Navy Truisms

Navy Truisms

By Anonymous

• A Sailor will walk 10 miles in a freezing rain to get a beer but complain about standing a 4 hour quarterdeck watch on a beautiful, balmy spring day.

• A Sailor will lie, cheat and scam to get off the ship early and then will have no idea where he wants to go.

• Sailors are territorial. They have their assigned spaces to clean and maintain. Woe betide the shipmate who tracks through a freshly swabbed deck.


• Sailors constantly complain about the food on the mess decks while concurrently going back for second or even third helpings.

• After a cruise, a Sailor will realize how much he misses being at sea. And after retiring from the Navy considers going on a cruise and visiting some of our past favorite ports. Of course we’ll have to pony up better than $5,000 for the privilege. Just to think, Uncle Sam actually use to pay us to visit those same ports years ago.

• You can spend three years on a ship and never visit every nook and cranny or even every major space aboard. Yet, you can name all your shipmates and every liberty port.

• Campari and soda taken in the warm Spanish sun is an excellent hangover remedy.


• PO2 / E-5 is almost the perfect military pay grade. Too senior to catch the crap details, too junior to be blamed if things go awry.

• Never be first, never be last and never volunteer for anything.

• Almost every port has a “gut.” An area teeming with cheap bars, easy women and partiers, which is usually the “Off-limits” area.

• Contrary to popular belief, Master Chief Petty Officers do not walk on water. They walk just above it.

• Sad but true, when visiting even the most exotic ports of call, some Sailors only see the inside of the nearest bars/clubs.

• Also under the category of sad but true, that lithe, sultry Mediterranean or Asian beauty you spent those wonderful three days with and have dreamed about ever since, is almost certainly a grandmother now.

• A Sailor can, and will, sleep anywhere, anytime.

• Yes, it’s true, it does flow downhill.


• In the traditional “crackerjack” uniform you were recognized as a member of United States Navy, no matter what port or part of the world you were in. Damn all who want to eliminate or change that uniform.

• The Marine dress blue uniform is, by far, the sharpest of all the armed forces.

• Most Sailors won’t disrespect a shipmate’s mother. On the other hand, it’s not entirely wise to tell them they have a good looking sister either.

• Sailors and Marines will generally fight one another, and fight together against all comers.

• If you can at all help it, never tell anyone that you are seasick.

• Check the rear dungaree pockets of a Sailor. Right pocket a wallet. Left pocket a wheel book.

• The guys who seemed to get away with doing the least, always seemed to be first in the pay line and the chow line.

• General Quarters drills and the need to evacuate one’s bowels often seem to coincide.

• Speaking of which, when the need arises, the nearest head is always the one which is secured for cleaning.

• Four people you never screw with: the doc, the DK, PC and the ship’s barber.

• In the summer, all deck seamen wanted to be signalmen. In the winter they wanted to be radiomen.

• Do snipes ever get the grease and oil off their hands?

• Never play a drinking game which involves the loser paying for all the drinks.

• There are only two good ships: the one you came from and the one you’re going to.

• Whites, coming from the cleaners, clean, pressed and starched, last that way about 30 microseconds after donning them. The Navy dress white uniform is a natural dirt magnet.

• Sweat pumps operate in direct proportion to the seniority of the official visiting.

• The shrill call of a bosun’s pipe still puts a chill down my spine.

• Three biggest lies in the Navy: We’re happy to be here; this is not an inspection; we’re here to help.

• Everything goes in the log.

• Rule 1: The Chief is always right. Rule 2: When in doubt refer to Rule 1.

• A wet napkin under your tray keeps the tray from sliding on the mess deck table in rough seas, keeping at least one hand free to hold on to your beverage.

• Never walk between the projector and the movie screen after movie call and the flick has started.

• A guy who doesn’t share a care package from home is no shipmate.

• When transiting the ocean, the ship’s chronometer is always advanced at 0200 which makes for a short night. When going in the opposite direction, the chronometer is retarded at 1400 which extends the work day.


• When I sleep, I often dream I am back at sea.

• If I had to do it all over again, I would. TWICE!



5 thoughts on “Navy Truisms

  1. John Scott says:

    Hmmmmmmm….wallets a carried in your sock, of either the left or right foot – not in the right pocket of dungaree’s. Still carry mine that way. Although I do get odd looks on occasion when pulling it out at a pay counter.


  2. Bill says:

    Whites, coming from the cleaners, clean, pressed and starched, last that way about 30 microseconds after donning them. The Navy dress white uniform is a natural dirt magnet.

    Usually a Seagull deposits on them during quaterdeck watch.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s