By Garland Davis, CSC/MSC, USN(Ret)

A few days ago I posted an article honoring Navy Boiler technicians (BT). I posted the information in a number of Navy Groups on Facebook to bring attention to the Blog posting. I jokingly made a comment in my introduction that BTs were also accomplished thieves. Ninety percent of the FB remarks centered on that. From all the bragging one would think that BTs just emptied the reefers and storerooms and moved everything to the lower level of a fireroom at their whim. Of course, they extolled the epicurean delights that could be cooked on or in a steam drum.

I am sure they did purloin some items and of course, there was a consequence to their actions. Not only was there less food to be served to their shipmates because the cooks did not have the stolen items, but there was also even more that could not be served. The stolen items had to be paid for. Each ship receives a dollar amount per person per day and meals provided have to be within that total number. All food items missing from storerooms and reefers when inventoried must be charged against the Food Service Department food budget.

If an item costing $100 was stolen it meant a $200 cost to the Galley to pay for what was actually used by the cooks and that which was stolen.

You were not stealing from the Galley or the Supply Department, you were stealing from your shipmates.


BT – Boiler Technician

BT – Boiler Technician

Image may contain: one or more people, hat and text

Paul Reuter and Peter T Yeschenko


Trivia: What was a US Navy Boiler Technician and what was the origin of that rate?!

ANSWER: The Boiler Technician aka BT rating traced its roots back to the 19th century and the ascent of steam-powered naval ships at the end of the Age of Sail.

The rating Boilermaker was established in 1869 and was changed to Machinist 2c in 1884, the same year the related Water Tender rating was established and Boilermaker was re-established.

In 1948, both Water Tender and Boilermaker were merged into a new Boilerman rating. This rating lasted for nearly 30 years before being changed to Boiler Technician in 1976.

Boiler Technicians were responsible for the inspection, maintenance, and repair of everything involved in a steam-propulsion system.

Water and fuel inventories had to be maintained at appropriate levels, and fuel required testing to ensure proper quality.

Machining skills were necessary to maintain and repair equipment; failure to do so could cost not only the life of the BT but also the ship’s crew.

Reflecting on the evolution of naval propulsion systems away from steam power, the Boiler Technician rating was disestablished in 1996 and converted to Machinist’s Mate.


Admiral of the Navy

Admiral of the Navy

insignia for Admiral of the Navy (1899–1917)

The Admiral of the Navy (abbreviated as AN) is the highest possible rank in the United States Navy. The rank is equated to that of a six-star admiral and is one of the two highest possible military ranks in the United States Armed Forces. It has only been awarded once, to George Dewey, in recognition of his victory at Manila Bay in 1898. On March 2, 1899, Congress approved the creation of the grade of Admiral of the Navy. On March 3, President McKinley transmitted to the Senate his nomination of Dewey for the new grade, which was approved the same day But McKinley’s nomination had used the term “Admiral in the Navy,” while the act creating the new grade had used “Admiral of the Navy.” On March 14, 1903, this discrepancy was addressed when President Roosevelt nominated and the Senate approved Dewey to the grade of “Admiral of the Navy,” retroactive to March 2, 1899. The Navy Register of 1904 listed Dewey for the first time as “Admiral of the Navy” instead of “Admiral.

A commensurate rand of General of the Armies was created in 1919 and General John J. Pershing became the only living person to hold that rank.  George Washington was posthumously promoted to the rank of General of the Armies during the bi-centennial year of 1976.


Sailors, Ya Gotta Love Them

Sailors, Ya Gotta Love Them

By Garland Davis

We have all heard the story about the new sailor fresh out of Bootcamp at home on boot leave. Our hero is at the family reunion being held in his honor. He thought that this is a good thing. All was going good until while talking with the family pastor, his parents, and some aunts and uncles, he looked around and asked, “Hey, did anyone see where I left my fuckin’ beer?

We’ve heard that story a thousand times from a thousand different sailors. I don’t doubt it happened. Sailors will be sailors.

I know for sure that the next one is true.

He is a Chief on leave visiting his mother in an Eastern state. a great-aunt passed away the day he arrived. His mother insisted on going to the viewing at the funeral home. Since he didn’t have a suit and the only uniform he had with him was the Winter Working Blues (Johnny Cash), he wore that.

Once they arrived at the funeral home and extended condolences to the families, he moved away from his mother’s group. He had been gone for over twenty years and knew none of them. A very attractive young woman who had been with the uncle’s family came up to him and took his arm and said, “I’ve often wondered about you. I’ve heard a lot about you but I don’t think I ever met you before.”

They moved off to the side talking and doing some mild flirting. He was careful, after all, it was her grandmother in the coffin. After they had been talking for about thirty minutes, he asked her if she would like to meet the next day for coffee or a drink.

She replied, “Do you know where the Marriott Hotel is located?”

He nodded that he did and she said, looking him in the eye with a crooked grin, “They have a nice lounge, meet me there in about two hours. The airline I work for maintains a suite there for VIP’s. Part of my job is to schedule people into the suite. It’s empty right now. See you there?”

He left with his mom going home. After arriving and changing clothes he told her that he was going out to have a couple of beers with some old high school buddies.

As he opened the door to leave, his mom said, “Now, remember, she’s your cousin.




By Garland Davis

Sexting is sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs, or images, primarily between mobile phones, of oneself to others.

The first published use of the term sexting was in a 2005 article in the Australian Sunday Telegraph Magazine. The Pew Research Center commissioned a study on sexting, which divides the practice into three types:[5]

  1. Exchange of images solely between two romantic partners.
  2. Exchanges between partners that are shared with others outside the relationship.
  3. Exchanges between people who are not yet in a relationship, but where at least one person hopes to be.

Sexting has become more common with the rise in camera phones and smartphones with Internet access, that can be used to send explicit photographs as well as messages] While sexting is done by people of all ages] most media coverage fixates on negative aspects of adolescent usage. Young adults use the medium of the text message much more than any other new media to transmit messages of a sexual nature, and teenagers who have unlimited text messaging plans are more likely to receive sexually explicit texts.

Back in the day, you know in ancient times like my youth, sexting involved Ladies Drinks, Barfines, and air-conditioned Hondas.


Cabbage Rolls and Navy Bean Soup

Cabbage Rolls and Navy Bean Soup

By Garland Davis

The events that I describe here happened, maybe not in the timeframe or order Bud tells them. I am telling this story from his point of view. Bud and I were Chiefs, well he was a senior Chief when I made it, together on a Tincan out of Pearl. I went to a two-year shore tour in San Diego and then was ordered to an Oiler in Pearl. I reported aboard to find my old shipmate Bud as a Warrant Officer and the ship’s Bosun. This was back in the day when Warrant ranks were temporary and each Warrant held a permanent enlisted rank. Bud was a permanent Master Chief Boatswains Mate. Well hell, I’ll just let Bud tell the story…

“There I was walking across the Well Deck and who do I see reporting aboard but my old running mate Dave, undoubtedly one of the best Stewburners to ever shit between a pair of regulation shower shoes. Other than to shake hands and say hellos, I didn’t have time to talk, the XO must be pissed at me again. He had sent the Messenger of the Watch to tell me he wanted to see me on the Quarterdeck. He wanders around the ship looking for discrepancies to point out to the junior officers. He calls it training.

I was mostly doing well with the officer stuff until that fucking Stewburner showed up. Put the two of us together and we could stir up enough shit to keep the XO pissed. Now the XO loved meetings, especially planning meetings and especially meetings where he got to do all the talking. It was one such meeting where the problem arose like gas over a swamp.

The meeting was an Officer and Chief’s meeting to make preliminary plans for an upcoming yard overhaul. The meeting was scheduled for 1400. Before lunch, I stuck my head in the Wardroom pantry to see what we were having for lunch. Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, one of the XO’s favorites. The Steward let me have a sample. Later I had two at lunch.

After going to the fantail to check the condition of a mooring line, I cut through the Crew’s Mess on the way forward. I saw they had had Navy Bean Soup for lunch. On that can Dave’s Bean Soup was one of my favorites. I swung by the CPO Mess and Dave was there. I asked if it would be possible to get a bowl of that soup. He sent the mess cook for a bowl. It was as good as I remembered. It was so good, I had two more bowls.

I went to my stateroom and worked on my list of Wants and Must-Haves in preparation for the XO’s meeting. I got to the Wardroom to find all the chairs taken so I sat down on the deck beside Stewburner Dave. I was in a position where the XO couldn’t see me and there was a Playboy magazine within reach on the bottom shelf of the bookcase. While the XO was prattling on about the number one priorities, I looked at centerfolds.

About thirty minutes after the XO started talking, I could feel the pressure building in my gut. The combination of cabbage rolls and bean soup was leading up to a gas attack of mammoth proportions. It was actually painful. I whispered to the Stewburner, ‘I hope he ends this shit soon, my gut is rumbling, I feel like I have to either fart or shit my pants.’

The XO asked, in preparation for ending the meeting, if anyone had any questions. That fucking Stewburner pops up with a question about prioritizing the six number one priorities the XO had identified. The way the Asshole grinned at me told me the Son-of-a-Bitch did it, to start the XO off. Everyone knew not to ask questions if you wanted to shorten the XO’s meetings from interminable to just long.

The pressure in my gut was unbearable and extremely painful. I had to have relief. I decided to slip out a little silent one to relieve the pressure. That is where it went wrong. What started as silent and controlled, quickly became foghorn loud and uncontrolled. It started out as deep resonating bass and progressed to an almost falsetto. It went on and on. I could pipe chow in less time than it did for that fart to come to an end.

That fucking Stewburner says, ‘Damn, Bosn, if that was mine, I would be so proud, I would stencil my name on it.’

The stench was horrible. While everyone was bailing out of the Wardroom, the XO said, ‘Bosun, go see the Corpsman to make an appointment to have your digestive system checked.’

I said, ‘There’s no need for that sir, it’s them cabbage rolls of yours. They do it to me every time.’”


The Ship

The Ship

By John Petersen

The following is an ‘obituary’ I penned concerning my last ship, USS Halsey CG-23. Wrote this years ago, after I found out Halsey had been decommed the year after I left.

In 1959, the authorization was given to build another ship. Meaning no less than job security at the time for countless engineers, welders, crane operators, electricians, the list goes on, this order was to them, part of the routine, finish one job and start another. Puts food on the table, affords a comfortable life for the family. a good career to get into.

The ship that is ordered, not surprisingly, will be similar to those that were constructed before her, but as with all other ‘clones’, there will be differences, slight upgrades, improvements if you will. But as long as the prints are true, she’ll become a seaworthy vessel, her capabilities beyond her predecessors. She’ll be faster, a bit more streamlined, her armament in keeping with the demands of global needs. She’ll be as well protected as can be made, for her crew will depend on her to ensure their safety, this crew that will shed tears, hugs, and kisses as they prepare to ride this vessel away from home for parts that, to many aboard will be unknown, for lengths of time most will not be used to.

Everything about her as she is being pieced together must be perfect, no room for mistakes, no room for anything that would be detrimental to her crew be left out. She must be strong, forbearing, able to defend not only the battle group she’ll be assigned to but also herself and her crew, for this ship will be home for her crew, the one place where they will work, eat, sleep, and relax. Basically, their lives within several hundred feet.

She’ll be formidable in appearance, her profile well-known worldwide. She’ll find herself in the heat of global tensions several times in her life, always proving to all that she’s there when needed. She’ll have every bit of technology available at her birth to give her crew the upmost advantage in any situation said crew may be faced with. In no way, through her design, will she allow her crew to be endangered, and she will give all she has to ensure this.

As this ship is built for the sole purpose of defense and protection of the seas, she will also have within her design comforts for those that will become her, for want of a better term, circulatory system. The requisite berthing spaces, of course, modern galley and messing areas, the ships store, ships library, all may be small in size but for extended months at sea large in stature. Closed-circuit TV. Maybe even satellite TV to catch the Super Bowl while in the Gulf.

Those that build her, they know, that she has a shelf life and that one day her time will come. They know that she’ll sail countless nautical miles, fight countless battles. They, as well as you and I, know that not all is perfect, that throughout her life there will be lives lost within her shell, yet those lives will not be lost in vain, rather they will be valiantly sacrificed in the needed effort to save this ship and their shipmates from an untimely demise. One would think that this thought alone is the major driving force of those that put this ship together make sure everything is as close to perfect as they can make it.

Throughout her years defending this country, Thousands will have done their designated jobs to keep her going strong. Each and every one of these thousands will, when called to duty at yet another ship or shore station, carry forever with them the memories of their shipmates, those who for that short period of time became no less than family. Countless numbers will keep in touch with others, countless will most likely not. Regardless of that fact, all who serve upon her decks are connected forever, period.

In time, her end will come, simply outdated and technologically behind the times. She’ll have been upgraded several times in her life, but life itself will ultimately overtake her. With tears in the eyes of many who kept her heart beating, she’ll be retired, her plants never to steam again, the heart stopped forever. She’ll be replaced by newer ships, each filled with the latest in technological wonders, some of which have probably yet to be discovered. But she was advanced for her time, remember that she was the new replacement for the ships before her. Yet it still hurts.

Proudly, some ships become museums, an open venue for those who have never been aboard a ship, to provide a bit of history for the masses. Others, sadly, are unceremoniously cut apart, for a profit to individuals who care not one bit the history or legacy of the ship they’re torching. Then there are the ships that, after proudly serving their time, are sent to the seafloor, a ‘burial at sea’ if you will, which is the highest honor these vets could receive. A send-off this particular ship should well be afforded.

Conceived by the ink of a pen in 1959, roughly 35 years of distinguished service, and taken from the fleet 28 Jan 1994. Thousands of proud individuals made her the ship she was, and in our memories always will be. She was a force to be reckoned with, her mere presence anywhere she went was never forgotten, and never will be.

MM1 John Petersen, EMO2 LPO ’90-93