2010-01-30 10:47:31OaklandJP Kennedy Jr (DD 850)I served aboard the USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. (DD 850) which is now a historical ship in Fall River, Massachusetts. I was a QM3 and at the time we navigated by either Loran, star sighting or dead reckoning, and of course landmarks on shore such as lighthouses, etc. In the 1960s the QM school was in Newport, RI, which I attended. The job on board the ship was very interesting; my first job was to wind and correct all the clocks on board the ship, even in the Captain's quarters. While learning the job I became the person that corrected charts and sent weather advisories to fleet hdqs. Near the end of my enlistment I assisted the navigation officer with navigating and also was helmsman when in GQ. All in all, being a quartermaster was a very interesting and rewarding job. Dom F QM3 USN
2010-01-30 10:57:34USS Emory S. Land (AS 39)I am glad to be out of deck and working aloft. I have been in deck department for a pretty long time and finally struck out. It feels good to have a purpose in our fine Navy. People say that our job is of little importance, but I bet they would not be saying that if we were lost at sea or about to run aground. One of the oldest and most finest rates in the navy, I am proud to be a part of this organization. Wikipedia.com has some great info actually. If you Bing or Google Navy Quartermaster, there are many hits that come up; but unfortunately no Navy QM webpages. I would love to see this site boom a little more, many need to know how great the rate really is.
2010-01-30 11:05:20As a QM and Master Helmsman (as we were known in the tin-can Navy) there was never a better life than telling the OOD what to do. We knew the ship and what she could do. One of my best moments was having a new skipper ask what the safest course was during a hurricane. Only a quartermaster would know that. Some years later I stood at the wheel of a museum can and cried like a girl. Only a QM would understand what it feels like to know you are keeping your ship safe. --QM2 Shay
2010-03-07 00:42:35Novato, CAAshatabula, Barbey + 30 USNS shipsUS Navy Quartermaster 1971-77. Best rate in the Navy, when my Navigator was trying to get me to reenlist, he asked me, "Becker, what would it take to keep you in the Navy?". I told him, "A change of rating." He said, "I thought you loved being a QM?". I said, "I meant to LCDR." Needless to say, I left the Navy and went with Military Sealift Command.That was 1977 and in 1983 I was promoted to Master (ships' captain) and spent 25 years sailing as Master on Naval Auxiliaries. Any QM1 could be a captain outside the Navy, which seems to have a ridiculously low opinion of the rating.I have been retired for 5 months now and after 40 years at sea don't miss it a bit. But I do know what it would be to feel the wheel beneath my hand again. Oh, my, no one knows the sea like a Quartermaster.
2010-03-22 13:28:46Barberton OhioUSS Johnston DD-821You can trust your keel to the man who wears the wheel.
2010-03-26 21:05:32Kykotsmovi, azUSS Chancellorsville(CG-62)I have made a post here a while ago. being a Quartermaster is the best thing i have to say. i have been in this fine navy for more than 13 years and now that i have been here i still am a QM2 but i am holding one of the most coveted jobs on the ship is ANav. MAN it's good to be a QM.
2010-06-21 22:25:32joppa marylanduss duluth (lpd-6) uss pelilieu (lha-5)went to a school in orlando with a combined class of navy and coast guard. qm2 norris usn, and qmc white uscg instructed. had a ball in school and the fleet. wish i took it more seriously while i was in.
2010-06-26 11:18:47CharlestonTAGM-22,DD-827,SSBN-640,SSBN-643Just found this page, Im still doing QM stuff now since 1975. 21 years Navy, 16 years Merchant Marine Coastal Master. Small tugs and Pilot Boats. Now Port of Charleston,SC. Dispatcher. Been working for and with Harbor Pilots for 12 years. Love it. Could not have happened without the Navy Quartermaster Experience. Lots of sea stories and still at it. The Navy made a big mistake with the Navet thing. My Quartermasters loved the rate most went on to long Navy careers. slept with Bowditch. I just dont think the New guys do that anymore. Anybody ever seen a sextant? whats a paper chart? Let alone a weekly Notice to Mariners? Keep up the good work guy's.
2010-07-06 03:36:21Canton, MiUSS Glover(FF-1098) USS D.B. Beary(FF-1085)Not certain about turning QM's into technowhizzes... Seems to me it's a great way to lose all those critical arts like Celestial Nav... Let the ET's tweek the gear, and we'll work our arcane magic and get a good fix. PFM!I had the honor of being on 2 Frigates between 1984-1991. Being a QM on an FF in the Caribbean is the way to go...
2010-08-04 13:32:47There is no going back Patrick, unless the end of the world is here, like in "The Road Warrior" scenario. We could have "Rules of the Road Quartermasters" instead. Always on the prowl looking for that "fix" via LOPs. Hey, there was another movie where the old man flipped a sextant upside down and brought them to dry land...Waterworld. Except this time around, when satellites are being shot out of the sky, nobody will even know what a sextant can do. LOP??? what is that? A floppy Lop-eared bunny? HO MO TO? Is that a Japanese tramp from the ghetto?
2010-08-25 21:23:57I never saw Waterworld, but there is situation where a mariner would legitimately turn a sextant upside down. Sometimes trying to get a celestial body and the horizon in the sextant telescope field at the same time is very difficult. One way to do it is to turn the sextant upside down while holding it in the left hand, and aiming the telescope at the body. After you've found the body, move the index arm until the horizon is also in the field of view.Once it is roughly set to the approximate altitude, move the sextant to your right hand, and holding it properly, rightside up, use the micrometer to line up the horizon and body.
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