Quartermasters (QMs) stand watch as assistants to officers of the deck and the navigator; serve as helmsman and perform ship control, navigation and bridge watch duties. QMs procure, correct, use and stow navigational and oceanographic publications and oceanographic charts. They maintain navigational instruments and keep correct navigational time; render "honors and ceremonies" in accordance with national observance and foreign customs; send and receive visual messages; and serve as petty officers in charge of tugs, self-propelled barges and other yard and district craft.
The duties performed by QMs include:
- conduct weather observations;
- determine compass and gyro error;
- compute tide and tidal current data;
- keep logs and records; determine their ship's position by visual and electronic means;
- compute times of sunrise and sunset;
- follow the nautical rules-of-the-road to prevent collisions at sea.
After "A" school, USN Quartermasters are assigned to all types of ships. Full Time Support (FTS) QMs are assigned to Navy Reserve Force (NRF) ships in the Continental United States (CONUS). Upon completion of sea tours, FTS QMs will be assigned to reserve centers across the country including the heartland. While assigned to reserve centers FTS QMs will train and administer Selected Reserve Personnel. During a 20-year period in the Navy, QMs spend about 60 percent of their time assigned to fleet units and 40 percent to shore stations.
A-School (Job School) Information
Great Lakes, IL --40 calendar days
ASVAB Score Requirement: VE + AR = 97
Security Clearance Requirement: Secret
- Must have normal color perception
- Must be a U.S. Citizen
Sub-Specialties Available for This Rating: Navy Enlisted Classification Codes for QM
Current Manning Levels for This Rating: CREO Listing
Note: Advancement ( promotion ) opportunity and career progression are directly linked to a rating's manning level (i.e., personnel in undermanned ratings have greater promotion opportunity than those in overmanned ratings).
Sea/Shore Rotation for This Rating
- First Sea Tour: 60 months
- First Shore Tour: 36 months
- Second Sea Tour: 48 months
- Second Shore Tour:36 months
- Third Sea Tour: 48 months
- Third Shore Tour: 36 months
- Fourth Sea Tour: 36 months
- Forth Shore Tour: 36 months
Note: Sea tours and shore tours for sailors that have completed four sea tours will be 36 months at sea followed by 36 months ashore until retirement.
Much of the above information courtesy of the Navy Personnel Command