Where can I learn about the voice procedures, military jargons, submarine communications and politics involved in navy?

  • 2
    Perhaps a more relevant form of this question might be "Is it a good idea to write about something of which I know very little?"
    – Fortiter
    Apr 22, 2013 at 6:16
  • 1
    @Forfiter: It never deterred Karl May from writing his immensely successful series "Winnetou".
    – SF.
    Apr 22, 2013 at 11:28
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    You could try joining the Navy.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Apr 22, 2013 at 12:12
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    @Fortiter This would pretty much rule out all science fiction, as none of the writers that I know of has ever even been to another planet. But seriously, ignorance is curable: one can do research.
    – Jay
    Apr 22, 2013 at 14:37
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    I can say sometimes ignorance makes for better books than expertize. Especially if the field is dull and convoluted, doing things the way laymen imagine they are done is more compelling than straightening out misconceptions and delving into obscure reasons behind the protagonist jumping through hoops instead of doing things the simple, straightforward, intuitive and wrong way. Any fantasy thief spending 20 minutes picking a complex lock? A hacker reading RFC and correcting bugs in the exploit? A fighter pilot spending 30min reading magazines in the plane while flying to the target?
    – SF.
    Apr 22, 2013 at 15:38

3 Answers 3


The best place I can suggest to turn to with this kind of open questions - on military and weapons - is 4chan/k/. It's an imageboard gathering fans of all things connected with weapons of all kinds, and military is a significant portion of their interests.

I'm not sure if they will know much detail about submarine communications and politics in the navy, but if anyone knows where to find that stuff, it will be them.

Be warned, 4chan is a specific subculture, many of its boards are NSFW and while /k/ isn't one of these, the contents of others sometimes spill over into SFW boards and you may encounter NSFW content before moderators catch it. Also, its specific culture is connected with particular jargon, ways of communication, and "traditions" - I suggest you spend some time "lurking" (just browsing the board and learning local customs) before you start asking your questions. The time spent will be useful - if your writing involves weapons, military, survival and such topics, you'll be returning to /k/ for advice.

  • 1
    ... Did I seriously just see 4chan used as an answer? I never thought I would see the day...
    – JMcAfreak
    Apr 23, 2013 at 20:41
  • @JMcAfreak: If you ever see the infamous /b/ as an answer, you'll have a reason to celebrate. Theme boards of 4chan are some quite valuable resources.
    – SF.
    Apr 23, 2013 at 20:56
  • @SF true. Of course, if I see /b/ or any of the nsfw boards (like /d/ - never go to /d/) used as an answer, I will seriously question the credibility of anything that user says after that answer.
    – JMcAfreak
    Apr 23, 2013 at 20:59
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    @JMcAfreak: Why, if the keyword is "mental scarring" it would be entirely on topic. (OTOH, I see your point. If someone asks "how does a gun kill people" you don't demonstrate...)
    – SF.
    Apr 23, 2013 at 21:19

I would advise you to get hold of a number of non-fiction naval books and start reading! Ideally look for biographic works, rather than factual books, as these will contain more insights into jargon, etc.

Do NOT use the internet as your primary source of information, as inaccuracies can slip into stuff like wikipedia and 4chan very easily.

If possible see if you can find a veteran's forum and ask questions there, from my experience ex-forces personnel are usually quite happy to answer questions.

  • 3
    If you're not interested in reading the books of others, how can you expect people to read your book? Apr 22, 2013 at 18:50
  • @Karthikeyan You know, you're coming across as very ungrateful and ignorant. Please are attempting to answer a question you asked.
    – evilscary
    May 30, 2013 at 13:30

There are several specific texts that could help you out. First is the 'Blue Jackets Manual'. This the text issued to Seamen during Basic, and covers pretty much everything you could ever want to know about functioning in the Navy (Think 'Boy Scout Handbook' for sailors). Secondly, there is a smaller text issued to officers called 'Reefpoints' that is issued to Midshipmen at the Naval Academy.

As for politics, I can't recommend 'The Caine Mutiny' highly enough (the book, not the movie). Speaking as a salvage ship veteran, that book could have been written by any of the junior officers onboard, despite being set in WWII.

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