The United States Navy has a billet that deals with different types of hazardous and chemical threats. The Navy Chemical Officer is the resident expert on different issues of Biological, Nuclear, and Chemical weapons, and on issues dealing with weapons of mass destruction. The US Navy Chemical officer is the person that is directly responsible to advise the Commanding Officer on all NBC and radiological weapons and warfare issues, including the defense against such types of weapons. The US Navy Chemical Officer is also the person who deploys with Navy Chemical Units to support different combat operations using chemical, flame, smoke or other technological US Navy specialized weaponry.
There are Navy specialists that assist in the Chemical Weapons department, but the US Navy Chemical Officer is normally a 1st or 2nd Lieutenant, and a commissioned officer, at least on most vessels of any size in the United States Navy. On small vessels some senior Enlisted personnel may at times be serving in a Chemical Weapons billet. The Chemical Officer in the Navy is normally responsible for: Coordination of chemical soldiers at every level from platoon to company, battalion and higher, in both multinational and United States Navy operations, and Controlling and commanding chemical operations with units and armed forces. After commissioning as a 2nd Lieutenant officer in the Navy, a Chemical Navy Officer candidate will attend the Chemical Basic Skills Officer Course, where you will learn tactics, leadership skills, procedures and practices, as well as operational aspects of serving as a Navy Chemical Officer. Some of the training will be in the classroom and will be very heavy on chemistry and science coursework, while other training will be held in the field and on the job. To serve in the United States Navy as a Chemical Warfare officer you have to be detail oriented and should possess qualities that will complement your service in this duty billet. Navy Officers that begin their commission as Chemical Officers are likely to continue in the US Navy Operations Career field, and are promoted to increasing levels of responsibility in the Operations field.
Leadership is the single most important quality for a US Naval officer, including those that serve in the Chemical Weapons field. Chemical Officers may continue in the Chemical Weapons field, and serve as specialized command officers advising fleet and command operations, or they may transition to other specialities within the Navy Operations field.