By Garland Davis
Boatswain’s Mate (BM): Has a skewed view of his greatness bordering on a full blown mental disorder. Carries an $80 knife in a $20 case on a DC’d belt that he rescued from a dumpster. Still has his Bootcamp boondockers which are now colored a combination of Red Lead and Haze Gray with highlights of Zinc Chromate. Can tie a granny knot to perfection every time. When he is not chipping and painting something he is polishing his little silver whistle. He is quick to tell you that in the Navy only Boatswain’s Mates and shitbirds whistle.
Quartermaster (QM): Has a permanent degeneration in vertebrae C4 and C5 from looking up at the stars and a permanent squint from trying to get a sunline. He needs a straight edge to draw a line. He gets highly upset when someone refers to one of his charts as a map. Must have a stopwatch to set a fucking clock.
Signalmen (SM): Were into texting long before it became the in thing with millennials and Gen Xers. Unfortunately, the only comparable civilian occupation that they are qualified for is washerwoman’s assistant hanging garments on a clothesline. The biggest drawback with them is they are fucking winos whom you rarely find them sober enough to do these things.
Storekeeper (SK): The predominant trait among Storekeepers is the ability to say “Sorry but the OPTAR is gone and there is no money” or “That item is not in stock” or “You’ll have to rewrite all these requisitions, they are filled out incorrectly” or “I know that part is on board, but I just can’t find it” all with a straight Face.
Disbursing Clerk (DK) Their primary trait is a Filipino accent so strong that no one can understand what they are saying and after an inquiry one walks away knowing less than he did when he went to Disbursing. In their favor, if they like you, they can rush a travel Claim through in only six weeks.
Commissarymen (CS): Extremely good looking young men with a rudimentary training in Chemistry and demonstrates the ability to turn food to shit without running it through the human body. They are able to deny extra portions to starving sailors while exhibiting a sleek well-fed demeanor themselves.
Boiler Technician (BT): These guys are borderline pyromaniacs who just want to start fires. They understand just enough meteorology to ascertain when the wind is blowing toward the Quarterdeck before blowing tubes. They are terrified of black smoke. They wear thick soled boondockers to ensure that their knuckles don’t drag on the deckplates. They are past masters at theft will steal anything they think is edible.
Machinist Mate (MM): Just enough more evolved than BT’s that the can learn to use wrenches. A large part of their training is to memorize and understand the meaning of “Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey. To make sure they know left from right, many of them wear red nail polish on their left hands. They are always begging or stealing coffee for cumshaw. They always seem to want valve tuned up or some shit like that.
Aviation Machinist Mate R (ADR): No longer a rating. Their primary task was fan repair. You know those big fans on the old WWII airplanes. The purpose of those fans was to keep the pilot cool. When that fan stopped, the pilots really started to sweat. ADR’s can make a pretty decent Bloody Mary if you put money into their donation jar.