Staff Officer

From CM-SS13 - Wiki
Staff Officer
Difficulty: Medium
Supervisors: Executive Officer, Commanding Officer
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Duties: Provide overwatch, assist the Commanding Officer.
Guides: Marine Law
Unlock Requirements: One hour as a Squad Leader. Fifteen hours as any human role.
Detailed Description:
Your job is to monitor the marines, man the CIC, and listen to your superior officers. You are in charge of logistics and the overwatch system. You may also be called upon to run CIC in certain circumstances.


Staff Officers (SO) are sixth in command after the Auxiliary_Support_Officer (ASO), Chief MP (CMP) and Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Despite being the 6th in line for Command, generally when there is no CO, XO or ASO, the role of Acting Commanding Officer will pass down to you since other department heads are too busy in their own department. A SO's primary objective is to support the marine squads using the Overwatch Consoles and to communicate with the crew of the ship so that key information can be relayed to all personnel, an example for this would be relaying to the doctors that there are injured about to land on the Almayer aboard the Normandy. Overwatch allows for you and the other command personnel to oversee squad operations from the safety of the Combat Information Centre (CIC). Overwatch is a potent tool in the hands of a competent (or even semi-competent) officer, but a poor one can lead their squad to disaster in a hurry. If you like knowing what's going on all over the map, the SO role is for you. Make sure you know the maps well before taking on the SO role - or learn on the job.

A good SO will:

  • Know the map.
  • Talk to his or her squad.
  • Communicate and coordinate with command staff as well as the ship's crew.
  • Build a good rapport with their Squad Leader.
  • Try to coordinate with other Staff Officers to send them Help/ask for Manpower, etc...

Note: As a staff Officer you are rather flexible when it comes to orders, so that being said, you may order your squad to perform certain duties without asking the Commanding Officer for permission, but you will be held responsible for your actions in case things go for the worse.

Staff Officer Area

The staff officer area is where you will spend most of your round coordinating with the other command staff and the boots on the ground. Note that there are three other areas in CIC where a staff officer can set up for the round, all of which have the same layout and are in close proximity to the Commanding Officer's central desk so that relaying orders can be done through local chat.

  • If CIC's power is out, all the electronic equipment will be unusable so make sure the engine is taken care of by an MT or a Squad Engineer if there isn't an MT.

Staff Officer Area.png

Object: Highlighted Colour: Description:
Security Camera Console.png
Security Camera Console
Orange The security camera console allows the user to cycle through the security cameras located around the map, useful for locating escaped prisoners or aliens.
Overwatch Console.png
White The overwatch console allows the user to:
  • Choose which squad to overwatch for.
  • Send messages to your designated squad.
  • Set up and alter the primary and secondary objectives.
  • Fire and adjust an orbital strike.
  • Fire supply crates to their designated position.
  • Monitor the lifesigns of all squad members.
  • Promote a squad member in the field to squad leader.
Wall Intercomms.png
Wall Intercomms
Red The wall intercomms unit allows the user to send out messages over the general radio.
CMP II.png
Tech Control Console
Light Blue The Tech Control Console controls who is currently in command of purchasing and unlock Techwebs.

The Overwatch Console

Overwatch Console Menu: How to Use it:
OW Assigning yourself as operator.png Click on the dotted line to sign in.
OW Selecting your squad.png
Click on the dotted line to open the squad selection window, then pick a squad to overwatch. You should discuss with your fellow staff officers first to decide who overwatch's which squad, or ask to be assigned a squad by the executive officer/commanding officer.
OW Console Window.png

The Main Interface:


  • Named Operator - By clicking on the current operator you can switch places with them to take over that squad as their Overwatch.
  • Stop Overwatch - By clicking this you resign yourself as that squads operator and effectively log out of the console.


  • Message Squad - Sends out a squad wide message.

Squad Leader:

  • Squad Leader's Name - Lets you view what they see through their helmets inbuilt camera.
  • MSG - Directly messages the squad leader.
  • Change Squad Leader - Allows you to change the Squad Leader.


  • Check - Allows you to check the current objective.
  • Set - Allows you to set a objective for the squad.

Dealing with marines:

  • Report a marine for insubordination - Brings up a menu with a list of the marines in that squad, after clicking on the desired marine name they will be marked for insubordination and as such making them wanted.
  • Transfer a marine to another squad - Brings up a menu with a list of the marines in that squad, after clicking on the desired marine name you are able to choose which squad to move them to.

Orbital Control:

  • Supply Drop Control - Allows you to fire any supply crates that have been loaded by the requisitions staff.
  • Orbital Bombardment Control - Allows you to fire USS Almayer's Orbital Cannons.

Squad Monitoring:

  • Squad Monitor - Brings up a separate window housing each squad member's name, fire team, role, vital signs, location and distance to the squad leader. Click the names to access their helmet cameras.


The most important job for a SO is to communicate! Over-talking is vastly better than under-talking. The CO should give orders to the SOs (:v channel), who then relay these orders to the Squad Leaders (SL) and squads. The SLs should communicate everything to the SOs, who then relay this information to the CO. It's important that squads coordinate with one another. If the CO isn't forming an overall plan, try to talk to your other officers to get something working. SOs and SLs work closely together as a team, so it's important to form a good relationship. It's just as important to talk to the individual marines using the headset and make sure they're getting what they need to be effective. Remember that you're going to have some combat veterans and some rookies right out of boot camp. You can help the boots along via radio. A helpful SO might also relay important information or ask questions of medical staff (:m), requisitions (:u), or engineering (:n).

Tactical Map

Object: Description:
Map table.png

Map Table

By examining the Map table (Shift Click or right click "examine") a tactical minimap will appear of the Outpost/Colony/Prison which will update in real time the locations of squads, and other USCM personnel.

Note: The tactical map can also be accessed from the Communications console.png Communications Console and the Overwatch Console.png Overwatch Consoles.

Quickstart Guide

Change Your Headset!

Once you've picked a squad to Overwatch, it's very important to make sure your command headset is turned on to your squad's channel. To do so, hold the headset in one of your hands and under Object > Activate Held Object, you will open the frequency tuner for your headset. Your command headset can listen to any squad Alpha (:a) , Bravo (:b), Charlie (:c), or Delta (:d) - or every squad at once. It starts off disengaged from these channels, so you have to do it yourself. Just click on it (or Z) to engage/disengage the channels you want to hear and how much information you can handle.

Messaging the Squad

You can send a direct message to all squad members via the [Message Squad] button. This circumvents your normal radios and shows up as a much more obvious message. Use it if you really need to get the point across. You can also send an SL a message similar to the squad-wide message, but it's sent only to them. This is good for getting their attention.

This method is specially useful when comms are not up and you need to relay orders to your squad.



Objectives are another important aspect of the Overwatch console. The Primary and Secondary Objectives will show up on any squad member's Status pane (the top panes, like IC and OOC buttons). It's good to ensure your squad is staying cohesive. Bear in mind a good knowledge of the ground map is essential for giving objectives. Saying "gather up in Engineering" is not as good as saying "gather up in Engineering, southwest of the main complex."

Supply Drop and Orbital Bombardment

Squad Leaders begin the game with a pair of Tactical Binoculars, other than relaying a laser point for CAS, it can also be used to find out the coordinates for mortar, supply drop and orbital bombardment.

Supply Drop

Supply Drop Ready.png
  1. Squad Leader uses the Tactical Binoculars to find out the coordinates of a suitable drop site and relay it to the Staff Officer (you)
  2. Staff Officer (you) input the coordinates
  3. Requisitions Officer moves the crate full of supplies onto the squad's launch pad, the overwatch Launch Pad Status will then update
  4. Staff Officer (you) launches the crate
  5. The crate will then be dropped near the coordinates, so it's best to make sure the squad leader set the beacon in an open area
  • Supply drops can penetrate up to glass ceilings (examine the floor tile to see the ceiling type).
  • 5-minute cooldown between launches

Orbital Bombardment

Orbital Bombardment ready.png
Ob blast.png
  1. Squad Leader or any JTAC operators, uses the Tactical Binoculars to find out the coordinates for bombardment and relay it to the Staff Officer (you)
  2. Staff Officer (you) input the coordinates
  3. Staff Officer (you) fires upon the JTAC operator's request
  • Orbital bombardments can penetrate up to underground and resin (but not deep underground or thick resin) ceilings (examine the floor tile to see the ceiling type).
Orbital Warheads:
Orbital Warhead: Description: Radius:
HE Orbital Warhead.png

High Explosive

Causes a devastating explosion in a large radius upon impact with it's designated target. 18 tiles
Incendiary Orbital Warhead.png


Releases a fiery payload over the targeted area. 18 tiles
Cluster Orbital Warhead.png


Releases a cluster of explosives over the targeted area for 30 seconds, firing 6 bombs each second. To suppress any enemies advancing as well as pulverising and terrorising anything within range . 12 tiles

When triggered, the Almayer will fire its heavy cannon (one of the two) after a short delay and target roughly the position of the co-ordinates. It's very dangerous within the radius of the coordinates, depending on the munition in the cannon. It is advised to see the ground situation via helmet camera in case of danger close fire missions. The Orbital Cannon will then need to be reloaded by the maintenance technicians or ordanance technicians.

Deploying to the Area of Operations

In case you are deploying to the AO, you shouldn't be acting like a PFC++ with a fancy tactical shotgun and unga to the front like a delta. You are there to support marines, by giving them orders, using your order boosts to give them more endurance/aim or holding instances, and inform command regarding appropriate courses of action since you have direct eyes on the AO.

Remember the importance of your role so leave the killing part for other marines while you lead them.

List of Combat Information Center Electronics

Commanding Officer's/XO's Area

Object: Highlighted Color And Number: Description:
Dropship console.png

Dropship Consoles

White - 1 Allows remote launching of either of the two Dropships. Left is the Normandy console and Right is the Alamo console.
Communications console.png

Groundside Operations Console

Yellow - 2 Allows you to make a groundside announcement and view the tactical map. Additionally can activate echo squad.
Groundside operation console ui.png
Communications console.png

Almayer Control Console

Pink - 3 As a Staff Officer you have limited access to this console, however feel free to ask your superior to use it to call in an ERT or to make a shipwide announcement.
Almayer control console ui.png
Security Cameras.png

Security Cameras Console

Cyan - 4 Useful to check the ship for uninvited guests and escaped prisoners. Additionally you can check each departments areas for SSD personnel.
CIC lockdowns.png

CIC Lockdown Buttons

Red - 5

From Top To Bottom the buttons are:

  • CIC Lockdown
  • Hangar Lockdown
  • Armory Lockdown

As a Staff Officer you don't have access to use these buttons.

CIC Telephone
Orange - 6 Allows you to call and take calls from members of the crew across the ship and planetside.
Crew Monitoring Console.png

Crew Monitoring Console

Green - 7 Crew monitoring console. Used to view the health and location of certain crewmembers planetside and shipside.

Medical consoles

CIC medical consoles.png

  • Crew Monitoring Console. Checks the status of any member of the crew.
  • Medical Records. Access marines' medical records, little actual use.

Security Level Alerts

  • Keycard Authentication Device.png Keycard Authentication Device - Allows changing the Security Level to Red. Allowing shipwide evacuation and self-destruct.

Keycard Authentication Device interface.png

Identification consoles

Id consloses.png

Sometimes you will need to change the ID's of certain people, to do so you use the following terminals to complete this task:

  • Squad Distribution Computer. You can use this to change someone's squad. For this to happen, you have to use "Grab" intent on the person you want to change the squad and click on the console. After that, you will be able to change his/her squad as long as the ID is input in the console.
  • Identification Computer. It is the Terminal for programming company employee's ID card access.
How to use Identification Computer

Identification computer interface.png

  1. Take a spare ID and click the Identification Computer with the card in hand
  2. Take your ID and do the same
  3. Type the colonist's name in the Register Name field and click Rename
  4. Assign the role Colonist under Assignment
  5. Click the two IDs on top to eject the IDs

Abilities: Orders

Orders are a timed active ability that characters trained in leadership can activate. The duration of the ability is related to how high the characters leadership skill is, an example being that the Commanding Officer's order will last longer than a squad leads. The leadership skill also determines the intensification of the ability, the higher it is, the more intense the effects of the orders are on surrounding players. Note that these abilities do not stack and that the abilities cover your visual view range and no further.

Orders: Description:
Issue Orders-Move.png
Increased mobility and chance to dodge projectiles.
Issue Orders-Hold.png
Increased resistance to pain and combat wounds.
Issue Orders-Focus.png
Increased gun accuracy and effective range.

Your Skillset

Specially Trained
CQC Endurance Fireman Carry
Specially Trained
Medical JTAC
Specially Trained
Construction Engineering Surgery Leadership Vehicles
Specially Trained
Firearms Police Powerloader Melee Piloting Domestic Intel
Smartgun M5-RPG M4RA Battle Rifle M42A Scoped Rifle M92 Grenade Launcher M240-T Incinerator

To find out about how the skill system works head over to the skills system page.