CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH A
WEAPON MAY BE FIRED
Only the CO can authorize the use of deadly force.
(The term deadly force is defined as that force which, if
used, has the potential to cause death or serious bodily
harm.) The pistol or rifle should be used only as a last
resort and then only under the following conditions:
1. To protect your life or the life of another person
where no other means of defense will be
effective in the particular situation
2. When no other effective means is available to
prevent the commission of or to prevent the
escape of a person known to have committed
robbery, murder, rape, arson, or kidnapping
3. To prevent acts of sabotage, espionage, or other
crimes against the government after failure of all
other available means of preventing such crime
You may wonder why visual lookouts are needed
today when U.S. Navy radar and sonar are the best.
Well, there are some objects radar cant detect, and
water conditions may severely limit the sonar detection
range. For example, you might be able to see a
submarines periscope thats beyond sonar detection
range and whose radar indication is lost in the
surrounding sea return echoes.
Lookouts are important members of the ships
operating team. As mentioned above, there are some
objects radar cant detect. Smoke, flares, swimmers,
torpedo wakes, debris, low-flying aircraft, and life
rafts are either impossible or very difficult to detect.
Sometimes, radar also indicates the presence of
objects that actually are not there. A lookout may be
able to verify the validity of a radar contact report and
identify the objects detected. During conditions of
electronic silence, lookouts are the only means of
The number of lookout stations varies according to
the type of ship and whether it is peacetime or wartime.
Naturally, large ships have more personnel available
than do small ships; therefore, they can man more
lookout stations. More lookouts are required in wartime
than in peacetime. When enough personnel are
available in peacetime, and always in wartime, three
basic lookout searches are established.
1. Surface lookouts, who search from the ship to
2. Low sky lookouts, who search from the horizon
to 5 degrees above it
3. High sky lookouts, who search from the
horizon to the zenith (directly overhead)
Additionally, several persons may be assigned to
each search, each person being responsible for a
specified sector. Adjacent sectors have about 10 degrees
overlap so that no area will be overlooked.
The normal peacetime lookout organization has
three persons in each watch section.
Two persons are located on the bridge or atop the
pilothouse (for destroyer-type ships)one searches to
port, the other to starboard. Their sectors extend from
just abaft the beam forward to dead ahead.
The third person is stationed aft and is called the
after lookout/life buoy watch. This sector extends from
the starboard beam aft and around to the port beam. In
addition to reporting all objects behind the ship, you
would have the responsibility for promptly throwing
overboard a life buoy if you see a person fall over the
side, hear the cry Man overboard, or hear cries for
help coming from the water. If you are the first to see
the accident, you call, Man overboard,
(port/starboard) side. You also relay reports made by
When you are on lookout watch, always report
everything you see or hear. Trash in the water may seem
unimportant to you, but it indicates a vessel has passed
that way. In wartime, such a disclosure could lead to the
sinking of the vessel. Discolored water may mean you
are entering a shoal area. The OOD will never
reprimand you for reporting objects but will reprimand
you for not reporting them. There is no excuse for letting
the OOD see something before you do.