Engineering Branch

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Engineering Branch
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Active1835-current
CountryUnited Kingdom
BranchRoyal Navy
TypeNaval Branch
Part ofRoyal Navy
Garrison/HQPortsmouth, Hampshire, England
Commanders
First Branch HeadChief Engineer and Chief Inspector of Machinery
Current Branch HeadChief Naval Engineer Officer

The Engineering Branch is a specialist technical branch of the Royal Navy devoted to the field of engineering it was first established in 1835.[1]


History

Throughout the 19th century,officers were assigned to specialist Royal Navy Branches these branches remained firmly divided into the Military and Civil branches, the Military Branch consisting of Executive Officers. Into the 20th century the civil branches over time were divided into specialist sub branches. [2] Prior 1837, ships engineers, or more correctly engine men, were an anomaly, belonging to neither the military or civil branches of the service. They were directly recruited from engine works and forges and constituted a law unto themselves in matter of discipline.

Conditions for engineers in the navy were undoubtedly poor, and in a bid to improve the situation, the Department of Admiralty issued an Order in Council on l0 July 1837, granted engineers Warrant Rank, thereby elevating their status to that of the Civil Officers of the period, such as Masters, Pursers, Surgeons, and Chaplains. A further ten years elapsed before the more senior engineers achieved commissioned rank. A second Order in Council on 27th February 1847 was issued four years after the Paymasters (formerly Pursers), Surgeons, and Chaplains, but fourteen years ahead of the Naval Instructors (formerly Schoolmasters). Engineers still belonged to the Civil Branch of the service, and ranked with, but after Masters in their corresponding rank. A small change made to the uniforms of the Military Officers in 1860, to further distinguish them from Civil Officers, became rather symbolic. It consisted of the addition of a curl to the upper ring of gold lace denoting rank, and became known as the "executive curl".

Changes to the Assistant Engineer grades occurred in 1861, caused by the creation of the new rank of "Engineer". "Engineer" became the new title of the serving Assistant Engineer Class 1, whilst serving Assistant Engineers Class 11 became Assistant Engineers Class 1, and Assistant Engineers Class III became assistant Engineers Class 11. The grade of Assistant Engineer Ill was abolished. The series of changes in status and rank structure which occurred from 1897 onwards were intended to eliminate some of the anomalies which existed in conditions of service between the Military and Engineering Branches, and which were the cause of much discontent. To appreciate the need for these changes it is necessary to understand the enormous extent to which the Engineering Branch had grown, and the responsibility placed upon it.

In 1863 The Royal Navy introduced coloured cloth on to their uniforms in 1863, so that it was possible to distinguish between naval branches and admiralty departments. the engineering branch colour was designated purple.[3]

By Order in Council dated 18th May 1897, the Warrant rank of "Artificer Engineer" was introduced exactly sixty years after the original style engineers were granted Warrant Officer status. Ironically this second period of Warrant rank in the Engineering Branch was to last just marginally less than sixty years. The engineers' rank structure was then Engineer in Chief - Chief Inspector of Machinery Chief Inspector of Machinery Inspector of Machinery afloat Fleet Engineer Staff Engineer Chief Engineer Engineer (1861) Assistant Engineer Artificer Engineer (1897) The Engineer in Chief held the rank of Chief Inspector of Machinery, as did a number of other engineers who were subordinate to him, but equal in rank.

In 1900 this anomaly was rectified, and a few, but not all, equivalent ranks established by an Order in Council, which stated that, "The Engineer in Chief was to enjoy rank as Engineer in Chief, and would no longer rank as a Chief Inspector of Machinery". His equivalent rank was to be that of a Rear Admiral. The rank of Staff Engineer was abolished, and promotion to the rank of Fleet Engineer was to take place on attaining eight years seniority as Chief Engineer.

Also by 1900 there were some 970 engineer officers and 24,000 men; in 1910, 1461 officers and 37,000 men; while during the war the Engineer-in-Chief had under him a body of officers and men exceeding 80,000.

In 1904 standard executive rank titles with an "engineer" prefix were included. Under Admiral Fishers 1905 changed the ranks were Rear-Admiral (E), Captain (E), Commander (E), Lieutenant Commander (E), Lieutenant (E), Sub-Lieutenant (E), Mishipman (E) and Cadet (E). In 1956 the "Engineer" prefix and rank branch colour distinction cloth removed finally making engineers indistinguishable from seaman officers.

In 1926 the Engineering Branch of the Navy had personnel of about 23,000 or 24,000 officers and men. A glance at the Navy List showed that there were some 1300 officers of various grades ranging from the rank of Engineer Vice-Admiral to that of Warrant Engineer.

Today the oversight of appointments to the branch lays with the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Policy) and his deputy the Assistant Chief of Staff (Policy) based at Navy Command HQ. At Navy Command HQ there consists three specialist divisions where engineering staff functions exist, Ships led superintended by the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Ships) (ACNS (Ships), Submarines, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Submarines) (ACNS(SM)) and Engineering Support DNS (Director Naval Support). The Engineering Branch itself is led and controlled and directed by Chief Naval Engineer Officer.

Branch Colour (1863-1955)

In 1863 The Royal Navy introduced coloured cloth on to their uniforms in 1863, so that it was possible to distinguish between naval branches and admiralty departments. the engineering branch colour was designated purple this system of identification remained in place until 1956.

Below Engineer Rank insignia from 1886 to 1903

Current Organisation of the Branch and Senior Staff Officers

Chief Naval Engineer Officer

.

Chief Staff Officer Engineering (CSO(E))

.

CSO(E)s specializing in Surface Ships and Submarines respectively will be appointed to assist ACNS(SM) and ACOS(Ships) in executing their duties.[4]

Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff (Engineering Support) (DACOS(ES))

.

DACOS(ES) supports DNS through ACOS(FS&E), in providing sponsorship of key engineering enablers.[5]

Superintendents Fleet Maintenance/Captains Engineering

Superintendents Fleet Maintenance/Captains Engineering on the staffs of Naval Base Commanders at Portsmouth, Devonport and Faslane deliver maintenance and repair support to the Navy Command HQ on behalf of Assistant Chief of Staff Support (ACNS(SPT)). They will also provide engineering advice and guidance to Fleet units as required. At NBC Devonport this responsibility is split between Captain Engineering (for Surface Ship support) and Superintendent Upkeep Submarines (for Submarine support).[6]

Superintendent Fleet Maintenance and Captain Engineering, Devonport

.

Superintendent Fleet Maintenance and Captain Engineering, Faslane

.

Superintendent Fleet Maintenance and Captain Engineering, Portsmouth

.

Flotilla Staff Engineer Officers

Engineer Officers on the staffs of COMPORFLOT, COMDEVFLOT and COMFASFLOT are to perform such duties in connection with ships and submarines in their base ports as may be ordered by their waterfront commander, having due regard to the instructions issued by the Fleet Commander, ACNS (Ships) ACNS(SM), ACNS (A & C) ACOS(Ships) and ACOS(ES). Their duties will primarily be to have oversight of engineering standards and safety, seek appropriate delivery of the Naval Base services to Fleet units and to provide guidance and advice to Engineer Officers in sea-going appointments. In conducting these tasks, Waterfront staffs also provide assurance to the ODH (via the ODH CE) that ships and submarines are being maintained and operated in accordance with DSA-02 and BR9147.[7]

Flotilla Staff Engineer, Devonport

.[8]

Flotilla Staff Engineer, Faslane

.[9]

Flotilla Staff Engineer, Portsmouth

.[10]

Engineer Officers on the Staff of Flag Officer Sea Training

Engineer Officers on the Staff of Flag Officer Sea Training will oversee the delivery of all training both ashore and at sea. They will also assist heads of engineering departments in ships and submarines with essential safety and administrative checks and inspections prior to the vessel proceeding to sea following Upkeep or maintenance periods.[11]

Staff Engineer Officer to Flag Officer Sea Training

.

Former Branch Heads

Chief Engineer and Chief Inspector of Machinery (1832-1837)

Comptroller and Chief Inspector of Steam Machinery (1837-1847)

Chief Engineer of the Navy (1847-1859)

Engineer-in-Chief of the Navy (1859-1887)

Engineer-in-Chief of the Fleet (1887-1964)

Royal Naval Engineer Corps

Royal Naval Engineers are in charge of the management and upkeep of ship-board machinery. Traditionally this included engines, motors, pumps and other mechanical devices, but modern engineers are now responsible for both mechanical systems and high-tech electronics such radar and sonar systems and nuclear-power plants.

Ranks

1837

Engineer Branch Warrant Officer Ranks/Midshipmen/Students 1837
Ranks
First Engineer
Second Engineer
Third Engineer
Midshipman
Engineer Student

1847

In 1847 executive commissioned ranks are introduced.

Engineer Branch Executive Officer Ranks 1847
Ranks equivalent Sailing Branch equivalent Military Branch
Inspector of Machinery Master of the Fleet Commander
Chief Engineer First Class Master Lieutenant
Chief Engineer Second Class Second Master Sub-Lieutenant
Chief Engineer Third Class Appointed by Commission
Assistant Engineer First Class Appointed by Commission
Assistant Engineer Second Class Appointed by Order
Assistant Engineer Third Class Appointed by Order
Midshipman
Engineer Student

1861

In 1861 executive commissioned ranks are revised to include the new rank of Engineer.

Engineer Branch Executive Officer Ranks 1861
Old Ranks New Ranks equivalent, Sailing & Military Branch
Inspector of Machinery No Change Master of the Fleet/Commander
Chief Engineer First Class No Change Master/Lieutenant
Chief Engineer Second Class No Change Second Master/Sub-Lieutenant
Chief Engineer Third Class No Change Appointed by Commission
Assistant Engineer First Class Engineer Appointed by Commission
Assistant Engineer Second Class Assistant Engineer First Class Appointed by Order
Assistant Engineer Third Class Assistant Engineer Second Class Appointed by Order
Midshipman
Engineer Student

1877

In 1877 executive commissioned ranks are revised to include the new rank of Assistant Engineer the former Assistant Engineer First and Second Classes are merged promotion to Engineer is attained after min 4 years service.

Engineer Branch Executive Officer Ranks 1877
Old Ranks New Ranks equivalent, Sailing & Military Branch
Inspector of Machinery No Change Master of the Fleet/Commander
Chief Engineer First Class No Change Master/Lieutenant
Chief Engineer Second Class No Change Second Master/Sub-Lieutenant
Chief Engineer Third Class No Change Appointed by Commission
Engineer No Change Appointed by Commission
Assistant Engineer First Class Assistant Engineer Appointed by Commission
Assistant Engineer Second Class Assistant Engineer Appointed by Commission
Assistant Engineer Third Class Assistant Engineer Second Class Appointed by Order
Midshipman
Engineer Student

1886 to 1899

In 1886 to 1899 executive commissioned ranks are revised to include the new rank of Engineer.

Engineer Branch Executive Officer Ranks 1886-1899
Old Ranks New Ranks equivalent, Military Branch
Chief Inspector of Machinery Engineer-in-Chief Captain more than 3 yrs service
Inspector of Machinery Chief Inspector of Machinery Captain less than 3 yrs service
Chief Engineer First Class Fleet Engineer (1886) Commander
Chief Engineer Second Class Staff Engineer Senior Lieutenant
Chief Engineer Third Class Engineer Lieutenant
Assistant Engineer No Change Sub Lieutenant
Midshipman
Engineer Student

1900

In 1900 executive commissioned ranks are revised to include the new rank of Engineer.

Engineer Branch Executive Officer Ranks 1 April, 1900
Old Ranks New Ranks new equivalent, Military Branch
Engineer-in-Chief No Change Rear-Admiral
Chief Inspector of Machinery No Change Captain more than 3 yrs service
Inspector of Machinery No Change Captain less than 3 yrs service
Fleet Engineer No Change Commander
Staff Engineer Abolished
Assistant Engineer Chief Engineer Senior Lieutenant
Engineer Lieutenant
Midshipman
Engineer Student

1902 to 1955

Changes in Engineer Officers' ranks in the Royal Navy introduced in 1903 included standard executive rank titles with an "Engineer" prefix. In 1905 engineer officers' ranks in the Royal Navy introduced under the Selborne-Fisher Scheme with the new prefix (E) . The Royal Navy introduced included the new rank of Lieutenant Commander (E) instituted in 1914

Engineer Branch Officer Ranks
Old Ranks 1902 Revised Ranks March 1903 Revised Ranks. April 1905 Revised Ranks 1914-1955
Engineer-in-Chief Engineer Vice-Admiral Vice-Admiral (E) Vice-Admiral (E)
Chief Inspector of Machinery Engineer Rear-Admiral Rear-Admiral (E) Rear-Admiral (E)
Inspector of Machinery Engineer Captain Captain (E) Captain (E)
Fleet Engineer Engineer Commander Commander (E) Commander (E)
No rank No Rank No rank Lieutenant Commander (E)
Staff Engineer Engineer Lieutenant 2.5 stripes Lieutenant (E) Lieutenant (E)
Engineer Engineer Lieutenant Lieutenant (E)
Assistant Engineer Engineer Sub-Lieutenant Sub-Lieutenant (E) Sub-Lieutenant (E)
vacant rank vacant rank revived rank Mate (E) (1913-1931) abolished
Midshipman Engineer Midshipman Midshipman (E) Midshipman (E)
Engineer Student Engineer Cadet Cadet (E) Cadet (E)

Fields of expertise

After graduating from university and receiving a basic training, naval engineer officers specialize in a particular field.

  • Marine engineer officer (MEO) - deals with the fuel, air, water, electrical, and propulsion systems including nuclear reactors for those appointed to submarines.
  • Air engineer officer (AEO) - maintenance and upgrading of engines and electrical systems in aircraft.
  • Weapon engineer officer (WEO) - ensures that weapon systems are working properly.

Training Facilities

In 1888 engineer studentships were created. Today, there are several different student-scholarship programs available including the University Cadetship Entry, a competitive program in which students enlist and train at Britannia Royal Naval College before going to university.

Royal Naval Engineering College

Main Article:Royal Naval Engineering College

Royal Naval Engineering College, Keyham

Royal Naval Engineering College, Manadon

Reference

  1. "Royal Navy Engineering Jobs Become a Royal Navy Engineer". www.royalnavy.mod.uk. Ministry of Defence United Kingdom. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  2. Wilson, R.N., Commander Alastair (22 July 2009). "The Royal Navy in 1905". www.kiplingsociety.co.uk. The Kipling Society. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  3. "Colours on naval uniform". Royal Museums Greenwich. Greenwich, London: Royal Museums Greenwich. 19 August 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  4. Navy Command HQ. Royal Navy. (April 2017). pp.3-5.
  5. Navy Command HQ. Royal Navy. (April 2017). pp.3-5.
  6. Navy Command HQ. Royal Navy. (April 2017). pp.3-5.
  7. Navy Command HQ. Royal Navy. (April 2017). pp.3-5.
  8. Navy Command HQ. Royal Navy. (April 2017). pp.3-5.
  9. Navy Command HQ. Royal Navy. (April 2017). pp.3-5.
  10. Navy Command HQ. Royal Navy. (April 2017). pp.3-5.
  11. Navy Command HQ. Royal Navy. (April 2017). pp.3-5.

Bibliography

  1. Engineer Officer, Royal Navy.
  2. https://web.archive.org/web/20160304075442/http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/static/pages/4746.html