All Submarine Commanding Officers prepare a set of routine instructions to guide the Officer of the Deck or the Conning Officer (when the submarine is submerged). These are fairly standard for most submarines, but the individual Commanding Officers personalize these orders.
These Standing Night Orders are supplemented each night with specific instructions for evolutions to be carried out. Below are the Standing Night Orders I used on the submarine USS REMORA, and will give the reader a good insight on what life is like on a submarine at sea.


1. The Officer of the Deck of USS REMORA (SS487) shall be familiar with the following:
a. U. S. Navy Regulations 1948, Articles 1001 through 1022.
b. The Rules of the Nautical Road by Farwell.
c. REMORA Organization and Regulation Manual
d. REMORA Instruction 1601.1A (Watch Officer's Manual)
These references must be read, understood, and reviewed frequently by all officers, CPO"s
and QM's. These Standing Night Orders and the Night Orders written in the Night Order
Book must be read prior to assuming any night watch.

2. Before assuming any watch:
a. Make a complete below decks inspection (from Torpedo Room to Torpedo Room).
b. Check the weight compensation of the ship
c. Check the navigational position, ordered course, speed, ordered depth if submerged,
and all known hazards to navigation.
d. Be familiar with Operation Orders and operational information concerning any ensuing
action or scheduled exercises.
e. Be aware of all unexecuted orders.
f. Check the IFF settings for the period of your watch and be alert to make appropriate
settings for course changes or changes in GCT date.
g. Check internal evolutions in progress.
h. Know status of equipment and repairs in progress.
i. Know status of ship's battery and service airbanks.
j. Know status of readiness to dive.
k. Know status of watch section, insuring appropriate watch standers are properly clothed
and night vision adapted. You must also be so clothed and night vision adapted.
l. Know status of all contacts and whether reported to the Captain.
m. Check the current weather and weather forecasts.
n. Know the whereabouts of the Captain and the Navigator.

3. Plot all contacts inside of 10 miles. Report all contacts to the Captain with a CPA of 5 miles
or less, prior to their reaching 5 miles, giving as much of the following as is known: True
bearing, Bearing drift, Range, Change in Range, Angle on the Bow, Course, Speed, CPA
and description and classification.. Make amplifying reports as necessary. Do not close
any contact to less than 2 miles without the Captain's permission. Take avoiding action
early! Make these actions positive enough to clearly indicate your intentions to the other
conning officer. Report your actions to the Captain and the Navigator.


4. Comply with the Rules of the Road. Sound whistle signals as required.

5. Be alert to gain ECM or Sonar contacts when submerged. Be prepared to tape record
sonar contacts or to analyze ECM contacts, including signal strength.

6. Keep the weather under close surveillance and keep the Captain informed of significant
changes. In reduced visibility (4000 yards or less) because of fog, mist, haze, snow,
smoke, rain, or any other condition similarly restricting visibility, slow to five knots,
commence sounding fog signals, station the fog detail (obtain Captain's permission prior
to stationing bow lookout), turn on running lights, and place watertight doors on latches,
if conditions warrant (close to land, numerous contacts, etc). Further reduce speed if
necessary to be able to stop in half the distance of visibility. Stop on hearing a fog signal
forward of the beam. Consider advisability of shutting down the diesels and shifting to
battery propulsion to aid in hearing other ship's fog signals.

7. Keep SS Radar manned and operating continuously unless the Captain authorizes a
different procedure.

8. Never approach land closer than 5 miles or enter water of less than 20 fathoms without
Captain's permission. In waters of less than 100 fathoms, keep Fathometer manned
continuously and obtain soundings as frequently as necessary to keep bottom contour

9. Anytime you are in doubt as to the ship's actual position or the advisability of continuing
on the present course, STOP and BACK DOWN FULL immediately, reporting your
actions to the Captain and the Navigator. Remember - the water you just passed through
is just as good to back through. If landmarks are not sighted, or other events do not
occur as scheduled in these night orders, call the Captain and the Navigator.

10. Keep the Captain and the Navigator informed of all course, speed, propulsion combinations
and matters pertinent to Navigation. Keep the Executive Officer completely informed
of the overall situation on operations, navigation, and equipment.

11. The ship, after leaving port, will be continuously rigged for dive. Be prepared to dive at
any time. Unless otherwise directed by the Captain, do not dive without orders from the
Captain. Notify the Captain of any depth changes not specified in the Nightly Orders.

12. In rough seas, require all hands on the bridge to use safety lines. Also run the Low Pressure
Blower at least once every four hours.

13. Allow no personnel on the main deck without obtaining permission for the Captain.

14. Be prepared to take proper action in case of fire, flooding, man overboard, steering
casualty, loss of main power, entering shoal water, sighting unidentified contact, etc.
Always be alert and rehearse your actions in your mind.


15. In the event of possible enemy torpedoes fired at this ship, turn toward if they are forward of the beam, turn away if they are aft of the beam. In either case, parallel wakes and use maximum speed. Also sound the Collision Alarm.

16. For possible peace time unidentified submarine contacts on the high seas or in U. S. waters, call the Captain immediately on the 1 MC. Make every effort to hold contact unless hostile intents are evident. Man Battle Stations Torpedo ! Attempt to photograph the contact. Have Operations Officer prepare unidentified contact message. DIVE to periscope depth if contact is submerged or submerges.

17. Report all derangements of shipboard equipment to the Captain.

18. Make routine reports to the Captain by: (1) Telephone, (2 )21MC, or (3) Messenger.
In any emergency, pass the word on the 1 MC "CAPTAIN TO THE BRIDGE"

19. On being relieved, write and sign your log prior to leaving the conning tower.

20. After being relieved, report this fact to the Captain.

21. Innumerable situations not covered by these Standing Night Orders and the written Nightly Orders will arise. Always be aware of your tremendous responsibility toward life and property. Never hazard the ship unnecessarily. Never hesitate to utilize all of the ship's equipment and personnel to discharge these responsibilities. When action is necessary, take immediate action and notify the Captain promptly. Never be reluctant to call the Captain at any time and without regard for his personal convenience, if in doubt. It is better to call him several times unnecessarily than to fail to call him on that one occasion when the situation is critical.


Robert E. Thomas,
Lieutenant Commander, U. S. Navy
Commanding Officer

28 June 1960