THE CREW| Command Departments

Administrative Department


The Administrative Department is responsible for maintaining all administrative data and paperwork necessary for the ship to function properly. These functions include data processing, as well as recreational, police, and postal services. This department is also responsible for operation of the ship’s Public Affairs Office as well as the onboard television and radio stations. This department typically handles personnel records, including visiting Naval Reserve personnel 

Operations Department


The Operations Department is responsible for collecting, cataloging, analyzing and distributing combat information vital to the accomplishment of the ship’s offensive and defensive missions. Heading this very important department is the ship’s Operations Officer, or “Ops.” This individual is one of the busiest persons on the ship. Intelligence, photographic intelligence, local air traffic control, and missile system maintenance are types of services provided by this department. The ship’s intelligence officer and the CVIC spaces fall under this department on a carrier. On other ships, 3905 enlisted Intelligence Specialists and/or collateral duty intelligence officers fall under the Operations Department. As a reserve intelligence officer (1635) or enlisted Intelligence Specialist, you most likely will be assigned to this department during your AT-at-Sea.

Medical Department


The Medical Department is responsible for maintaining the health of the crew, the treatment of sick and injured ship’s personnel, disease prevention and the promotion of good health ship-wide. The head of this department must be an officer of the Navy Medical Corps (MC). Additionally, the Medical Officer also advises the ship’s CO on ship’s hygiene and sanitation conditions. Smaller ships may not have an embarked Medical Officer in which case Hospital Corps personnel run the department under the administrative auspices of the Operations Department.

Dental Department


The Dental Department provides comprehensive dental care, encompassing simple preventative care through emergency services for all embarked personnel. Note: Only large ships, such as carriers and amphibious warfare ships, have embarked Dental Departments. This department, along with Medical and Supply, are known as support departments.

Deck Department


The Deck Department is charged with the most traditional of nautical responsibilities. Enlisted Boatswain’s Mates (BM) maintain the exterior of the ship’s surfaces, anchor and moor the ship, man the rescue and assistance lifeboats, and monitor underway replenishment. The BMs’ most prevalent (and audible) duty is the “piping away” of different events over the ship’s intercom. This department is headed by the ship’s First Lieutenant.

Engineering Department


The Engineering Department maintains the ship’s power plants providing steam for propulsion. It also provides all life support systems, fresh water, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, hot water, electrical power, telephone service, and maintains the ship’s sewage system. The ship’s Chief Engineer, or “Cheng”, heads this department.

Repair Department


Ship’s can operate only a certain length of time
without repairs. To keep a ship in prime condition,
constant attention should be given to material upkeep and definite intervals of time must be allotted for general overhaul and repair. Even when regular maintenance procedures are carefully followed, accidents and derangements may necessitate emergency repair work. Defects and deficiencies that can be corrected by ship’s force should be dealt with as soon as possible.

When repairs are beyond the capacity of ship’s force to accomplish, aid must be obtained from a repair activity afloat or ashore. Ship repair is the basic duty of the HT whether ashore or afloat. The majority of personnel in the HT rate are assigned to billets at IMAs performing the basic functions of ship repair.

Supply Department


The Supply Department is responsible for feeding and paying the ship’s crew, including the running of ship’s wardroom(s) and messing spaces. This department holds responsibility for the laundry and dry cleaning services, stores, barbershops, and recreation services. This department also stocks spare parts for underway ship repairs.

Heading this department is the ship’s Supply Officer, or “Suppo,” a member of the Navy Supply Corps (SC). The Supply Officer may have assistants for disbursing, food service, ship’s store, or wardroom mess.