In some large ships, junior officers are members
of the junior officers 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
The officers 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. Dont enter or lounge in the wardroom out of
2. Except at breakfast, dont 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
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. Dont continuously talk shop.
9. Pay mess bills promptly.
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 its 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
Provide room in the boat for seniors to move
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 its 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 ships 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
Infractions of a seemingly
unimportant nature, even though committed
unwittingly, may arouse resentment and result in
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.