What is the officer in charge of a ship in the captain's absence called?

US Navy. When in port, there is always an officer on duty in charge of the ship. what is the title of that officer? It is not Office of the Deck. That’s the guy stationed on the quarterdeck.

Officer of the Watch

Alexander Haig.

I’ll venture that the officer in charge of the ship when the commanding officer is on leave or temporary duty elsewhere is called the acting commanding officer.

The Officer of the Deck and the [url=]Officer of the Watch are specific duty assignments, without regard to the commanding officer’s presence aboard the ship.


That’s a military term.

Mr. Sulu.


We had:
1 Officer of the Watch
2 Petty Officer of the Watch (main duty was to listen to the OotW’s boring Annapolis stories for 4 hours)
3 Messenger of the Watch (kept on to fetch sodas or coffee, after the invention of the telephone in 1870)
4 Roving Patrol (who’s main skill was to take naps in segments approximate to the time it takes to wander around the ship and report back to the quarterdeck)

Not too impressive, but better than our Soviet counterparts, who were all of the above plus drunk.


Eta: damn tapatalk won’t let me use capitals.
Eta2: and now it will arrrg!

It’s the message board software, if your post is entirely capitals, it will substitute lower case. Mixed capitals and lower case will be left as is.

How does ‘acting captain’ fit into this if at all?

He gets the men ready for the talent show.

Officer of the Watch? That doesn’t sound right though. When I was in the Navy I think we called him the Officer of the Day? Or the Command Duty Officer? I’m just not sure. It was 23 years ago.

When I was in the Navy, we had two OICs (Officers in charge). The first was the Executive Officer (XO). He was the second in command after the skipper. The second OIC was the Command Duty Officer. The XO was in charge during the Captains absence at any time. The CDO had a daily rotation, which depended on the number of Duty Sections that applied to that particular command.

“That whiny little prick on the quarterdeck”?

Officer of the watch duties alongside are different to the Officer of the watch at sea.

At sea the Officer of the watch is in command until relieved by the Skipper or first lieutenant.There will be several officers of the watch throughout the day.

Alongside there will only be one officer in charge through the whole day and will not be watchkeeping, but instead will be present for incidents, or specific duties such as flag ceremonies etc

On shore bases the officer in charge for the day will be the Officer of the day’

Not it.

Which country’s Navy were you in? I served in the US Navy and during my tenure Officer in Charge was the officer commanding a detachment.

I was in the US Navy. I was assigned to two different shore commands, a Carrier and finally a destroyer in Japan.

I have never heard of the term Officer In Charge, but then again I was also a Gunner’s Mate that cross-rated to Sonar Tech, which could explain things. I paraphrased the OP’s use of the term “Officer on duty in charge of the ship” for the non-squid-types that read this thread.

The title you are looking for is Command Duty Officer. He is(or is supposed to be) a qualified Officer of the Deck and capable of leading the ship underway in any emergencies. He is in charge of the duty section and taking care of any emergencies that happen.

When the CO of a ship is on leave, the XO(executive officer) will be the acting CO but is afforded all the privileges of the CO such as being rang aboard and announced as the CO.

If the CO AND XO are on leave, then the next senior officer will be acting CO.