Saturday, October 3, 2015

'The 1MC'

Anyone out there ever heard about this little mythological yarn about the 1MC?!?
In port, tied up to a pier…
"Sweepahs, Sweepahs start ya brooms! Sweep down all lower decks, laddas, and passageways! Empty all shit cans ovah da fantail."
… A very deliberate pause…
"Delay dat woyd on shit cans, empty all shit cans on da pier!"
… Another pause, as he was obviously reading something written by the OOD…
"Delay dat woyd on shit cans, empty all trash receptacles into the containas provided on the pier!"
… This was another from the same fella but different day…
"Now all hands rig for genrahl visit’n! All hands is reminded to watch der language, we got cunt aboard."
… Another very measured pause…
Delay dat woyd on genrahl visit’n! We got lady visitas onboard so watch da mouths!”
I’d heard that story a dozen or more times in my years, never witnessed such a thing but there were some doozies over the 1MC at times! And we’ve all heard about the Infamous…
Attention All Hands… The Roach Coach is Making Its Approach!”
… or …
"Secure the Sun… Now station the moon!"
… or …
"Seaman Stains report to Laundry"
Yes there was always fun to be had ball all! You could even ‘REM Brantd’ report to the Paint Locker… if need be!! And some were as mundane and unintentional as…
“There are men working aloft! Do not Ratate or Rodiate any electronic equipment while men are working aloft!”
Hell I even screwed up once and realizing my miscue…
Oh Shit… OOPs!!!”
That got me relieved with a courtesy midwatch if you know what I mean! It was like buzzards circling a dying horse!! I got the butt chewing of a life time from the OOD, CDO, Section Leader as well as my very own Chief for such an embarrassment!!!
“Son, you’re a gauddamned idiot! You’d forget your balls if they weren’t hemmed up in your scrotum!”
But I suppose the most entertaining story I’d ever heard was onboard the USS America CV-66! Don’t know how much is pure unadulterated bullshit & how much is fact but it was a pretty good source amongst the denizens of old salty no shit ‘Sea Stories!!’  
Now we all know that whoever handles the 1MC as the Petty Officer of the Watch (POOW) had better have a pretty damned good handle of his shack… you know with all the phone calls, the growler, the chatter, and dozens of words they need to pass! I suppose in one particular instance this POOW had his hands full and a bit off his guard when the OOD let him know the Skipper was heading up the pier!! The POOW for whatever reason had his messenger pass the word the Skipper was coming so guess what the messenger does?!?
“Ding-Ding, Ding-Ding, Captain’s Coming – Captain’s Coming!”
… Yeah, he said the Skipper just looked up to the sky as to say…
“Why Me Lord?!?”
But the best one yet… when a new POOW had just taken the watch as a breakfast chow relief, and this fella mind you was still pretty wet behind the ears! The OOD let him know the Skipper was heading inbound…
“Ding-Ding, Ding-Ding, Captain America Arriving!”
As the story goes, the Skipper lowered his head and turned around to head back down the pier and gave the Quarterdeck a second chance to get it right!!!
Yet I yield to today’s reality… as around 94’ or there abouts the wimmins were finding their way onboard most ships and many of the ‘Pass the Word’ placards and posted instructions were being revamped for such the occasion!  And as the morning came and the word was passed, instead of the age old…
“Sweepers, Sweepers, Man your Brooms!”
… We got the…
Sweepers, Sweepers, Start your Brooms!”
And all across the fleet you had a bunch of smartasses yanking the imaginary rip cord of the proverbial leaf blower doing their damnedest to start those sons-a-bitches!!!
Whatever kind of look we were going for… I think we missed the bus on that one! Not too many women cared we called it ‘man’ anything… but I regress!! So… what are some of the greatest 1MC goofs my shipmates have heard over the years?!?
I know they’re out there!!!


  1. 1979 There was a certain sub tender tied up at Gitmo. Bunch of drunks came back, a bit of a scuffle started on the quarter deck and the watch was trying to calm things down when another drunk grabbed the 1MC mike and called out "GENERAL QUARTERS! GENERAL QUARTERS! THE JAPS ARE ATTACKING! THE JAPS ARE ATTACKING! NOW GENERAL QUARTERS!" Well, the destroyers tied up out board....went to GQ!

  2. When we were on the Momsen, I was opfor and it was my job to take hostages and make demands. I was still a new sailor and went over the 1MC multiple times including topside demanding that they get the God Damn skipper on the phone. After 45 min of this, they were unable to secure the ship. Secure from drill, muster on the messdecks. Lol

  3. Enlisted Surfer Warfare in the MiC...The Smirking lamp out from frame 100 to the Stern

  4. So if it isn't "man overboard" anymore what is it? Person overboard?

  5. Sometimes late at night I still hear PO Casteneda from the Prairie with his bass voice on the 1MC. " Now hear this, now hear this ..."
    We named one of the girls on Honshu Street the 1MC because of her loud, piercing voice.

  6. 1989- do not rotate, radiate, or energize any electronical equipment while men are working aloft. USS Marvin Shields FF-1066

  7. Standing Inport OOD on the USS England, mid-80s. Across the pier from us was the USS Leahy, conducting a change of command ceremony, complete with COMNAVSURFPAC and a whole gaggle of other stars, and of course OUR Captain, and the Captains of every other ship inport San Diego at the time.

    Twelve noon is approaching, so I asked my brand new Petty Officer of the Watch if he knew how to strike 8 bells, he responded "Of course Chief, I hear it all the time!" Mm..Hm, of course my mistake was believing him without checking.

    Here it comes... 1158, 1159, 1159 and 30 seconds, 1159 and 45 seconds, 50 seconds, 55 seconds.... 1200...

    "Petty Officer of the Watch strike eight bells!"...

    "Aye Aye, strike 8 bells!"...

    Ding... Ding...Ding... Ding... By now EVERYONE KNOWS it isn't being done in pairs, and our Captain is standing aboard the Leahy across the pier GLARING at me! By the time I get him stopped the POOW has struck all 8 bells... one at a time!

    1. I did that once while POOW on USS Harlan County in Little Creek. Bad brain fart, sounded like for whom the bell tolls. Needless to say it was for me, Ops down to LPO were instantly on the QD knawing my ass off. Had midwatches and requall, how I missed mast I'll never know.


    Sure enough, Eight Bells, DESRON FOUR ARRIVING!

  9. Onboard USS Paul F Foster, after a couple weeks of no smoking lamp in a rough Bering Sea (1999) the XO took it upon himself to pass the word that the wait was over. "THE SMOKING LAMP IS LIGHTED THROUGHOUT THE SHIP" A few seconds later... "belay my last..." A few people had actually managed to light up, right where they were. He could have at least let us have ONE.

  10. 1987 USS Germantown LSD 42, SH2 we called Big Daddy Taylor, passed a word realized it was incorrect and shit you not he says "I take that back"... From that day on until long after he transferred he was Big Daddy "I take that back" Taylor

  11. One year before this "shit-bird" was discharge, he stole a 1-MC mic from the bridge and kept it hidden in his locker. When he was finally discharged, he went to the port side quarter deck and attached the MIC and activated ONLY the Officer's country and deactivated all the rest of the ship. He passed the word, "DUTY COCKSUCKER, DUTY COCKSUCKER, LAY TO THE QUARTER DECK! He then walked over to the Starboard side quarter deck, (where his word was not heard) and requested permission to leave the ship. He walked down the brow and briskly walked down the pier. When he looked back, he noticed a cadre of khaki's running out onto the weather decks and down to the quarter deck. It was then that he yelled up to them, "I SAID DUTY COCKSUCKER! NOT ALL OF YOU MOTHER FUCKERS!!" He then then turned on heel and sprinted the rest of the way down the pier.

  12. One evening after chow the section leader wanted to hold a security drill, so he ask me to go to the bridge and use the 1MC up there. So, I had the in-port security team muster on the fantail, the fire party muster on the pier, the duty section muster in the lower eng room. All this at the same time, and to make maters worse I passed the word that there was a phone call from the CO for the XO on the pay phone on the pier and if anyone had a dime for the pay phone. Now, you would figure that the QD would call away a security alert, NO they didn't, everybody mustered where they were told to, they even has a seaman come up to the QD with a dime.

  13. On or about 1993, an AT2 was standing Petty Officer of the Watch and announced, " there are divers working aloft". That wasn't the part that got him in trouble it was his exclamation of "oh $h1t" over the 1MC when he realized his mistake.

  14. I was standing POOW on the AMERICA around 1993 or 4 and had an LDO LTJG standing OOD. Every time I'd ask permission to pass word, he would change the announcement. Keep in mind that we had standard phraseology that came out of the watch stander' SOP book. I told this jg that "we always pass word in accordance with..." He cut me off and full of authoritive ego exclaimed that I would pass word the way he told me to pass word. I said "exactly as you tell me to sir?" His pompous reply was "you're d@mn right". So with an "aye aye, Sir" I carried on. Well we had a lot of big shots (admirals and captains) visiting that day and Mr. Pompous poked his head around the corner and said "COMNAVAIRLANT arriving", I said, "COMNAVAIRLANT, sir?", he was very impatient and said "Yes, d@mn1t". So, I did the requisite number of bells and announced "COMNAVAIRLANT arriving". He lost his mind because I didn't announce "Comander Naval Air Force Atlantic, arriving" as I knew I should have. But, I reminded him that he ordered me to make announcements as HE said to make them. For the rest of my watch, he didn't mess with any more of my announcements.

    1. I love to hear how a Junior Officer ends up eating Crow!!!

  15. Green MOOW inport: "Fire fire fire! Fire in compartment (Whatever).
    POOW: "Belay my last."
    POOW: "THIS IS A DRILL, THIS IS A DRILL!!! Fire fire fire! Fire in compartment...."

  16. While we were in Gitmo,I was POOW with a brand new CPO was the OOD.He scribbled the following reville for me to announce on the 1mc.
    Wakey wakey,rise and shine!
    C'mon out the weather's fine!
    So drop your cocks and grab your socks !
    Now wakes wakey wakes !

    Within 5 minutes we had the Skipper,XO and LDO on the Quarter deck! The Chief and I both got a ass chewing ! When they all left we could not stop laughing.I was still laughing when I did the next 1mc announcement and it could be heard on it. We then had the XO and LDO back for some more ass chewing and relieved from QD watch ! We both had to go see Captain and was restricted to the ship while in Gitmo for punishment!! All the time he was giving us Hell,he would start snickering which would start the two of us to snicker!! We never got anything on our service record from it but the CO said the XO wanted some punishment. No liberty was the least he could come up with !

  17. I can't believe you missed....
    "The Navy Exchange Gallopin' Gedunk is on the pier."

  18. A friend of mine was a reactor operator on a carrier. A very bored reactor operator, on the night shift, he activated the PA and announced "This is a drill. This is a drill. WHIRR WHIRR. This is a Black & Decker Drill."

    He claimed that the Captain was laughing too hard to conduct Mast, but if he ever pulled the same thing, he'd get to know the drill up close and personal.