Real Chiefs

Real Chiefs

Real Chiefs think Ensigns should be seen and not heard and never ever be allowed to read books on leadership.

Real Chiefs don’t own civilian clothes.

Real Chiefs have CPO Association Cards from their last five commands.

Real Chiefs don’t remember life before they were a Chief.

Real Chiefs Wedding Proposal: “There will be a wedding at 1000 hours on 29 October, be there in whites with your gear packed because you will be a prime participant.”

Real Chiefs favorite national holiday is CPO Initiation.

Real Chiefs believe that in the Navy every day is a holiday, every meal is a feast, every payday is a lottery and every muster is a family reunion.

Real Chiefs’ favorite breakfast is shipboard SOS.

Real Chiefs don’t know how to tell civilian time.

Real Chiefs call each other “Chief.”

Real Chiefs greatest fear is signing for property book items.

Real Chiefs dream in Navy Blue, White, Haze Gray and occasionally khaki.

Real Chiefs have served on ships that are now war memorials or tourist attractions.

Real Chiefs get tears in their eyes when the “Chief” dies in the movie “Operation Pacific.”

Real Chiefs don’t like “Certified Navy Twill” (CNT’s). “Wash khaki” is the ONLY thing out of which to make a uniform.

Real Chiefs can find their way to the CPO Club while blindfolded on fifteen different Navy bases.

Real Chiefs have pictures of past ships in their wallets.

Real Chiefs only own ink pens that have “Property U.S. Government” printed on them.

Real Chiefs never volunteer to get mandatory flu shots.

Real Chiefs have a permanent curl in their forefinger.

Real Chiefs don’t order supplies, they swap for them.

Real Chiefs favorite quote is from the movie Ben Hur, “We keep you alive to serve this ship.”

Real Chiefs think excessive modesty is their only fault.

Real Chiefs hate to write evaluations, except for their own.

Real Chiefs turn in a four-page brag sheet for their evaluation.

Real Chiefs always say their last ship was their best ship.

Real Chiefs know that the black tar in their coffee cup makes the coffee taste better.

Real Chiefs are proudest when one of their former strikers makes Chief.

Real Chiefs’ idea of heaven: Three good PO1’s and a Division Officer who does what he is told.

Real Chiefs think John Wayne would have made a good Chief if he had not gone soft and made Marine movies.

Real Chiefs use the term “Good Training” to describe any unpleasant task. Scraping the sides of the ship is “Good Training.” Having to sleep on your seabag in the parking lot because there was no room in the barracks is “Good Training.”

Real Chiefs teach their children that the highest attainment in life should be in becoming a Chief.

Real Chiefs can never fathom why a Chief would even consider accepting a commission.

Real Chiefs think “Crepes and Quiche” are a gay Hollywood couple.

Real Chiefs rather hitchhike than own an imported automobile, truck or motorcycle.

Real Chiefs keep four sets of dress khaki uniforms in the closet in hopes they will come back.

Real Chiefs love their mothers mainly because she has a son or daughter in the Navy.

Real Chiefs believe that the only thing to make life more complete is if he/she had been born in a naval hospital.

Real Chiefs are always right and they know it. In the impossible hypothesis that a subordinate may be right, the former still applies.

Real Chiefs do not regard an officer’s rank and title as the measure of his or her competence.

Real Chiefs are the only people who can make the title “Ensign” sound like a four-letter word.

Real Chiefs are always “The Chief” – even in shower shoes and a towel.

Real Chiefs will tell you that they are always a part of the answer, never the problem.

Real Chiefs will always say, “Let me do it for you, Sir,” and then promptly assign someone to do it.

Real Chiefs don’t sleep; they rest.

Real Chiefs are never late; they are detained elsewhere.

Real Chiefs never leave work; their presence is required elsewhere.

Real Chiefs never eat sliders at mid rats.

Real Chiefs don’t eat quiche, and they can’t pronounce it or spell it.

Real Chiefs never read the newspaper in the mess; they study current events.

Real Chiefs play cut-throat Hearts, not Poker; and never, ever Bridge.

Real Chiefs never play a sport where the ball doesn’t come back by itself (bowling – yes, golf – no, tennis – never).

Real Chiefs call their spouses WIFELANT or WIFEPAC, or CINCHOUSE or CINCFAM.

Real Chiefs are at sea when their kids are born. [“You have to be there to lay the keel but not to launch them.”]

Real Chiefs always say, “Morning,” never “Good morning,” except when they are getting ready to get underway.

Real Chiefs never eat off of the ship. They know the best food is in the Chiefs’ Mess.

Real Chiefs are hated by Supply Officers who take inventory after the Real Chief pays a social call.

Real Chiefs don’t write in cursive, except for their paycheck signatures.

Real Chiefs think that the easiest day at sea is tougher than the worst day on shore duty.

Real Chiefs don’t make coffee.

Real Chiefs know that you can never, ever, at any time, at any location, sea or shore, or under any circumstances, be allowed to run out of coffee.

Real Chiefs never wash out their coffee cups, rinse maybe, but never wash unless they know that it has been pissed in.

Real Chiefs have a coffee pot next to their desks with an intravenous tube running into their arms.

Real Chiefs have a Goat Locker.

Real Chiefs never vacation; every day on the ship is a vacation.

Real Chiefs think that “sensitivity” is a control knob on a radar or sonar console and that’s all it is.

Real Chiefs have the heart of a little boy … kept in a jar on the desk.

Real Chiefs’ think that remote control is a PO1 on the other end of a walkie-talkie.

Real Chiefs know that you don’t need a computer to sail a ship, especially when the power is out.

Real Chiefs think that a seven-course meal on liberty is a baked potato and a six-pack of beer.

Real Chiefs never go on liberty with their juniors; they conduct training sessions.

Real Chiefs never have wine on liberty; it better be brewed and it better be cold.

Real Chiefs can name at least fifteen bars in Hong Kong but know that the best bars are across the bay in Kowloon.

Real Chiefs have tattoos; otherwise, how would they remember what a great time they had on liberty?

Real Chiefs can communicate with each other using farts.

Real Chiefs have mastered the use of the silent, but deadly, fart and they are not afraid to use it, especially around watch stations.

Real Chiefs have a “Zippo” that has been everywhere and still works.

Real Chiefs have tattoos on their forearms that would force them to keep their cuffs buttoned at a church picnic.

Real Chiefs take eighteen-year-old idiots and hammer them into Sailors.

Real Chiefs know that the term “All hands” means “All hands.”

Real Chiefs don’t have to command respect; they get it because there is nothing else that you can give them.

Real Chiefs are expert at choosing descriptive adjectives and nouns, none of which their mothers would endorse.

Real Chiefs have rows of hard-earned, worn, and faded ribbons, but know that ribbons don’t make you a Sailor.

Real Chiefs are matured like good whiskey in steel hulls over many years.

Real Chiefs aren’t the kind of guys you thank; monkeys in zoos don’t spend a lot of time thanking the guy who makes them do tricks for peanuts.

Real Chiefs are the standard by which you measure all others.

Real Chiefs were educated at the other end of an anchor chain from Copenhagen to Singapore.

Real Chiefs never excuse being late, not helping a shipmate, or running out of coffee.

Real Chiefs never spill a drink.

Real Chiefs never drink and drive because you might hit a bump and spill a drink.

Real Chiefs never go to sick call.

Real Chiefs have to go out and bring everyone back.

Real Chiefs know that you never wrestle with a pig because you both get dirty, and the pig likes it.

Real Chiefs never argue with an idiot because people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

Real Chiefs observe everything but admire nothing.

Real Chiefs know that they will always get what they in-spect, not what they ex-pect.

Real Chiefs agreed with John Wayne when he said, “Life is tough! But it’s tougher when you’re stupid!”

Real Chiefs know that no sailor is completely worthless, because worst case, they serve as a good bad example.

Real Chiefs know that there’s no help program like a self-help program.

Real Chiefs will tell you that, “If you are going to do something stupid, at least be smart about it.”

Real Chiefs can write up anyone they want.

Real Chiefs are the ultimate paradox. On the one hand they don’t give a crap, but on the other hand, Real Chiefs are very careful and precise.

Real Chiefs can find the best bar in any port by dead reckoning.

Real Chiefs paint their houses Navy Grey with their addresses taken from their favorite hull number.

Real Chiefs have a red and green buoy at the end of their driveways.

Real Chiefs eat lightning and crap thunder.

Real Chiefs consider a hurricane to be good sea trials.

Real Chiefs are the Navy.

Real Chiefs think that Ensigns, like diapers, should be changed often and for the same reason.

Real Chiefs know that once a job is fouled up, anything that is done to improve it only makes it worse.

Real Chiefs assume nothing is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood and they act accordingly.

Real Chiefs view land as a mere hazard to navigation.

Real Chiefs never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Real Chiefs never take the advice of someone who has not had their kind of trouble.

Real Chiefs know that if it is stupid but works, it is not stupid.

Real chiefs will tell you that you can survive on charm for about 5 minutes, after that, you’d better know something.

Real Chiefs know that assumption is the mother of all screw-ups.

Real Chiefs never assume they get the facts.

Real Chiefs do not confuse efforts with results.

Real Chiefs will give you three choices in any situation; change, accept or leave the Navy.

Real Chiefs think multi-tasking is done in the shipyard head reading a newspaper.

Real Chiefs know that prior proper planning prevents piss poor performance.

Real Chiefs know that every part of the Chief’s initiation is an important part of becoming a Chief and don’t need to question it.

Real Chiefs refer to their wives as ComNavSoapSuds.

Real Chiefs know bull when listening to it, and are able to sell bull when spreading it

And they have been initiated, Not just pinned at a tea par

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The Typical Submariner Candidate in 1950 – Not Just Your Usual American Home Town Boy

theleansubmariner

The Typical Submariner Candidate in 1950 – Not Just Your Usual American Home Town Boy

The average 20 year old American male in 1950 shared a number of things. They were between 9-10 years old when Pearl Harbor was bombed so they grew up while the world was at war. Their entertainment was radio and movies and if they paid attention at all, they got their news from newspapers that were printed in their home towns.

Boys still wore pants and girls for the most part wore dresses. Very few had ever traveled further than their hometowns and even fewer had ever been on an airplane. Trains, busses and trolleys were the main mode of public transportation and cars were just beginning the Golden Age as the war ended and the automotive industry shifted back from making war machines to making dream machines.

From 1948 until 1973, during both peacetime…

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Black Tot Day

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Bullets and Bolos

Bullets and Bolos

A book review…

By Garland Davis

Recently my shipmate Ken Ritter gifted me an e-book written by John R. White, a man who served in the embryotic Philippine Constabulary during the period 1901 through 1915. The book was originally published in 1928 and republished this year.

It was a seminal time in Philippine history. The Philippines had been ceded to the United States by Spain after their defeat in the Spanish-American war. The Spanish had viewed the P.I. as a possession whose purpose was to serve the King of Spain. The Filipino tribesmen were little more than slaves and were basically left to their own pursuits unless a Spanish official wanted their labor, their possessions, or their women.

The Catholic church saw the islands as a land of heathens to be converted to the church. They established churches and monasteries on many of the northern islands. The southern islands were peopled by the Moro tribesmen who practiced a form of Islam and were wont to send the Catholics on to meet their God.

Into this conglomeration of islands and tribal cultures, the United States was determined to bring law and order and a semblance of peace and cooperation among the varying parties.

The author was a junior officer in the Constabulary tasked with recruiting and training Filipinos to act as quasi-soldiers in various areas and islands in the Archipelago. He details the battles against bandits and robbers and operations with the military.

Unlike many writers of the period, he speaks from the authority of many years of living and fighting with and against the locals of the many islands.

Excerpts from the book:

“When account is taken of the fact that there were no American women within a score of miles, and that those of our fellow countrywomen whom we occasionally saw were mostly of that angular variety that devotes itself to pedagogy (teachers), is it to be wondered that the soft charms of Encarnacion, Conchita, Consuela, Aurelia, Paz—the very names of the girls carry a seductive lilt—seemed real and not at all exotic to two youths whose hot young blood was stimulated by climate, food, and drink.”

“In the tropics, there is no spring with balmy breath and bursting buds; no autumn with the first crisp frost to sere leaves and make the garden flowers droop their heads; there is only the quick transition from dust and drought to mud and moisture.”

“I often think that our best and perhaps only reward for Philippine service will be the satisfaction of work well done and friends ‘grappled with hoops fo steel.’”

“The attitude of American women in the islands is natural enough. Fear motivates us all, and the American women, whose charms often faded under the tropical sun, might well fear the seductive little brown women who blended so well ”with the climate and the palms and the white-hot nights'”

“What, I wonder, will be history’s verdict on our action in keeping the overflowing millions of China out of the almost unoccupied land of Canaan at their feet. And what people in history have had the luck of the Filipinos to find a protecting nation apparently willing to sacrifice her own interests and put a dam across all economic and racial currents in order to give them a chance to work out their own salvation, unsubmerged by the Chinese flood to the north? Every Filipino boy and girl should nightly kneel at prayers and say ‘God bless Uncle Sam and keep him generous for all time.’”

The book is a good read and refutes the claims of many around the world that the United States had and has colonial aspirations.

I highly recommend it

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“Raise a glass to you all…”

“Raise a glass to you all…”

Another sea story from Mars.

By Glenn Hendricks

So there we are. Steaming along nicely around 16 knots (70 turns if I recall correctly) middle of the night. I can’t recall but I hadn’t made 3rdyet so this was maybe 1974. Two boilers on line #1 and #2, # 3 is cold and in parts. It’s been a quiet watch and the oncoming guys are in the hole. BTs and MMs exchanging the status, bullshitting and getting ready to get out and hit the rack.

Now the Mars had a combined fire/engine room, the throttle board was in front of the engine and the water drum was forward of the throttle station. Just to set the stage.

I’ve turned the throttles over to my relief and started walking aft and port to the ladder out when a BANG followed by a huge roar from the lower level of the fire rocked the hole. Steam erupted from the fireroom lower level in a shriek I’d never heard before or since. The entire front of boiler #2 was engulfed.

I sprinted back to the throttle board and saw the steam pressure diving, the MMOW told me to trip the SSTGs and I ran over to knock them offline. The lights cut out immediately and all we could hear was that ungodly shriek of steam. In what seemed like a lifetime the emergency diesel started up and we had lights again.

The throttle man told the bridge that we’d had a boiler explosion of some kind. They hit the GQ alarm on the bridge and so we had that damn horn going off in counterpoint to the steam, shouting and swearing. The oncoming EEOW was the BT div chief, he’d gone down to the burner area, the off-going EEOW was the A div MM chief and he held the fort down till the Chief Engineer (Lt. Cmdr. Norr) took over for GQ.

The shriek slowly died away as the main steam went from 600 PSI to zero. As the sound diminished the steam cloud in the lower level dissipated until we could see the BT’s fighting the burner front of #2. We secured everything we could, at this point with no steam it was just a matter of closing valves and restarting a few cooling water pumps. The BTs had a fire hose deployed facing the burner front and nearly all of them were saturated with ND fuel oil. One of the burner plates was sprung and a fuel line had busted soaking everyone within range. The hose was only partially charged, we only had about 20 PSI on the fire main.

A downcomer tube had ruptured in the firebox. It had a splint on the long axis and peeled open for about 10 inches. The superheated steam snuffed the fire immediately, sprung one of the burners and poured all the steam in the system up the stack. #1 boiler was drug offline through the hole and had low water out of sight before they could trip it.

We were dead in the water. No fire main pressure, six inches of fuel sloshing around in the bilges and locked into the engine room. We were at GQ and Repair 5, knowing that we didn’t have fire main pressure dogged the hatches from outside to make sure any problem couldn’t spread.

Mr. Norr was a mustang, had served for about 24 or 25 years by this point I think and as he lit up a Newport he said “smoking lamp is lit’. He sent me up to the ‘sky valve’ on the O3 or O4 level to vent aux steam. Then, methodically directed us in getting the plant back online. He stood there, listening to the reports, cup of coffee in one hand, cig in the other, marking down items with a grease pencil on the board as the BTs put #3 boiler back together, got it lit off and up to pressure in near-record time. He had the electricians swap the loads around so we could get the electric fire pump up and running.

All during this time, the phone talker was reporting semi-panic on the deck. Guns were manned and ready to load, it apparently sounded like a bomb had gone off and people didn’t know what had happened.

Mr. Norr had us bringing steam online at around 400 PSI if I recall correctly, then we had enough steam to get the steam pumps going, then to get one SSTG up on minimum power. Slowly we brought the plant back up on #3 boiler. We were still dead in the water but we had lights, fire main and then the blessed blowers to give us some air.

My dungarees were soaked through with sweat, we all were sopping with it. Our hands shook from the effort and energy we’d expended, I honestly don’t know how long it took us, it felt like a lifetime but probably was a couple of hours at most. Once steam was restored and the lights were on we secured GQ. We had the entire division down in the hole for a while then Mr. Norr sent all but the watchstanders out to get some sleep. It was another hour or more ’til we could make headway.

We gathered at the base of the starboard ladder into our berthing compartment. BT’s were against the hull, the MMS in the racks next to them. We all sat around, smoking and talking in those slightly too shrill, edgy voices, reliving the past couple of hours, high on the jangle of adrenaline burn out.

We were damn lucky, the split could have faced the boiler wall and cut through filling the engine room with superheated steam. That would have been all she wrote. Fire in the bilges would have done for us as well. I asked the MPA (he was Repair 5 leader) later what he’d have done if a fire had started when we were in the hold. He said ‘raise a glass to you all’. He’d have had to keep the hatches closed to save the ship. We knew that.

We’d been in combat and survived. We fought fire and steam and survived. This wasn’t the kind of combat you get ribbons for; the enemy wasn’t wearing a uniform and didn’t use guns or bombs. The enemy was the power we harnessed. We’d made it.

It was at once the most frightening and exhilarating moment of my life to that point.

Eventually, we were able to sleep.

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The First American Legion and the Preparedness Day Bombing of 1916

theleansubmariner

2019 is the Centennial of the American Legion. But did you know that there was another organization that claimed that name first? Not only that, but one of the founders of that earlier group was a Roosevelt too. Only this time, it was Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, former President of the United States of America.

That first organization was founded in the wake of the beginnings of the First World War. In August of 1914, Germany began a conflict which would soon entangle most of Europe and eventually the entire globe either directly or indirectly. This savage war was a conflict that would see the evolution of the warfare in ways no one had even dreamed possible on the day it began.

The old ways of fighting land wars involved large armies massing across from each other and having decisive battles filled with strategic movements and flanking maneuvers. The war that…

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Boot Camp

Boot Camp

By Garland Davis

Fifty-eight year ago, July 20th was my third day in the Navy and my first day in “Boot Camp” at RTC San Diego. I spent the 18th, my 17th birthday, at the Armed Forces Induction Center in Raleigh, NC taking tests, a physical exam, and coughing for the doctor while he held my nuts. I remember wondering what they held while the females were coughing in the other room.

After the tests and physicals were completed for all of us there, they lined us up and an Army Officer came in and completed our enlistment by rendering the oath. Since it was late in the day, we were given vouchers for a seedy hotel (the hookers were probably ashamed to take a John to such a rundown joint) about a block away and told us to report at 0600 the next morning for our records and travel vouchers. We were warned for the first of many times that failure to report when and where ordered by a superior was an offense and we would be severely punished.

The next morning we were given envelopes with our meager records, vouchers for air travel to our respective boot camps’ An olive drab Army bus dropped us at the airport after dropping the soldiers bound for Georgia at the train station. I would fly from Raleigh to Chicago where I would change for a flight to San Diego. There was a long wait in Chicago and a stop in Albuquerque. We finally arrived in San Diego about 2130. We reported to the Shore Patrol booth as instructed and were told to wait for a bus. I grabbed a couple of candy bars from a kiosk and was glad that I did. Breakfast was a long way off.

The bus carried us to RTC. I remember wondering, as we entered the gate what awaited. I had a pretty good idea. I had read the books and seen the movies about boot camps and was prepared. I did push-ups for half a year before enlisting just to be ready. The entire time I was there, no one ever insisted that I do a push up except at PT.

As soon as the doors opened, three or four people were yelling at us to hurry off the bus and line up on the footprints. Another bus came in and they filled out the footprints. Once all the prints in the group had a person on them, a short Chief Petty Officer had us do a left face and told us we were in Company 310, that he was BMC Jones and we would be the best company in San Diego, even if it killed us.

He marched(?) us to an empty barracks full of unmade bunks. He informed us that the place was a shithouse and we were to clean it. Buckets and swabs were distributed and we scrubbed that room. There was a buffer that tried to do bodily harm to us before this geeky looking guy from who Boston finally figured out how to operate it.

About midnight the CC finally admitted that the place was as clean as civilians could get it and pointed to a stack of fart sacks (mattress covers) and blankets, told us to make the bunks and go to sleep. He said, “Reveille is early.” At 0400, he was back, banging on a shitcan with what I would later learn was a foxtail. He chewed our asses out for being scrounges and made us shower. Then we had to clean the barracks again because we had fucked it up.

It was just starting to get light in the east when he marched (?) us to the galley for breakfast. That was the first of many times I heard the term “Nuts to Butts.” I don’t remember what I ate for that first meal. All I had had since Chicago the previous day was a candy bar, I had given the other one to one of the guys who was probably as hungry as I was, so whatever it was I scarfed it up. I remember the coffee was good. I had become a black coffee addict while working the night shift at the original, and at the time, the only Krispy Kreme doughnut facility.

After breakfast, we marched back to the barracks, recovered whatever baggage we had brought with us and went for our haircuts. I had gotten a “Boot Camp” haircut from my ex-Marine barber before I left NC. The guy put me in the chair and ran the clippers over my head. It was his rice bowl, he collected twenty-five cents for each haircut.

Our next stop was Clothing Issue. We went through the line with a seabag, sailors handing us clothing items and yelling for us to move the line. After we had received everything, we were taken to another building, handed a stencil with name and service number and other recruits on their Service Week stenciled the shit out of everything in that bag and the bag itself. After the stenciling was finished, we were made to get naked and dress ourselves in the mothball smelling dungarees. Next stop, carrying that unwieldy bag and our luggage was a place where you could mail the luggage home or donate it to the needy. There was nothing in that old AWOL bag that was worth the cost of mailing it to NC, so I just threw it in the donation bin. All I had left of NC was my wallet and a few pictures.

From there we were marched across the bridge to our barracks for the first three weeks of our training. According to the Chief, they were a shithouse and needed cleaning immediately. We spent the next few days learning the difference between attention, parade rest, at ease, lolly-gagging, and grab-assing. The last two could cause you to run around this big-assed parking lot that he called a “Grinder.” We learned to march and the different movements as well as how to stand in ranks for hours while he dreamed up shit for us to do.

While we were doing all this, we scrubbed all the cotton clothing, because they were dirty, of course. We learned the proper way to fold the clothes and to stow them in the locker. When an inspector found an improperly stowed locker, we all had to rewash our “dirty” clothes and restow the locker. We learned to check each other and make sure all was proper.

Oh hell, I forgot mention Clothes Stops. Our freshly washed clothing had to be tied on the lines with a proper square knot. Nothing as mundane as clothespins. And if the inspector found a knot, other than a square knot, we all had to rewash our clothes because he would cut them all off the line and leave them on the ground.

And we marched, did we ever march. Sometime during all this activity, we were issued 1903 Springfield’s which we hung suspended by clothes stops below the bunk, but if you fucked up for some reason you got to put it inside your fart sack and sleep on it. We learned to march with it, to stack it and to exercise with it. An infraction of the many rules could cause you to run numerous times around the grinder attempting to hold it at high port.

The only time I was individually punished, I was watching an airplane taking off from Lindbergh Field. The Chief made me spend the morning chasing planes as they took off. I had to yell, “Wait for me Sir” as I chased the planes. We were often punished as a group for infractions caused by one person. In the second week, Company 310’s Smoking Lamp was extinguished for the rest of the time we were in Boot. Only if I had taken the opportunity to quit at that time!

We moved off the island to a filthy barracks on the main side which, of course, had to have a field day, though the decks were still wet from the company that had moved out. The first thing after moving was Service week. Company 310 went to the Galley where we washed dishes, pots and pans, scrubbed decks, and helped the cooks. The day at the galley started at 0400 and ended about 2000. Our clothes still needed scrubbing and the barracks turned filthy during the day and had to be cleaned. During that week you went to bed, or as we had learned to say, hit the rack exhausted and awakened tired to the bone.

Some way, we made it through Service Week like the millions who had gone before us and settled into an easier training routine which consisted of classes and practicing for the graduation ceremony.

Somewhere about the sixth or seventh week, I began to wake up feeling good. The classes were easy, the marching was learned muscle memory. I no longer had to think when the Chief gave a command, my body just reacted with the proper move.

The next few weeks are a blur. Everything was routine and mundane. The last week, we received our blues from the tailor and we were marched to the place on the base where we could buy our tickets for home or our next duty station.

The night before Graduation Day, we packed our seabags with everything except the whites we would wear for graduation and the blues we would wear traveling. Somewhere along the way, we had turned in the Springfield’s and the leggings.

I remember Chief Jones shaking my hand and saying, “Good job sailor, perhaps I’ll see you in the fleet.” The moment that I knew I was a sailor

PS: There is so much I’ve forgotten to mention, The leggings, The Duty Belts, The watches, The Chit books, The asshole inspections for dingleberry’s before being permitted in the swimming pool and so much more.

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