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What is the crewman's life like on a U.S naval aircraft carrier?
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What is the crewman's life like on a U.S naval aircraft carrier?

Im seriously considering joining the navy. I was just wondering what the life of a crewman is like. I cant find answers to questions like..
What do they eat? Do you pay to eat?
Is there any sort of entertainment on downtime?
How long are usual work days?
Do most vessels go by a 6 month system? like 6 months at sea and six months at dock?
Are you allowed a laptop on the boat? If so, can you get internet?

I know these are kind of not important questions. I would be happy with gruel and a bunk but it would be nice to know the answers. Any info is helpful.


Ronald H
The food is standard fare. It's definitely not as good as Mom's cooking. Salt, Pepper, Ketchup and hot sauce cures all that. The food is free and you can eat as often as the galley is open.
CCTV, movies, gym, poker, cards.
Work days at sea are totally dependent on what job you are doing. Anywhere from a 10 hour day to a 16-18 hour day, sometimes more.
After a deployment (from 6 to 9 months), there is a 30 day standdown for leave and not so much hard work. More liberty time. After the stand down time, the ship will start going in and out until time for the next deployment.
Yes on the laptop, no on the internet with it.

Firecracker .
The food is the best in the services.
You do not pay to eat, it's part of your pay. 4 meals a day is nice.
Entertainment? Movies, card games, etc.
Work days - 8 hours, plus watches.
Deployments vary. A typical Med cruise is called 6 months, but may be 5 or 7. 6 months at the dock? No.
I have no idea about laptops or internet.
All this information is 20 years old, but things only get better.

Sean B
well, i will try to answer these questions in order. food, is generally what you would eat anywhere in America, except on a ship it taste significantly different (not as good). you get a monthly allowance called BAS (basic allowance for substance. the BAS is collected at the end of the month, so its almost as if you never really received it. you may eat, cheese burgers, fried chicken, veggies, the norm. There will be T.V's set up in the mess decks and at least one set up in the berthing areas. the work days usually last from 0645 to 1630 in port and form 0645 to 2000 underway. as far as 6 in 6 out, depends on the ship. yes, you are allowed to bring a laptop. good chance you won't be able to get internet on the laptop while on the ship, they will have computers though which are internet ready and accessible.

Plagiarized from my earlier posts:

-What do they eat? Do you pay to eat?
Standard food: burgers, spaghetti, fries, chicken cordon bleu, steak and lobster on occasion, and lasagna. Technically you are paying the ship to eat their food, but the military gives you BAS which is $323.87 for all enlisted. If you are not provided with government meals then you receive the BAS (called commuted rations because you are not being fed). Officers receive their BAS which is $223.04, but must pay a monthly mess bill.

-Is there any sort of entertainment on downtime?
The ship provides some board games, a DVD library, a book library, a gym, closed circuit TV with movies (sometimes before they premiere stateside), and random activities such as Guitar Hero Night, bingo, and poker tournaments. The size and quality of your entertainment is hugely dependent on the size of your ship. Large ships have an entire Morale Welfare Recreation (MWR) department, full-size libraries, convenience store size stores, dedicated gym spaces, and a flight deck for running.

-How long are usual work days?
Depends entirely on your rate - "Choose your rate, choose your fate
As a surface warfare officer, on a good rotation I would stand five hours of watch on the bridge. On a bad rotation there may be up to 12 hours of watch. For the rest of the workday, I have my day job which is walking spaces, a ton of paperwork, checking the material condition of my equipment, and lots of reading and studying (it never stops).
Bottom line: you are looking at a 9-hour work day (0700-1600) without watches. If I had the mid-watch or dog watch, then maybe I can sleep in the morning until lunch. Every ship has a slightly different routine.

-Do most vessels go by a 6 month system? like 6 months at sea and six months at dock?
Yes, generally this is how it works. Deployments are typically 5-8 months and you will spend 1-1.5 years in port with various surge deployments, extra tasking, and training exercises in between deployments.

-Are you allowed a laptop on the boat? If so, can you get internet?
Yes, you are allowed to bring laptops but you can't connect outside computers into the ship's network. You can use the ship's unclassified computers to surf the net but it's painfully slow underway with some interruptions.

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