In the process of world-building my space opera's allied navy, I realized I really need to know more about what the functional roles of some of the officers aboard ship are; you know, not just their position's description, but what they actually DO. Sure, I've done a decent amount of research on real-world navies and how they are organized, but I've found very little about what some of the day to day tasks are for these people. Obviously some things a person can fudge, because its a future-era SPACEship after all, not everything works the same, but other things it would be nice to know more about without actually having to join the navy XD Anyone have any experience/knowledge about this stuff? For instance, what is the tactical officer's job when they aren't fighting anybody or running simulations? I'm assuming he/she doesn't just sit around on their butt... And what would your average ensign or midshipman be doing from day to day?

  • $\begingroup$ Would vary from ship to ship and navy to navy.. There is no definitive answer. And it would also depend on the technologies on board that require control and what constitutes an emergency and how they have to be handled. Too broad, too vague and opinion based. $\endgroup$ – StephenG Feb 28 '19 at 6:00
  • $\begingroup$ I saw a post hiring for tactical officer position on USS Surprises, and one of the item listed in the job description is willing to put on a red shirt at all time. $\endgroup$ – user6760 Feb 28 '19 at 6:57

You are right that warships are probably over-crewed for peacetime ops, so that they can cope with combat.

  • Officers train for their current role and study for their next promotion or qualification.
  • Officers supervise the training of their junior officers and crew.
  • Officers manage a number of juniors -- who needs to be sent to an advanced training course, who deserves shore leave, who needs a promotion, who needs punishment?
  • Officers stand watches on the bridge, CIC, and so on.
  • They will have a little time to themselves, which they wouldn't get at battle stations.

The enlisted spacers are kept busy scrubbing bulkheads which are already clean, and the officers are kept busy seeing that the NCOs see that the spacers actually scrub ...

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