Identify the duties and responsibilities of the
commanding officer, executive officer,
department head, and division officer.
The officers and enlisted personnel make up a ships
wartime organization. They keep the ship in a state of
readiness to fight a war. During peacetime operations,
the ships organization can be expanded if a wartime
operation becomes necessary. The two elements of the
ships organization are the battle organization and the
THE BATTLE ORGANIZATION
The battle organization contains a list of the
numbers and specialties of the personnel a unit will need
to fulfill the wartime missions. The units battle
organization depends on its armament, equipment, and
personnel. As a part of the battle organization, you
should know your assignments as posted on the Watch,
Quarter, and Station Bill.
THE ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION
The administrative organization makes sure that the
ship can fight or carry out its mission. Training,
maintenance, and routine operations are covered by the
administrative organization. The commanding officer
(CO) is the head of the organization. He/she is assisted
by the executive officer (XO) and other officers.
Look at figure 6-6. Each ship is organized into at
least five departmentsnavigation, engineering,
operations, supply, and a fifth department. For most
ships, the fifth department is the weapons/deck
department. Some ships have a separate deck
department in addition to a weapons department, and
some have a deck department instead of a
weapons/deck department. Specially designated
ships have a combat systems department instead of a
weapons or weapons/deck department. Additional
departments may be assigned according to ship type.
Some of these departments are air, medical, dental,
Each department is under a department head.
Departments are usually divided into divisions under a
division officer. Each division is subdivided into
sections, usually under senior petty officers. The
following paragraphs describe the responsibilities of
the five standard departments.
The navigation department is responsible for the
safe navigation and piloting of the ship. It is responsible
for the operation, care, and maintenance of navigation
equipment, charts, publications, and records.
The operations department has several divisions to
carry out tasks such as collecting and evaluating
Figure 6-6.Typical ship organizational chart.