The responsibilities of instrumentmen included repairing various precision instruments, such as submarine periscopes, watches, clocks, sextants, and office equipment. As for the locations where they would perform their job, these were often tenders, shore installations, or carriers. Due to the fact that instrumentmen would also work inside the ship, they are today one of the military occupations at highest risk of developing a disease related to asbestos exposure, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Most of their job entailed overhauling and adjusting fire-control and sighting devices. Thus, instrumentmen would dissemble, examine and replace components of compasses, range and height finders, as well as field glasses by employing hand tools. Moreover, instrumentmen would file gear to eliminate manufacturing defects, which would inevitably release asbestos fibers in the air, therefore exposing not only themselves but also the people around them at great risk of becoming ill over time. Lastly, instrumentmen were in charge of repairing fighter jets, too.
Relevant job titles
- electrician's mate
- electrician engineering technician
- electrical drafters
- electrical and electronic equipment assembler
- electronics technician
- ground support equipment repair