Many people do not realize that the United States Army operates a water operations mission. Army missions are not limited to land support only. The Army has harbor Craft that are Ocean going to support various operations both inside the continental United States and overseas. It is up to the Army Operations Watercraft team to pilot, maintain and navigate these different watercraft. Army Operations Watercraft soldiers have different unique opportunities to serve, as a member of a tug boat crew, as a member of a landing craft, or skills in navigation for vessels.
The members of an Army Watercraft Operations team use electronic positioning systems such as GPS, handheld tools for navigation, and stand watch traditionally on board many of the Army watercraft. The members of the Watercraft Operations team are typically responsible for cargo operations, piloting, supervising soldiers, and navigation. Some of the duties that a Watercraft Operations Army operator may be responsible for include consulting weather reports, navigation equipment, charts and maps, navigating watercraft, maintaining deck equipment and boats, keeping ships logs, undocking and docking vessels, weighing anchors and dropping anchor, and operating amphibious crafts during troop landings.
Job training for an Army Operations Watercraft Operator begins with nine weeks of Basic combat training, where you will learn to be an enlisted Army person. After basic training you will attend a six-week individual advanced training dealing almost exclusively with boat operations. You will study in simulated combat training and in the classroom, learning about watch standing procedures, boat handling techniques, ship construction and structure, navigational mathematics, use of radar, charts, compasses and other navigational aids, and message and log handling procedures. If you have an interest in the ocean, navigation or sailing, and have an ability to work as a team member then this may be the job for you.
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Senior enlisted Watercraft Operations Operators work to train other soldiers who are more junior and less experienced. As you rise in Rank and rate you will participate in voyage planning, and dealing with other mission planning. You will work with retracting landing craft and working with beaching and towing vessels in inter coastal waterways. Working as a Watercraft Operations Operator will prepare you for a future as a harbor master, a pilot or enforcement officer.