dealing with authority, will be covered more
thoroughly in chapter 6 of this text.) For the
purpose of explanation and brevity, article 1012
best describes the authority of naval officers as
All officers of the naval service, of
whatever designation or corps, shall have
all the necessary authority for the per-
formance of their duties and shall be
obeyed by all persons, of whatever designa-
tion or corps, who are, in accordance
with these regulations and orders from
competent authority, subordinate to them.
Chapter 11 of Navy Regulations explains some
of your duties and responsibilities. SORN also ex-
plains your duties and responsibilities, but it
explains them more in detail than in general terms.
STANDARD ORGANIZATION AND
REGULATIONS OF THE U.S. NAVY
SORN applies to all members of the U.S.
Navy. It lists the duties and responsibilities for
almost every billet and watch station in the Navy.
It also gives us regulations on which to base our
unit and watch organizations.
No portion of the SORN is intended to
contradict or supersede any portion of Navy
Regulations. Many articles in the SORN and Navy
Regulations appear to say the same thing; but they
are separate directives, and both apply to all
members of the naval service.
In addition to your primary duties, you may
be assigned a number of collateral duties.
Guidance on the performance of collateral duties
can also be found in the SORN.
Do not rely solely on Navy Regulations and
SORN as your only sources for guidance in
performing your duties. Use other directives and
instructions that further amplify what you are
required to do, such as those written by your
As a naval officer, whether you are assigned
ashore or afloat, a portion of your duties will
involve watch standing. Although many watches
are assigned to personnel assigned to shore duty,
the primary scope of this text deals with the watch
organization of an afloat command.
SORN defines a watch as any period during
which an individual is assigned specific, detailed
responsibilities on a recurring basis. Watches on
board ships are set both in port and underway.
Commanding officers establish the watches re-
quired for the safety, security, and proper opera-
tion of their command.
Although ships have numerous watches, those
we discuss in the following paragraphs are the
primary control watches for a ship underway.
OFFICER OF THE DECK UNDERWAY
One of the most important watches on a ship
at sea is that of the officer of the deck (OOD).
The commanding officer designates the assign-
ment of the OOD in writing. The OOD takes
charge of the safe and proper operation of the
The duties, responsibilities, and authority of
the OOD include the following:
Being aware of the tactical situation and
geographic factors that may affect safe
navigation and taking action to avoid the
danger of grounding or collision
Issuing necessary orders to the helm and
main engine control to avoid danger, to
take or keep an assigned station, and to
change course and speed following the
orders of proper authority
Making all required reports to the
Supervising the personnel on watch on the
bridge, ensuring all deck log entries are
made, and signing the log at the end of the
Being aware of the status of the engineer-
ing plant and keeping the engineering
officer of the watch advised of power
Carrying out the routine of the ship as
published in the plan of the day and other
Supervising and conducting on-the-job
training for the junior officer of the watch
(JOOW), the junior officer of the deck
(JOOD), and enlisted personnel of the