Navy Seaman 1st Class Duties

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A Seaman 1st Class in the Navy is the third lowest rank, also referred to as E-3. There are many duties and responsibilities of a Seaman 1st Class, but some are trained in specialty fields including engineering or administration. The Seaman 1st Class is similar to an entry-level position in any company.

Labor Force

A Seaman 1st Class has the responsibility of being the main labor force on a Navy Ship. This includes several of the menial tasks which have to be done to maintain an operational ship. There are basic cleaning duties such as mopping, bathroom cleanup, cooking, garbage disposal and other labor intensive duties that every enlisted person does when she begins her career in the Navy.


Another duty of the Seaman 1st Class is being part of the 24-hour watch stationed on ship. Most of these watch duties are during the midnight shift, but are scheduled by the senior officer in charge of the watch. This includes ensuring the security of the ship and keeping an eye out on the seas for any problems. While in port, the watch ensures everyone boarding the ship is authorized to do so.

Cargo Duties

A Seaman 1st Class will also be responsible for loading and unloading the cargo of a ship. This includes maintaining and handling ropes as well as guidelines as the cargo is place in or taken out of the hold of the ship. A Seaman 1st Class is also responsible for securing this cargo and delivering it certain parts of the ship.


Assisting in every other duty that is deemed necessary by a senior Seaman or Officer is another responsibility of a Seaman 1st Class. Many times a Seaman 1st Class is assigned a given task on the ship, but will have to take orders from other ranks above them. If the operation of the ship requires more hands in a designated area, a Seaman 1st Class will be called upon to assist in those areas. It is not unusual to find a Seaman 1st Class painting the ship or performing other cosmetic duties. Along with these duties, an E-3 will find themselves performing preventive maintenance to certain areas of the ship.