Wednesday, November 30, 2011

‘Army Of One’

I came across one of them ‘Demotivational’ posters the other day: Army Of One!!!

“Remember that kid, the one who ate glue? He’s behind the wheel of $$Five Million Dollars$$ now!”

Of course the picture displayed an Abrams Tank on its backside in a ditch somewhere in Iraq or Afghanistan…

I remember when the Army came up with that new motto, a sales pitch to modernize the ‘Be All You Can Be’ slogan!! Go figure… I was a recruiter at the time!!!

I thought to myself,

“An Army Of One… what the hell does that mean?”

How in gaudamned tarnation do you produce ‘espirit de corp’ outta that bunch’a blow it out your ass kinda bullshit?? They would’a been better off say’n something like,

“Army Teamwork… cause it gives the enemy someone else to shoot at!!!”
“Bravery is being the only one who knows your’e afraid!!!”

I mean, how in the hell do you create a well lubricated fight’n machine outta grunts who claim to be individual armies of one? Who is an army of one accountable too anyway… himself??

I figured if the Army was smart enough to figure out if the enemy is in range then so are you… they should’a figured out how to put together a better sales pitch!!!
I personally like the Seabees…

“The difficult we do immediately… the impossible takes a little longer!”

or the Navy Seals,

“The only easy day was yesterday!”

I remember the first ‘Army Of One’ commercial of some young fella running up a hill with his full pack on in desert weather… trying to prove he had what it took to be an Army Ranger…

Guess it didn’t work out too well for him… about six months later an article came out in the military times on how that poor young soldier failed out of Ranger Training cause he couldn’t hack it… guess they should’a screened a little better for a recruiting ad!!!

I fully took advantage of that article at 0600 hours in the morning as I posted it on the front glass door of the Army Recruiting Office of 71st Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma… right next to my office! Needless to say, those sons-a-bitches weren’t very humored… had a few death threats and a lot of banter back and forth!!! It also made for a great selling point when comparing services…

‘An Army Of One’… Just what kind’a whacky weed are those fellas in green smok’n anyway… maybe they need some rehab therapy… probably the reason they did away with the slogan!!!

The Navy’s counter point…

Life… Liberty… and the pursuit of all who threaten it!!! –The Navy- Accelerate you life…
Now I won’t call that a stroke of genius but sure beats the hell outta an ‘Army Of One’…

Maybe they were try’n to take off an ol’ phrase from Alexander The Great…

“I am not afraid of an Army of one hundred lions led by sheep… but I am afraid of an Army of one hundred sheep led by a lion!!!”

But I still remember what my recruiter told me before I left to Bootcamp…

“Don’t ever be the first, don’t ever be the last, and don’t ever volunteer to do anything!”

If I only would’a known about Navy Acronyms…

… ‘Navy… Never Again Volunteer Yourself’ …

Saturday, November 19, 2011

‘Those Damned Ensigns’

An ensign who after his evening repast, asked the duty mess cook:

“Seaman Jones, I would like a bowl of chocolate ice cream for dessert.”

But the mess cook replies,

“I’m sorry sir, but our delivery of chocolate ice cream was short chocolate ice cream and we are out.”

The young ensign replies,

“In that case sailor, I’ll just have a nice chocolate ice cream, that’s an order.”

“Sir, can you spell ‘van’ as in Vanilla?”

“of course, V_A_N!”

“Sir, can you spell ‘straw as in strawberry?”

“Certainly, S_T_R_A_W.”

“Sir, can you spell ‘stink’ as in chocolate?”

“There is no ‘stink’ in chocolate seaman jone!”

“That Sir, is what I’ve been try’n to tell you!!!

Been On Both Sides Of This Coin...

Friday, November 18, 2011

‘Staten Island Ferry’

Two Gay Men were walking across the Brooklyn Bridge

One asks the other,

“What’s the name of that boat?”

His friend said,

“That’s the Staten Island Ferry!”

The first replied,

“I knew we were diversified but I didn’t know we had our own Navy!!!”

Thursday, November 17, 2011

‘Dry Dock Karma’

It’s hard to fancy in this day and age that sea going ships are still dry dock’n and refurbish’n the same way they were a  hundred years ago! ‘Back in the days of Yore’… before ‘Noah and the Ark’… ships were hauled into these strange contraptions and emptied of their aquatic contents only to leave the big hull sitt’n on a couple of snatch blocks at the bottom of a giant emptied pool!!!

Dry Dock is a damned dirty place and one hell of a way to waste some time doing nothing. The ship’s got holes in the hull with cables runn’n in every which direction, welding cables (I’ll get to that one), thousands of tags hang’n in every overhead, nick and cranny, and the ‘yardbirds’…  wretched, sorry sons-a-bitches running left to right over taking the whole gaudamned place…

The C.O.C. has noth’n better to do than assign a bunch of retarded watches to keep the ‘crackerjack’ ranks from think’n up too much stupid shit to get themselves into… A horrible situation that would suck the life outta you if you didn’t take it all in stride!!!
I remember my first Dry Dock, USS Steadfast, on the ol’ Baglady in the summer of 89’… Mostly remember one of my shipmates had a wife work’n onboard and she was quite a looker… nobody could keep their damned eyes off of her… she was a true knock out… cause that’s what her husband would do if you stared too gaudamned long!! I also remember a fire in the middle of the gaudamned night…

Dinga linga linga linga ling… Ding! Fire, Fire, Fire… Fire in the cruise lounge… forward… portside!!”

I remember Mark Niehoff runn’n down the p-way like a madman at 0200 hours in the morning in his skivvies try’n to put out a gaudamned electrical fire in the door between the cruise lounge and the forward berthing compartment… no thanks to a welding cable gett’n crimped into the hatch with over a thousand amps runn’n through it!! Niehoff didn’t even get so much as a pat on the back for his troubles… these days you’d get a Navy Commendation Medal for that shit!!!

But so is the way it was back then…

Then was my second ship… the mighty Carrier USS ‘Chucky “V”… Yep, that’s the one Osama Bin Laden was sent to Davey Jones Locker from… I spent my first two years onboard in a Complex Overhaul from 91 to 93’. It was time for this bird farm of massive oxidation to do some time on the blocks in the ol’ Dry Dock…

It was a pretty cool proposition watching one of the biggest gaudamned pieces of steel ever built sitt’n in one of the largest dry docks in the world… watch’n the enormous screws… “hock’n a loogie” over the flight deck and watch it all the way down… ‘splatt’ into the rust filled pit below… steal’n air hoses, needle guns and knuckle busters from yardbirds leaving them lay’n around…

Yep, this was a different kind’a dry dock period… Right in the middle of the restricted area of Penis Anus Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington… a true wonderland of repair shops, supply distribution points, stores, crates, hoists, cranes, cut up ‘Cold War’ submarines, you name it…

This place was a scavenger’s paradise for cumshaw agents of wholesale misappropriations where it’s better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission…

We came up with everything from freshly minted air tools, paint thinner, rust inhibitors with names we couldn’t pronounce to placards with the name ‘USS Nimitz’ printed in big bold letters on the side… wonder if those sons-a-bitches are still look’n for that stuff!!!   
The U.S. military just got done kick’n Sadam Hussein’s ass all over the Mideast and we were busy lay’n up our systems cause we knew we’d be hang’n around for a while…

Knock’n off ships work by 1200 hours everyday liv’n for Thursday Zone Inspections and late night libations with the local Bremeloes… unless your ass was in Fire Watch Division your lack of usefulness made for a complete absence of any gaudamned common sense…
My buddy Shawn Mitchell was ‘Fire Watch’… he told me about how the sons-a-bitches would be doing hot work on one side of a bulkhead while he’d be twiddling his thumbs on the other read’n some nudie magazines forever and a day staring at the gaudamned bulkhead before he’d realized the hot work had been over three or four hours and no one let ‘em know they were finished!!!

 Meanwhile Chief walks into one of the working spaces with an open void and no gas free chit only to find an empty six pack of Rainier’s finest and a nasty puddle of piss in the far corner… what else were them pipefitters good for!?!?

If we didn’t wanna get caught doing nothing… then off to the Gaffey to waste our time… the Gaffey was an old Army Rust Bucket of a ship we used for temporary office and living space while the ‘Chucky’ was on blocks… we usually found some quite dark corner to sleep our day away so we could party all night!!!

When Chief would come look’n for us,

“Where the hell you sons-a-bitches been all gaudamned day!!!”

We’d give him that shit eating grin,

“Sorry Chief, we were down at the mobile blood unit by the NEX donating to the cause…”

Of course Chief would replie,

“You sorry asses try’n to dilute the blood supply with 180 proof plasma? Sorry sons-a-bitches get back to work!!!”

But nothing was ever more memorable than walk’n in on the little feller in the AIMD berthing head yank’n his tally wacker like no tomorrow… brought on a whole new meaning to ‘turn’n Japanese’…

Years later… things still hadn’t changed. Spent a couple of Ship Restricted Availabilities at Todd Shipyard in Seattle. On my last one pulling in on the ‘Mighty Momsen’ we heaved our lines over to the pier right about 1600 hours and the shipyard whistle blew… ‘HONNNNNK!!!’

Next thing we knew everyone of them sorry bastards dropped the lines right on the deck of the pier and commenced to walking off while we stood there with our proverbial ‘dicks in our hands’… The shift lead had to come runn’n back out scream’n and hollering,

“Get back on the lines you all get overtime… you all get overtime!!!”

Found out later it was the whole gaudamned Union thing causing the debacle… Couldn’t give a shit less if we tide up to the pier or not… guess that’s what I get for cumshaw’n all those air hoses and chip’n hammers all those years ago!!!

Karma’s a Bitch…

Friday, November 11, 2011

‘Chief Corpsman Wisdom’

A sailor fell asleep at the beach. He woke up several hours later and suffered a severe sunburn to his legs and was taken to the closest medical facility, which happened to be the Naval Clinic on base…
His skin had turned red and was very painful and had started to blister. Anything that touched his legs caused agony. The lead on the medical staff at the naval clinic that night was a Chief Corpsman.  The chief checked him out and then prescribed continued intravenous feedinhgs of water, electrolytes, a mild sedative, and Viagra!!!
Rather astounded, the 3rd Class Corpsman who was with the Chief inquired,
“What good will Viagra do him in that condition?”
The Chief replied,
“It’ll keep the sheet off his legs.”

Thursday, November 10, 2011

'True Colors'

Long ago, when sailing ships ruled the waves, a captain and his crew were in danger of being boarded by a pirate ship. As the crew became frantic, the captain bellowed to his First Mate, "Bring me my red shirt!". The First Mate quickly retrieved the captain's red shirt, which the captain put on and lead the crew to battle the pirate boarding party. Although some casualties occurred among the crew, the pirates were repelled.

Later that day, the lookout screamed that there were two pirate vessels sending boarding parties. The crew cowered in fear, but the captain calm as ever bellowed, "Bring me my red shirt!". The battle was on, and once again the Captain and his crew repelled both boarding parties, although this time more casualties occurred.

Weary from the battles, the men sat around on deck that night recounting the day's occurrences when an ensign looked to the Captain and asked, "Sir, why did you call for your red shirt before the battle?". The Captain, giving the ensign a look that only a captain can give, exhorted, "If I am wounded in battle, the red shirt does not show the wound and thus, you men will continue to fight unafraid". The men sat in silence marveling at the courage of such a man.

As dawn came the next morning, the lookout screamed that there were pirate ships, 10 of them, all with boarding parties on their way. The men became silent and looked to their Captain for his usual command. The Captain, calm as ever, bellowed, "Bring me my brown pants!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

‘Lord Farquaad Kim Jong-il (How Do Wu Wike Me Now) Martinez II”

Remember the ones? The Snot Nosed Arrogant Elitist bastards who held the rank of Officer?? Not all of them mind you… bout’ 70% of em’ were okay by me… but there’s always the ones that really  got my goat if you know what I mean… Lord Farquaad comes to mind…
Lord Farquaad was the main bad guy… antagonist villain in the original Shrek movie!! Short in stature, ruthless to the point of expecting everyone to kiss his ass and lived in a towering castle to compensate for what he lacked in stature!!!
That about sums up Lord Lieutenant Farquaad Martinez II back on the mighty MOMSEN… I think it was Chief Ryan who gave him that name. Heath Ryan was a rather large man… Six Foot’ Four, Two Hundred Eighty Pounds of large man!!! The kinda man you wanted on your side in a bar fight!!! He also slept above me on the top rack in Chief’s berthing… It took me four years to be certain the pop rivets in the bunk weren’t gonna pop-out and I’d have Two Hundred Eighty pounds of Baby Huey crushing down on me when the sonar dome hit that perfect wave, but once again… I regress
Heath Ryan enjoyed nothing better than giving that son-of-a-bitch a good heckl'n when chance revealed itself. He said Martinez must’ve been one of them nerds who got beat up a lot in school so now he got off on the power and authority of wearing the officer uniform!!!
I gotta tell ya, he looked pretty gaudamned ridiculous in his dress whites… put that combo cover on his head with the ol’ officer crest and he looked like he was gonna tip over!!! 
Then the movie ‘Team America’ came out… one of the damned funniest flicks you’d ever seen! Low and behold, Lord Farquaad got a new nickname… ‘Kim Jong-il’… the villain who supplied all terrorists alike with weapons of mass destruction, and his supporting cast from the Film Acters Guild (FAG)!!!
“How wuu wike me now Team Chief Mess! All enwisted peopowe incwooding Chiefs can kiss my ass… I am WEPS and I have Weapons of Mass Distwuction!!!”
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not officers I necessarily disliked, I think they hold a vital role in the Navy… from the past to the future… but that gaudamned ‘holier than though I’m better than you attitude was what most of us couldn’t stand…
Lord Farquaad Kim Jong-Il Martinez II was the epitome of this type… always look’n down his nose, holding everything we said in disdain, and condescending to the bone… always questioning us with intensity never giving us any benefit of the doubt!!!  
I don’t know who the son-of-a-bitch was that mentored this asshole but he was definitely a monster in the making! It was quite evident this fella’s only concern in life was for himself!! He was a smug kinda man who’s rank was his only way to achieve respect, and couldn’t just leave it at the job…
Hell even the Wardroom had contempt for him… our whole department was the joke of the ship thanks to this guy… on a destroyer… the Weapons Department!?!? We couldn’t get a break in edge-wise!!! 
He could never back his Chiefs and treated just about all ‘Chits’ like some kind’a ‘declaration of mutiny’… that was about the end of it for me. One of my young'ns ran a request chit to go on leave and after about three or four days I went to hunt the son-of-a-bitch down where all roads ended at the Weps Stateroom. He swore he never got the chit and tried to keep the young fella from going on leave because I wouldn’t be able to get a new one ran up the chain fast enough… so I personally walked the damned thing up to the CO!!!
He wasn’t too happy about that… but that was about his speed…
I guess Core Values were shitcanned in this guy’s indoctrination into officerhood. So needless to say, he made no friends and plenty of enemies with the crew…
This is an important theme to my story here as you will find out…
You see Lord Farquaad Kim Jong-il Martinez II had a bad habit of nodding-off on watch late at night… sometimes we’d play pin the tail on the backside of the TAO… “Kiss me if you feel lucky” or “Kick me in the Jimmy” and even the gaudamned Watch Officer would get in on it…
So there we were on the midwatch underway in CIC… attention on deck was called as the Skipper came through the port entrance and Weps was the TAO on watch… the eyes and ears of all things tactical and important to the purpose of our existence underway!!! Lord Farquaad Kim Jong-il Martinez II was out cold at the TAO console… as the Skipper just stood over him for about ten seconds waiting for him to awake…
Needless to say the ol’ Skipper was not so well amused… ‘woke his ass up’ and asked to meet him in his cabin when he’s more alert from his slumber.  Boy, Lord Farquaad Kim Jong-il Martinez had his tail between his legs at that point!!!
When he came back from his ass chewing he says,
“Why didn’t anybody let me know? I can’t believe you guys let me down like that!!”
Well Mr. WEPS, if you had a little more tact and courtesy towards your subordinates and didn’t’ treat’m like stepping stones for your own devices… you might get treated in kind… never gonna get anywhere in this Navy with ‘bullying and browbeating’!!!
Kind’a reminds me of an ol’ joke I once heard…
Officer: “Hey Shipmate, do you have change for a dollar?”
Sailor:  “Sure do buddy!”
Officer: “That’s no way to address an officer! Now let’s try it again!”
Officer: “Shipmate, do you have change for a dollar?”
Sailor: “No SIR!!!”

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Coffee and Testicles

A retired Navy Vet goes to the Post Office to apply for a job.

The interviewer asks him, "Are you allergic to anything?"  He replies, "Yes, caffeine. I can't drink coffee."

"Ok, have you ever been in the military service?"

"Yes," he says, "I was in the Navy four Twenty years."

The interviewer says, "That will give you 5 extra points toward employment."

 Then he asks,

"Are you disabled in any way?"

The guy says,

 "Yes. A Five Inch Shell exploded near me and I lost both my testicles."

The interviewer grimaces and then says,

"Okay. You've got enough points for me to hire you right now. Our normal hours are from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. You can start tomorrow at 10:00 am, and plan on starting at 10:00 am every day."

The guy is puzzled and asks,

"If the work hours are from 8:00 am to 4:00 PM, why don't you want me here until 10:00 am?"

"This is a government job", the interviewer says. "For the first two hours, we just stand around drinking coffee and scratching our balls. No point in you coming in for that."

Be kinder than necessary- 
Everyone you meet is fighting
Some kind of battle.