Wednesday, September 28, 2011

“Able Bodied ‘Canoe Club’ Seaman”

After a young ‘Crackerjack’ graduates from his/her intended ‘Canoe Club’ trade school, they will not automatically become a proficient member of Naval Society! OHHHHH No… No… Nooo!! While at the bottom of the evolutionary food chain their duties as an able bodied Seaman will be many and varied!! They will be called upon to operate and maintain many different kinds of complicated seagoing equipment!! These will be things such as the likes of Swabs… Cadillac’s… General Purpose Bottles as well as sponges, brooms, and green weenies!!!

Once this has been established, they will clean the same bulkhead… overhead… or horizontal surfaces as many times necessary until either the paint chafe’s off or their dick skinners start to bleed, whichever comes first! They must be a personal servant and be patient at having someone inspect them every day to make sure they’re clothed properly with spit shined shoes on the right feet at all times!!
Operating hand tools, gages and instruments effectively are an essential part of everyday life onboard ship… Because not only will they not be doing the job they were trained for over the next two years, but they’ll surely get stuck with as many additional duties, working parties, fire parties, and berthing cleaner assignments as humanly possible!!!

They’ll also find training to be an essential filler of time while spending  99.9% of their days at General Quarters, Abandon Ship, Mass Conflagrations, and umpteen million other drills to prepare for that .1% chance that they will ever use said skills again in an entire lifetime!!!

Whatever their title may be or wherever they’re stationed… they must know how to operate and maintain their equipment… even though they’ve spent most of their gauddamned dutiful time mess cranking, learning how to put out fires, maintain watertight integrity, performing basic 3M maintenance, and take an ass chewing from the Chief at a moment’s notice without ever setting foot in their parent workcenter!!!

If they find the need to use the ship’s computers… they will be expected to change their password every two or three days for OPSEC reasons… and don’t expect any help from the IT bunch! Those hired hands are down in the galley mess cranking, doing berthing cleaners or at some gauddamned working party on the pier!!!

If you find yourself to be an able bodied ‘Canoe Club’ Seaman then you must know that the Navy believes you have the many varied qualities necessary to take simple mundane tasks and break them down into nuclear physics terms while briefing the Skipper before carrying out evolutions less complicated than picking your nose or wiping your ass... then for some, ass wiping can be quite difficult!!!  

Now don’t get me wrong… I spent Twenty-Three years of my gauddamned life in what I call the ‘Canoe Club’ and it has its ups and downs. You would’a got a quick kick in the nuts if  you told me I was gonna last that long in the place they say to ‘Never Again Volunteer Yourself’!!!

But hey, I’m not complaining… as time past, I knew some where on the horizon I’d reach that day where I could kick off the ol’ boondockers and relax the uniform to a nice smoky bottle of scotch and enjoy some retirement pay!!!

Besides… it was a damned great excuse for killing a bunch’a brain cells back in my day!!!  Too bad today’s shipmates don’t get to enjoy the excess in sociable libations we had years ago… No thanks to Alcohol Deglamarization and the whole Gauddamned PC’ pooh-haaa crap!!!

Sooo… for all you able bodied ‘Canoe Club’ Seamen out there who think the Chiefs Mess is a place for a bunch of ol’ farts to sit around and twittle there thumbs all day… remember this,

“We’ve been there & done that!!!”

Chief ain’t gonna make you do nothing he wouldn’t have done himself… and besides, who’s ass do you think the Skipper bites his teeth into when one of you sons-a-bitches gets a DUI or ends up caught doing some dumb shit act you should’a been more stealthy at producing?!?!

The Chief…

Sooooo now… let's go on full steam ahead and let the journey begin to a challenging and vital role of sweeping water with a broom for hours every time it rains and painting over rusty colored oxidation & grimy dirt prior to the Admiral’s visit for extra brownie points!! And I don’t wanna hear no gauddamned whining or complain’n!!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

‘Unreps With Grape Ape’

Underway replenishment, “UNREPS,” is the transfer of fuel, ammo, food and other supplies between ships at sea and is the key factor allowing the Navy to operate across the vast expanses of Ocean anywhere on Earth. The ship's crew shoots a small line from one ship to the other using a special M-14 rifle, with more than one attempt sometimes if necessary. When the other ship retrieves the line, crew members begin pulling until the heavy, attached hawser extends across the water between the two vessels. The hawser is then heaved across with the fuel transfer tubing between the ships. This is an arduous if not dangerous task.

On board my first ship, USS Bagley, I was the Line Captain for the UNREP Green Team. On my team we had a rather large Radioman we called Grape Ape or “GA”. He was an intimidating 6’4” and about 300lbs. One day while in the Philippine Sea the waves were choppy with a bit of overcast as we were preparing to UNREP with the Rappahannock. “GA” was usually our anchor on the line as he was clearly the biggest guy in our 7 to 8 man team.

Just before the evolution took place I had noticed “GA” and another sailor clowning around. I yelled back to focus and stop the horseplay. “GA” just looked at me and gave me the bird. Now for those of you who know me well, I am a meager 5’6” tall and at the time a sheer 160lbs soak and wet. I walked back to the end by the flight deck and repeated myself in a firm and direct tone. “GA” stands over me in an intimidating manner and says, “What are you gonna do about it!” Not having the time to screw around with this guy I had to keep my wits and the whole team in order before I lost control of the situation. All of this was a must knowing that “GA”certainly had the physical ability to pound me into the nonskid like hammered shit.

With no hesitation I reached between his legs and grabbed a hold. A firm grip and an instant tug sent “GA” straight to the deck with a thud, on his knees, and a distinct shriek in his voice. Once I realized he had enough, I politely let go and left him on the flight deck to lick his wounds and regain his pride. He must have laid there for ten minutes before he left and went into the skin of the ship in utter humiliation.

At the end of the evolution the officer in charge asked me what the hell happened out there. I explained to him I felt some things just need to be handled swiftly and abruptly to get the job done. In my astonishment he applauded me for my actions and a job well done. But in today’s Navy I’d probably get charged with an Article 15 at Captain’s Mast and busted down in rank for assault. but that my friends is how it happened…..and that is a no shitter!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

'Another Bird Of A Feather'

Okay, so after the “shitbird” story I’ve gotten a few requests from ol’ shipmates to write a little more in detail about “Henry the Big Nosed FC”! So here it goes……..

For those who didn’t read the original script I’ll briefly rehash this little yarn to get it started. In 94-95 onboard the USS Rainier it was pulling into its new homeport of Bremerton, Wa as a precommissioned ship. FC2 Henry was sitt'n down reading a book in the Director Room on the 05 level when he decided to go to the Circuit Breaker and turn off the gaudamn equipment as it was too dang loud for him to concentrate. As a new ship the breakers were labeled by compartment number and not by name. Meanwhile the ship was being tied up pierside when the Bridge lost control of the ship moving forward with a barge 50ft in front, smok'n lines and all. As the lines started smok'n all hell broke loose! Engineering diverted the disaster taking control in the Central Control Room. Not really knowing what the hell was going on I called the Director room looking for our FC1 when whoever answered the phone picked the gaudamn thing up but never answered. All I heard was the Captain’s voice in the back ground in a tirade screaming a dozen or so four letter words in vein! Later I found out that one of those circuit breakers Henry turned off was to the Bridge Control Unit. Poor Henry found out Two months later that he made First Class but was not allowed to put it on and the Captain said he would not be allowed to take the rating exam again until he, the Captain, left. And so it was. Henry finally made First Class shortly after the new Skipper came onboard.

Now, the story about Henry doesn’t stop there. No, he was the Divisional Shitbird hands down. Shortly after ship’s commissioning while on duty, Henry was standing watch on the pier. It was rather chilly out so Henry was nestled up all nice and warm inside the pier sentry shack. I believe it was late afternoon and the Skipper had already gone home for the evening. But little did Henry know that the son-of-a-bitch was living in the Officer’s Quarters up on the hill overlooking the base. While Henry was standing watch he decided to take a seat on the gaudamn countertop inside the shack. Well, the Skipper while keeping an eye on his prized ship took notice of this minor discrepancy. He then called the Quarterdeck and had Henry removed from the pier watch. Now, you can only imagine just how upset the Duty Section Leader as well as fellow watchstanders must have been when they realized someone else would have to stand the watch….pissed all to hell. That was usually the reaction anytime Henry’s name came up.

Then of course was the Master-At-Arms incident. On the Rainier, we had a Chief Master-At-Arms and a First Class MA as well. Well the Skipper wanted a force of five but we were only billeted for two. So to make up for this discrepancy, he ordered the Department Heads to devised a rotation affording three extra bodies incrementing in three month tours in the Master-At-Arms shack. When our Division came up on the rotation, who better to get rid of than FC2 Henry. Well, I assure you the Master-At-Arms shack was not too pleased with our selection but he was an able body and we had our own Division to worry about. Well, it didn’t take Henry long to get fired from this detail. Within a matter of two weeks his ass was back in the Division with his tail between his legs. Apparently during a random urinalysis he lost sight of a piss bottle while observing one of our shipmates. This made the urinalysis null and void. The guys piss popped positive for THC but we could not hold him accountable because we could not prove the bottle was his or that it was even tampered with. So thanks to Henry, this guy got off on a technicality. Unfortunately for me, I was the only other Second Class in our Division so I had to take over as his replacement.

Then there was the Nato Seasparrow Magazine Sprinkler Test. While performing maintenance on the Nato Sprinkler System, Henry forgot to hook the hose up to the test casting on the bottom of the sprinker valve. This is to run the 150 PSI firemain pressure over the side of the ship instead of through the sprinklers and into the magazine. But without a hose, well….you get the picture. There is nothing worse than de-flooding a magazine of salt water after an incident like this. Even after the clean up, salt residue ends up in every crack, crevice and corner you could imagine. Then corrosion sets in, and it gets ugly!

Henry once told me a story about when he was younger, his sister and him were always at each others throats. He said one time after school his sister was giving him shit so he brought her horse from the barn into the house. He said he did this to annoy her…I thought, WTF!!! Why would anyone do something so ridiculous? Then he said his Dad was in his bedroom taking a shower…while he was all sudsy with soap the horse had managed to walk back into his bedroom, into the bathroom and nudge his Dad in the ass while gett’n all soaped up….Now, I have a pretty vivid imagination and I don’t know how you see this picture, but I’d be screaming bloody murder if I’m bent over in the shower all sudsy with soap gett’n nudged in my ass by a half ton horse!!

I asked Henry once what the hell he was thinking, and me being the kind of guy I am, why he always seemed to have his head up his ass? His answer, your not going to believe this shit, “God will decide my fate, there is nothing anyone can do or say that God can’t fix for me.” Wow, I was momentarily taken back after that statement. Then I says to Henry, “God gave you an asshole to shit with right? So use the brain he gave you to think with and stop expecting him to figure it all out for you!” Henry never much liked me after that….but then again, I never really much liked him either….

I guess the problem with the gene pool in Henry’s case is there is no lifeguard…..It’s hard to believe that out of ten million sperm he came in first place!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

“Is It Patricia or Patrick”

So there I was on the Good Ship Rainier….the best I’ve served on in the fleet to date! Well at least that is my perspective anyway. While serving onboard this great vessel I had the opportunity to get chartered out to the Master-At-Arms Office for three months thanks to good ol’ Henry the Big Nosed FC from a previous story!

You see Henry fell victim to a rash of criminal discrepancies while enduring the task of urinalysis coordination or for those not in the Navy, Penis Gawkers. Unlike in the civilian world, when the Navy has a urinalysis we have to watch the pee leave the organ. This of course is to prevent the alluring proposition of a “Urinater” or other commercial product that may destroy the integrity of this great operation...and apparently Henry wasn't doing it right!! So yes, I got to watch other guys pee!!! The joy of my life…That’s what I joined the Navy for…and my buddy Joey told me before I joined that I should always carry Soap on a Rope!! WTF…

So, there I was, acting as the ship’s Penis Gawking Super Cop with a nice shiny badge on my chest pissing in everyones wheaties every morning brow beating shipmates late for quarters, correcting their uniform discrepencies or giving the white glove treatment during berthing inspections. Yes I was a star candidate, so much that some of my colleagues would soon submit to me as the keystone copper!

Then there was the head of the MA force. A rather androgynous individual with a robust voice and profusely sweating armpits. Master-At-Arms Senior Chief Pat was her name, as she was a some what overweight character with short, curly black hair who wore glasses and walked like a dude with an attitude! Does this sound familiar to any of you? Yes she pose a striking resemblance to Pat O’Neil Riley from Saturday Night Live! Is it Patricia or Patrick…who knows? People would first meet MACS Pat and then go to great lengths to discover Pat's true gender without being so rude as to actually ask…hahaha.. No, we all knew what she was..or did we? I think some even referred to her as Barney Fife in reference to her Police Officer prowess and suspicious mentality!

But frankly speaking Pat, as she was informally known as inside the office and I’m sure in the Chief’s Mess at the time, was really a pretty cool cat! She was misunderstood, and once told me she used that in her favor. She didn’t mind the cackling and jokes because it prevented her from getting too familiar with anyone in the line of her duties… I think I understand that even more now as a Chief in the Navy. But at the time I thought it a bit odd as to why anyone would want to be referred to as a man/she!!Then I met her husband…now wait a minute…I’m not gay, but I can tell a good looking guy when I see one and this guy was one hansome devil..what the hell was he doing with her? I still can’t figure it out to this day, but there was definitely something out of place with that picture. I guess you really can’t judge a book by it’s cover!!

In the end I had a pretty good tour working as a “Keystone Copper” and gained a lot of respect from the upper chain of command. I also had new found respect for ol' Pat. The things we learn sometimes when we see life from a different perspective….


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

‘That Ol’ Familiar White Hat’

Upon that fateful decision to join the ‘Ol’ Canoe Club’ while leaving the security of childhood… I had an idea of what going on the town in a ‘Crackerjack’ uniform might be like! Right or wrong… it was what it was… and thanks to the few ol’ Navy movies I’d seen before my time with the likes of Fred Astaire, Dick Van Dyke, Steve Mcqueen, and Abbot & Costello!?!? Quite a variety of hooligans to run across that gamut… but one thing that stuck out the most was the ol’ White Hat!!!
That old Canvas Crown went by plenty of names… ‘Dixie Cup’, ‘Rag Hat’, ‘Dog Bowl’, and ‘Squid Lid’… just to name a few! Worn back on top of the old noggin, some liked the ends rolled… some liked them fitted with ‘gull wings’… and some liked e’m looking like they came straight off the shelf…
However soiled, weathered, or crisp & white… the old trusty White Hat was our global token to society… our motif… our image of the fight’n spirit to defend freedom and democracy around the world… Oh, and courting the ladies, drink’n beer, impressing members of the opposite sex, drinking whiskey, butterfly’n foreign dames, drinking rum, going in debt on bar girls, drink’n pure grain panther piss and chas’n girls… Did I miss anything???
Yep, there’s a reason they say sailors have a girl at every port… we were known for being worldwide Casanova beer swilling… carousing the streets kind of fellas!!!
 That’s the image I had in my mind’s eye wearing a tilted back White Hat… Hanging out on some breezy South Pacific Island Beach in the Sun & Surf with the smell of coconut oil in the air, a Mai Tai in one hand & an Island Girl in the other…
Can you say “Aloha… Pina Colada… and Komaniwannalaya all in one sentence???
Yeppers… the ol’ White Hat was the trademark of good ol’ American Swagger!!! As the ol’ cadence goes,
♪♪“Everywhere we go… People wanna know… whooo we are… where we come from!!!” ♪♪
Even in the military hating, God fearing, liberal world of Hollywood you can see White Hat Cameos in almost any film!!! Just look real gaudamned hard… they’re there!! I promise!!!
In just about every foreign port & every far eastern country… you can still find that long standing symbol of the masters of the sea!!! We are the good guys… boosting the economies of our foreign neighbors afar… spending money on girls, beer, poker and anything else irrationally foolish to a typical landlubber!!!
But ‘Sailor Beware’ as White Hats tend to disappear at Fleet Landings, Go-Go Bars, Irish Pubs… and other dutiful establishments of ceremonial libations as ladies, lackeys, and jealous ‘Marines’ like to steal the canvas badge of honor for their own selfish deeds!!!
I remember I had to bury my White Hat when I became a Navy Chief… the fond memories of hitt’n the beach… pass’n by shore patrol,
Hey shipmate, Square that hat away!!!”
That’s when you gave the middle finger salute and high tailed it into the crowd!!!
Or the time in Subic City when Honey Koe wants drink,drink after longtime pucky sucky no-shit and the only thing you had to hide your family jewels on the way to the bar downstairs was the trusty ol’ White Hat… would your best friend do that for ya?!?!?
I hope the Navy in all its wisdom never phases out the Ol’ White Hat… Lord knows they’ve done their best to rid the ol’ Drunken Sailor image with a gal at every port… Even the damned ‘Lone Sailor’ monument is outside Navy Regulations… but one Gaudamned thing is for certain…
The White Hat was… is… and always will be the hallmark of the Enlisted Navy Sailor!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

‘Needing Time Off’

You know… In enjoying my retirement from the Ol’ Canoe club, I keep being reminded of how many times I had said there was no way in hell that I would stay in the Navy any longer than my first enlistment could possibly allow… I won’t go into why I ended up making twenty plus years outta the damned thing, but I gotta tell ya, there’s a reason why ‘Civilian Life is preferred…

There was a saying I remember went like a weatherman’s forecast only it seemed a bit more accurate than your local ‘Woppler’s Doppler’ on Channel Seven…

“Well as the forecast goes, Yesterday sucked, today sucked, and tomorrow is going to suck as well with a tad bit of moisture… and that’s a pretty solid forecast for the rest of the week!!!”

Yep, life usually takes on a pretty harsh role when you’re at the bottom of the food chain as a personal servant for every gaudamned shipmate that outranks you!!!

Another one of the most demoralizing and uncomfortable things that made life shitty was all those gaudamn ‘random’ drug tests we used to have… As a young ‘Crackerjack’ I was picked for every damned urinalysis under the sun. Don’t think too many people can say they’ve taken over fifty drug tests in a two or three year period without being on parole or actually in prison… even prison life nowadays could be better than we had it haze grey & under way back then…

So naturally a little extra liberty was refreshing from time to time…  But all be gaudamned if you couldn’t get a break for anything!!! Hell, going to medical with a severe case of chest pains and a slight fever would get ya’ a

“Come back during sick-call tomorrow morning” kinda thing!!

You see, in the civilian world… these sons-a-bitches can pretty much call in sick or take time off whenever they see fit!!! Hell at my current job, if I need time off I don’t even need a reason… but in the Ol’ Canoe club if you call in because you’ve got car troubles… the whole gaudamn world is gonna come to an end!!! If you want time off… and if it’s warranted… you have to put in a gaudamned Special Request chit Seventy Two hours in advance for prior approval… if your lucky!!!

But there was this one fella… got away with the smoothest scam for the longest time… but pulled it too often and finally got caught!!!

It wasn’t one of them ‘My battery is dead and I need a jump’ gimmicks!!!

Nope… You see like I said before… we had one of them ‘random’ drug tests about twice a month onboard ship when I was on the Rainier… every morning the Master-At-Arms would post the list of lucky donators of liquid gold in the berthing compartments on each door leading to the head… hopefully to preclude many from taking that early morning piss before filling the bottle!!!

Since this list was usually posted before reveille… and since said shipmate got his forewarning before quarters even came about… he’d head to the opposite side of the Quarterdeck not being used and contact his wife to call the ship for some said emergency… ‘wife needs to be taken to the emergency room’ or ‘wife is stranded on the other side of town on the highway’ type of thing… so he would get ushered off the ship every gaudamned time his name came up on the Command Drug Urinalysis list!!!

Ol’ boy must’ve gotten away with it um’teen million times until the one day his name came up and his Leading Petty Officer just sooo happened to be the Officer Of the Deck (OOD)… so when he got that phone call to come to the Quarterdeck… the OOD told him he could gooo… as soon as he provided a sample of his liquid gold to the Master-At-Arms!!!

Ol’ boy knew he’d been made out… even fretted and told the OOD his wife better be okay or he’d be in deep shit!!! But his Con-game had already been sniffed out!!! You can only play the same card so many times before they figure you out you know…

But I gotta tell you… I don’t know how many times he played that card and got away with it… it was so under the radar that no one questioned it for the longest time…

And with that I reenlisted about three or four more times and had to put in a request chit to retire… because no matter how much I might’ve hated my gaudamned job… I had to respectfully request to get a new one… and even then my Chain-Of-Command had to approve… 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

'Pleas'n the Skipper'

A young Officer was leaving the Admin office at 1800 hours when he found the Skipper standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in hand.

“Listen,” said the Skipper,
 “This is important, and all my yeomen have left. Can you make this thing work?”

“Certainly,” said the young Officer. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.

“Excellent, excellent!” said the Skipper as his paper disappeared inside the machine.
 “I just need one copy.”

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Ever do maintenance in the Navy and come across one of them damned Mil-Spec numbers??? Of course you have… bet you didn’t know where they came from though???
An ol’ Crusty Chief told me this one… it sounds about right for a no shitter!!!!
The US Standard railroad gauge for distance between the rails is specifically four feet & eight and one half inches. That's an extremely odd number if I say so myself... Why was that gauge used? Because that's the way they built the sons-a-bitches in England, and the US railroads were built by English expatriates.
Why did the English people build the damned things like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the London tramways before the railroads… and  sooo… that’s the gauge they used.
Why did "they" use that gauge then? Okay… fair enough!!! Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that same wheel spacing.
Okay… Why did the wagons use that odd wheel spacing, that’s pretty peculiar? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing the wagons would break on some of the old, long distance roads, because that's the spacing of the old wheel ruts in those old roads.
So who caused these old ruts in the old rutted roads? The first long distance roads in Europe were built by Imperial Rome for the benefit of their legions. The roads have been used ever since… and the ruts??? The initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of obliterating their wagons, were first made by Roman war chariots. Since the chariots were made for, or by Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.
Thus, we have the answer to the original questions. The United States standard railroad gauge of four feet & eight and one half inches derives from the original specification (Military-Spec) for an Imperial Roman army war chariot. Thus, Mil-Specs and bureaucracies live forever.
So, the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse's ass came up with That… you may be exactly right!!!  Because the Imperial Roman chariots were made to be just wide enough to accommodate the asses of two war horses.

Sailor & The Pope

The Pope And A Sailor Both Pass Away On The Same Day, And In A Mix Up, The Pope Goes To Hell And The Sailor Goes To Heaven.
So God Calls Down To Hell And Says, "lucifer, I Think We Have A Mix Up Here. I've Got One Of Yours, And You've Got One Of Mine. So Why Don't You Just Send The Pope Up, And I'll Send You The Sailor."
So The Pope Begins To Float Up, And Halfway He Meets The Sailor. "how Ya Doin?" Says The Sailor.
"Glorious," Says The Pope, "when I Get To Heaven I'm Going To Walk With St.peter, Talk With God, And Visit The Virgin Mary."
Well The Sailor Begins To Laugh Out Loud. The Pope Asks "what's So Funny?" The Sailor Cooly Replies,
"Sir, I Think Your About 3 Hours Too Late!!!"


A sailor trying to sneak back to his ship about 3 o'clock in the morning was spotted by a Chief who ordered him to explain his tardiness. The lame explanation didn't work.
"Take this broom and sweep every link on this anchor chain by morning or it's the brig for you,"

The Chief said.

The sailor began to sweep, but a tern landed on the broom handle and he couldn't continue. He yelled at the bird, but it didn't budge. He finally plucked it off the broom and gave it a toss. But the bird came right back and again landed on the handle. Over and over, the same routine was repeated. A toss, one sweep, and the bird was back.
When morning came, the Chief also was back.
"What have you been doing all night? This chain is no cleaner than when you started!"
“Honest… Chief!”
Said the sailor,
"I tossed a tern all night and couldn't sweep a link."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

‘Crusty Old Chief & Dames’

A crusty old Chief found himself at a gala event downtown, hosted by a local (strictly women's) liberal arts college. There was no shortage of extremely young, idealistic ladies in attendance, one of whom approached the Chief for conversation.

She said, "Excuse me, sir, but you seem to be a very serious man. Are you this way all the time, or is something bothering you?"

"No," the Chief said, "just serious by nature."

The young lady looked at his awards and decorations and said, "It looks like you have seen a lot of action."

The Chief's short reply was, "Yep, a lot of action."

The young lady, tiring of trying to start up a conversation, said, "You know, you should lighten up a little - relax and enjoy yourself."

The Chief just stared at her in his serious manner.

Finally the young lady said, "You know, I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but when is the last time you had sex?"
The chief continued to stare at her and replied, "1955."

She said, "Well, there you go; you really need to chill out and quit taking everything so seriously - I mean, no sex since 1955, isn't that a little extreme?"

The Chief, glancing at his watch, said in his matter-of-fact voice, "Oh, I don't know. It's only 2130 now!"

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

‘When Hell Freezes Over’

Some of you out there who might remember, there was a time when carrying a firearm onboard ship didn’t make a hell of a lot a’ sense…  
There’s not much I agree with in the direction of today’s Crackerjack Canoe Club, but one thing they finally got right is the Condition One firearm!! Yep… If you’ve been around for more than a few years… there was a time we carried the ol’ .45 caliber (great gun by the way) in Condition Four! That means all the ammo is removed with the chamber empty and the safety on… I asked my Crusty ol’ Chief who once served as a seaman on Noah’s Ark if and when we’ll ever get to load our weapons and he tells me,
I mean really, what kind’a gaudamned nonsense was that!?!?!?  
Thus somewhere between the events of 9/11 and Hell Freezing over… AT LAST… we finally got to put those damn weapons in Condition One!!!  For all you land lubb’n non military types… Condition One has the ammo loaded into the magazine with a round in the chamber ready to fire… the safety mechanism is your only Savior from a bad day on the Quarterdeck!!! 
But I suppose I would prefer Condition four over an exciting state of affairs of what would become filled with a piss your pants adventure and unwanted recognition in the form of a Fleet Wide Navy Message!!!
Some of the less fortunate yet pitiful situations that I’ve pulled out of dormancy in my memories could make a person wonder why the hell certain people would be given the gaudamned right to handle a firearm in the first place… In the immortal words of Lee Ermey… ‘Some of these Jackwagons should head right back to Mamby-Pamby Land with their tail between their legs right after they pull their heads outta their asses!!!!
It used to be that we did Gun Qualifications in the middle of the ‘Deep Blue’ when ever chance would allow… and all you had to be able to do to pass was aim off the end of the ship’s fantail and manage to hit the ocean… a mighty big target if I say so myself… of course you had to show that you weren’t overwhelmed with anxiety issues when handling that little mechanical trigger-’BANG’… cause we didn’t want anyone pissing their pants or pull’n a Barney Fife and tak’n out their foot in the middle of watch!!! 
Then right after checking onboard the USS Rainier they finally let us put the weapons in 'Condition Three' with a magazine full of bullets in the gun but not in the chamber... We had a gun qual  that for the first time was actually on shore… We went to a real live range with real targets and a possible ribbon certification if you showed you were handy enough with a sidearm!!!
But you know there is a reason they have the Darwin Awards every year… as they say,
“There are those who posthumously are better off for no longer contributing to the human gene pool.”
But some weren’t so gaudamned lucky!!! We had one fella’ at that there gun range who was soooo hyped up and nervous he pulled the trigger instead of putt’n on the safety and shot the rafters up above!!! Don’t know if that ever happened before but the Range Master would never let him  back on the range again… probably a good thing before he killed somebody… nevermind the fact he turned and unintentionally pointed his weapon at the Range Master when he was asked what the hell he was doing!!!
If that didn’t make matters any worse… a few months after the ship arrived to its new Homeport in Bremerton, Washington, a couple of the Gunnersmate types decided to head out to one of the local watering holes.  I suppose one of the fellas decided he was gonna go out with a bang ‘Gansta Style’!!! 
After kicking back a few beers and hitt’n the dance floor with one of the local dames… Gunner #1 accidentally discharged a handgun from inside his coat pocket through the crowd hitting Gunner #2 in the arm…
Now…  I don’t know what ya’ll think about the whole magic bullet concept but it must’a been a one helluva gaudamned miracle that in a crowd as much as a hundred or so people, one bullet managed to ricochet from one side of the club to the other only to find its way to the one person that came with ‘Gunner #1’ that night!!!
These Sons-a-Bitches were supposed to be the all mighty educated firearm masters of the shipboard Universe!! But it seems they were about as damn competent as Plexico Burress having a night out on the town if you ask me!!!
Then just a few years before the 9/11 attacks and a couple of incidents akin to some derelict using the butt of his gun as a hammer and putt’n a hole in his leg while on watch or the one incident that rings clearly in my head…
Muscat Oman, and we were pierside with the USS Stump alongside utilizing hotel services from our portside... I can still hear the Crack! Clunk!! WHIZZzzzz!!!... as a bullet ricocheted across the ship!!! Somehow the Quarterdeck watch on the Stump was getting relieved and he managed to discharge a round as he was clearing his weapon on the fantail… and as luck would have it the Chief of Naval Operations was in town to give a speech on our forecastle as part of his Fifth Fleet Tour…
Then a fella off the Rentz was tell’n me how they were plane guard for the Kitty Hawk on that same deployment…
He said the OOD had noted the crew on the carrier appeared to be practicing a bit of small arms off their fantail so he radio’d the Shitty Kitty’s Bridge,
“Kitty Hawk this is Rentz, are you aware of the small arms fire off of your fantail?”
To which the Shitty Kitty replies,
“That’s affirmative, Rentz.”
So the Rentz goes back,
“Are you also aware we are about a thousand yards astern of you?”
To which the Shitty Kitty responds,
“That’s affirmative, Rentz.”
So the Rentz replies as the junior ship,
“Could you please stop shooting at us?”
That folks is why they teach you math at an early age… so you can learn to put two and two together…
Sooo.. a few years of shore duty… 9/11 happens… Hell Freezes Over… and I’m back in the fleet!!! And Holy Shit Fire runn’n up hill through thorn bushes nekkitt… In a Hale Storm!!!
We’ve now got ‘Condition One’ Weapons on the Quarterdeck, the fantail, forecastle, and picket around the ship!!! Makes for one helluva watch turnover… and Duty Gunnersmate used to be a skate job… not anymore!!! 
So I come to the Mighty MOMSEN DDG 92 before it’s even commissioned and in todays ‘PC’ Navy… amongst all the Weapons Condition and Familiarization mumbo jumbo… and one of the young ‘Crackerjack’ fellas is the Duty Gunnersmate in the aft small arms locker!!!  As the watch was being relieved the passageway was secured to all passer-byes to keep clear for weapons exchange and security… The Duty Gunnersmate had already warned the Duty Electrician not to utilize the passageway as it was a security violation… but she failed to listen…
In seconds flat he pulled his Condition One weapon on her and had her face down on the deck… remember I said her… had this been a male it probably wouldn’t have been an issue…
Ol’ boy goes to the Chiefs Discipline Review Board (DRB) and Executive Officer’s Inquiry (XOI) and ends up getting his Gun Quals pulled for the better part of a year…
Now let’s go back to my very first ship and an FC3 I worked with was standing guard of some ASROC (possibly nuclear… possibly not) missiles when one of the Marines that were part of the ASROC security force approached him in a not so professional manner. He pulled his weapon on the marine and about made him shit his pants… he too was put on report, but when he was confronted by the Commanding Officer… the Skipper wanted to know why the hell FC3 didn’t shoot the Son-of-a-Bitch’!!!
My-Oh-My how times have changed over the years…
Now the poor sons-a-bitches are runn’n around the ship dressed in aquaflage with ‘Condition One’ Weapons in hand flipp’n through their gaudamned Politically Correct laminated ‘Rules of Engagement’ (ROE) cards wondering who and if they should aim their weapons at and rather or not they’ll get put in the brig for doing such things…
I tell ya, it takes a ‘Special Breed of Man’ or ‘Woman’ for that matter to deal with the hurdles they’re putt’n up infront of our young’ns these days… If I was wrong for the way I handled my weapon in my day then call me a slacker… dipshit… numbnutts… jackass… or whatever you want… I was the culprit who put my butterfinger in the magazine holder of my web-belt… hell we weren’t allowed to carry real ammo!!!
So here’s to you my fellow derelicts… if we were wrong… then I don’t wanna be right!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

“A Wise Chief Once Said”

A young Ensign approaches the crusty ole’ Chief and asks him about the origin of the commissioned officer insignias…
“Well” replied the Chief, “The Insignias for the Navy are steeped in history and tradition. First we give you a gold bar representing that you are very valuable but also malleable!”
The Chief goes on,
“The silver bar also represents significant value, but is less malleable. Now when you make Lieutenant, your value doubles, hence the two silver bars.  As a Captain, you soar over the military masses, hence the eagle.”
Still the Chief goes on,
“As an Admiral you are obviously a star… Does that answer your question Ensign??”
To that which the young butter bar replies,
“Yes Chief… but what about Lieutenant Commander and Commander??”
So the Chief says,
“That  goes waaaay back into history, back to the Garden of Eden..."
"You see we’ve always covered our pricks with leaves!!!!”