not have success with this time, there are opportunities for extra study including evenings and weekends.  If you fail an exam, you are given a rewrite.  If you fail the exam again, or fail another exam, you are given a TRB or Training review board.  These end up different each time, and are dependent on how well you are doing with all other aspects of the course, and whether the instructors feel that you are putting effort into learning.  If you fail again after a TRB, you then are put on a CRB or Career Review board.  This is much more serious, as they will determine here whether you are considered suitable to remain in your trade, and sometimes even the military.

But if you put effort into what you do, request extra training when required, and work as a team with your course mates, there is no need for any of that to happen.

As for stress on the job, sure I have had many days that I wish would end really quickly.  When the CO wants an immediate tactical message sent out, or we are having troubles with equipment or..or.. the list goes on.  But I love my job, I feel that I know my job really well, and that I am good at what I do.  This helps alleviate the stress, because it means less thinking for me when I need to know answers right away, or am put on the spot.  But comparing the stress of my job to others?  I can only speculate, as I have only seen others in action, never been in their shoes.

You may think that the above didn't help you much, but the truth is that many of your queries do not have specific, or direct answers.
So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

Offline tempestrunner

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2006, 01:59:11 »
You may think that the above didn't help you much, but the truth is that many of your queries do not have specific, or direct answers.

navymich, I was kinda expecting and hoping to get a reply like this!  The way that I read into your reply, it sounds as if there isn't much monotony from day to day!  That's great!  One of my pet peeves is doing the same thing for long periods of time with no variety in other chores / duties.  What kind of work rotation can I expect if I'm in the regular forces? You have addressed every question / concern I had  in my last post!  Thanks!  I"m sure I'll have more questions later!

Currently, I'm taking the next month or so to brush up on my Algebra for the aptitude test.  From reading these forums, looks like it is very advisable.  However, what other things could I study to make my application stronger?  I see that all new recruits learn CompTIA's A+ and Network+.  I already have these and other related certifications.  I also have work experience directly related to this.  Should I take the initiative to learn anything else?  IE: Ceremonial Flags, Morse Code, etc...

Navy_Blue, Good to hear!  When I was in high school, some of my part time jobs would provide a uniform and it would NEVER fit.  It looks stupid and I feel stupid for wearing something that doesn't fit properly.  I'm also glad to hear that my bunk will be adequate.  Just out of curiosity, how much space do you get on a ship?  Do you share a room with someone else / others?  How much sleep do you get on average if out at sea? 

Thanks!  ;D

Offline Melbatoast

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2006, 17:14:20 »

Navy_Blue, Good to hear!  When I was in high school, some of my part time jobs would provide a uniform and it would NEVER fit.  It looks stupid and I feel stupid for wearing something that doesn't fit properly.  I'm also glad to hear that my bunk will be adequate.  Just out of curiosity, how much space do you get on a ship?  Do you share a room with someone else / others?  How much sleep do you get on average if out at sea? 

Thanks!  ;D

There are a couple of very tall guys on my ship - anything up to 6'5" is small compared to these guys, so being tall is no big deal.  6'4" is about the height at which you may need to get shirt extensions - it's no big deal, but once they are on your shirts go down to your knees!  They never come untucked though.

On a CPF you share what is called a messdeck with, on average, 11 other guys (some messes are bigger, some smaller - the smaller ones are for Chief and Petty Officers).  You get one bunk in a stack of three, a good size locker, and a drawer under your bed.  There is always a small sitting area in the messdeck with maybe a couple of couches, and many messes have a TV and game system of some sort (we have an XBox 360 when we go to sea).  Depending on your section, you can use some of your spaces for storage, too.  Sonar operators have two good spaces for storing souveniers and so forth, but most sections aren't as lucky.  Don't know about NAVCOMMs.

On the destroyers the messing is a little more traditional, with a messdeck of 50+ guys.  I think the tankers are similar, and have no idea what the messing is like on an MCDV.

At sea you will almst always either sail in a 1-in-2 or 1-in-4 watch system.  That means either every second watch or every fourth watch, you are working.  1-in-2 is better, as you work five hours, are off for seven, work seven hours, are off for five.  Repeat for as long as necessary, and change the order for the other watch (work seven, sleep five, etc).  1-in-4 is pretty bad for working bodies because you have to work a full 8 hour day and then stand a four hour watch, the time of which changes every day.  And every fourth day you have to clean and stand by for formal evening rounds.  Watchstanding Petty Officers like it because they only have to do a Petty Officer of the Watch duty a couple of times a week, otherwise they just work the 8 hour day (and I can see where they're coming from, but it still stinks for MS and below, particularly below).

There's also a 1-in-3 watch system that I've never done.  Stokers and other MSE types do it sometimes, and so do bridge watchkeeping officers.

Offline airmich

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2006, 19:59:54 »
MCDV's typically sail with a crew of 45.  There are 2, 3 and 4 person cabins onboard, with the CO, XO and Coxn each having a 2 man (CO doesn't typically share his with anyone).  The 2 and 3 man cabins are 1 set of bunks, whereas the 4 man cabins have 2 sets of 2-person bunks.  As well, there is an accommodations pod secured to the sweepdeck.  All cabins (not the pod) have a locker for each member and a sink, the pod has a locker for each, plus a table.  Some of the cabins are a bit bigger then others, and have a desk in them as well.

Each head and shower (6 of each) is a separate stall with it's own door and lock.  The CO and XO share a head which has a sink and shower in it.

The complement is usually broken down as follows: 32 Junior Ranks, 8 Chiefs and Petty Officers, and 5 Officers.

An MCDV stands in a 1in3 watch rotation.  This is not the best for working bodies, as you are still required to work during the regular work day, and then also your watches throughout the night, but there are not enough bodies to stand a 1in4 rotation.  As well, due to there being fewer personnel onboard, and most are required for evolutions, it is not possible to stand in a 1in2 rotation.  This has been done due to operational requirements, but is not typical.
So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

Offline SoF

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2006, 11:52:01 »
I'm looking forward to learning the nav comm trade. One of the reasons I chose this trade was because of the computer experience which could be used in many civie jobs.
Arnold is numero uno

Offline airmich

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2006, 12:55:46 »
One big requirement for the NavComm trade is the security clearance.  When you have been enrolled, they will have you fill out all of the forms for it, but ensure that you stay on top of the progress of it.  Without the required clearance, you will be unable to attend your trade courses.
So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

aesop081

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2006, 13:26:05 »
One big requirement for the NavComm trade is the security clearance.  When you have been enrolled, they will have you fill out all of the forms for it, but ensure that you stay on top of the progress of it.  Without the required clearance, you will be unable to attend your trade courses.

Mich, in the last 2-3 years they have allowed students on courses that required level 3 as long as it had been submited in full and was in progress......I'm living proof of that !!

Offline airmich

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2006, 14:55:34 »
Why am I not surprised that you are an exception to the rules aesop!

...But specifically regarding NavComm courses:  They cancelled 4 or 5 QL1 courses last summer due to students not having level 3.  All of them were in progress at some level, but had not been completed.  They were able to get a few more students on the course by calling DPM Sec, but with how backlogged they are, and the lengthy procedures for level 3, it wasn't a guarantee.

They are attempting to find a way around some of it, including sectioning the course to at least allow a student to commence, but no word as of yet.  It would be nice if they could follow the same track as you and as long as it was in progress, it was acceptable.  There are now quite a few kids a year behind in training.
So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

aesop081

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2006, 14:59:27 »
Mich , my level 3 application was submited over 2 years ago !!  When i checked last week it was still "processing".  Turns out they only started processing it last november....wtf ?

Offline RowdyBowdy

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2006, 17:12:58 »
Why am I not surprised that you are an exception to the rules aesop!

...But specifically regarding NavComm courses:  They cancelled 4 or 5 QL1 courses last summer due to students not having level 3.  All of them were in progress at some level, but had not been completed.  They were able to get a few more students on the course by calling DPM Sec, but with how backlogged they are, and the lengthy procedures for level 3, it wasn't a guarantee.

They are attempting to find a way around some of it, including sectioning the course to at least allow a student to commence, but no word as of yet.  It would be nice if they could follow the same track as you and as long as it was in progress, it was acceptable.  There are now quite a few kids a year behind in training.

It must be different for Reg Force as myself and most of my classmates didn't have Top Secret throughout our QL3.
Adherence to the Prescribed Procedures is MANDATORY.

Offline airmich

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2006, 17:27:57 »
Mich , my level 3 application was submited over 2 years ago !!  When i checked last week it was still "processing".  Turns out they only started processing it last november....wtf ?

I am in the process of submitting an update.  From what I understand, simple updates are taking a year to process.  They have been short-handed at DPM Sec for years, and that's the only thing that I can understand would be holding things up (except for the people that have travel to scheduled countries, out of country relatives etc. that would take longer to process).  As for upgrading an application, that is BS that it is taking so long.  I completely understand that upgrading to a Level 3 is alot more information and footwork required, but still, taking so long for a member already in.  As for why it just started with the processing, who knows.  That pile of files must be higher then I thought.

It must be different for Reg Force as myself and most of my classmates didn't have Top Secret throughout our QL3.

That is a question that I have just asked through some of my contacts at Fleet School.  I am curious too as to what the difference would be, and also what there plans are for this year so that they are not losing students again.
So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

Offline SoF

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2006, 19:51:10 »
How would I check on the process of my security clearance?
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Offline airmich

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2006, 20:03:37 »
Check with Ship's Office at your unit.  Actually, disregard that.  Go through your divisional system and THEY will check with the clerks.
So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

Offline George Wallace

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2006, 20:23:59 »
How would I check on the process of my security clearance?

You can try doing what navymich has said, but in actual fact, there is probably little to no way to really check on the progress of the Clearance.  As long as it has not been bounced back to you, or some glaring questions come back to you, you will know it is being processed and all you can do is wait the year or so it takes to be done.
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Offline airmich

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2006, 20:37:05 »
Although it is annoying to go through, the nice thing about the electronic way of filling out security forms is that it does a completeness check for you so right away you know if you are missing anything.

If a clearance has been submitted for awhile, sometimes a call made by the ship to DPM Sec will help to determine the status, but from previous experience of calling them, it had better be an important reason why you are asking.

As you get closer to your 1's course SoF, your unit will stay on top of it, as well as Fleet School to ensure that it is progressing.
So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

aesop081

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2006, 21:00:09 »
Although it is annoying to go through, the nice thing about the electronic way of filling out security forms is that it does a completeness check for you so right away you know if you are missing anything.


You would think so.......When i completed mine, the global completeness check said everything was good.  Well turns out that it wasnt wich caused delays.  When Ottawa was queried they said that it doesnt always work as intended.


Offline George Wallace

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2006, 21:07:54 »
You would think so.......When i completed mine, the global completeness check said everything was good.  Well turns out that it wasnt wich caused delays.  When Ottawa was queried they said that it doesnt always work as intended.

When I did mine, all looked good.  Two months later when one of my brothers was doing his, he asked me for my info.  As I had just done mine, I told him I could save him a lot of work, and I would send him all the info.  When I looked at what I had on the printout, my sister who was born in Winnipeg and was now living in Australia, was 'now born in Australia'.  As I would have been two at the time, and the fact that I have never been to Australia, this posed quite a problem.  I now had to completely redo the online application.  It is a system/program that does have some flaws in it, so be very careful when you check the printed copy.  Then make sure you keep a copy for your files.
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Offline airmich

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2006, 21:08:34 »
You would think so.......When i completed mine, the global completeness check said everything was good.  Well turns out that it wasnt wich caused delays.  When Ottawa was queried they said that it doesnt always work as intended.

GREAT...so much for those high hopes I had.  

The biggest slowdown in mine is having to write statutory declarations about family that I don't know where are.
So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

Offline Naval Boarding Party

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2006, 13:34:48 »
Take it from a Regular Force Naval Communicator with 15 years in. If you want training in Computers/Networks/Software etc. Then sign yourself up! If you want to get paid great money for walking in with no experience and no education...Sign yourself up. If you want to fart around and go from little contract to little contract thinking that the Heavy Warship life is like the life of a Naval Reservist...then go sign up with them. I am a regular force Naval Communicator posted to a Naval Reserve unit. I see people everyday that refuse to commit themselves and then end up leaving the Reserves bitter and confused.

Go sign yourself up as a Naval Communicator in the Regular Force and give it a go. Within 3 years, you will be able to make up your mind and decide if you want to carry on with your commitment. You will be doing your job every day, not just in the summers and the occasional weekend Saturday.

In defence of Naval Reservists. You don't have to be a Regular Force Sailor to be a professional. I don't know how many times I have heard "I am just a SHAD. What can I do?". (SHAD: Sunday Holiday and After Dinner Sailor) Well I square them off for even saying that! Firstly, they cut themselves down every  time that they say that. Secondly, they souldn't feel that they have to compare themselves with their Regular Force commrades. There simply is no comparison. You can't equate yourself with someone who has more time doing the job than you do.

I tell all the Naval Reservists that you don't have to be a Regular Force Sailor to have a professional attitude. If you have the right attitude, then you will learn from all opportunities to train. Keep a positive attitude and you will succeed.

I recommend that you get out and sign yourself up as a Regular Force Naval Communicator, get your IT Training, get a tour or two under your belt and come on out and become a part of the team. Clean white sheets, 5 square meals a day, duty free beer and exotic ports of call. The decision on where you will go in your life is ultimately up to YOU!

Ready Aye Ready

I'm done!
Land: a navagational hazard to be avoided at all costs.

Offline SoF

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2006, 15:13:01 »
Clean white sheets, 5 square meals a day, duty free beer and exotic ports of call.

Duty free beer...I think you just convinced me ;D As a fellow Nav Comm I'm looking forward to starting my training; whenever that will be but I have a question as to what are the main difference between a reserve nav comm and a reg froce nav comm. Since you serve on a reserve ship NBP perhaps you can tell me the differences between the to.
Arnold is numero uno

Offline Naval Boarding Party

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2006, 23:27:10 »
Firstly, I am a Regular Force Sailor who is posted to a Naval Reserve Unit. It is a building not a real ship that moves. Reserve units try to use naval terms to get their people used to hearing and using the terms that they would use on a real ship.

As for the Naval Boarding Party. I don't believe that the Naval Reserves run any Naval Boarding Courses. I have yet to serve on a boarding party with a Naval Reservist. If anyone out there knows of a Naval Reservist who has been trained and served with a Boarding Party, please let us know.

The difference between a Regular Force Naval Communicator and a Naval Reserve Naval Communicator is well firstly the amount of training and experience that you get. The Regular Force gets a whole lot more training and experience. The reason being that the Regs are doing the job 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They have more opportunity and are thrown into the job right away. The Reserves gear up their courses and training packages to be done during the spring breaks, summer sessions and any time that allows students in high school, university, community collage etc to attend.

Now some Reservists will tell you that they have just as much experience and sea time as the Regs. That is not so. Going to sea in a small MCDV with no speed and second world war vintage mini-guns restricts to a large degree what you can do as well as the ship's endurance and the ports that it will visit. I could go on comparing a full time Sailor to a Part-Time Sailor but I find that Reservists quickly get their noses bent out of shape when you start comparing. So lets get to some other  stuff that really nails down the difference.

Okay, Information Technology Training. Network, Servers, PC Hardware etc. The Reserve Naval Communicator, as far as I know, doesn't get this training. Right now, the Regs are getting this training on both coasts all being done downtown, provided by an international civillian Computer Training provider. Millions of dollars that you won't see spent on the Reserves. Reserves may touch on installing a basic operating system like MS Windows or XP but not much more than that.

Naval Boarding Party. The Boarding Party  is taken from all trades in a Reg Force Warship. Reg Force Warships are also known as "Heavys". The team is made up of a slice of all different trades to have a good balance of subject matter experts to tackle any number of threats or problems that may arise during a boarding. Normally, the more experienced Sailors are asked to "Volunteer" for the team. Naval Communicators are always on the team. Infact you will change jobs and tasking around to keep sharp. You can get in shape and ask to become part of the boarding team and eventually, with some luck you may be chosen.

So, good luck. Keep in mind that the Regular Force and Reservists work together all the time and it is not fair to compare as it can sometimes give the impression that Regs look down on the Reservists. Most of the time it is ignorance on the part of the Regulars who just don't understand the unique challanges that Reservists face. Reservists have unique skills that are seldom encountered in the Reg Force and most times, they just don't know how to deal with a Boatswain with a degree in business. Yup, it happens.

I expect that this thread can be shut down now that you have your answers about the new job. Go East young man......go East!

Cheers.
Land: a navagational hazard to be avoided at all costs.

Offline Dolphin_Hunter

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2006, 07:18:01 »
"I am just a SHAD. What can I do?". (SHAD: Sunday Holiday and After Dinner Sailor)


Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't SHAD come from Shadow Sailor, which was a term used for Reserve sailors in WWII?

Offline airmich

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2006, 09:28:29 »
Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't SHAD come from Shadow Sailor, which was a term used for Reserve sailors in WWII?

That is the way I have heard it too Sub_Guy.  Unfortunately, nowadays, it is meant as a derogatory term.  Of course, most of that seems to come from the tone used to say it.
So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

Offline Dolphin_Hunter

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2006, 22:56:08 »
There is nothing bad about that term (SHAD), we all serve under the same flag.  I hear the greasy submariner term thrown around alot, although we are the butt end of a lot of jokes we submariners are a proud "dirty" bunch.  Much like the Shads out there. 

It seems that every element/unit throws $hIt at other units, sure it may be annoying but it does make us all stronger as a team, and that is most important thing.  Personally I always bash the SHADS, but 98% of that is in good fun.

Offline rahan

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #29 on: June 09, 2006, 18:09:18 »
Why am I not surprised that you are an exception to the rules aesop!

...But specifically regarding NavComm courses:  They cancelled 4 or 5 QL1 courses last summer due to students not having level 3.  All of them were in progress at some level, but had not been completed.  They were able to get a few more students on the course by calling DPM Sec, but with how backlogged they are, and the lengthy procedures for level 3, it wasn't a guarantee.

They are attempting to find a way around some of it, including sectioning the course to at least allow a student to commence, but no word as of yet.  It would be nice if they could follow the same track as you and as long as it was in progress, it was acceptable.  There are now quite a few kids a year behind in training.

Yep, I was one of those who got their course cancelled on them. Now I'm still an OS, lost a year of training.
At least I'm leaving on sunday to finally start my QL1.

Offline airmich

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #30 on: June 09, 2006, 19:02:13 »
Yep, I was one of those who got their course cancelled on them. Now I'm still an OS, lost a year of training.
At least I'm leaving on sunday to finally start my QL1.
Did you at least get on your NETP last summer?  Hopefully so, because now, after your 1's course, you will be able to go to sea and work on your OJT package (dependent on the availability of yourself and positions of course).

Best of luck on your course and enjoy Victoria.  If you have any questions before you get here, or even after you're here, let us know (there are quite a few West Coast comms on the site).
So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

Offline ACIGSkyler

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2006, 17:31:00 »
I registered to this forum today and noticed this thread. Looks like you've been given some good information on the trade here, but wouldn't mind adding my two cents.

I was a NavSig from 1990-1996 (took FRP) and am proud to have been a NavSig. I got out before they put the two trades together so not sure what the requirements are (math etc), and in those days we were just getting computers to type messages, though most was still done on electric typewriters.

The things that I enjoyed were the responsibilites given to you at an early stage - some times the only Sig on the bridge and you were always close to the CO and OOW. Message Center Dayman - no cleaning stations and you basically hung around officers all day. Not always a good thing, but if you were good you got noticed. Sigs and Radops were very close knit, one thing I really miss now that I'm out. And, as happened to me, you can yell back at an OOW and get away with it, and have him come back and apologize to you.

It is stressful and have seen a few marriages crack, guys get locked up for alcohol abuse (and lose their security clearance), and move onto to other trades. But like the motto at the school at CFB Esquimalt (if it's still there..the motto that is), we are the Elite of the Fleet.

Court

Offline airmich

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2006, 17:41:21 »
Welcome to the board Skyler.  I too was a sig until the amalgamation.  I miss everything that you talk about.  I still get to do most of it, just not as often as I wish I could.  The junior bodies in my department think I'm nuts (okay, so maybe I am  :D) with how much I like tactical and fleet manoeuvring, but that was our bread and butter then.  And the knowledge is sorely lacking in it today.
So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

Offline ACIGSkyler

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2006, 18:01:13 »
Thanks navymich!

I'm only in contact with one guy now, Don Morehouse...but he was also my first SHOW and later roommate. OOW Man's could be fun, unless the officer wasn't really squared away. I enjoyed light most of all, and it was interesting that after awhile you saw all those dits and dahs as actual letters. Sem was fun during a RAS, catching up on info, and noticing others wondering what the heck you were doing.

Did a spell at MARPACOPS, but our other LS got caught drinking and driving so lost his clearance so got called back. Shame because that is one of our better duties. Nothing like getting all the interesting intel that doesn't make the news. I actually did wait until 5 years before telling my family some of the things that I saw there.

I never did much time in Halifax except for OSUT, and beating HMCS Iroquios badly at Adm O'Brien  ;D

Court

Offline Dolphin_Hunter

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2006, 22:04:12 »
The good news for all you old school gents/girls is that they are looking at bringing the Adm O'Brien competition back!  I agree Navymich that our tactical skills are trailing off, I can understand why though.  Most of the information is passed through the ops rm which then passed the information up the bridge, all the while the comms are flipping though Vol II trying to piece together what was already passed to the OOW 5 minutes ago.

Now there is talk of taking Sem out of the picture.  And with MOSART I think the 00299 will be in for a big change.  OOW Man is fun especially when you see some people stress out, etc.  I still don't know why they are usually done around lunch time though.  Flashing light is a good dit, but again these skills are going out the window, they are only really practical during radio silence.

The old school signalman (262) skills are slowing disappearing, when you sit down and think about it there really isn't a need for a 00299 on the bridge, as most of our job up there is a little redundant.  Sometimes I think they only keep comms on the bridge to clean the windows and take out the gash.   Is there any value in hoisting flag H while conducting flight ops and there isn't a contact within 250 Km of your unit?   navymich please refrain from wanting to take a hammer to my head for those comments  >:D!






Offline Naval Boarding Party

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2006, 18:48:28 »
Recruitee beware

The Naval Signalman trade 262 and R262 (reserves) is dead. Gone. Naval Radio Operator 274 is gone too. Amalgamation is well behind us and there are still left over reminders of what we (Naval Communicators) once were. These days, we are training our people to carry out some other duties to add to the former 262/274 trades. Information Technology, Network and Server management is the current order of the day. We are evolving constantly and those leaders with their heads in the proverbial clouds will eventually be left behind. I see too many of the former 262/274 being kept around merely to train the new blood to replace them. When amalgamation happened, there were a number of elevated personal evaluations submitted which saw an increase in promotions during and shortly after it was completed. That however could be a seperate thread all together for the Regular Force members of the site to discuss.

Let's get to the Point

I will make my point. I can understand that there a many of us both Reg and Res that were former Nav Sig and NRADOP. It is nice to tell stories to maintain a memory of traditions and training experiences but the general calibre/performance of modern day Naval Communicators will be less than the Nav Sigs/NRADOPS of 7 or 8 years ago. There is just too much information and training for our people to be proficient in all tasks. It is a dis-service, in my opinion, to our up and coming, modern day NAV COMMS, to encourage the us and them attitude between former Nav Sigs and NRADOPS.

Nav Sigs and NRADOPS (the legacy)

ACIGSkyler had it right when he said that NRADOPS and Nav Sigs were very close. When the ship had to be dressed over all (cables and lines to display colourful flags from bow to stern) the "Communication Section" pulled together and threw up the flags aloft as a team. There was little distinction between the two trades. Today, that job is still carried out by the same team. The job has changed and Nav Comms are being asked to do a different job but the nature of the tasks are evolving and changing as new classes of ships/subs and equipment is procured.

For potential recruits of today who are considering Naval Communications as a choice. You should know that this is a trade that has gone through a lot of change over the last few years and continues to evolve. There is a whole lot more equipment and overseas deployments in the Regular Force than there is in the Naval Reserves. The Regular force had  more obstacles to overcome than the Reserves as there were two completely different trades and very different classes of ships.

Consider the source of Information

While you can run out and sign up at a recruiting centre and find yourself quickly on your way to basic training, you should make sure that you consider all your options before you put on a military uniform and stand up for your country. Consider what you want to get out of the commitment. There is a large variance between Regular Force service (full time) and Primary Reserves. The training, pay, posting, potential to come into harms way and long term benefits are very different between Regular Force Nav Comms and Primary Reserve Nav Comms.

Without going into too much more detail, I advise you to consider your source of information and the those who advise you on this trade. As this is a public forum, anyone from around the world with internet access can throw in their opinion. Reguardless of the opinion they have of the trade and themselves, we have no way to confirm or authenticate the experience and access that advisors on this site have.

Some questions you should be asking

A question that you should be asking first is if the person advising you is a Regular or Primary Reservist. Secondly, ask them what their experience is and rank. For example, just because someone may have been onboard a Submarine doesn't make them an expert. They may think that they are and speak with authority and conviction, but they are by no means an expert. Some people who wear a uniform elevate their selfworth well above of their actual contribution to an organization. The opportunity to wear a uniform and become part of something bigger than themselves can be a little intoxicating for some people. Be wary of those who wish to make themselves look good and impress you with their limited experience.

If you have any doubt. Fire a question out in the forum and consider all responses. Have a look around and consider all of the advice. Learn the difference between Regular Force and Primary Reserves as it is extremely important that you know all of your options before you proceed. The recruiting office doesn't always have the answer to all your detailed questions and expectations about the Naval Communicator's Trade. That is hopefully where this forum can help.

Best of Luck

I wish all new comers well and I truely hope that your path is a well informed one. I have no regrets about becoming part of this trade 15 years ago. Considering the minimum requirements and education requried to enlist into this trade, the pay off is more than fair. I have travelled to more than 45 countries and have had the honor of representing Canada to many different cultures. I love the job and even through the numberous changes I continue to stay and train my replacements.

Fair Seas and Following winds.
Land: a navagational hazard to be avoided at all costs.

Offline Dolphin_Hunter

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2006, 19:38:48 »
For example, just because someone may have been onboard a Submarine doesn't make them an expert. They may think that they are and speak with authority and conviction, but they are by no means an expert.

I certainly hope that wasn't directed at me, as I don't have much time on the new boats, but you will find most of the New submariners don't........And by no means am I an expert, Spent a year and a half on the vic, and 8 months training in Halifax......... Never proclaimed to be an expert, but then again there are those "O" Boat submariners who were experts in that "era" who are clueless in this one.....

As for the Naval Communicator trade, it is constantly evolving and if IT is your thing then sign yourself up!!  Go for it!!  I joined as a 277 have 10 years in, sailed on both coasts, all classes, and I love it.  Currently employed at NRS is hard to take, as it seems that when an operator makes a mistake utilizing new messaging methods, we are immediately thrown back into a more redundant operation.

Personally I don't get much job satisfaction working ashore, our SOPS for doing various procedures is constantly changing, if you take 2 weeks leave you can come back and have to learn a new way to do an old thing.  We do some basic IT here at NRS working at the network operations centre but that mainly consists of MONITORING equipment and paging a tech when there is an issue, our troubleshooting abilities are extremely limited.  Adapting to change is one thing, but when the change is constant it does get frustrating.


It is not a bad job but since I have been in we have always been in transition, when I first got to the ship it was the merge of the two trades 262, 274, and now it is the inclusion of IT in our trade, with MOSART breathing down our necks I am sure there will be another big change coming.  It is possible that I will do my entire 20 years in a constant state of change. 

00299 is one of the best trades in the Navy, you are always in the "know" you have a close relationship with the CO, XO, Command team.  Your duty watches in port are good, plus you work in a restricted space, we have our own world at sea, and it rocks.

Offline ACIGSkyler

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2006, 20:36:23 »
Quote
00299 is one of the best trades in the Navy, you are always in the "know" you have a close relationship with the CO, XO, Command team.  Your duty watches in port are good, plus you work in a restricted space, we have our own world at sea, and it rocks.

Couldn't agree more. Other guys on the ship quickly found out who the message center dayman was and you'd always have them asking questions. When you had a good CO and XO (Lofthouse and Bell come to mind), chitchatting on the bridge with the CO. It was great working in a restricted space as it was a good place to hide at times  ;D Don't know what duty watches are like now, but when you had enough Sigs you could go through a couple of port visits without standing watch...but even then it was a good gig, not much traffic going on and most of the time it was hanging out reading or watching TV.

Quote
ACIGSkyler had it right when he said that NRADOPS and Nav Sigs were very close.

Now that I'm out, it's the thing I miss the most about our trade, and the forces in general. Thought I would be able to find it in other careers but nada, and why I'm looking at maybe joining the Reserves here in Ottawa.
Quote
The good news for all you old school gents/girls is that they are looking at bringing the Adm O'Brien competition back!

Dang, didn't even though they dropped it. It was an excellent competition, and alot of fun...and got to bring home alot of plaques, awards...and drinking the cup was fun  :)

Court


Offline nerdgirl

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #38 on: June 02, 2009, 19:31:51 »
How long does it take before most Naval Communicators get promoted to Leading Seaman?

Offline Occam

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Re: naval communicator jobs
« Reply #39 on: June 02, 2009, 19:46:12 »
How long does it take before most Naval Communicators get promoted to Leading Seaman?

Like most trades in the CF, four years. 

(Pedants, take note that I said "most".   ;D)