If you’re looking for a fast-paced job that’s at the heart of the action, becoming a Naval Communicator may be the job for you. You will serve on the Bridge and in the Communications Control Room of Canadian destroyers, frigates, and submarines, and will have the opportunity to work with some of the most advanced and sophisticated communication and computer systems in the world.
While on board ships, Naval Communicators experience the unique adventures and challenges that come with work at sea, such as rough waters and shift-work. They work primarily in the Communications Control Room, Operations Room, on the Bridge, and the Flag Deck.
When employed ashore, Naval Communicators work in office-like conditions in a high-security environment, typically a restricted-access communications facility. They may work in a wider variety of duties such as providing communications support to ships and shore establishments, performing duties to assist in the communications flow in Naval Radio Stations, or be employed as instructors in Recruit, Leadership, or Communication Schools.
As a Naval Communicator, you will establish and manage all external voice, radio teletype, and data circuits, and provide real-time tactical information in support of operations. You will maintain communications with national and allied networks over radio frequencies required for mission coordination, using tactical line-of-sight, long-range, and satellite communications. It will also be your responsibility to advise Command on tactical signaling and ship manoeuvring, encoding/decoding of signals, and dissemination of tactical and manoeuvring signals.
Some of your primary duties will also include computer networking, satellite, tactical voice and visual communications, computer-based message processing networks, radio communication control systems, and the handling of cryptographic and satellite equipment in support of high-speed data and imagery exchanges.
As with all sea-going personnel, Naval Communicators work with their fellow shipmates in out-of-occupation duties such as watch-keeper or sentry, act as a line handler for replenishment at sea, and as a ship-hand for entering and leaving the harbour. They participate in Search and Rescue events, act as a member of the ship’s emergency response team for security watches, and routinely perform ship maintenance and repairs. If necessary, a Naval Communicator may serve as a member of the Naval Boarding Party in order to inspect the cargo of suspect vessels and detain the vessel’s crew during inspections.
To be eligible to apply to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), you must:
- be a Canadian citizen
- be at least 18 years old (17 years old with parental consent), except:
- For the Paid Education programs—you may be 16 years old (with parental consent)
- For the Primary Reserves—you may be 16 years old (with parental consent) and must be enrolled as a full-time student
- have completed at least Grade 10 or Secondaire IV in Québec (some jobs need higher levels of education)
Related civilian occupations
- Computer Network or Systems Administrator
- Radio Operator
- Marine Traffic Controller
Basic Military Qualification
The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. A goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the CAF physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding but achievable.
Specific Navy Training
Naval recruits attend the Canadian Forces Fleet School either in Esquimalt, British Columbia, or Halifax, Nova Scotia, for approximately five weeks. Training includes the following topics:
- Naval history and organization
- Shipboard firefighting and damage control
- Shipboard safety
- Watchkeeping duties
Basic Occupational Qualification Training
Naval Communicators attend the Canadian Forces Fleet School in Esquimalt, British Columbia, for approximately 29 weeks. Training includes:
- Communications security
- Information systems security
- Basic communication procedures, such as:
- Basic radio theory and computer skills
- A Plus and Network Plus Curriculum
- Keyboarding and Message processing
- Frequency Management
- Operating Radio Communication Equipment
- Fleet Manoeuvring
Naval Communicators may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Maritime semi-automatic exchange basic operator
- Military aeronautical communications
- Naval boarding party
- Basic submarine qualification
- Ship’s team diver
- Instructional techniques
- Ship’s coxswain
As they progress in their career, Naval Communicators who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:
- Computer operation (message handling)
- Local area network administrator
- Advanced cryptography
- Communications policy directive planning and implementation
- Tactical communication plan preparation and execution
- Communications security
- Information systems security
- Frequency management
- Advanced fleet tactical manoeuvring
- Leadership and management courses
The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondary IV in Quebec. Foreign education may be accepted.
Join the CAF
To learn more about becoming a Naval Communicator, talk to a recruiter at a centre nearest you or call 1-800-856-8488.
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Job Types: Full-time, Part-time