There are over 200 people on my ship and they aren’t all engineers. The engineers are required to make sure the ship works (The Marine Engineers make sure we have electricity, fresh water and that the engines turn the propellers among other things and we (the Weapon Engineers) make sure we can navigate safely, we can send emails and make telephone calls as well as all the other equipment is ready to use. But over 100 of the people onboard are not engineers, they range from Chefs and Medics to Equipment Operators and Officers of the Watch (they drive the ship).
Getting a ship to sea really is a team effort – we need everyone’s different skills to make sure we are safe.
We all get new recruits who join the ship from basic training in all the different areas (at any time I have 8 brand new Engineering Technicians in my department who we train for about a year through to their exam board). The other departments also get new recruits once they have completed basic training too, they might join the Logistics Branch or the Warfare Branch.
Our training is split into 2 different parts – Officers do their training (all branches together at BRNC Dartmouth) and then our Ratings do their training all together at HMS Raleigh. Once training at Raleigh or Dartmouth is complete, everyone splits off to do specialist Engineering, Logistics or Warfare training before they join a ship.