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[[quoteright:320:[[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Uhura_station_4340.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:320:"Hailing frequencies open, sir."]]

When TheCaptain needs to contact MissionControl to talk to the VoiceWithAnInternetConnection, he has a number of options. He could call him up on his {{Comm Link|s}}, or maybe even [[WhatAreRecords find a pay phone]]. But maybe this is a job for someone more specialized, or maybe TheCaptain needs someone to delegate this to while he deals with other things. He needs the Communications Officer.

The Communications Officer need not be an officer, and in fact, will often be a lower ranking member tasked with maintaining and operating the complex radio equipment. On a sci-fi show, they will often have a workstation on the bridge of the ship, while in a war movie, you can expect to see this guy running around two steps behind TheCaptain with a cumbersome backpack radio with a huge whip antenna. Whenever we see MissionControl, expect to see an entire squad of these guys at work. More mundane examples include a secretary in an office, who has the job of screening calls to their boss and sending out messages for them.

Against DangerouslyGenreSavvy enemies, he can expect to [[ShootTheMedicFirst draw fire]], especially if he has one of the bigger backpack radios. You can't [[GondorCallsForAid call for]] [[TheCavalry help]] if nobody alive can use the communications equipment. If TheRadioDiesFirst, they can be expected to be hard at work trying to fix it, or helplessly declaring that it can't be done.

Overlaps with MissionControl. Will often be working as one of the BridgeBunnies. A key member of the CommandRoster.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]

* In ''ZettaiMutekiRaijinOh'', the giant robot in question is so complex to operate that it needs ''two'' communications officers.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'': Fuery
* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'':
** Amy Limietta had this role in the [[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha first]] and [[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs second]] seasons. Once had the unfortunate luck of getting thrown in a situation where [[YouAreInCommandNow she had to take the role of commanding officer]] when an emergency occurred while everyone ranked higher than her was away.
** From ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS'' and [[Manga/MagicalRecordLyricalNanohaForce beyond]], Lucino, Alto, and Shari all have this role in addition to their other duties [[CoolStarship starship]] helmswoman, helicopter pilot, and [[GadgeteerGenius device meister]] respectively.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film -- Animated]]

* Mrs. Packard on ''AtlantisTheLostEmpire'', although she spends most of the time chatting up her friend over the phone (which, unless she's also in the submarine, [[FridgeLogic would be quite a feat using 1914 technology]]).

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film -- Live Action]]

* ''Film/DownPeriscope'' has Nitro, a skilled but very [[CloudCuckooLander eccentric]] electrician who manages to coerce the [[WhatAPieceOfJunk aging ship's]] radio equipment to work via various short-circuits (including several passing through [[AmusingInjuries his own body]]).
* ''Film/FantasticVoyage'' has Charles Grant, a rare example of where the Communications Officer is also TheHero.
* Parodied in ''Film/GalaxyQuest'' with Lt. Tawny Madison, Gwen's character from the ShowWithinTheShow. All she did was relay orders to and from the computer.
-->I have one job on this lousy ship, it's ''stupid'', but I'm gonna do it! Okay?
* In ''Film/SmallSoldiers'', Link Static serves this role in the Commando Elite.
* ''Film/StarshipTroopers'' had a series of ([[RedShirt often short-lived]]) characters fulfilling this role, with [[UnluckyChildhoodFriend Dizzy]] and [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Ace]] each taking on the role towards the end of the film.
* ''Film/SuperTroopers'' has [[JerkAss Farva]] given this job at the highway department as punishment after [[NoodleIncident the school bus incident]]. Meanwhile, [[FairCop Ursula]] is tasked with the same job at the Spurbury Police Department [[StayInTheKitchen because she's a woman.]]
** Actually, Ursula later reveals that they keep her on dispatch because [[spoiler:the rest of them are {{Corrupt Cop}}s who help Canadian drug lords move marijuana through Spurbury]].
* ''Film/VoyageToTheBottomOfTheSea'' (1961). The comm officer aboard the Seaview (a U.S. government vessel) was called Sparks.
* ''Film/WeWereSoldiers'': A number of radio operators are mixed in amongst the soldiers, with [[RedShirt several unnamed ones]] getting shot and killed during firefights. Another one, after proving himself particularly skilled by managing to tune in on radio transmissions from a battle happening on the other side of the Earth[[note]]RealityIsUnrealistic. This actually happened, owing to a quirk of UHF radio signals that allows them to bounce off the upper atmosphere[[/note]], is assigned as Colonel Moore's personal radioman.
** The movie also had a radioman whose primary responsibility was calling in fire support. [[AllThereInTheManual According to the book the film was based on]], he was actually a [[AcePilot fighter pilot]] by trade. The idea of the military being that a pilot with experience delivering close air support would be better able to evaluate what would be best and call it in more efficiently.
* ''Film/TheThing1982'' has a character who serves this role appropriately named "Windows" (possibly a nickname meaning "window to the outside world"), although a dead radio made it impossible for him to ever contact anybody.
* Though unnamed, ''Film/{{Platoon}}'' featured a radio man alongside the commanding officer during the climatic battle, matching his commander's pacing so that the cord was never pulled tight. Given that the actor portraying the commander was the technical advisor and actual veteran commander, this was probably very close to RealLife.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]

* Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/TheNumberOfTheBeast''. When Hildy Burroughs is captain of the ''Gay Deceiver'', Zebadiah ("Zeb") Burroughs acts as her comm officer, especially when talking with the British colonists on Mars.
* Adele Mundy in the ''[[Literature/{{RCN}} Republic of Cinnabar]]'' series.
* Cpl. Fife is this during his first battle in ''TheThinRedLine''.
* {{Sten}} seems to like communications officers, as they figure prominently in his command staffs in multiple books, and he even promotes one to Captain.
* In the [[XWingSeries Wraith Squadron novels]], this is Jesmin Ackbar's specialty. In addition to her experience with the actually communications gear, she is skilled at cryptography and codes, and is able to twice alert Wraith Squadron to forces attempting to ambush them by picking up supposedly encrypted low-power transmissions that the enemy thought were safe to use. After [[spoiler: her death in ''Wraith Squadron'']], Runt begins cross-training to pick up the slack.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]


* ''Series/BabylonFive'': On the station itself, this job would typically fall to Lieutenant Corwin (in the first season, it alternated between him and an un-named BridgeBunny.) If Sheridan or Sinclair was in Command and Control, this job would instead go to [[TheLancer Commander Ivanova.]] When traveling out and about aboard one ship or another, this job would fall to whichever character was serving as TheLancer for that mission (Lennier or Marcus, usually).
* ''Series/BandOfBrothers'': T-4 George Luz, Easy Company's radioman who also doubles as the resident [[PluckyComicRelief jokester]] / PopCulturedBadass.
* ''[[Series/BattlestarGalacticaClassic Battlestar Galactica]]'' originally had Commander Adama's daughter Athena in this role in the original series. In [[Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined the reboot]], the job was performed by Corporal (later Lieutenant) Dualla, as well as her replacement, Hoshi.
* ''GenerationKill'': Cpl. Ray Person, the best RTO in Bravo Company.
* In ''Series/{{MASH}}'', Radar was usually called up on to operate the communications equipment
* ''Franchise/StarTrek''
** ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' brings us one of the most famous examples, Lieutenant Uhura. In the StarTrekExpandedUniverse and the [[Film/StarTrek 2009 film]] she is also a [[CunningLinguist xenolinguistics expert]].
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': This was the original duty for Worf, perhaps owing to his [[HalfHumanHybrid bicultural background.]]
** ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'': Harry Kim got a battlefield promotion to chief communications officer, despite only being ([[StatusQuoIsGod perpetually]]) an ensign.
** ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'': Hoshi Sato handled communications. Her linguistics expertise also came into play because the UniversalTranslator was still a work-in-progress.
* Robert RO Dixon in SeaPatrol is a very snarky Communications officer. He does go on boarding parties and is the best person with software.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Multiple Media]]
* In ''Franchise/{{Noob}}'', Ystos is in the unique position of being the only member of Justice guild that the Noob guild can contact without risking a NotNowKiddo response. In return, he has easy contact with the Noob guild should Justice find itself unable to spare its own members for a relatively simple task. This takes an important role in Season 3 finale and its novel equivalent as he ends up monitoring the Noob guild through a task that Justice had to abandon to take care of mor urgent matters.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', the Imperial Guard has "vox operators" with radio backpacks.
* One of the crew specialties in {{GURPS}} {{Traveller}} ''Starships''.
* One of the standard Mandatory Bonus Duties in ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}''. In practice, it mostly plays into the [[WitchHunt Commie Hunt]] dynamic.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Toys]]

* ''GIJoe'' communications officer "Breaker" was one of the first 3 3/4" GI Joe figures produced, and came with a helmet-mounted radio.
* In every incarnation of Franchise/{{Transformers}}, some version of Soundwave is the Decepticons' Communications Officer. And in many continuities, Blaster serves the same role for the Autobots. There are also some occasional secondary characters who also fill the role, such as Hubcap in ''Franchise/TransformersGeneration1'' and Kup in ''TransformersWingsOfHonor''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]

* In the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' series, this role is typically filled by [[AcePilot Joker]], [[BridgeBunnies Yeoman Chambers, or Specialist Traynor.]]
** Unusually, both take steps to avert the "glorified secretary" aspects of this trope; Chambers is a psychologist (important when you [[DysfunctionJunction have a crew like Shepard's]]), whereas Traynor, [[ClosestThingWeGot before being drafted as Shepard's adjutant]], was actually in charge of a complete refit of ''Normandy'''s comms that allows it to coordinate an entire, galaxy-wide war effort involving thousands of ships on multiple fronts.
* In ''VideoGame/WingCommander III'', "[[EverybodyCallsHimBarkeep Radio]]" Rollins is both this in the literal sense, being the TCS ''Victory'''s communication's officer, as well as in the informal sense, considering himself as the one person on the ship who will tell you exactly what's ''really'' going on. You have the option upon first meeting him to lay down the law and get him to stop hurting ship's morale with his rumors about [[TheFederation Confed]] being on the ropes in their war with the [[CatFolk Kilrathi]] (which, while largely true, are disastrous for morale to just come out and state them openly when there is still a fighting chance for them to recover).
* In ''SpaceQuest V: Roger Wilco - The Next Mutation'', Flo performs this function. Given that the game is a clear parody of ''StarTrek'', this is ''all'' she does. Since the SCS ''Eureka'' only has a crew of four (with the position of the ScienceOfficer left open), the rest of the bridge duties are done by Droole who appears to be a tactical/pilot/navigation/garbage officer.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Vietcong}}'' series has the radioman. In the first game, you have to use his radio whenever the radio icon shows up. In tunnel-based missions, you're equipped with your own radio. In the second game, he uses the radio himself.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/ExoSquad'' features team member Alec [=DeLeon=], with his specialized Communications E-Frame.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Sealab 2020}}'' and its GagDub ''WesternAnimation/{{Sealab 2021}}'', the com officer for the title installation was Lieutenant Sparks (apparently his real last name).
* [[Franchise/TransformersGenerationOne Blaster and Soundwave]]'s official jobs. In [[BlackmailIsSuchAnUglyWord Soundwave]]'s case, it's a painfully blatant euphemism, especially given his [[TheSpymaster everyday]] [[SinisterSurveillance duties]] and his unofficial third-in-command status.

[[/folder]]

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