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    Re: FW: Conning? [Re: Master & Commander]
    From: Chuck Taylor
    Date: 2003 Dec 10, 19:04 -0800

    The descriptions of "conning officer" given so far
    aren't quite as I remember it from my time in the U.S.
    Navy.  The watch on the bridge included the Officer of
    the Deck (OOD) and the Junior Officer of the Deck
    (OOD).  Also, the Commanding Officer and/or the
    Executive Officer may or may not be on the bridge at a
    given time.
    We never referred to a "Conning Officer" as such.
    What was said was that a particular officer "had the
    conn".  The officer who "had the conn" was the officer
    who was responsible for giving orders to the helmsman
    and the lee helmsman.  (The lee helmsman operated the
    engine order telegraph for passing orders to the
    engine room.) The conn passed between the various
    officers on the bridge during the course of a watch.
    It was always important that all those on the bridge
    know who had the conn at a given moment. Typically it
    was the OOD or the JOOD.  If the Captain appears on
    the bridge, he may or may not take the conn.  If he
    does, he says, loudly, "This is the Captain.  I have
    the conn".  The quartermaster would repeat, formally,
    "Captain has the conn" and make the appropriate entry
    in the log.  If I were the JOOD and the Captain chose
    to give me the conn, he would say, "Mr. Taylor has the
    conn".  I would then say, "This is Mr. Taylor.  I have
    the conn."  Then the quartermaster would chime in, and
    so on.  There was a similar ritual when the watch was
    relieved.  Very formal, very precise, and very clear.
    There is no room for error on the bridge of a warship.
    An exchange with the helmsman might go something like
    OOD:  Left standard rudder.
    Helmsman:  My rudder is left 17 degrees, sir.
    OOD:  Steady on course 040.
    Helmsman:  Course 040 aye, sir.
    Helmsman:  Steady on course 040.
    OOD:  Very well.
    Things may have changed in the last 10 or 20 years,
    but that's how I remember things.
    Best regards to all,
    Chuck Taylor
    Commander, USN (Ret)
    Everett, WA, USA
    --- Stacy Hanna  wrote:
    > 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).
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