Monday, April 22, 2013

‘Flesh Peddl’n Job Jocky’n Detailers’

I was just shuffling through some ancient worn out crusty ‘Canoe Club’ paraphernalia the other day and happened across an old Navy LINk Magazine… and as I reflected on how the hell this issue didn’t get donated to Davey Jones Locker it occurred to me just how truly astonishing what oxidized… dusty… cobweb covered details you can dredge up years after the fact. The consensus of the folks who phoned their detailer and disputed or attempted to clarify the great need for a specific shore duty billet or home port! You remember the old LINK Magazine?!?

“Sea Tours available for everyone… contact your detailer for more information!”

“Yeah... I think I want to stay in this ol’ Canoe Club… advance my career… serve the needs of the Navy, and be in an exciting and demanding billet!”

Haha… and how many times did that work out for ya?!? I guess I shouldn’t complain… I got suckered, duped and finagled three or four times!! They don’t call’em ‘flesh peddlers’ for nothing… trust me I was a Recruiter once! Same game… different name!!

“We give more than just lip service to our people!”

Yes… I’ve danced the Devil’s fandango a few times too many… no exception there!!!

And as the ol’ adage goes…

“Like Navy Recruiters… Navy Detailers Lie!”

…at least that’s the agreed upon testimonial of many a ‘Crackerjack’ who’d have to deal with such land lubb’n bottom feeders!!!

Yep… I’ve been through the ol’ gambit with these fellas… always about as crooked as a barrel of fish hooks! I’ve been in one of them situations when the detailer was supposed to be call’n you back only to find out he went on some damned vacation… hell I didn’t know you could accumulate so much damned leave!?! Then when he gets back to ya…

“There’s only two places you can go… USS Umpty Squat or Navy Recruiting in Tim Buk Too, OOkamahooga via the Boon County Railroad!”  

 Then you find out your happy ass has got to extend for two more years to get them there orders! Are you shitt’n me?!? Yep… it’s about the ‘needs of the Navy’… and if you hadn’t got the run around some time in your career then you ain’t doin it right!!!

Those detailers were more than happy to fill your ears full of ‘Needs of the Navy’ good idear fuck me through the drive through horse shit… then seem dumbfounded  you ain’t happier than a bus full of retarded kids pull’n into a Chucky Cheese parking lot!!!

 “There really isn't any such thing as a bad set of orders. There are only different kinds of great orders!"

Every gauddamned time I called that son-of-a-bitch it severely aggravated that muscle in my nogg’n they call a brain… with all the extra family separation added to your next three tours of deployment or shore duty that ain’t really shore duty… if you know what I mean!!!

So I took the advice of the Chief…

“Sailors belong on ships and ships belong at sea!”

… and I forwent shore duty for the first twelve years of my career! Until one day when the detailer called and said…

“Petty Officer Swing… due to the critical needs of the Navy you have three choices… Recruiting… Boot Camp Company Commander… and Recruiting!”

“Wait a minute… can’t I just extend onboard my ship?”

“Nope… you’ve already extended past your shelf life!”

Yeah, I was starting to wonder about this so called critical needs of the Navy bull shit! So I asked the Chief if there were any career incentive options on the table and what do I gotta do to get out of this horseshit!! He says in no uncertain terms…  

“Listen Shipmate… you don't have to suck a dick to make chief, but sometimes you gotta put it in your mouth!"

That was about as handy as a back pocket on a t-shirt!

“So I gotta go out on the town and metaphorically put a bunch’a punk ass dicks in my mouth to gett’m to join the Navy?”

“That’s about the jest of it Shippy!”

And so there it was… and that’s how I landed in the middle of the gauddamned center of nowhere USA counting how many Okies from Muskogee I could put on the happy train to Great Mistakes… and to all those Company Commanders up there… you can thank me later!!!

I’ll bet that sorry son-of-a-bitch of a detailer was sitt’n there in his Memphis office cubicle flick’n bugars in the air just smiling his happy ass away!!!

So after three long years on the bag making goal & getting selected, tested & initiated into the brotherhood of fouled anchors while grinding me gears to do it… I was finally ready to go back to sea! I gotta tell you… It couldn’t of happened a day sooner… and conveniently for me I had a Master Chief buddy who hooked me up with the detailer gett’n me orders back to my wife’s home state so she could spend time with her ailing family!! I thought everything was going great!! That was until I reached my destination at the Precommissioning Detachment for PCU MOMSEN out of San Diego! Apparently I was supposed to show up unaccompanied sending my wife up to Washington State but that wasn’t the deal we had initially worked out!!

After several phone calls with the Command Master Chief on my end and the detailer on the other… the detailer feeds the Master Chief a bullshit story that didn’t add up with the paper my orders were written on! I just love it when some pansy ass son-of-a-bitch tries to invalidate your career so easily… needless to say I was steam’n hotter than a festered nipple in a wool bra!!!

“Petty Officer Umpty Squat… bet you didn’t even know I’m standing right here with the Master Chief listening to you lie your ass off!?!”

“Oh sorry Chief… I didn’t’ realize!”

“Petty Officer Umpty Squat… you’ve got a bad brains-to-balls ratio… and you need to pull your head outta your ass and figure this out!” 

“Well Chief… and Master Chief… I’ll have to figure this out…”

“If you’re fuck’n with me, I'll be on you like a pack of dogs on a three-legged cat!"

… and with that I ended up staying a little longer in San Diego than I originally anticipated but at least I didn’t have to ship my wife and kids cross country overnight express!!!

But it all didn’t matter much in the end… after a third of the Chiefs Mess got fired… half a dozen ‘PC’ over the top Mast cases… even watched a whole gauddamned division go to Mast over some unvalidated sexual harrassment scheme with a bit of rape & drugs in the mix… and an attempted suicide by my relief which almost kept me from leaving that dreaded shit hole… Yeah, I was one bitter pill and couldn’t wait to leave that mess!! No ‘Crackerjack’ alive ever looked forward to leaving a ship as bad as I was… ‘Like a young school boy waiting to see his first set of boobies!! The anticipation was a burning hell!!

Yes… I was Gauddamned Bitter from such an exasperating tour and after years of playing this gamble of a game, I couldn’t wait to put on my Indian feather headdress…  brown sueded chicken bone vest... drink from the holy sanctified nautical grail... piss in the consecrated fire & take a hit off the prodigious pipe of knowledge and perceptual fortitude so I could once again rub shoulders with those Memphis sharks they call Detailers and get me that ‘Good Deal’ that fits with the needs of the Navy while still always knowing that no ‘Good Deal’ goes unpunished!!!

So I did my due diligence and knowing that loyalty only seems to have a one way street I’d been looking for orders near my current home port… no sense in try’n to move up in the pecking order as I’d already burned too many bridges so I found a comfy choice of orders at the local Brig! After getting released from my detailer and an e’mail here and there it was just a matter of waiting… and waiting… and waiting… and waiting!! Finally after two months I’d given up hope on such an endeavor and asked to be handed over to the Equal Opportunity Detailer so I could go back to sea on the Stink’n Link’n as their possible CMEO as such a shitty billet had no takers!!

“I’d love to have you Chief Swing but you’re currently assigned orders to the Naval Brig in Bangor and you’d have to get released from that detailer to get accepted for these orders!”

And that’s how I found out the dickhead cut me orders for the Brig already… I’d been waiting for gauddamned ever only to assume I ain’t gett’n serviced!!! WTF Over!! Seriously, he couldn't have called and given me a reach around or something?!?
But hell… I can’t complain, I retired from the Brig and it really wasn’t all that bad… considering you deal with prisoners with bad attitudes every day of the week anyway!!!
But it just goes to show…  I’d bet the most desirable duty never makes its way to the majority of us ‘Crackerjacks’… If you’d been around  long enough you’d probably figured out by now… the ‘good stuff’ is always reserved for those who have that inside handjob with the detailers… anything else is like pissing in the tide!!!
So the next time your detailer tells you one thing in person and you get the complete opposite… or your orders were advertised as primo-good shit but ended up being a shit hole… ask that son-of-a-bitch for a reach around and a kiss as he’s bending you over!!!
Yes… I’ve heard there’s a special place in hell for those Navy Detailers, but I think differently… And in my best bud light commercial voice… To all you flesh pedaling job jockeys in Memphis who never fail to dissappoint…
“Jesus Loves You… but to everyone else… You’re an Asshole!”


  1. My first time to re-up was offered CC or Recruiter so I got out,when I came back yea!! sea duty,second time to re-up my detailer was my LPO from first ship,boy o boy got it made this time,hahah recruiter or CC got out again & haven't look back.

  2. I got orders to a DD out of San Diego. She deployed right after I got aboard for westpac. We were hardly overseas when the Division Officer told me that a message had come in that my relief was in San Diego waiting for me. What should we do Chief he says? So I says send him to every school you can think of and I'll get off when we get back (I'd been at sea for the last 5 years and the detailer had finally caught up with me I guess.
    So we get back after 6 or 7 months, and the guy who relieved me is my new best friend. (he had a great time in San Diego). So I go to my shore duty for 3 years and when I get ready to transfer guess who had just been assigned as my detailer? That's right. My ole buddy from my last ship.
    Sometimes it pays to be a nice guy. lol

  3. I was coming off LIMDU at Seal Beach, and my detailer wanted to send me right back to sea... My Doc specified that the only way he would let me off limited duty was if I was given shore duty, and my detailer wasn't to happy about that, especially when I pulled out my copy of "Link" and told him that I knew about the opening in Mare Island for an Instructor... his "reward" to me was to cut me "short fuse" orders, where I had to be at my new Command in less than two weeks... no house hunting "basket leave" as was the custom at the time, and I was forced to do a "DITY" move to make it to my new Command in time. I enjoyed just over two years of Instructor Duty in Mare Island, and when it was time to re-up or extend to finish my tour, I wanted White Sands and Sea-Lite, but he would only offer me T-Hawk school and sea duty on a BB, which was unappealing for this newleywed with a 6 Month old Son, so I opted to get out.

  4. Here's the whole story (one was before FCCM Cherry).

    I was up to rotate from CNSP in Oct 1996. My goal was to extend to my EAOS so I could finish college but nothing doing (command disapproved it); the detailer before FCCM Cherry wanted to send me to a birdfarm as a CIWS LCPO. I was able to negotiate MK 92 C School and finished it and got my degree. Same detailer offered me the Lewis B Puller and those got yanked at the last minute because they needed an FCC right away so I ended up going to the McClusky (the CS Department had the worst chain of command I served with; an underprivileged divo who was a tyrant and the 2nd CSO was almost as bad). Went to LIMDU in 1998.

    Like the other anonymous, I was on LIMDU at FCTCPAC and my Fleet Reserve request got turned down for the 2nd time. The detailer (FCCM Cherry) wanted to send me back to sea for a minimum activity tour. I was able to remain at FCTCPAC because my department head talked to the detailer's boss. Fleet Reserve request got approved (also it turns out the head of that branch was my weps boss on the Rat).

    In one aspect it cost me 2 extra years (because my EAOS got extended to March 2000) and had 2 years of "not observed" fitreps (so making FCCS was kind of out). The other aspect is because I was able to complete my degree, I got a job as an electrical engineer instead of as a technician. I was one of those fortunate enough to beat the system.

  5. For the first half of my career there was an FCCM that made a career out of staying at detailing duty, while keeping every FC he could "haze gray and underway". �� But for the most part my experience wasn't bad, after all FC was a sea going rate.