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This page discusses the Royal Manticoran Naval rating of Boatswain, to which Bosun redirects. If you're looking for the shipboard position, please see Bosun (position).

Boatswain (abbrev BN) is an enlisted technical speciality or rating utilized by the Royal Manticoran Navy.


RMN Boatswain.png

Boatswains train, direct, and supervise personnel in ship’s maintenance duties in all activities. They handle the disciplinary problems pertaining to enlisted personnel. They serve in, or take charge of damage control parties. Boatswains also operate and maintain equipment used in loading and unloading cargo, ammunition, fuel, and general stores. Boatswains take charge of and supervise UNREP (underway replenishment) procedures and equipment. Boatswain’s Mates (or Bosuns) are the senior enlisted personnel aboard a ship.[1]

Historical Overview

The word boatswain has been around in one form or another longer than Modern English has (Modern English only dates back to the beginning of the Renaissance). It is derived from late Old English batswegen, from bat ("boat") + Old Norse sveinn ("swain"), meaning a young man, a follower, retainer or servant. Various phonetic spellings (such as "bosun" and "Bos’n") have also been in use through the centuries.[2]

Originally, on board sailing ships the boatswain was in charge of a ship’s anchors, cordage, colors, deck crew and the ship’s boats. The boatswain would also be in charge of the rigging while the ship was in dock. The boatswain’s technical tasks have been modernized with the advent of steam engines and subsequent mechanization.[2]

The rank of boatswain was until recently the oldest active rank in Great Britain’s Royal Navy, and its origins can be traced back to the year 1040. The Royal Navy’s last official boatswain, Commander E. W. Andrew OBE, retired in 1990.[2]

In 1040 when five English ports began furnishing warships to King Edward the Confessor in exchange for certain privileges, they also furnished crews whose officers were the master, boatswain, carpenter and cook. Later these officers were "warranted" by the British Admiralty. They maintained and sailed the ships and were the standing officers of the navy. Soldiers commanded by captains would be on board the ships to do the fighting, but they had nothing to do with sailing the ships. The word "soldiering" came about as a seaman’s term of contempt for the soldiers and anyone else who avoided shipboard duties.[3]

The warranted officers were often the permanent members of the ships' companies. They stayed with the ships in port between voyages as caretakers, supervising repairs and refitting. Other crewmen and soldiers might change with each voyage. Early in the Fourteenth Century, the Purser joined the warrant officers. He was originally “the clerk of burser.” During the following centuries the gunner, surgeon, chaplain, master-at-arms, schoolmaster and others signed on.

TRMN Training Information

Members desiring to qualify to serve at the different skill levels within the Boatswain's department must pass the following exams and prerequisites:[1]

Bureau of Training Information for Boatswain
Course Name Course Code Prerequisite(s)

"A" School
SIA-SRN-30A SIA-RMN-0003 (Advanced Naval Non-Commissioned Officer)
SIA-SRN-01A (Basic Personnelman)
SIA-SRN-19A (Basic Damage Control Technician)

Boatswain's Mate
"C" School
SIA-SRN-30C SIA-RMN-0004 (Senior Chief Petty Officer)
SIA-SRN-01C (Advanced Personnelman)
SIA-SRN-19C (Advanced Damage Control Technician)
SIA-SRN-30A (Boatswain)

Boatswain Warrant Officer
"W" School
SIA-SRN-30W SIA-RMN-0005 (Master Chief Petty Officer)
SIA-SRN-05A (Basic Coxswain)
SIA-SRN-30C (Boatswain's Mate)

Chief Boatswain's Mate
"D" School
SIA-SRN-30D SIA-RMN-0006 (Senior Master Chief Petty Officer)
SIA-SRN-05C (Advanced Coxswain)
SIA-SRN-30C (Boatswain's Mate)


RMN Technical Specialties
Command: Boatswain - Master-at-Arms - Operations Specialist - Intelligence Specialist
Admin: Personnelman - Navy Counselor - Yeoman
Logistics: Steward - Storekeeper - Disbursing Clerk - Ship's Serviceman
Tactical: Fire Control - Electronic Warfare - Tracking Specialist - Missiles - Beam Weapons - Gunner
Engineering: Impeller - Power - Gravitics - Environment - Hydroponics - Damage Control
Communications: Data Systems - Electronics - Communications - Sensors
Astrogation: Helmsman - Plotting Specialist
Flight Operations: Coxswain
Medical: Corpsman - Sick Berth Attendant