Russian Navy

Captain/Unit commander

I am a captain of a modern nuclear-powered submarine. There are more than 100 members of the crew under my command each of which is a real professional submariner, highly-qualified specialist and, on top of that, a person with specific character traits which enable him to endure the vicissitudes of underwater navigation being ready, both psychologically and physically, to act under various emergency conditions. Decisions I make and the words I say make this powerful warship obey. But this is not some ordinary ship: its electric power installation is capable of generating as much energy as needed for a small arctic town to function in severe climatic conditions, and its weaponry poses such a significant threat to any enemy that it is tantamount to an attack of an army corps during the World War II.

I love my ship. I actually helped give “birth” to it at the shipyard. I saw its huge hull, comparable to a multi-storey building, was being gradually equipped with weapon, control devices, life support systems, navigation and power systems. I felt my ship was becoming ready to come into this world and begin to breathe. His nuclear heart, finally, started beating; the radar rays illuminated the horizon and the air eventually heard his loud radiovoice. Never in my life can I forget the day my ship for the first time forced his way through the marine deep taking victory over it.

I became a captain because since my first position with the Russian navy it had been my cherished dream. I was in charge of the ship watch and duty roster; I managed to make a close study of all the systems of the ship as well as his characteristics and features. I lived for that ship and all I did was for the benefit of that ship. And I was constantly learning both from the sailors and warrant officers, from senior and junior officers-specialists and my commanders along with studying at the Higher Naval Officers Classes and later at the Naval Academy. In order to be granted the right to independent navigation, I had to pass more exams than any other student for the whole period of studying at the university. I have a family: a wife and kids. They live with me in a small town on the shore of a severe northern sea with thousands of people just like us many of whom are my friends. They work, go to school, play football and look forward to my having leave of absence because then we are sure to go on vacation to some warm sea. And I will be waiting for my ship to call me once again…to the sea.

I am not God but I am the next after Him. At least, on my ship.

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