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Page Title: Chapter 3 First Duty Advice
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CHAPTER  3 FIRST  DUTY  ADVICE This   chapter   covers   a   wide   range   of   topics designed to help you on your first tour of duty.    We cannot   anticipate   all   the   problems   a   newly commissioned  officer  might  encounter,  so  we  will concentrate on the more common ones. BEFORE REPORTING Should  you  write  to  your  new  ship  or  station before reporting?   Yes, that shows an interest in your first   duty   assignment. Write   your   letter   of introduction to the executive officer well in advance of  your  reporting  date.    A  standard  business  letter, preferably  typed,  is  appropriate.     You  can  find  the correct format to use in preparing a business letter in the   Navy   Correspondence   Manual,   SECNAVINST 5216.5.    The  letter  should  include  your  anticipated reporting  date  and  your  address  while  on  leave.    If married,  you  may  include  the  name  of  your  spouse, number of children, and the date you expect to arrive in  the  area. You  may  also  want  to  mention  any qualifications  you  have  that  might  influence  your shipboard assignments. FINDING YOUR SHIP Your  orders  will  give  the  name  of  the  ship  or station  to  which  you  are  to  report  and  the  date  by which you are to report.   Finding your ship or station may  present  complications.     Your  personnel  office will make every effort to give you the location of your ship   on   the   day   you   are   due   to   report,   but   such information can change very rapidly. Your  new  duty  station  is  your  best  source  of current  information.     As  mentioned  above,  write  a short letter to your executive officer (XO) concerning your  reporting  date,  schools  you  are  attending,  and any pertinent personal information.   Your XO will, in turn,  provide  you  with  information  concerning  the ship and its movement.   A sponsor assigned by your new  command  will,  if  you  desire,  furnish  additional information pertinent to your personal needs. Many   naval   activities   are   at   inconvenient locations,  and  their  titles  are  sometimes  deceptive. For  instance,  the  Norfolk  Naval  Shipyard  is  not  in Norfolk but in Portsmouth, Virginia; the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is near Portsmouth, New Hampshire, but is on an island connected by a bridge from Kittery, Maine; the Naval Submarine Base, New London, is in Groton, Connecticut.  A map of the area will help you locate your activity.  You can run up quite a taxi bill if you don’t know exactly where you want to go. While  you  may  know  your  ship  will  be  in  the Norfolk area at the time you are due to report, its exact berth  may  be  difficult  to  locate.    It  could  be  in  the Norfolk Naval Shipyard (which is in Portsmouth), it could be at the naval station (Norfolk), or it might be at anchor, to mention only a few possibilities.   When you arrive in the area, check your ship’s location by calling  ships  information  at  the  main  activity  or  ask the shore patrol at the Navy Landing.  You can usually find a boat schedule of your ship in the shore patrol office or posted at the Navy landing.   At some ports, civilian water taxis make runs to ships at anchor and will take you to your ship for a small fee. SHIPS STATIONED IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES When reporting to the home port of a ship in the continental   United   States   (CONUS),   you   may discover  your  ship  is  out  for  local  operations  and nobody knows when it will return.  Now what do you do?  The best thing to do is find out which squadron or division your ship is in and report to its office. Ordinarily, a ship’s division or squadron office is somewhere  near  the  docks  and  is  manned  by  a  staff even if the ship is at sea.  If your ship has no squadron or division office, check with the personnel office of the nearest naval command.   Ask the personnel office to  help  you  determine  the  command  to  which  you should  report  pending  the  arrival  of  your  ship.    Ask that command to endorse your orders stating the date and time you reported. SHIPS STATIONED IN EUROPE Many European nations require a visa or passport for   travel   into   their   territory. Consult   NAVMIL- PERSCOMINST  4650.2  for  general  information  on the   subject   of   passports. NATO   member   nations 3-1

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