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In 2011, she joined the XYZ Institute as a navigation officer. After over two years in the institute, in November 2013, Toutmai started the second officer's job at Siren for Fleet Ship Management.

In 2011, she joined the XYZ Institute as a navigation officer. After over two years in the institute, in November 2013, Toutmai started a second officer's job at Siren for Fleet Ship Management.

I know that we say "I am a teacher". I digged deeper into articles and learned about another rule, that is, we use the before superlatives and ordinal numbers. In the quoted sentences these two rules seem to be in conflict. Should I use a because second officer is a job title, or should I use the because of the presence of the ordinal number? Or does it depend on a context? I cannot imagine answering the question,

Who is the second officer on this ship?

with "I am a second officer." Seems not specific enough. Please clarify.

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    [correction: I dug //after more than two years]
    – Lambie
    Nov 29, 2019 at 14:10
  • @Lambie: Why "more than" instead of "over"?
    – John Smith
    Nov 29, 2019 at 21:17
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    You should think of "second officer" as a single indivisible "job type identifier", along the lines of "head waiter" or "bus driver". The second officer on a ship is a complete job designation in and of itself. It's not really an "ordinal" usage such as might occur in For long-distance overnight journeys, the company always sends a second bus driver out with each vehicle. Feb 23 at 11:52
  • It depends to some extent if there is one second officer on a ship, or several second officers. Is it a general thing like being a sales assistant or able seaman, or a particular position held by one person at a time?
    – Stuart F
    Feb 23 at 13:26

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I don't think either is correct. I might say:

Toutmai started as second officer at Siren

or, less literally

Toutmai took the role of second officer at Siren

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