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View Full Version : Only in the Navy do they say "Aye, aye." Right?


vivalostwages
05-08-2004, 01:42 AM
Just asking because I'd always heard Navy personnel in TV and movies say "Aye" or "Aye aye"....but tonight on JAG I'm quite sure a Marine said it to a fellow Marine.
Would that ever really happen in a Marine unit?

AskNott
05-08-2004, 01:51 AM
I'm not military, but I know that the US Marines are a branch of the US Navy. Um, for reasons I don't understand. So, anyway, the sharing of traditions is understandable, right?

Padeye
05-08-2004, 03:13 AM
Yes, the US Marine Corps is part of the navy and does share some terminology such as "aye aye" to acknowledge a command. The marines have been part of the navy since revolutionary days and no one has ever seen a need to make them a completely separate branch of the military as was done with the air force after WWII. A lot of training is separate such as boot camp but marines attend the navy academy, officer candidate school and many enlisted specialty schools

Cisco
05-08-2004, 03:36 AM
marines attend the navy academy, officer candidate school and many enlisted specialty schools



I'm 99% sure The Marines have their own OCS. UncleBill should be able to confirm if he happens along this thread.

As for aye aye, it just means "yes, yes." I don't see why Army or Air Force, or anyone else for that matter, couldn't say it as well.

QuizCustodet
05-08-2004, 06:51 AM
I'm 99% sure The Marines have their own OCS. UncleBill should be able to confirm if he happens along this thread.

As for aye aye, it just means "yes, yes." I don't see why Army or Air Force, or anyone else for that matter, couldn't say it as well.

Again, we'll wait for a sailor or a Marine to be sure, but I believe that 'aye, aye sir' carries the meaning 'order received and understood', whereas 'aye, sir' means 'yes'. So:

HR: 'Make your depth 50 meters.'
LR: 'Aye aye, sir'

HR: 'Have you field-stripped your rifle today?'
LR: 'Aye, sir'

Xema
05-08-2004, 07:18 AM
I believe that 'aye, aye sir' carries the meaning 'order received and understood', whereas 'aye, sir' means 'yes'.

Based on 3 years in the Navy (admittedly, some time ago) you are correct. I think the most accurate translation of "aye, aye" is "I understand and will comply."

UncleBill
05-08-2004, 08:57 AM
I'm 99% sure The Marines have their own OCS. UncleBill should be able to confirm if he happens along this thread.Nice to know I'm appreciated.

Navy and Marine Corps Officers do go through the same Navy ROTC system if they go that route, but virtually all Marine Officers need to complete OCS (Officers Candidate School) and TBS (The Basic School) at Quantico, VA. The Navy counterparts (in Navy ROTC) do not complete an OCS.

Naval Academy types (Navy style) also do not attend Navy OCS. The Marine-style Naval Academy people at one time did not attend Marine OCS, then they did (mid 80's) for maybe a year, then they didn't. Now I don't know what they do.

Other commissioning paths into the Naval Officer ranks include a 13 week OCS at Pensacola (candidates apply while in college or soon after) for Line Officers, complete with getting yelled at and sweating a lot.

But if you are a doctor, lawyer, or some other specialist, you could get a Direct Appointment, and not go to OCS at all, but Officer Indoctrination School (OIS) at Newport, RI. No yelling or sweating at OIS.

Basic answer, Marine and Navy Officer candidates do not co-mingle at any OCS.

robby
05-08-2004, 03:19 PM
I'm not military, but I know that the US Marines are a branch of the US Navy. Um, for reasons I don't understand. So, anyway, the sharing of traditions is understandable, right?
The U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) is not part of the U.S. Navy (USN). Both are in the Department of the Navy, though.

The USMC is headed by the Commandant of the Marine Corps (a 4-star general), and the USN is headed by the Chief of Naval Operations (a 4-star admiral). Neither reports to the other. Instead, both report to the Secretary of the Navy (a civilian), who reports to the Secretary of Defense.

In other words, the Department of the Navy is comprised of more than the U.S. Navy.

robby
05-08-2004, 03:34 PM
Again, we'll wait for a sailor or a Marine to be sure, but I believe that 'aye, aye sir' carries the meaning 'order received and understood', whereas 'aye, sir' means 'yes'. So:

HR: 'Make your depth 50 meters.'
LR: 'Aye aye, sir'

HR: 'Have you field-stripped your rifle today?'
LR: 'Aye, sir'
In my experience, "aye, aye" and "aye" are used interchangeably, to mean "I understand and will comply," as stated by Xema. Navy sailors can properly answer "Yes, sir" and "No, sir" when responding to direct questions from superiors, however, as in your second example.

BTW, in your first example, any Diving Officer of the Watch (DOOW) on a U.S. submarine would get an immediate response of "Repeat back the order!" from the Officer of the Deck (OOD).

The exchange actually goes:
OOD: "Diving Officer, make your depth 150 feet." [Note: we don't use meters.]
DOOW: "Make my depth 150 feet, aye, sir."

Then after the sub is at the ordered depth:
DOOW: "Sir, my depth is 150 feet."
OOD: "Very well." [No repeat-back necessary.]

This is a very good system that eliminates any chance of confusion, particularly when the OOD is giving out multiple orders to various personnel.

For example, if the DOOW mishears the order, the exchange goes like this:
OOD: "Diving Officer, make your depth 150 feet."
DOOW: "Make my depth 250 feet, aye, sir."
OOD: "WRONG! Diving Officer, make your depth 150 feet."
DOOW: "Make my depth 150 feet, aye, sir."

alterego
05-08-2004, 03:55 PM
I'm 99% sure The Marines have their own OCS. UncleBill should be able to confirm if he happens along this thread.

As for aye aye, it just means "yes, yes." I don't see why Army or Air Force, or anyone else for that matter, couldn't say it as well.

[drunken sailor hat on]

erm, this isn't exactly true. I hate to burst you guys' bubbles but:

Main Entry: aye-aye (http://merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?aye+aye)
Pronunciation: 'I-"I
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from Malagasy aiay
: a small primitive nocturnal forest-dwelling primate (Daubentonia madagascariensis) of northern Madagascar that has a round head, large eyes and ears, and long thin fingers

you see, when we see aye aye we are really paying homage to our leader, Daubentonia.

*cough*

[sobers up a bit]

xema pretty much hit the nail on the head :)

Xgemina
05-09-2004, 12:55 AM
As for aye aye, it just means "yes, yes." I don't see why Army or Air Force, or anyone else for that matter, couldn't say it as well.

Speaking as an ex-Army grunt, the US Army does not use or officially recognize the term "aye." Any soldier that does say aye in response to an order would be on the receiving end of a great deal of shit and questions about their lack of intelligence that they don't know what branch they belong to.

vivalostwages
05-09-2004, 02:27 AM
That's exactly why I brought it up. I really thought it was only used in one branch of the service.

Very interesting. I appreciate all the replies.

Bryan Ekers
05-09-2004, 10:18 AM
The marines have been part of the navy since revolutionary days

If I may offer a clarification, the concept of putting "marines" on Navy vessels wasn't invented during the American revolution, but actually dates back to when the British Royal Navy recruited some 1200 soldiers to serve on warships in 1664. The main functions of those marines were to:
Defend the ship against boarders
Board and sieze other vessels, and
Disembark and attack land targets including towns and forts and whatnot.

Anytime you see one of those "Horatio Hornblower" movies (set during the Napoleonic wars), the guys in the red suits are marines. They don't participate in the day-to-day activities of running the ship, but those are the guys you need when the swordplay starts.

633squadron
05-09-2004, 12:24 PM
If I may offer a clarification, the concept of putting "marines" on Navy vessels wasn't invented during the American revolution, but actually dates back to when the British Royal Navy recruited some 1200 soldiers to serve on warships in 1664. The main functions of those marines were to:
Defend the ship against boarders
Board and sieze other vessels, and
Disembark and attack land targets including towns and forts and whatnot.

Anytime you see one of those "Horatio Hornblower" movies (set during the Napoleonic wars), the guys in the red suits are marines. They don't participate in the day-to-day activities of running the ship, but those are the guys you need when the swordplay starts.

The Royal Navy was copying the Dutch navy. The Dutch Marines are the oldest marine force in the world. Just a clarification.
:rolleyes:

rfgdxm
05-09-2004, 12:50 PM
Again, we'll wait for a sailor or a Marine to be sure, but I believe that 'aye, aye sir' carries the meaning 'order received and understood', whereas 'aye, sir' means 'yes'. So:

HR: 'Make your depth 50 meters.'
LR: 'Aye aye, sir'

HR: 'Have you field-stripped your rifle today?'
LR: 'Aye, sir'

This is my understanding. The thing is that "aye" is just a synonym of "yes". Think here an officer might make a comment looking on shore and says "That chick in the blue dress sure looks cute.", to which a sailor with him might respond "aye". In that context there are no orders involved that need to be carried out. However, if the officer says "Make your depth 50 meters.", the response is "Aye aye, sir" to make it clear it was understood as an order. "Aye aye" is VERY unnatural use of language, which is exactly what would be wanted in the case of a response to an order to clear up possible confusion.

Rex Fenestrarum
05-09-2004, 01:11 PM
To expand upon Bryan Ekers excellent post, Marines were also used offensively in battles by putting them up in the rigging and shooting down onto the decks of other ships. This is how Lord Nelson died, although I don't know if those French shooters were officially called "marines" (or the French equivalent). Also, IIRC marines were used as a "police force" on ships - any time the captain ordered anyone taken to the brig the marines would do this.

Bryan Ekers
05-09-2004, 07:22 PM
The Royal Navy was copying the Dutch navy. The Dutch Marines are the oldest marine force in the world. Just a clarification.
:rolleyes:

Fair enough, though the rolleyes was unneccessary. The original post said "since revolutionary days" (the 1770s, one assumes) and the reality is that marines have been around much longer.

johncole
05-10-2004, 12:51 AM
The main functions of those marines were to:
Defend the ship against boarders
Board and sieze other vessels, and
Disembark and attack land targets including towns and forts and whatnot.

Anytime you see one of those "Horatio Hornblower" movies (set during the Napoleonic wars), the guys in the red suits are marines. They don't participate in the day-to-day activities of running the ship, but those are the guys you need when the swordplay starts.

Further to what Bryan Ekers has already said, one of the most important duties of the Marines (Royal Marines from 1804) in the Royal Navy was to prevent mutiny. The crew could not be assumed to be charitably disposed towards the officers, and Marines were accomodated between the crew and the officers. Marine sentries stood guard outside the Captain's cabin, and at the quarterdeck.

Even in the US Navy, according to DR. WILLIAM S. DUDLEY (http://globalsecurity.org/military/library/congress/2004_hr/04-03-18dudley.htm) . The historic mission of Marines was to serve the commanding officer of a ship of war-- to protect naval officers, to maintain order, and to act as an offensive force.

In general, Marines would be armed with muskets, while sailors would be issued cutlasses before going into action.

kniz
05-10-2004, 03:07 AM
Nice to know I'm appreciated.

Navy and Marine Corps Officers do go through the same Navy ROTC system if they go that route, but virtually all Marine Officers need to complete OCS (Officers Candidate School) and TBS (The Basic School) at Quantico, VA.
UncleBill you forgot that students can skip the ROTC in college by joining the PLC program. They spend two 6 week basic training sessions during the summer and then are commissioned upon graduation.

Along with "Aye, aye", Marines use many other terms used in the Navy, such as; bulkhead (wall), deck (floor), head (restroom), cover (hat) and skivvies (BVD's).

Any Marine will gladly tell you that the Marine Corps is older than the Navy. ;)

UncleBill
05-10-2004, 07:21 AM
UncleBill you forgot that students can skip the ROTC in college by joining the PLC program. They spend two 6 week basic training sessions during the summer and then are commissioned upon graduation.Those 2 six week sessions (or one 10 week session) for PLC is still OCS, not basic training. I didn't go through all of the commissioning routes, since this thread was dealing with where Navy and Marines can cross pollinate in training. There is also OCC (Officers Candidate Course), and ECP (Enlisted Commissioning Program), but those don't do anything with Navy candidates, either.

clairobscur
05-10-2004, 08:32 AM
The Royal Navy was copying the Dutch navy. The Dutch Marines are the oldest marine force in the world. Just a clarification.
:rolleyes:


I wouldn't know which are the oldest, but the french were created before 1664 too. The first regiments were organized in 1622 by Richelieu.

clairobscur
05-10-2004, 08:41 AM
I don't know if those French shooters were officially called "marines" (or the French equivalent). .


They were caled "navy artillery" because for some reason the "marine infantry" was supressed during the revolution and napoleonic era and mixed with the navy artillerymen. Possibly because there was a general tendancy to deprive the navy of these troops in order to have them fighting on land, the navy didn't like that, and thought they were less likely to be asked to hand over "navy artillery" than "marine infantry".


By the way, I believed that Nelson was killed by a cannon ball, not by rifle fire. Am I wrong?

Spavined Gelding
05-10-2004, 09:04 AM
By the way, I believed that Nelson was killed by a cannon ball, not by rifle fire. Am I wrong?

You are wrong. All accounts indicate a sharpshooter in the mizzen top of the French ship along side the Victory hit him high in the shoulder with the musket ball passing through his epaulet and lodging against the spine after doing a whole batch of damage to stuff high in Nelson's chest. It took Nelson a couple of hours to die and he was probably paralyzed from mid chest down. If he had been struck by a 12 lb, or 24 lb, or 32 lb cannon shot he would have been, in Stan Rodger's words, smashed like a bowl of eggs.

Airman Doors, USAF
05-10-2004, 09:47 AM
FYI, the Coast Guard also uses "Aye" and all the traditional Navyspeak terms.

Mr. Moto
05-10-2004, 11:05 AM
All of this information is quite correct. However, I do have something to add.

"Aye" is used on sound-powered phone circuits, internal powered voice nets, and when communicating through voice tubes (yes, they're still used).

When used in this fashion, it is an answer by the called station. Conversations would sound something like this:

Bridge, combat.

Bridge, aye.

Recommend course change to one-fife-zero, to avoid surface contact.

Recommend course change to one-fife-zero, aye.

The last readback was so that combat, the ship's Combat Information Center, knew that the bridge had the full message.

When the officer of the deck and captain decided to act on the recommendation, they would let combat and other watchstations know by passing word on the circuit in a similar manner.

Incidentally, sound-powered phones are interesting pieces of technology themselves. Nearly identical to Bell's invention, they require no external source of power to operate, and are thus extremely robust. The Navy has been using them for about a century. Today, they are used on more modern warships only as a backup, but they still serve an important role.

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