Ten Signs That You Are a Sailor

Ten Signs That You Are a Sailor

By Garland Davis


  1. Walking fast. You might be doing a great job of blending into your civilian surroundings, but your walk is always going to give you away. Sailors walk with a purpose as if their trip to the grocery store is a CNO press briefing.
  2. Hair. Broke your habit of getting a high and tight? Good for you. But that leaves you two options: the fade and the classic “Officer or Pilot hair.” Yes, we see you pushing the edges of the “three inches on the top” rule as prescribed in Naval Regulation 2201.1.a.
  3. Eating fast. Habits are hard to kick. And rarely in the Navy did you ever have ample time to appreciate your food even if you could.
  4. The power stance. Chief Petty Officers and Officers are easy to spot: Just look for the person attempting to own the room with the “crossed arms and not leaning against anything” stance.
  5. Jargon. Just try not to say “Roger that,” “Aye, Aye,” or “negative” in conversations. Just try. Eventually, your language will out you.
  6. Walking. There is no way that a group of Sailors can take a casual stroll down a sidewalk without eventually falling into step. Even if you try not to, you will.
  7. Sunglasses. Congratulations, you’re not wearing Oakleys or G.I. frames. Well done. But you’re still wearing sunglasses all the time, even when it is cloudy out.
  8. Absurd politeness. You can easily pick out Sailors by their over usage of “sir” and “ma’am.” It is a credit to the Navy’s discipline that a cashier at Piggly-Wiggly receives the same clipped tones and politeness That a Three Star Admiral would.
  9. Scanning crowds. Go to a department store, a mall or a party, and you’re bound to see that one person who is constantly scanning. Standing usually somewhere where they can see the whole room. And may God help the person acting suspicious because the Navy promotes being confrontational.
  10. Sleeping anywhere. Sailors can sleep approximately anywhere, in any weather, on anything. They also come out of it rapidly and coherently.
  11. You can’t converse worth a shit without using words Mom told you not to say.



20 thoughts on “Ten Signs That You Are a Sailor

  1. Norman Stovall says:

    Let’s not forget the lack of an umbrella on rainy days. Walking down those piers in the rain, made us impervious to rain. 😉


    • D. Schenkel says:

      I worked for the Transportation Security Administration for eight years, and when ever I had to inspect a bag and repack it there was always more room in the bag than when I started. One woman even sent a letter complimenting whoever had inspected it for such a neat and efficient repacking of the bag, and ended with how did they do that. The person that responded, answered in five words “They were in the Navy”.


  2. jerryogle says:

    Been out forever when my youngest son joined the navy. After he got to his 1st duty station he called me and said that he now understood a lot if things he heard me say and the way I did some of the shit I Did when hewas at home. I never talked about my service. To any of my family. The kid figured it out on his on in bootcamp. I’m a Vietnam Vet. Met my wife 1 year after I Came back to the world. Never said anything about my past. Just started my life over in 1973.


    • Gary Nance says:

      Lauren, those Navy personnel are wearing the dress blue uniform for the United States Navy. The three chevrons below the eagle identify them as petty officers 1st class, pay grade E-6. The emblems between the chevrons and the eagle identify their professional specialty within the Navy. The diagonal stripes above the wrist represents four years of service for the United States in the US Navy. The gold stripes indicate good conduct award for more than 12 years. The various ribbons positioned above the heart are awards for good conduct, marksman ship, and in some cases superlative performance in difficult tasks or battle.


  3. Katie Hendrix says:

    I constantly have my sunglasses. I am actually only have tgree pair atm wich is odd for me I need to build my stack back up. But it is hard to find the right pair that fit over my glasses. My fiance was in the army and he only has one pair but wears them as much as I do.
    As for walking down the street we always fall in line I have stopped trying. My sister falls in step too. She is a cop…..lol
    My friends say that me My fiance and my sister all walk with this look like we are on a mission or are gonna kill someone…lol can’t help it.
    I also do always sit where I can see the room and have my eyes on all exit and entrance points but also where no one can come up on my back. I also do find myself keeping my eye out on some one that seems odd. I also know where the people I came with are so I know they are safe.
    I have a need to read people and their body language.


  4. Steve Everett says:

    Take all trash to fantail??? We had TDU room. Clean sweep forward and aft?? Got guys sleeping in line waiting on 10 minute breakfast before watch. Four hour watch?? We had six on twelve off for maintenance field day drills, and did I say more drills. Often six on six off.


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