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Royal Navy: Royal Navy: OM (Communications)

Job Profile

At the cutting edge of the Information Technology explosion, the OM(C) is heavily involved with the compilation and transfer of data and signal information via radio and terrestrial links; operating high speed modems; overseeing the ships onboard networks and becoming increasingly involved in exciting new areas, such as video teleconferencing and PC applications. The majority of this information is passed via satellite links connected to Wide and Local Area Networks, both ashore and on ships. Many of the skills obtained by the communicator bear direct comparison to civilian applications and are directly transferable.

Despite all this new technology, more traditional skills are also required. Visual signalling by morse and flag are still needed for close range secure communications. Similarly, communicators have always been valued for their discreet, methodical and trustworthy approach - they have to handle very sensitive and vital information - an ethos as relevant today as ever.

Qualifications
To join the Royal Navy as an OM(C) you need to be aged between 16 and 37. Special qualifications are not necessary, it is more important that you have the right qualities - commitment, enthusiasm, common sense and a sense of humour!

You will have to pass a selection test, interview and medical examination.

The test is based on Reasoning, Numeracy, Literacy and Mechanical Comprehension.

The selection test and interview gives you the chance to see if life in the Royal Navy is for you, just as much as it gives us a chance to see if you have the right qualities for the job.

Basic Training
The Navy has its own way of doing things and its own traditions but does not expect anyone to walk in and pick up these things immediately. So, if you are selected to specialise as an OM(C), the first step is to learn about the Navy, which you will do during your New Entry Training at HMS Raleigh, a modern shore establishment at Torpoint in Cornwall. You will find out about our customs, traditions and parade ground skills; you will also learn about ship safety and security, how to handle small arms and how to look after your kit. Physical training, swimming and expedition training – perhaps on Dartmoor – all figure in the New Entry training programme and help you realise that your chosen career is anything but purely office work. There is much emphasis on team work, and once this initial stage of eight weeks is satisfactorily completed you can start your professional training.

Professional Training

HMS Collingwood, Fareham, Hants – 18 Weeks.

On completion of OM(C)2 career course, you will be able to carry out the following specialist tasks:

  • Establish communications circuits between ships or to shore.
  • Transmit and receive signals using high speed satellite links.
  • Use modern automated message handling systems and associated message
  • networks (LANs and WANs)
  • Operate cryptographic equipment to protect sensitive and vital information.
  • Operate safety of life at sea (SOLAS) equipment, listening for and locating
  • merchant vessels or yachtsmen in distress.
  • Accept, send and distribute messages to/from authorities.
  • Type to RSA typing level 3.
  • Control voice circuits to manoeuvre warships at sea.
  • Transmit and receive signals by light (morse code) and flags, and verify other ships' identities.

Additional Training
Training is also given in the following subjects: Military Training (including firearms), Basic Sea Survival, Fire Fighting and Damage Control.

On completion of this training, you will be sent to sea as an OM(C)2 for up to 18 months to put into practice, and consolidate, your newly acquired skills.

When deemed ready by your ship you will be advanced to OM(C)1 and return to HMS Collingwood for your next professional course which will further enhance your communications skills.

After that, it will be back to sea. The rest is up to you. You will be advanced by virtue of your ability and ambition. Professional courses are given to those recommended for advancement to Leading Hand and Petty Officer.

Prospects
Career prospects in the branch are good. With experience, training and hard work you can be promoted to Leading Rate, Petty Officer, Chief Petty Officer, and, the highest rating, Warrant Officer.

Ratings will complete an Oral Board to qualify for roster advancement to Leading Operator Mechanic and Petty Officer.

Promotion to Chief Petty Officer and Warrant Officer is on merit.

For those with the aptitude and academic ability there are opportunities for promotion to the Officer Corps.

Civilian qualifications you can gain

NVQ2 in Telecommunications
Marine Safety Agency Certificates in: - Firefighting, First Aid, Sea Survival, Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities.