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A shipmate is literally a mate on one's own ship (i.e., a member of the same ship).
A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep waterways, carrying passengers or goods, or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, research and fishing. Historically, a "ship" was a sailing vessel with at least three square-rigged masts and a full bowsprit. Ships are generally distinguished from boats, based on size, shape, load capacity, and tradition.
In English-Speaking navies and the United States Coast Guard, the term 'shipmate' is used among sailors as a generic moniker. It is used in the third person by a member of a ship's crew to describe another member, or in the second person when referring to any other Naval service member.
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the coastal defense and maritime law enforcement branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's seven uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the U.S. military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency mission as part of its mission set. It operates under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, and can be transferred to the U.S. Department of the Navy by the U.S. President at any time, or by the U.S. Congress during times of war. This has happened twice: in 1917, during World War I, and in 1941, during World War II.
In the United States Navy "shipmate" is most accurately a term used by anyone in the Navy to reference anyone else in the Navy. It can be used with a range of connotations- most often as an expression of camaraderie, but also as a respectful way to address other crew members whose rank or naval rating is not obvious. It can even be used in a derogatory manner. It is used both on land and at sea and it is used among Naval service members without regard to whether they are in fact members of the same ship. The term is used so abundantly in the American Navy that the inflection, context, and tone of the speaker can connote more meaning than the term itself.
The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world, with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second largest and second most powerful air force in the world.
Military ranks are a system of hierarchical relationships in armed forces, police, intelligence agencies or other institutions organized along military lines. Military ranks and the military rank system define among others dominance, authority, as well as roles and responsibility in a military hierarchy. The military rank system incorporates the principles of exercising power and authority, and the military chain of command – the succession of commanders superior to subordinates through which command is exercised – constructs an important component for organized collective action.
In a navy, a rate, rating or bluejacket is a junior enlisted member of that navy who is not a warrant officer or commissioned officer. Depending on the country and navy that uses it, the exact term and the range of ranks that it refers to may vary.
In the United States Navy, recruits are indoctrinated with heavy use of the term immediately upon beginning training at Recruit Training Command (or 'boot camp'). There, they use the term abundantly to refer to their peers in all but the least formal settings. Notably, recruits use the term superfluously and with enthusiasm to sound off to their peers in scenarios when referencing another person by name or title would be otherwise unnecessary. For example, a recruit in the chow line will add "shipmate" after identifying each item of food he or she wishes fellow recruits to place on his or her tray ("potatoes, Shipmate!", "green beans, Shipmate!", "bread, Shipmate!" etc.). In turn, the recruits serving his or her food will repeat the expression as the recruit moves down the line "potatoes, Shipmate!", "green beans, Shipmate!", "bread, Shipmate!"... to confirm that they understood the commands. It is used so abundantly during this stage of a sailor's training that it can sound curious to a new recruit or a visitor. The term is almost never used by superiors to refer to inferiors during recruit training except ironically or in a derogatory tone. Sometimes the term is modified to connote the derogation more explicitly, as in "Shipwreck" in reference to someone who is messy or fails to maintain a military bearing. As the extreme hierarchical distinctions in recruit training tend to fade once the recruit joins the regular Navy, so do the above distinctions. It is not uncommon to hear an Admiral or Captain refer to his lowest subordinates as "shipmate" in order to express camaraderie. Inversely, it is not uncommon for peers to refer to one another as "shipwreck" or use a vocal inflection that connotes derogation, usually with an accent on the "-mate."
The term is often used in a follow-on training status such as "A" School from superiors to their subordinates to point out deficiencies, usually when rank of the subordinate is not easily identified. An example would be "Hey shipmate! Fix your uniform!" The use of the term in this context would be similar to a division commander referring to a recruit as "Recruit".
Although the term is not commonly used outside maritime scenarios, it is often used by Navy veterans toward one another as a means to reminisce or bond about shared experience.
Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, a popular maritime novel, is laced with the term, although the narrator Ishmael seldom uses the word: "This man interested me at once; and since the sea-gods had ordained that he should soon become my shipmate (though but a sleeping partner one, so far as this narrative is concerned), I will here venture upon a little description of him."
Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period. His best known works include Typee (1846), a romantic account of his experiences in Polynesian life, and his whaling novel Moby-Dick (1851). His work was almost forgotten during the last 30 years of his life. His writing draws on his experience at sea as a common sailor, exploration of literature and philosophy, and engagement in the contradictions of American society in a period of rapid change. He developed a complex, baroque style; the vocabulary is rich and original, a strong sense of rhythm infuses the elaborate sentences, the imagery is often mystical or ironic, and the abundance of allusion extends to biblical scripture, myth, philosophy, literature, and the visual arts.
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is an 1851 novel by American writer Herman Melville. The book is sailor Ishmael's narrative of the obsessive quest of Ahab, captain of the whaling ship Pequod, for revenge on Moby Dick, the white whale that on the ship's previous voyage bit off Ahab's leg at the knee. A contribution to the literature of the American Renaissance, the work's genre classifications range from late Romantic to early Symbolist. Moby-Dick was published to mixed reviews, was a commercial failure, and was out of print at the time of the author's death in 1891. Its reputation as a "Great American Novel" was established only in the 20th century, after the centennial of its author's birth. William Faulkner confessed he wished he had written the book himself, and D. H. Lawrence called it "one of the strangest and most wonderful books in the world" and "the greatest book of the sea ever written". Its opening sentence, "Call me Ishmael", is among world literature's most famous.
Nautical fiction, frequently also naval fiction, sea fiction, naval adventure fiction or maritime fiction, is a genre of literature with a setting on or near the sea, that focuses on the human relationship to the sea and sea voyages and highlights nautical culture in these environments. The settings of nautical fiction vary greatly, including merchant ships, liners, naval ships, fishing vessels, life boats, etc., along with sea ports and fishing villages. When describing nautical fiction, scholars most frequently refer to novels, novellas, and short stories, sometimes under the name of sea novels or sea stories. These works are sometimes adapted for the theatre, film and television.
One might refer to a fellow crew member by saying, "He and I were shipmates before reporting for duty here in Norfolk." The word is used in this sense in the old song "Don't Forget Your Old Shipmates".
When getting the attention of a fellow sailor, one might simply call out "Shipmate!" or "Hey, shipmate!"
When speaking to a group or crowd of sailors, i.e. "My fellow shipmates..."
"Limey" is a predominantly North American slang nickname for a British person. It originally referred to British sailors.
The Royal Canadian Navy is the naval force of Canada. The RCN is one of three environmental commands within the unified Canadian Armed Forces. As of 2017, Canada's navy operates 12 frigates, 4 patrol submarines, 12 coastal defence vessels and 8 unarmed patrol/training vessels, as well as several auxiliary vessels. The Royal Canadian Navy consists of 8,500 Regular Force and 5,100 Primary Reserve sailors, supported by 5,300 civilians. Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd is the current Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy and Chief of the Naval Staff.
The second USS Somers was a brig in the United States Navy during the John Tyler administration which became infamous for being the only U.S. Navy ship to undergo a mutiny which led to executions.
A plankowner is an individual who was a member of the crew of a United States Navy ship or United States Coast Guard cutter when that ship was placed in commission. Originally, this term applied only to crew members that were present at the ship's first commissioning. Today, however, plankowner is often applied to members of newly commissioned units, new military bases and recommissioning crews as well.
A petty officer (PO) is a non-commissioned officer in many navies and is given the NATO rank denotion OR-5. In many nations, they are typically equal to a corporal or sergeant in comparison to other military branches. Often they may be superior to a seaman, generally the lowest ranks in a navy, and subordinate to a more senior non-commissioned officer, such as a chief petty officer.
The Altmark Incident was a naval incident of World War II between British destroyers and the German tanker Altmark, which happened on 16–17 February 1940. It took place in what were, at that time, neutral Norwegian waters. On board the Altmark were some 300 allied prisoners, whose ships were sunk by the pocket battleship Graf Spee in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. British naval forces cornered the tanker and later the destroyer Cossack attacked the German ship near the Jøssingfjord and freed all the prisoners, killing eight German seamen with firearms and wounding ten others, five of them seriously. A British and a Norwegian sailor were also seriously wounded in the action. Germany claimed that the attack was a grave violation of international law and of Norwegian neutrality.
White-Jacket; or, The World in a Man-of-War is the fifth book by American writer Herman Melville, first published in London in 1850. The book is based on the author's fourteen months service in the United States Navy, aboard the frigate USS "Neversink".
A hospital corpsman (HM) is an enlisted medical specialist of the United States Navy, who may also serve in a U.S. Marine Corps unit. The corresponding rank within the United States Coast Guard is Health Services Technician (HS).
The Sailor's Creed is a code of ethics of the United States Navy, originally developed for the promotion of personal excellence.
Shipwrecked is a 1990 family action-adventure film directed by Nils Gaup and starring Stian Smestad and Gabriel Byrne. The film is a dramatization of Norwegian author Oluf Falck-Ytter's book Haakon Haakonsen: En Norsk Robinson. In Norway, it was titled "Haakon Haakonsen".
HMAS Melville is the second ship of the Leeuwin class of hydrographic survey vessels operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
Landsman or landman was a military rank given to naval recruits.
Ordinary seaman is a military rank used in naval forces.
Hey, Shipwreck is the name of a series of Machinima spoofing the Silent Service, that is serving aboard a United States Navy submarine. The animations are rendered using the Blender game engine, and can be watched in-browser in YouTube format, or downloaded in a variety of other formats. The title comes from the common Navy phrase: "Hey, Shipmate!" referring to a fellow sailor. Substituting "Shipwreck" makes it an insult. Similar to saying "Hey Dirtbag."
United States Naval Training Center, Bainbridge was the U.S. Navy Training Center at Port Deposit, Maryland, on the bluffs of the northeast bank of the Susquehanna River. It was active from 1942 to 1976 under the Commander of the Fifth Naval District, based in Norfolk, Virginia.
A powder boy or powder monkey manned naval artillery guns as a member of a warship's crew, primarily during the Age of Sail. His chief role was to ferry gunpowder from the powder magazine in the ship's hold to the artillery pieces, either in bulk or as cartridges, to minimize the risk of fires and explosions. The function was usually fulfilled by boy seamen of 12 to 14 years of age. Powder monkeys were usually boys or young teens, selected for the job for their speed and height: they were short and could move more easily in the limited space between decks and would also be hidden behind the ship's gunwale, keeping them from being shot by enemy ships' sharp shooters. These powder monkeys held no official naval rank on the ships that they sailed on. Some women and older men also worked as powder monkeys.
Shipmates Forever is a 1935 American musical film directed by Frank Borzage and written by Delmer Daves. Set at the United States Naval Academy, the film stars Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler, Lewis Stone, Ross Alexander, John Arledge, Eddie Acuff and Dick Foran. The film was released by Warner Bros. on October 12, 1935.
The master-at-arms (MA) rating is responsible for law enforcement and force protection in the United States Navy—equivalent to the United States Army Military Police, the United States Marine Corps Military Police, the United States Air Force Security Forces, and the United States Coast Guard's Maritime Law Enforcement Specialist. It is one of the oldest ratings in the United States Navy, having been recognized since the inception of the U.S. Navy.