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Since the OOD has such important duties, it is important to ensure that there is a clear turnover of the watch and that everyone on duty knows exactly who the current OOD is. Therefore, there is a formal method for relieving the Officer of the Deck.
Assume that Lieutenant Smith is the Officer of the Deck and Lieutenant Jones is his relief. Lieutenant Jones will go to the Combat Information Center (CIC) to determine any necessary actions that will be expected to occur during the watch, check the navigational track, read any orders, and determine the position of all nearby ships. Then Lieutenant Jones will report to the bridge and state to Lieutenant Smith, "I am ready to relieve you, sir." Lieutenant Smith states, "I am ready to be relieved" and will then brief Lieutenant Jones on any additional information that he should be made aware, reconfirming the information that Lieutenant Jones has previously learned from CIC. When Lieutenant Jones is fully satisfied, he then states, "I relieve you, sir." Lieutenant Smith then loudly states, "I stand relieved. Attention in the pilot house (or bridge), Lieutenant Jones has the deck." An exchange of hand salutes would also be appropriate, depending on the ship. Lieutenant Jones would then loudly announce, "This is Lieutenant Jones, I have the deck."
The JOOD is relieved in a similar manner as the OOD. Typically, the Junior Officer of the Deck (JOOD) has the "conn" or control of the engines and rudder. The deck and/or the conn may be assumed by the Captain simply by announcing the fact or by issuing an order to the helmsman or lee helmsman. For example, the captain may state, "I have the deck and the conn," or "I have the conn," or "Right full rudder, all ahead flank." In the latter case, someone (usually the JOOD) will announce, "The Captain has the conn." The conn may also be passed to someone else, for a particular purpose. While the Captain may assume the conn, the OOD may order the JOOD to pass him the conn, "Ensign Pulver, pass me the conn." Ensign Pulver will then state, "This is Ensign Pulver, Lieutenant Jones has the deck and the conn." Lieutenant Jones then announces, "This is Lieutenant Joes, I have the Deck and the Conn." In an emergency, the OOD may assume the conn by announcing, for example, "This is Lieutenant Smith, I have the conn. Hard right rudder, all engines ahead flank." However, in most ships, during normal underway operations, it is generally considered "poor form" to request the JOOD to pass the conn, since a good OOD would be expected to direct the JOOD without the necessity of assuming the conn.
These changes in deck and/or conn assumption are entered in the ship's log so it is always clear who has responsibility for the deck or conn at any time.