Emotional Learning Experiences

Stolen from Robert Stratton

I often reminisce about events I experienced in the Navy that were resolved without disciplinary action. In 1964 I received orders to the USS Nereus AS17, a submarine tender home-ported in San Diego, CA. The ship had a crew of about 900 officers and enlisted men. We also had several submarines tied up alongside us.

The food on the Nereus was great and plentiful. Take all you want, eat all you take. The supply officer CDR Goble was aware of food waste and wanted to know why. A petty officer was assigned duties as to where the sailors returned their food trays for washing. If you have uneaten food, the petty officer would take your name, rate, division, and why you didn’t eat your food.

The cocky sailor gave his information, then stated that the food tasted like shit.

Needless to say, when CDR Goble read those remarks, he wanted to talk with that sailor. When CDR Goble finished asking that sailor how long he had been eating shit, did his mom cooked shit for him at home, whether it was served hot or cold, whether it was a side dish or the main course, were there leftovers, etc.?

CDR Gobles office was in the supply office, and about ten sailors heard the conversation as CDR Goble intended.

That story spread throughout the ship; sailors answered honestly about uneaten food, and food waste was cut down to nothing.

2nd Story:

From day one, we were told that you don’t smoke while walking on the base or in a government vehicle. Sailors love to break rules, so if caught smoking by the base 1st lieutenant, you were given a bucket with sand inside. You would then walk around the base until for found someone smoking. Within an hour or two, you could not find anyone smoking.

There are many others, and they were called “severe emotional learning experiences.” Once adjusted to Navy life, it was a great experience.

I enlisted in 1962 when I was 22 years old and served for 26 years. Retired when I was 48 years old in 1988. Followed by a 29-year federal civil service career and fully retired when I was 78.

Not one regret!


One thought on “Emotional Learning Experiences

  1. P Williams says:

    I remember a Captain’s Mast for “Pilferage and Looting” for making a cheese sandwich at midnight on the USS Sterett DLG31 while at overhaul port in Long Beach. Charges were brought by ETCM Anderson (ETCM God) and the Captain was pissed bc of wasting his time. Captain dropped charge.


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