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Suggestions for Junior Officers
Useful Information for Newly Commissioned Officers
Official Correspondence - 12967_61
In some large ships, junior officers are members of the junior officer’s wardroom mess (the JO mess). Also,  in  many  large  ships,  the  commanding  officer (CO) has a private mess, and the executive officer is the president of the wardroom mess.   In small ships the  CO  is  a  member  of  the  wardroom  mess  and  is usually the president. The  senior  officer  of  the  mess  will  welcome junior officers and treat them as full-fledged members of  the  mess  in  every  respect.    Nevertheless,  junior officers should not be too forward in conversation or action. The  officer’s  mess  has  a  mess  fund  to  purchase food and supplies.   All officers must contribute their share (the per-person value of the mess on the last day of the preceding month) and pay their mess bill (the anticipated cost of the current month) within 24 hours of joining the mess.   The mess treasurer administers the mess fund. The  wardroom  is  your  mess  and  lounge  room. Help to make it as pleasant a place to live as your own home.  It is also your club, where you may gather with your  fellow  officers  for  moments  of  relaxation,  to discuss daily problems, or to share a cup of coffee. The  wardroom  is  out  of  bounds  to  enlisted personnel except in special circumstances.   Conduct division and other business in your division spaces. The  following  guidelines  will  help  you  observe proper wardroom etiquette: 1.   Don’t enter or lounge in the wardroom out of uniform. 2.   Except  at  breakfast,  don’t  sit  down  to  meals before the presiding officer does. 3.   If  you  must  leave  before  completion  of  the meal, ask to be excused. 4.   Never   be   late   for   meals. If   you   are unavoidably late, make your apologies to the presiding officer. 5.   Avoid  wearing  your  cap  in  the  wardroom; especially if others are eating. 6.   Avoid being boisterous or noisy. 7.   Introduce  your  guests  to  wardroom  officers. Be friendly and sociable to every guest. 8.   Don’t continuously talk shop. 9.   Pay mess bills promptly. BOAT ETIQUETTE The  following  guidelines  will  help  you  conform to proper boat etiquette: Unless otherwise directed by the senior officer present,  junior  officers  enter  boats  first  and leave boats last. If  it’s  safe  to  do  so,  stand  and  salute  when  a senior enters or leaves a boat. When a senior officer is present, do not sit in the stern seats unless asked to do so. Seniors rate the most desirable seats. Always offer a seat to a senior. Get  into  the  boat  at  least  a  minute  before  the boat gong or whenever the officer of the deck says   the   boat   is   ready. Do   not   make   a last-second dash down the gangway. If  a  boat  is  crowded,  juniors  should  take  the next boat. Provide  room  in  the  boat  for  seniors  to  move about. Do  not  board  over  another  boat  (using  the thwarts, gunwales, and decking of another boat as a walkway) without permission; do not ask permission unless it’s unavoidable. A member of the naval service wishing to visit a ship  anchored  out  should  obtain  permission  at  the landing to use one of the ship’s boats.  If no officer is aboard, ask permission from the coxswain. CONDUCT IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES When ashore in foreign countries, remember that your conduct will be representative of the conduct of all  members  of  the  United  States  naval  service. Conscientiously respect the laws and customs of any foreign   country. Infractions   of   a   seemingly unimportant   nature,   even   though   committed unwittingly,  may  arouse  resentment  and  result  in serious   complications. Do   not   enter   into   an altercation or argument with anyone abroad.   In case of  trouble,  refer  the  matter  to  the  appropriate  U.S. naval authority in the area.  If senior naval guidance is not   available,   consult   a   consular   officer   or   a diplomatic representative of the United States. In addition, as a representative of the Navy, try to give  every  courtesy  to  visitors  aboard  your  ship. 5-7

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