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Describing my job as a MARS Officer.


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Howdy all,

So, every time someone else (friends, family, random on the bus) asks me what I do in the Navy, I have the darndest time giving them a short, concise description of what a MARS officer is. Now, obviously, the simplest way to describe a junior mars officer's job is "Bridge Watch Keeper", but as you can imagine, that wouldn't really help a civi to understand what we do; besides, we do a lot more than just brigde watch keep. 

Ok, how about, "I drive the ship!"... nope that doesn't work, that give them the idea of me being the helmsmen...

"I have charge of the ship!"... again, still doesn't seem to get it across...

Actually, one of the best way of describing a BWK's job that I ever heard was this: "in the middle of the night, go out onto your back porch and stand there, staring off into the distance.... for 4 hours... while answering and responding to all of your family's cell phones at the same time..."

While that last one is kind of humorous, it still doesn't really give them an accurate appreciation for what a junior mars officer's job is.

So my question is, what ways have you current and past MARS officers gone about describing your job as a BWK in a SHORT, CONCISE, and ACCCURATE manner? I could describe all the various duties and responsibilities, the complex relationship between charge, control, and command, but most people lose interest after the first acronym or abbreviation accidentally slips out...


Lumber said:


I used to basically say "I dealt with navigation and safety of the ship."  I found the more you tried to get into detail (at least with my family/friends), the less they'd actually understand.  Let them ask the questions instead.
I think this is a problem on the recruiting level as well. I have found that recruiters have a hard time describing exactly what a MARS officer does. I don't find that I was given a whole lot of information on what a MARS officer does. This might be different at for DEOs and CEOTPs who have to pass the NOAB, but ROTP types (who IMO need it the most) don't receive a good understanding of what a MARS officer does. I didn't fully understand what a MARS officer did until I was well into MARS III. I think the challenge is because there is a large spectrum of things that falls under the responsibility of a MARS officer.

I usually just give people the lengthy explanation. 
I currently deal with navigating the ship and making sure that we don't hit anything else out there. In the long term I'll deal more with ensuring that we can fight off whatever threatens us.
As a MARS officer, your day to day responsibilities include safe navigation of a 5000 ton warship equipped with 24 missiles, a helicopter, and a variety of gun based weapons systems.  You're trained to respond to various situations from small boat threats, anti-air engagement, Search and Rescue, and beyond.  You are responsible to the Captain for your decisions that impact the 235 crew members, and you represent Canada and our National Interests by providing a mobile platform to influence regional powers almost anywhere in the World.

Kind of a quick snapshot, but I think it covers a good part of what a MARS guy does, right?