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Old February 2 2014, 03:57 AM   #18
Darkwing
Commodore
 
Location: This dry land thing is too wierd!
Re: Four Years War ST fan-fic

A note on NCO / Non-com / non-commissioned officers: In naval services, we have a rate, not an MOS. a Boatswain's Mate, or Bos'ns Mate, often call "Boats" or BM with a number based on his rank (BMSN for E-3, BM3 for E-4. BM2 for E-5, BMC for E-7, or Chief Boatswain's Mate, etc.), is the archetypal seaman. They run Deck on a ship - accommodation ladders (brow to get on/off ship), anchor, underway replenishment gear, etc. They paint the sides, handle most manual labor not part of engineering, and are generally gruff types. They are also one of the 3 original rates in the US Navy.
So BM2 Driscoll is a 2nd-class petty officer, an E-5, and therefore an NCO - sergeant to Army types. When anyone says "Boats" as a name/title, they're talking to someone rated as a BM who is also respected as such, not just one on paper.

A Bosun, on the other hand, is a Chief Warrant Officer who made chief as a Bosn's Mate, a QM (Quartermaster - Navigation specialist), or OS (Operation's Specialist - radar operator and Combat Information center guru {trying to be nice - QMs and OSs rag on each other mercilessly}). So he's a BM on steroids, with officer's rank added. And yes, Ensigns technically outrank Warrants. But Ensigns that disrespect or don't listen to Chiefs or Warrants don't have successful careers. Also, in this story, the captain has delegated authority to his Petty Officers, Chiefs, and Warrants to order around the new ensigns and 2nd lieutenants until he decides they are good enough, so some things in this story do differ from reality.
Hope this clears up any confusion anyone may have had.
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