Owner, Green Bay Packers
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: SW Michigan
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I lasted eight months working for the gummint on an MSC oiler in the Med. That was more than enough exposure to the gummint and the Navy, in that order. I did, later on, work on some of the MPS, prepositioned ships, but was fortuanate in that case to be exposed to a better class of gummint employee, the US Marines. In both cases, terminal boredom set in, and I found it better to sail in ships that were actually going somewhere and moving cargo.
Quartermasters, signalmen, and bosunmate's were the only men I seemed to encounter who actually enjoyed being at sea versus shore duty. Of course, that was back in 1980 and we'd just spent the last peace dividend in the Carter administration. If you were an enlisted man, or a low ranking officer, those were surely dismal days indeed. Even with sea-pay, most struggled to support their families on what was paid. The rot from the top was so bad that the Navy was game for most any silly idea to increase retention. Somewhere in the 70's they introduced the concept of the "sea service ribbon" by which one was distinguished over those who joined the Navy and never went to sea. Many were the young recruits who found out that, contrary to what had been implied, they might actually have to go to sea. How they ended up in the Navy in the first place is the type of legendary salesmanship usually only discusses in used-car dealer gatherings. Fortunately, a guy named Reagan came along and decided that the Navy needed more ships, fewer high-priced admirals per ship, and a living wage for the guy's with chevrons on their sleeves.
Later, I missed the fine young BM's, QM's, SM's, and Marines but never looked back at all on the incredible amount of paperwork and busywork all involved around doing just about nothing.
“Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it.”
Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.