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Naval Duties of a BM3

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The boatswain's mate is the Navy's oldest job. The duties of the BM are limitless and vital to the ship's life. A petty officer third class is the lowest rank among supervisors in the Navy. A BM3 oversees the daily tasks of the ship's deckhands.

Responsibilities of a Petty Officer Third Class

A petty officer third class is a supervisory rank in the United States Navy and Coast Guard. The petty officer supervises his workers to accomplish any task assigned to them. The rank is earned through a skills test and two years in the previous rank. The candidate must also be in the boatswain's mate rank for at least six months. Once these are completed, then the candidate may take the advancement exam and, upon completion, his score will be entered in a Navywide competition for the positions available.

Boatswain's Mate

The duties of a boatswain's mate involve maintaining the ship's appearance, its deck equipment, its underway replenishments and its small boats. The boatswain's mate is a general position obtained when recruits enter the Navy without a specific job. While the sailor is in the recruiting stages of enlistment, she is automatically assigned to a deck division, or she can work in the engineering departments as a fireman. The recruit can then work her way in deck division as a boatswain's mate or "strike" to work any other job the Navy has to offer.

Boatswain's Mate Petty Officer Third Class

The boatswain's mate petty officer third class, or BM3, supervises and ensures the seamen are performing their given tasks and reports to the chain of command. BM3s also direct and take charge of emergency parties and the operation of small boats. They stand important watches such as petty officer of the watch and some security watches. The BM3 also trains and helps instruct the seamen on how to perform their tasks and provides guidance when needed.


Boatswain's mate third classes require time in rank and rate for promotion. There is no specialized school for this field, so rank is earned by hands-on training. The recruit does get an apprentice training program directly after basic training that lasts for three weeks and goes over basic Navy knowledge and the responsibilities of the deck seaman. Recruits can also attend various classes on base relating to shipboard maintenance and damage control. These classes are taken into consideration in evaluating BM3 requests.


Gregory Crews has been in the film industry for three years and has appeared in more than 38 major motion pictures and 16 television shows. He also writes detailed automotive tutorials. His expertise in the automotive industry has given him the skills to write detailed technical instructional articles.

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