Maritime Extinction Redux

Okie Bob rewrote and expanded his thoughts on his previous post.
Maritime Extinction Redux
By: Robert “Okie Bob” Layton
Let me be clear I’m not talking about the endangered Marine species such as Whales, Manatees, Sea Turtles and Sharks. That’s a whole different subject. What I’m concerned about is the elimination of the United States Sailor the “USN North American Blue Jacket”. Well, it looks like the Navy has shit canned its 91 enlisted ratings in favor of a gender-ambiguous Navy. The change was approved by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.
It began by a directive from Mabus to find gender-neutral ratings. Titles that stripped the word “man” from the rating IE “Corpsman”. Remember POTUS had a hard time pronouncing the word Corpsman! In an effort to be more inclusive to women sailors Mabus issued a directive to strip the word “man.” The driving force for these changes was the now retired Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Stevens. A formal professional ass kisser who insured himself a post-Naval career high paying job by being retained on as a consultant for the changes.
When challenging, opinions surfaced the goal was quickly shifted from gender-neutral to let’s realign the Navy enlisted structure so we can build sailors for civilian job markets. Civilian Jobs WTF are we a Military Armed service or a National Vo-Tec? What a bunch of hypocrites! Are we going to replace the word woman because it has the word “man” in it, or maybe female because it’s got “male” in it? How about the commending term “Shipmate”? The rush to become a more androgynous Navy has driven the best leadership male and female from the service. For what purpose? To satisfy the complaints of a very few number of individuals! Are Naval regulations about the whims of the current political powers? Adjusted and used as a social experiment? Jesus fucking Christ!!!– when is this PC shit going to stop?
Maybe we can be like federally funded schools and have joint heads on-board ship. We already are giving childbirth on board! I’m sure our Commander in Chief and Secretary Mabus applauds to that! The almost eight years of Purging out the military has made sure, that only the best liberal thinking cronies are holding top jobs. Am I old and fear change? Could be Like the sailors before me do I perceive changes as Bad for the Navy? Maybe Will my beloved Navy sink into the depths of political correctness? We are going to have to do some serious bailing and are in bad need of a “Handy Billy”!
As a retired Master Chief thirty years removed from my service, ignored for being antiquated, unwanted like a broken-down athlete, and muted because of inappropriate dialogue. I can only observe– for I am no longer in the decision-making process. I feel my Nautical uniqueness among my military brethren was stolen! Taken away by official Navy Policy, changed by deleterious decree. I am fearful that the future sailors will have lost identities. No heritage, and like a bastard child no parental guidance!
The exclusivity of being a sailor will be forever lost. New expressions invented, language changed and used to portray single all-inclusive military with a one world goal. I worry that our nautical heritage is doomed for extinction. A hundred years from now will the old sailors of my day be looked back on as the unenlightened? We can only guess! Passing on of the traditions of the sea have been the mainstay of the US Navy.
Those distinctive customs unique only to the Navy instilled pride in the North American Blue Jacket. Our uniform, our talk, our way of life, our mission is distinctively different from the other services! That was our arrogance, our reason for becoming a sailor! The bean counters in Washington have no clue as to the mindset of true seagoing sailors for they have not stood the watches and faced the ocean tempest. Putting on the dress blues, bell bottom pants, thirteen buttons with wallet over the top, cigarettes in your socks, spit-shined shoes, white piping tight jumper, liberty cuffs, rolled neckerchief and topped with tilted rolled white hat was standard issue for the sea going sailors of my day.
One thing that made the distinctiveness was the Petty Officer Crow with the rating insignia over the chevron. Be it crossed Guns for Gunner’s Mate or Wings and Propeller for Aviation Machinist’s Mate, add red or gold hash marks and Navy unit identification mark on the shoulder [USS Haze Gray and underway] gave it that special swagger for any sailor hitting the beach. Stripping away the distinctive Sailor Ratings is just a step to put all the services into one big bag——- A Shit Bag!!!
Fifty years ago as an undesignated striker I worked hard to earn the title of Aviation Machinist’s Mate Jet Engine Mechanic [ADJ3]. Years later after I was promoted to Master Chief Aircraft Maintenanceman [AFCM] I still identified myself with the old designation for I earned the right to call myself an “Aviation Machinist’s Mate”. No bean counting, brown nose, suck up SOB, in Washington can ever touch that. If they want to reinvent themselves and do away with Naval designations and become gender ambiguous let em have it. This is not what I remember the US Navy as being.
I would most certainly not recommend the present Navy to any red blooded American Male or Female. As for me? When asked what I was in the Navy? I always answer unhesitating first—– “I was an Aviation Machinist’s Mate” The salt gets in your soul——– and can change a rural farm boy into a Sailor forever!
Master Chief Aircraft Maintenanceman AFCM Robert L Layton USN Ret.
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