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MARS possibilities

Nemecek

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Hey everyone,

I just had a few quick questions I couldn't seem to find much additional info on.

I've done a lot of looking up about the MARS career profile and there really seems to be no end to what a hungry enough person can do or achieve. I know of most of the possible hats one can wear (ORO, XO, FNO, DiveO, etc.) but I find that the Deck Officer is one people always seem to say is the best job for a Lieutenant in Fleet. What exactly does it entail? I think the idea of working with the Deck Department would be quite exciting and pretty fun, but if it's a better thrill than being OOW or anything else, what makes it so?

Also, I read the CANFORGEN document on naval officer command progression and I know that all MARS officers are expected to vigorously(!) pursue command at sea, but I have to admit that I find the Clearance Diver D-level really thrilling too! I would assume though that given the elite status of the Clearance Diving Teams, that some MARS officer can't just walk in off the street (or fleet) and say "Hello, where do I sign up!". Are there certain prerequisites one has to complete before volunteering? Or is it more a case of declaring interest and hoping you're selected to begin that D-level training?

And just a quick question to finish off; I'm pretty familiar with what Clearance Divers do, whether it's ordnance disposal, salvage, etc. but in the wikipedia article (I know, I know...) it stated that force protection support was also a core competency. I know Australian Clearance Divers conduct tactical operations in small fire teams akin to the Royal Marines, but I didn't think that our teams did. I just wasn't sure exactly what FPS entailed in the CF, so if someone could clarify that for me, that would be great!

 

Lex Parsimoniae

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Nemecek said:
I've done a lot of looking up about the MARS career profile and there really seems to be no end to what a hungry enough person can do or achieve. I know of most of the possible hats one can wear (ORO, XO, FNO, DiveO, etc.) but I find that the Deck Officer is one people always seem to say is the best job for a Lieutenant in Fleet. What exactly does it entail? I think the idea of working with the Deck Department would be quite exciting and pretty fun, but if it's a better thrill than being OOW or anything else, what makes it so?
DeckO is a position that is generally filled between a Director tour and ORO.  Frequently it is filled by folks who didn't make the cut for the ORO course (for whatever reason) and are looking for a second shot.  It is equal to CCISO (communications officer) and both fill OOW billets at sea in rotation with the Navigator.  The role of the DeckO is pretty much administrative alongside and normal MARS employment at sea.  Day to day employment of the Deck Department is handled by the Chief Bosn Mate not the DeckO.  I've never heard it described as being the best Lt(N) job in the fleet so can't comment.

Nemecek said:
Also, I read the CANFORGEN document on naval officer command progression and I know that all MARS officers are expected to vigorously(!) pursue command at sea, but I have to admit that I find the Clearance Diver D-level really thrilling too! I would assume though that given the elite status of the Clearance Diving Teams, that some MARS officer can't just walk in off the street (or fleet) and say "Hello, where do I sign up!". Are there certain prerequisites one has to complete before volunteering? Or is it more a case of declaring interest and hoping you're selected to begin that D-level training?
There is a selection process that is run for CLDO.  Generally it occurs between CoC II and Director Level.

Nemecek said:
And just a quick question to finish off; I'm pretty familiar with what Clearance Divers do, whether it's ordnance disposal, salvage, etc. but in the wikipedia article (I know, I know...) it stated that force protection support was also a core competency. I know Australian Clearance Divers conduct tactical operations in small fire teams akin to the Royal Marines, but I didn't think that our teams did. I just wasn't sure exactly what FPS entailed in the CF, so if someone could clarify that for me, that would be great!
Force Protection is a role that all sailors perform and thus “Participate in Force Protection” is included in all trade descriptions.  Open source information on USN force protection might help you demystify what is meant by the term and is available at: https://www.cnic.navy.mil/cnrsw/Programs/Operations/ForceProtection/index.htm
 

Container

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Lex,

As MARS- how much away from home time to you get a year?  (generalities of course) Is possible to juggle a marriage successfully??

How long is your initial training before you can expect to have a home again?

And lastly- are MARS "00207-03" still being sought? What I mean is- is the SUB program healthy or what is your impression?

How is the long term of MARS in general looking????
 

Nemecek

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Lex Parsimoniae,

Thanks for the reply.

I didn't realize that was what the DeckO did, maybe all the other posts I read on here were sarcastic then!

If I could just rephrase something though, as maybe I wasn't clear.

What exactly is the selection process for CLDO? Can any MARS officer (if they really think they're up for it) try their hand at the Prelim? Why I'm asking is because in reading about it, it seems very difficult to be selected for, let alone complete all the training. For MARS officers hoping to do it though, it just seems like a case of signing up and then completing all the training. I thought there might be a rigorous process before you start D-level training, that's all.

Thanks again!
 

Nemecek

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Also, just so people don't think I'm a wacko, I'll cite the posts I read about the DeckO comment!



Re: MARS Officer
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2005, 15:02:22 »
...After your Director tour, you do not always go ashore!  You may be kept onboard and employed as the Deck Officer (a really fun job)


okay, maybe that's the only one I could find. But I know the second I hit post, I'll find 3 more posts supporting me. ahah
 

Lex Parsimoniae

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Container said:
Is possible to juggle a marriage successfully??
Yes – I’m DEO and was married shortly before I joined.  Sea time puts certain stress on a marriage but so does going away on business etc.

Container said:
How long is your initial training before you can expect to have a home again?
MARS training at VENTURE permits you to live out (after MARS II when I did it, not sure about now).  Timewise that would occur 3 months (or so) after you finish second language training.  Note that your sea time won’t be so onerous that you can’t have a stable and reasonable predictable home life.  Although in a perfect world I would wait to have kids until after your Director Level tour.

Container said:
And lastly- are MARS "00207-03" still being sought? What I mean is- is the SUB program healthy or what is your impression?
00207-03 is CLDO and 00207-02 is SUB.  Both are healthy and accepting volunteers.

Container said:
How is the long term of MARS in general looking????
MARS is a very large trade and thus suffers from ups and downs numbers wise.  The billets at sea will always be the #1 priority followed by positions in NDHQ.  I’ve been MARS for 18 years and love it.  The thrill of standing on the bridge at sea, conducting operations in zero visibility and on minimal sleep has to be experienced!

Final thought - BMOQ is a crazy time that is kept deliberately that way to evaluate candidates.  Don't make any life decisions while there!
 

Lex Parsimoniae

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Nemecek said:
What exactly is the selection process for CLDO? Can any MARS officer (if they really think they're up for it) try their hand at the Prelim? Why I'm asking is because in reading about it, it seems very difficult to be selected for, let alone complete all the training. For MARS officers hoping to do it though, it just seems like a case of signing up and then completing all the training. I thought there might be a rigorous process before you start D-level training, that's all.
All Clearance Divers begin as ship's team divers where they will spend several years completing tasks using SCUBA diving equipment as a secondary duty to their normal trade.  Once they are trade qualified (CoC II for MARS) then they can volunteer to become Clearance Divers and attend a tough two week preliminary course.  On the "prelim" they are assessed by instructors while competing for a limited number of positions on course.  If accepted, they will then complete a one year course learning to use numerous different types of diving equipment as well as diving medicine, re-compression treatment and chamber operation, demolition and Explosive Ordnance Disposal, underwater welding and cutting, ice diving, underwater photography, etc.  This course has equivalent status to any other Director Level course.
 

Container

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That was a super helpful post Lex. I appreciate the time you took to respond.

And to Gcclarke as well for the response in a different thread.

 

FSTO

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Nemecek said:
Hey everyone,

I just had a few quick questions I couldn't seem to find much additional info on.

I've done a lot of looking up about the MARS career profile and there really seems to be no end to what a hungry enough person can do or achieve. I know of most of the possible hats one can wear (ORO, XO, FNO, DiveO, etc.) but I find that the Deck Officer is one people always seem to say is the best job for a Lieutenant in Fleet. What exactly does it entail? I think the idea of working with the Deck Department would be quite exciting and pretty fun, but if it's a better thrill than being OOW or anything else, what makes it so?

Also, I read the CANFORGEN document on naval officer command progression and I know that all MARS officers are expected to vigorously(!) pursue command at sea, but I have to admit that I find the Clearance Diver D-level really thrilling too! I would assume though that given the elite status of the Clearance Diving Teams, that some MARS officer can't just walk in off the street (or fleet) and say "Hello, where do I sign up!". Are there certain prerequisites one has to complete before volunteering? Or is it more a case of declaring interest and hoping you're selected to begin that D-level training?

And just a quick question to finish off; I'm pretty familiar with what Clearance Divers do, whether it's ordnance disposal, salvage, etc. but in the wikipedia article (I know, I know...) it stated that force protection support was also a core competency. I know Australian Clearance Divers conduct tactical operations in small fire teams akin to the Royal Marines, but I didn't think that our teams did. I just wasn't sure exactly what FPS entailed in the CF, so if someone could clarify that for me, that would be great!

Hopefully you are still monitoring this thread. I did both jobs CCISO (PRO) and DeckO (ALG and VAN) so some folks would consider me a little slow :). Having said that, the best job by far was the Deck Officer. Here are the reason's why;

1. Deck O - You are a HOD (although you do not get the HOD points on your promotion board), the XO writes your PER you report to him/her.
  CCISO - for want of a better term you are the Combat Officer's b****h, you are the member of the combat dept, you report to the CBTO and he/she writes your PER.

2.  Deck O - Your department is likely the most visible one on the ship. Despite all the fancy weapons and whiz bang electronics, seamanship is still our bread and butter. RAS, alongside, departures, boatwork, ships appearance are visible indicators to the old man and the ship's coy that the deck dept is on top of things. When things go well you'll get a pat on the back. If things don't go well, most of the time it is within the bosn's control that things will get sorted out. And nine times out of ten you'll be able to explain the process of fixing the problem to the CO. Most times he will accept your explaination.

  CCISO - you department is somewhat less visible, the CCR is a secure space and only certain people have access to it, therefore mystery and jealously taints the perception of the place by people who do not have access to it. So when comms go down or a message doesn't get released, it’s the poor CCISO who gets the brunt of attack from the section or dept affected. Also when you try to explain to the CO why comms are spotty, "There was an unusually large sunspot which has caused the ionosphere create a black hole condition thru the FM frequency modulation". The CO will look at you like you have two heads and says "You are full of sh** Commo, get the Senior Nav Comm in here and get it fixed!".

3. Deck O - "CO to Deck O - "Great RAS Decks, get the boys a case of beer and tell them that we sure showed the Yanks how to do seamanship!"

  CCISO - Have you ever heard this from the CBTO "Great message file this morning Commo!"

Now this was my experience as a DeckO and as the CCISO. Am I a little jaded? Yes, but being a HOD vice a JAFO when the two of you have the same rank and experience speaks volumes.
But I do not know what will change once Deck becomes a director level position. Will you still enjoy the benefits of being a HOD? Time will only tell.
 
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