REVIEW 1 QUESTIONS
In what document can a petty officers general
authority be found?
In what document can organizational structure be
What is the difference between general authority
and organizational authority?
What nonpunitive measures are available to
Define extra military instruction.
What privileges can be withheld as nonpunitive
PETTY OFFICERS RESPONSIBILITY
Learning Objectives: Recognize the importance of
informing the chain of command on matters pertaining
to good order and discipline. Recall procedures for
reporting an offense. Recognize the proceedings leading
to captains mast. Identify the composition of courts-
martial. Recognize which violations should or should not
When you become a PO, your position in the Navy
changes. You become a leader with authority. The rating
badge symbolizes delegation of this authority by the
The responsibilities of a petty officer are not always
easy to carry out. You have to make decisions, plan jobs,
and take the blame if plans go wrong. You have to lead
your people, teach them, and correct them. You can't
always be a "good guy." You have to give orders and
that can be harder than following them.
The higher you advance, the greater your
responsibilities. Is the advancement worth the
responsibilities you will have? Yes. A strong PO is
willing to shoulder the burden of increased responsibility
to make the Navy a better, more efficient force.
As a petty officer, occasionally you will have to
warn, reprimand, or even place personnel on report.
Although these tasks may be disagreeable to you, they
are part of the responsibility of a PO.
Standard Organization and Regulations of the U.S.
Navy, OPNAVINST 3120.32, states the following:
"Authority should be delegated to the lowest level of
competence commensurate with the subordinate's
assigned responsibility and capabilities. The principles
of delegation, however, also recognize that officers at all
levels must be accountable ultimately for the
performance of their organizational segments even if
they have charged subordinates with immediate authority
for managing certain functions." That, in effect, means
although you may assign a task to your subordinates,
you are still responsible to your superiors for its
accomplishment. A good leader does not tell his or her
supervisor, "I gave that job to Seaman Recruit John R.
Doe, but he messed it up." Rather, he says, "I will do
better next time." That leader then pays more attention
to Seaman Recruit Does training and job performance
to be sure John R. Doe understands the job and its
The hardest job for a PO to do is to place a person
on report. After that happens, the petty officer always
wonders if there could have been another way to handle
the situation. One of your duties as a PO is to start
disciplinary action wherever and whenever the need
Every petty officer is an important part of the
disciplinary chain of command. You must show
offenders that the command will punish improper
conduct, especially cases of willful violation.
Your responsibility as a petty officer never ends. It
is a 24-hour-per-day duty that can be very trying at
times. For example, when people are ashore "winding
down" after a long period at sea, a demanding fleet
exercise, or even actual combat, rivalries sometimes
form. Rivalries are healthy until the sailors imbibe in too
many spirits or carry the rivalry too far. These situations
rarely occur; but when they do, responsible petty officers
must act. If you are the senior petty officer present when
a fight breaks out in a liberty boat or when a brawl