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27 Navy Combat Jobs (Plus Important Combat Skills)

June 17, 2021

Those who perform combat jobs in the Navy support or make up the troops who defend the country. In the Navy specifically, these individuals are more likely to serve on boats and submarines. If you're interested in combat jobs in the Navy, you may want to learn more about your options and what you might do. In this article, we cover what a combat job is, the skills you may need and potential Navy combat jobs.

Related: Top 12 Jobs in the Navy

What is a combat job in the Navy?

A combat job in the Navy is any position that supports the preparedness of the troops. To defend the nation and ensure our safety, these Navy jobs either help prepare the troops or are part of them. The people in these roles may need to be highly fit and skilled, or they may need to understand how to use specialized equipment.

Related: Navy Chain of Command (and What Else Navy Recruits Need To Know)

Skills for combat jobs in the Navy

When you have a combat job in the Navy, your skills and abilities directly affect those with whom you serve. By building important skills for combat jobs in the Navy, you can improve your performance and prioritize safety. These are some skills you may need to be successful in a Navy combat job:

  • Weaponry: Depending on the combat position of your choice, you may need to operate varying types of weaponry. Many Navy combat positions require candidates to have a basic understanding of standard weapons, but you may need to operate more specialized equipment like rocket launchers or torpedoes.

  • Communication: Collaborating with other soldiers and communicating with your superiors is an important aspect of being successful in a combat job. The safety of your squadron or company may rely on your ability to communicate with others.

  • Adaptability: In combat positions, situations can transform rapidly. To be successful, you may need to adapt and find alternative ways to reach the goal when other systems fail.

  • Fitness: Physical fitness is an important aspect of many combat positions. Whether you're operating heavy equipment, providing maintenance vessels or engaging in direct combat, you may need to be physically fit to perform your job and protect yourself and others.

  • Leadership: The ability to guide and provide developmental support is vital in combat jobs. Having strong leadership skills may help you progress faster and it may help you strengthen your relationships and your team.

  • Integrity: Integrity is the ability to uphold moral standards and prioritize honesty. When difficult situations arise, those in combat positions need to have integrity so they can ensure they are making the best choices to represent themselves and their country.

  • Resiliency: The ability to recover from and persevere during difficult situations, or resiliency, is an important skill for those holding Navy combat jobs. Some combat positions require you to be at sea for months at a time, and some positions may require direct combat.

Related: 8 Benefits for Joining the Navy

11 Navy combat jobs

Many jobs in the Navy require you to be comfortable being at sea and on boats. You may also need to be familiar with various mechanical and electronic equipment for many of these positions. These are 11 Navy combat jobs, their salaries and duties:

National average salary: $32,027 per year

Primary duties: The boatswain's mate provides guidance to the personnel aboard a ship. The mate is also responsible for maintaining and operating boat equipment.

National average salary: $32,498 per year

Primary duties: A gunner may operate missile launching equipment or systems for launching and handling torpedoes. They are highly skilled in using gun mounts, large caliper guns and rocket launchers.

National average salary: $35,991 per year

Primary duties: A captain selects the petty officer while they serve together on a specific boat. Petty officers provide guidance to their team members and ensure order on the boat.

National average salary: $38,002 per year

Primary duties: A Navy engineman maintains both engines and water, air and oil systems within a boat. They thoroughly understand engines and can operate electrical power generation and diesel generators.

National average salary: $43,745 per year

Primary duties: The damage controlman repairs damages sustained to the vessel during transport or combat. The controlman manages equipment, systems, ship stability, watertight integrity and firefighting within the boat.

National average salary: $45,565 per year

Primary duties: A Navy sailor provides support to those navigating the vessel, assisting with operation, maintenance and service tasks. Navy sailors may spend six to nine months at a time at sea.

National average salary: $60,758 per year

Primary duties: Special forces operators can perform a variety of tasks, like reconnaissance, counterterrorism and hostage recovery. They're elite and highly trained individuals and teams who manage delicate and important missions.

National average salary: $72,331 per year

Primary duties: Commanders are senior officers who lead squadrons and small missions. Commanders rank above captains but below deputy chiefs.

National average salary: $79,730 per year

Primary duties: Navy medical officers provide care and support to Navy personnel by diagnosing and treating their ailments. Medical officers provide the highest level of care to service members and their families.

National average salary: $82,320 per year

Primary duties: A Navy operations associate provides strategic advice regarding navigation and weapons. They may operate communications technology, surveillance equipment and identification radars.

National average salary: $93,197 per year

Primary duties: The lieutenant is a third rank officer and can be the leader of a smaller vessel. Lieutenants manage both casualty stations and tactical watch teams, and they rank above petty officers and below commanders and captains.

Related: Engineering in the Navy: Job Responsibilities and Requirements

16 additional combat jobs in the Navy

These are 16 additional combat jobs in the Navy:

  • Acoustic analyst submariner
  • Clearance diver
  • Combat systems operator
  • Communication and information systems operator
  • Cryptologic linguist
  • Cryptologic systems operator
  • Electronic warfare systems submariner
  • Helicopter pilot
  • Hospital corpsman
  • Hydrographic surveyor
  • Maritime aviation warfare officer
  • Maritime warfare officer
  • Military police
  • Navy SEAL
  • Seabees
  • Special warfare combatant-craft crewman

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