Boot Camp Classification

Boot Camp Classification

By Garland Davis

He remembers the day of classification in Boot Camp. This was a day instrumental in every sailor’s Navy life, whether for a single tour or a thirty-year career.

He was on time for the appointment with all his documents ready. This disqualified him from being a Storekeeper.

He was also bathed, cleanly shaven and in a presentable uniform. Immediately disqualified as a Boatswain’s Mate.

He told the classification clerk that he was awake and alert during the afternoons. No way could he become a Gunner’s Mate with that attitude.

He had turned up at the correct office on time. This disqualified him from being a Radioman.

He correctly identified the on and off positions of a standard light switch. Eliminated him for consideration for any of the electronic ratings.

His hearing test showed a remarkable ability to hear sounds. Immediately disqualified for Sonar Technician.

He showed an ability in simple arithmetic. This disqualified him as a Disbursing Clerk.

He explained the recipes for making toast and bug juice. Not qualified to be a Cook.

He proved to him that he could read, write and spell. Not Yeoman or Personnelman.

After asking several more questions, shaking his head, the classification counselor fished a wrinkled paper from the bottom of the shitcan, saying, “I had given up on this one. Jerry Collins, you are going to be a Boiler Technician.”