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General Relations Between Juniors and Seniors
Naval Orientation - Military manual for administrative purposes
Shipboard Relations Between Officers and Enlisted Persons
The  conduct  of  members  of  the  service  must be  above  criticism.  The  Navy  is  often  judged  by the  appearance  and  behavior  of  its  personnel. Officers  should  carefully  consider  all  under- takings  and  projects  in  advance  and  make  all preparations  necessary  to  their  success  well  in advance.  Officers  should  be  capable  of  thinking ahead  and  making  intelligent  plans;  they  must always strive to demonstrate that they are entitled to  the  grade  they  hold. One of the best things a senior officer can say about juniors is that when given a job, they can always be depended upon for satisfactory results. Suggestions for Shipboard Officers Officers have customarily relieved the watch not later than 15 minutes before the hour that the watch begins (usually signaled by the traditional bell  system  of  shipboard  timekeeping).  That requires  the  officers  to  be  on  the  bridge  at  sea 30 minutes before the bell. For officers to be late to relieve the watch is not only a breach of naval custom  but  is  discourteous  and  unpardonable. Every  officer  has  two  personalities,  the  official and  the  unofficial.  An  officer  who  plays  the “good  guy”  on  watch  is  sooner  or  later  bound to  come  to  grief.  Holding  a  boat  for  another officer  who  is  late  is  an  example.  Telling  the executive officer that the written order contained in  the  boat  schedule  has  been  disobeyed  simply because  another  officer  requested  it  is  a  poor excuse. Whenever an officer receives an order to pass to  subordinates  for  action,  that  officer  must promptly  and  smartly  execute  that  order.  The officer’s responsibility in the matter does not end until  the  order  has  been  completed. Although personnel will not like every order they  receive,  everyone  in  the  chain  of  command must  obey  all  orders.  Carrying  out  such  orders may  seem  difficult,  but  an  officer  should  never apologize for them and should never question an order  in  front  of  subordinates. When  new  officers  report  aboard  ship,  they should  devote  most  of  their  spare  time  to professional reading and getting acquainted with the   ship’s   organization   and   regulations.   They should  set  aside  a  certain  amount  of  time  each day  for  professional  study. New  officers  would  be  wise  never  to  request permission  to  leave  the  ship  in  the  afternoon until  they  have  completed  the  work  assigned  or expected of them. They have much to learn in the first few months aboard ship. Astute newcomers will  avoid  becoming  known  as  “liberty  hounds.” All hands will critically evaluate new officers shortly after they report aboard ship. Since they will  evaluate  the  appearance  as  well  as  the  ability of  new  officers,  having  a  good  appearance  is important.  Therefore,  officers  should  wear  their good clothes at quarters and their best clothes at inspections. Senior officers do not always call attention to minor faults or errors made by juniors, but they are  sure  to  notice  them  and  will  form  their opinions  accordingly.  While  senior  officers  will make allowances for lack of experience, they will base  their  final  estimate  entirely  on  what  the  new officer contributes. Junior officers should be alert and   analyze   their   own   conduct   frequently   to determine  if  they  are  unintentionally  offending anyone.  Such  behavior  might  involve  a  junior’s lack  of  respect  toward  senior  officers  or  a tendency to become familiar with them. It could also   involve   the   officer’s   harsh,   unreasonable handling of enlisted personnel or irresponsibility and  lack  of  initiative. An  outstanding  naval  officer  of  the  19th century,  Matthew  Fontaine  Maury,  said:  “Make it  a  rule  never  to  offend,  or  to  seek  causes  of offense in the conduct of others. Be polite to all, familiar with but few. The rule in the Navy is to treat  everybody  as  a  gentleman  until  he  proves himself to be otherwise. It is a good rule—observe it   well.” Some  officers  tend  to  think  their  rank  or position   will   carry   them   through   all   difficult situations  even  if  they  are  unqualified  for  the responsibilities of the office they hold. Inevitably they  suffer  a  rude  awakening.  Intelligent  and effective  junior  officers  know  the  limits  of their  abilities  and  continually  strive  to  increase those   limits   by   learning   from   all   available sources. Of  all  the  valuable  qualities  an  officer  can have, few of them are superior in importance to tact. In a military sense tact means a knowledge and  an  appreciation  of  when  and  how  to  do things.  Tactful  officers  know  how  to  deal  with their   shipmates—both   senior   and   junior.   The usefulness  of  many  officers  who  are  otherwise capable  has  been  damaged  because  they  do  not use tact. In  conclusion,  all  organizations  in  society  have certain customs and etiquette. Such customs and etiquette   are   especially   necessary   for   smooth cooperation between persons living close together as   done   aboard   a   man-of-war.   Disregard   of customs  and  etiquette  marks  a  person  as  careless, indifferent,  or  ignorant. 7-3

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