to handle casualties and tactical decisions is
significantly reduced during the transition period
between watches. The following guidelines should
be followed when relieving the watch:
1. The relieving watch should be on station
in enough time to become familiar with equipment
conditions and the overall situation.
2. The relieving watch should make an
inspection of all spaces and equipment, as
required by the commanding officer, before
relieving the watch.
3. The relieving watch should read the
commentary sections of the ships deck log from
the last time he or she was on watch. If continuity
has been interrupted, the preceding three watches
are reviewed. The relieving watch should carefully
note unusual conditions, deviations from normal
conditions, and other matters of importance and
discuss them with the person being relieved.
4. Both the relieved watch and the relieving
watch are responsible for seeing that the relieving
watch is aware of all unusual conditions. These
include tactical situations, equipment out of
commission, outstanding orders, deviations from
normal plant or equipment lineup, forthcoming
evolutions, and any other matters pertinent to the
5. The relief should be exercised smartly in
each case under the following guidelines:
a. The relief reports, I am ready to relieve
you, sir or maam.
b. The person being relieved gives a status
report of the watch section.
c. The relief makes a tour of the watch
6. The person being relieved completes
briefing of relief (including unexecuted orders and
anticipated evolutions) and answers any questions.
7. The relief, when fully satisfied that
complete information on the watch has been
passed, relieves the watch by saying, I relieve
8. At this time responsibility for the watch
stations shifts to the oncoming watch; and the
person being relieved will state, I stand
9. The log is completed and signed by the
offgoing OOD before leaving the watch station.
Another important aspect of relieving the
watch is determining what watches are being
manned, who is manning them, and who they
report to. Since watches are dispersed throughout
the ship, this information is very important in the
smooth transition from watch to watch. The
oncoming OOD should be aware of the current
status of the watch bill, such as authorized
changes, special watches, or conditions that are
different from those stated in the Plan of the Day.
THE OOD IN PORT
As stated in OPNAVINST 3120.32B, the in-
port officer of the deck is an officer or petty
officer on watch designated by the commanding
officer to be in charge of the unit. The OOD is
primarily responsible for the safety and proper
operation of the unit.
A petty officer assigned as the in-port officer
of the deck has the same status as a commissioned
or chief warrant officer; therefore, the orders of
a petty officer assigned as OOD have the same
enforcement powers. The OOD is designated in
writing by the commanding officer. On most ships
the OOD is required to complete the section of
the surface warfare officers PQS that relates to
the OOD in port.
OF THE OFFICER OF THE DECK
The in-port officer of the deck reports directly
to the commanding officer for the safety and
general duties of the ship. He or she reports to
the command duty officer in port (executive
officer when a command duty officer [CDO] is
not assigned) for carrying out the ships routine.
The CDO has the authority to relieve the officer
of the deck when necessary for the safety of the
The following personnel report to the in-port
officer of the deck:
The junior officer of the watch (JOOW) for
assigned duties and watch training.
The communications watch officer for the
expeditious transmission and receipt of
operational and general messages.
The quartermaster of the watch for assigned
The boat coxswains, or boat officers when
assigned, for the safe and proper operation of