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Displaying National Ensign, Personal Flags and Pennants
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Seaman - Military manual for the Seaman rate
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Boat Calls
bow the command officer's personal flag or command pennant or, if not entitled to either, a commission pennant. An officer entitled to the display of a personal flag or command pennant may display a miniature of such flag or pennant in the vicinity of the coxwain's station  when  embarked  on  other  than  official  occasions in a boat of the naval service. BOW  AND  FLAGSTAFF  INSIGNIA A  boat  regularly  assigned  to  an  officer  for  personal use carries insignia on each bow as follows: For a flag or general officer, the stars as arranged in his or her flag For a unit commander not a flag officer, a replica of  the  command  pennant For a commanding officer, or a chief of staff not a flag officer, an arrow Staffs for the ensign, and for the personal flag or pennant in a boat assigned to the personal use of a flag or general officer, unit commander, chief of staff, or commanding officer, or in which a civil official is embarked are fitted at the peak with devices (shown in fig. 5-11) as follows: A spread eagle for an official or officer whose official salute is 19 or more guns. The head of the spread eagle must face forward. A halberd for a flag or general officer whose official salute is less than 19 guns or for a civil official whose official salute is 11 or more guns but less than 19 guns. The cutting edge of the halberd must face forward. A ball for an officer of the grade, or relative grade, of captain in the Navy or for a career minister, a counselor or first secretary of an embassy or legation, of a consul. A star for an officer of the grade, or relative grade, of commander in the Navy. The points of the star must face fore and aft. A flat truck for an officer below the grade, or relative grade, of commander in the Navy or for a civil official not listed above, and for whom honors are prescribed for an official visit. Figure  5-11.–Flagstaff  insignia. BOAT HAILS LEARNING  OBJECTIVES:  Explain  the procedures for challenging an approaching small boat. List and identify boat hails and their replies. When a boat approaches a ship, the officer of the deck  must  know  the  rank  of  the  senior  officer embarked   so   that   a   proper   reception   with   the appropriate ceremonies may be extended. During daylight   hours,   the   officer   of   the   deck   (OOD) questions the boat coxswain to ascertain the rank of the senior officer by raising an arm straight up, fist clenched.  The  coxswain  replies  by  showing  fingers equal to the number of side boys the officer rates. Fleet admirals, admirals, and vice admirals rate eight side boys. Rear Admirals, upper and lower, rate six side  boys.  Captains  and  commanders  rate  four  side boys, and all other commissioned officers rate two. Officers of other services rate the same number of side boys  as  their  equivalents  in  rank.  If  there  are  no passengers  in  the  boat  who  rate  side  boys,  the coxswain gives the OOD a wave off. 5-13

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