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    FW: Conning? [Re: Master & Commander]
    From: Stacy Hanna
    Date: 2003 Dec 10, 17:51 -0500

    My copy of "Naval Ceremonies, Customs, and Traditions " has the
    following definition:
    Con, Conn. A very old word and the exact derivation is not known. It was
    first used about 1520 in the present sense of directing the steering or
    giving orders to the helmsman, by the captain but more often by the
    officer of the deck.
    In the modern US Navy we usually have two officers on watch on the
    bridge, the Officer of the Deck who is responsible to the Captain for
    just about everything that is going on onboard the ship (if there is
    interest I will post the section of Navy Regulations that specifies the
    OOD's duties and responsibilities, it is four pages long.) The Conning
    Officer works for the Officer of the Deck and is the one who actually
    gives the orders for changing course or speed (at the OODs direction or
    with is permission). Theoretically the Conning Officer has no duties
    other than ensuring that the ship is properly steered while the OOD is
    busy with his many other duties, in reality the Conning Officer is
    assisting the OOD with many of his duties so that he can learn the job
    and eventually be qualified as Officer of the Deck.
    (Although the job titles are 'Officer' of the Deck and Conning 'Officer'
    it is not uncommon for senior enlisted men to be qualified and stand
    these watches.)
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Navigation Mailing List
    [mailto:NAVIGATION-L{at}LISTSERV.WEBKAHUNA.COM] On Behalf Of Jared Sherman
    Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 06:06
    Subject: Conning? [Re: Master & Commander]
    From Bruce Stark's forward and the mention in it of a "conning officer"
    I became curious, as I've only heard the term "conning tower" as a part
    of a submarine, and never a "conning officer". Now I find a 1913
    Webster's definition of "The shot-proof pilot house of a war vessel."
    Where does the word "conning" come from in naval use? Is it still
    actually used to refer to anything except a conning tower?

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