Author Topic: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op  (Read 17692 times)

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Offline D3V1L6

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Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« on: November 17, 2006, 11:11:27 »
I'm looking for some insight into the Naval Communicator trade.....  preferably from someone that was a sig op at some point in time (must be very few out there).  Reason is that I think I've spent enough time on the ground running around with a radio attached to my ruck, and at the rate my career is going, I'll be dodging bullets in the stan every 18 months for the remaining 11 years of my career or until I finally bite one.

I have no real indepth knowledge of the Navy, but I do believe it would be a great alternative to my other option, which would be releasing from the CF.  I've taken a quick look at the recruiting page for Nav comms, but like any trade in the CF, Im sure an actual serving member will paint a different and more truthful image.
Don't fool yourself, you are but a service number.

Offline airmich

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2006, 11:17:50 »
3 hot meals a day, plus soup at 10, hot shower at least once a day, clean, dry clothes, a rack to sleep in.....do you really need to know much more??  Oh yeah, and not having a naked guy on your hat!

Never been a Sig Op, but have bashed many....okay, just one in general (Hi Des  :D).  There is at least one thread on this forum about NavComms, I'll try to hunt it down for you.  And then anything else you have after that, ask away.

edited to add:  Here is the link for the NavComm thread: http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,34705.0/all.html
« Last Edit: November 17, 2006, 11:20:38 by navymich »
So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

Offline D3V1L6

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2006, 11:24:16 »
Whats the op tempo like for a Naval Communicator?  I don't make for a good garatrooper, so the more time away, the better.

Oh, by the way, no one is allowed to make fun of Jimmy!! You ever try running from lighting without stepping on your own genitals?
Don't fool yourself, you are but a service number.

Offline spud

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2006, 11:27:45 »
You ever try running from lighting without stepping on your own genitals?

If you're stepping on them when you're running, I think you're doing it wrong  ;D

potato

Offline airmich

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2006, 11:31:29 »
You brought yourself and your questions into the Navy Forum.  To me, that is open game for Jimmy.  But I had my one dig, I'll leave it at that....for now.

Your Op Tempo will be dependent on where you are posted to.  Typically, you will be posted to one ship for 2-3 years and remain with them.  Throughout that 2-3 years, not every year is going to be an intense schedule.  In other words, you might have 6 months overseas one year, some exercises here and there another year, and maybe in for repairs another year.  However, if there is ever down-time, and you have informed your CoC that you are available for anything and everything, you have a good opportunity to be attach-posted to other units to filling manning shortages.
So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

Offline Beadwindow 7

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2006, 11:33:32 »
lol..While Mich and I bash each other over the differences in our glorious Jimmy Jobs, it's my understanding that NavComms have a LOT more IT support training in their trades courses than sig ops.

While IT support has pretty much just been dumped onto Sig Ops, whereas it's integral to NavComms, as far as I understand
« Last Edit: November 18, 2006, 09:24:08 by Sig_Des »
Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical, liberal minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline airmich

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2006, 11:38:04 »
Here is the DIN link for Comm School Esquimalt: http://esquimalt.mil.ca/cffs/CTC/index.htm

Not a whole lot on it about the courses themselves right now, but it will give you something to look around at.  I will see what else I can dig up for you too.

So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

Offline signalsguy

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2006, 11:43:31 »
I work with a crap load of NAVCOMs so here is some info:

They provide all of the IT support in shore postings and on the ships. They have 2 major courses, the CISN User course and the CISN Admin course. They are actually civilian courses that are lumped together into big blocks. I know the guys get all the Windows 2003 training, CCNA (Cisco), TCP/IP, A+, Network+ and a bunch of other stuff. They also can work in message centres and they work with the NRS (the Navy's HF radio system).

They have had their trade specs re-written to reflect the amount of technical training that they get so it is expected that they will become a Spec 1 trade in the new year.

The guys I work with have varying amounts of time at sea but they've all been on multiple deployments to the gulf and other places. They are employed on all of the various platforms, on both coasts.

The soup at 10 thing is weird, the guys were upset that we didn't have any! hehe

Offline SoF

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2006, 13:25:50 »
I looked at just about all the naval recruiting videos and after talking to reg force nav comms I decided thats the trade for me. I put my ct in 2 weeks ago and my interview is next week.
Arnold is numero uno

Offline D3V1L6

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2006, 15:00:08 »
Well, thanks for all the info Mich, so far its enough to really peek my curiousity.  This whole issue is going to take alot of thinking.  As much as I am tired of my trade, sickened by the fact that all the hard work i've put in has been recognized by no one and frustrated to see people on T-cat and even P-cat get all the good postings and training, I am proud of what I have accomplished.  I think a change would do me some good, but letting go of the military career I've developed for the last 9 years is going to be hard.

I'm not too sure if the whole IT thing is my thing....Is tehre any trade in the NAvy where I run around the ship all day witha radio attached to my ruck?
Don't fool yourself, you are but a service number.

Offline airmich

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2006, 15:13:31 »
First of all, no ruck!  :D

As for the IT:  that is one of the big things that I don't like in the trade either.  I joined as a signalman, and then became a comm when the trade amalgamated.  This ended up merging all of the equipment side into the trade.  They have now added the IT, so it has become very different from when I first started (hence one of the decisions for my own CT).

But don't get me wrong, there are still so many aspects of the trade that I enjoy doing.  I might not be the best one for getting into the finer details of what you would be doing though, as I have just finished 4 years on the MCDVs where the comm trade has a different day-to-day job then on the Reg ships.  For example, my IT work consisted of installing printers, changing cartridges in said printers, troubleshooting basic items (how come I can't send anymore email.....did you notice that you currently have 9342 msgs in your inbox??  delete damnit).  The watchkeepers are kept busy in the CCR (communication control room) working with the HF/UHF/VHF transmitters and receivers, receiving/transmitting message traffic, working with MCOIN, NERA and Crypto (to name a few things).  Your actual time on the radio, unless involved in such things as OOW manoeuvres, entering/leaving harbour, joint ship ex, isn't that great.  In my position, yes, because as Sr Comm I was the one doing the majority of the radio time.

But don't base your decision on all of that.  There are a couple Reg force comms on the boards here too.  I'll get ahold of them and have them post some info too, specifically about the IT world onboard for them.
So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

Offline D3V1L6

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2006, 15:26:24 »
No rucks....lol, I thought that was but an urban myth.

What about secondary responsabilities on a ship?  How hard is it to get loaded on a ship's dvr course? Can a Navl Comm be a member of the boarding party?  What are the chances of getting posted to a submarine?
« Last Edit: November 17, 2006, 18:05:26 by D3V1L6 »
Don't fool yourself, you are but a service number.

Offline airmich

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2006, 15:31:41 »
Who needs a ruck when you have a locker to keep all of your kit in!

Don't know about the diver's course.  Yes, you could be part of the boarding party (the ship will know about the course, you put in a request, blah blah).  As for the subs, I have PMd another comm who has sub background, so he'll be able to help you out there.

Not sure about your other secondary responsibilities.  I had quite a few, but once again, that is a small ship with fewer people to spread the duties around to.
So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

Offline D3V1L6

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2006, 15:33:53 »
thats what I meant by secondary duties..ships diver, boarding team...
Don't fool yourself, you are but a service number.

Offline N. McKay

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2006, 00:17:40 »
Is tehre any trade in the NAvy where I run around the ship all day witha radio attached to my ruck?

Sounds like you'd like to be a damage control roundsman!

Offline airmich

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2006, 00:26:18 »
Sounds like you'd like to be a damage control roundsman!

Please make sure I'm not on the ship that requires a DC roundsman ALL DAY!!
So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

Offline D3V1L6

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2006, 00:35:15 »
 ??? forgive my ignorance,but damage control roundsman?
Don't fool yourself, you are but a service number.

Offline airmich

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2006, 00:46:43 »
??? forgive my ignorance,but damage control roundsman?

For any emergencies onboard, the crew has to deal with it themselves.  This includes fires and floods.  (you will get training on that and more....it's a LOAD of fun!).  A fire or flood is Damage. And you need to Control it.  While you have a team fighting the fire, or repairing damage from a flood etc, you have roundsman that maintain continuous rounds of the ship.  This is to ensure that there is no more damage, for example a fire spreading to other compartments, casualties somewhere etc.  They move throughout the ship for the entire time that the emergency is underway, and they report in to different sections such as Command and the different Section Bases (where the emergency teams are based out of) to give a sitrep.
So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

Offline Dolphin_Hunter

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2006, 03:59:03 »
No rucks....lol, I thought that was but an urban myth.

What about secondary responsabilities on a ship?  How hard is it to get loaded on a ship's dvr course? Can a Navl Comm be a member of the boarding party?  What are the chances of getting posted to a submarine?

You can do anything you want!  Every boarding party has a 00299 or two on it.   Ships diver, you bet you can!    Service on the dark side GIVER!  The chances are pretty good especially on the west coast were right now where there seems to be a serious lack of trainees, and a sub for that matter.

Overall I like the Navcomm trade, we do get a truck load of IT training and we look really cool sending semaphore to other ships  ::)

It is very hard for me to say a bunch of nice things when right now all I can think of is bad things.  That being said this trade is good for a LS, but the higher up you go the more boring it seems to be.  I have my OT in (nothing heard yet but I just rxd my airfactor) for 00019, it is time to move on to something much more challenging and exciting.

Offline D3V1L6

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2006, 09:17:14 »
Quote
It is very hard for me to say a bunch of nice things when right now all I can think of is bad things.  That being said this trade is good for a LS, but the higher up you go the more boring it seems to be.  I have my OT in (nothing heard yet but I just rxd my airfactor) for 00019, it is time to move on to something much more challenging and exciting.
- Its interesting that you might say that, its seems that no matter where you look nowadays ppl are remustering to Air Force, especially amongst us groundpounders.  Curious to see what our military is going to look like in 20.

- DC roundsman eh...hmm sound like fun... :blotto:
Don't fool yourself, you are but a service number.

Offline signalsguy

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2006, 11:10:21 »
The guys I work with actually don't like the Navy part of their trade... They sound like you Sub_Guy.

Offline airmich

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2006, 11:25:29 »
The guys I work with actually don't like the Navy part of their trade...

I love the Navy part of my trade.  It was bittersweet to be posted ashore this year.  The DC, the camaraderie, the times when I was being a sig again...I like it all. Unfortunately it's stuff like a heavy, often unknown sailing schedule, changes to a trade, etc. that end up overtaking the good.  Not to mention the changes in attitudes of alot of people, new and old.

Yes, I'm CTing out of Navy, but it will still be very much a part of me, and I will continue to support it and talk about it, and certainly will not dissuade anyone from joining.

Best of luck D3V1L6 in whatever you decide to do, and any others as well, who have their sights set on the sea.

So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last, Come join me in this toast...Because the old black rum's got a hold on me ~ Great Big Sea

Offline N. McKay

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2006, 11:27:02 »
For any emergencies onboard, the crew has to deal with it themselves.  This includes fires and floods.  (you will get training on that and more....it's a LOAD of fun!).  A fire or flood is Damage. And you need to Control it.  While you have a team fighting the fire, or repairing damage from a flood etc, you have roundsman that maintain continuous rounds of the ship.  This is to ensure that there is no more damage, for example a fire spreading to other compartments, casualties somewhere etc.  They move throughout the ship for the entire time that the emergency is underway, and they report in to different sections such as Command and the different Section Bases (where the emergency teams are based out of) to give a sitrep.

And (for the OP) the roundsman carried a radio and a bag (of flood-stopping gear) -- seemed to fit your interests! ;)

Offline D3V1L6

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2006, 11:29:59 »
I know exactly what you mean NavyMich,letting og of the army will be the hardest part, I think that if I do go ahead with the remuster, I'll find myself going on and on about my experiences on the ground, surrounded by sailors sick and tired of hearing my  :warstory:.
Don't fool yourself, you are but a service number.

Offline Roadracer

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Re: Naval Communicator Vs Sig Op
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2006, 22:32:44 »
Training and career progression as it exists 'right now' for regular force NAV COMMs:

Basic training (duh    ;D )

QL3 (Junior CISN Operator course) - Communications security, Basic communications (radio frequency type), basic crypto (how to load the more common equipment), basic message processing (how to type one), basic bridge communications (how to talk on a naval radio circuit, how to interpret and plot a basic naval formation of ships), how to send/receive morse code by flashing light.  Course length approx 6 months.
 
Posted to a ship for up to 5 years. Must complete an On the Job Training (OJT) package. After 30 months, promotion to Able Seaman (AB) and eligible (if completed OJT) for QL5 coursing.

QL5 (CISN Operator course) - Communications security, advanced radio communications including radio-teletype theory, message routing, frequency usage, military satellite communications,  etc. Advanced bridge communicator skills including plotting advanced naval formations, plotting fleet maneuvers, and voice practical. Naval communications equipment phases including crypto equipment, communications control management system, etc. (All takes approx 3 months). Then IT training aimed at supporting the desktop user including A+, Network+, desktop operating systems, basic server and e-mail server management, HTML and MS FrontPage. (48 training days). Course length overall approx 6 months.

On completion of CISN OP, likely promotion to Leading Seaman (LS) , return to ship for a year.

After that ship/shore postings will rotate every 2 - 3 years. Courses will be loaded by merit:

CISN Administrator (Necessary for a LS to be promoted to Master Seaman). All IT training aimed at supporting the network overall, including advanced CISCO, MS and Unix based operating systems, and e-mail server training. Also includes administrator training for LOTUS Domino and SameTime products.  Capped off by advanced training in network crypto devices and admistration of the "ShipLAN" phases. Course is 48 training days for the IT, then about 10 days for the crypto/ShipLAN phases.

CISN Supervisor (Necessary for a MS to be promoted to Petty Officer 2nd Class). Advanced communications planning including frequency management, message processing, etc. You will be required to design a plan to support ships on a long deployment. Also advanced fleet maneuvering training culminating in a trainer phase where you will be on the bridge advising the officer of the watch on when/where to move the ship. IT training designed to enable the trainee to implement the tools necessary to provide network security including firewalls, anti-virus configuration, and anti-hacking tools. Overall course length is about 2 months (still some flux last I knew).

CISN Manager (Necessary for a PO2 to be promoted to PO1). Seminars and lectures describing a host of advanced communications planning objectives and the future of C4I. The student will be required to present a paper on a related topic. IT training aimed at the job of Unit Information Systems Security Supervisor, where the student will be required to study the regulations pertaining to information systems security and design a coherent plan for the unit (ship).   Course length 6 weeks.

Note that all regular force leadership training will be required to advance throught the various levels as well as environmental training such as ship board fire fighting, first-aid, etc.

Finally, a section on ship has between 17 (frigate) to 22 (Destroyer / AOR) communicators. They will stand 1 in 2 watch rotation (7 hours on, 7 off, 5 on, 5 off) while at sea. A watch will man the Communications Control Room (CCR) with around 4 at any one time (Senior Hand of the Watch [SHOW], Message Center watchkeeper, and any number of junior hands under training), the Bridge will be manned by at least  a SHOW and (depending on personnel availablity and current operations) a junior hand. Also on watch will be the Watch Supervisor (PO2) and the Master Seaman of the Watch. Another PO2 is dedicated to working on the ship's information systems and is called the Information Systems Administrator. Depending on personnel training and numbers, he/she may have dedicated assistants, otherwise the on watch personnel qualited to CISN Operator or above, will be assigned to help as necessary. All work for the section head, a PO1 known as the Senior NAV COMM (SNC). In foreign port communications must be kept up 24/7, so usually NAV COMMS will be duty (required to work on board for 24 hours) 1 day in 4 or 5 (depending on training levels and operations).

Other training (Boarding Party, Ship's diver, etc) is available but most SNC will not entertain a request for such until the trainee has completed the OJT package and would prefer completion of the QL5 course before supporting non-trade requirements.

The job of NAV COMM, in all it's aspects, is a detail intensive job. Small mistakes can have large consequences (imagine starting to send the message "Do not attack" and missing the word 'not'). All working conditions on a ship are cramped, uncomfortable and like any military profession may consist of long periods of repetitive tasks (processing messages, etc) punctuated by periods of intense activity (boarding stations, changing to alternate communications plans, etc).

However, the NAV COMM trade is one of the few trades that has continually met it's recruiting objectives, and has filled all it's manning requirments. (And before the shipboard folks flame me with horror stories of going to sea with 10 communicators, I am well aware that the current training cycle is pushing the fleets hard to fill both the schools and operational units). Recommended as a challenging, rewarding career with a future.