CAF Story: OS Mellett didn’t want a desk job…

Video / May 8, 2017


After I finished school, I just wanted to challenge myself, and I didn’t want a job where I was sitting at a desk for forty hours a week. I wanted something where I could get out and about, and kind of like, experience more. I also loved the navy because it was more of a selection to travel and the deployments looked like, just fantastic.

You get to look at this on a daily basis. My name is Kristen Mellett. I’m an Ordinary Seaman with the Royal Canadian Navy. NAVCOM, they work with the computers on the ship. It’s a 3-month course, and which then, we will be either posted, usually to Halifax or Victoria, which, neither place I’m ever going to complain about, they’re both gorgeous.

We read lights about four times a day, and what it does, is it just transmits some Morse code to you. A longer flash will mean something, a shorter flash will mean something, and then it will take breaks in which it’s usually the start of a new word or sentence. Once you get to a certain level, it starts reading out an entire message and that’s what we’ll be using a little bit on ships as well.

The flags are important because you actually do use them on ships quite frequently. And it’s kind of based on letters of the alphabet. And then they have numbers too, and they send messages to each other. Technology sometimes does break, especially when you’re out on the ocean. You need something.

I enjoyed basic training. It was hard at the beginning, but it’s just kind of like a culture shock, being put in that kind of environment and everything like that. They do definitely challenge you mentally to see how strong you can handle it, right, ‘cause it’s just stuff you’re not used to. The instructors…they’re good at their jobs so, they definitely prepare you in that manner.

When I was on the Orca, the last day we were there, the black tank overflowed. It was an introduction to sometimes how gross life on a ship can be. But it was a good one to learn. Where it was at the end, I made great friends, it really showed me what I did learn throughout the entire course. And it was good at the end to see, oh yeah, this all did pay off.

Date modified: