The Chief list came out today, and Sailors who’ve worked for me and friends who I knew when enlisted were on it. I’ve lost track of most of the folks, lost track, that is, until I see ’em out on the ship or at the base.
I am happy and proud for my Shipmates. May they be good, tough Chiefs. Our Navy surely needs ’em. I look forward to their pinning. Six weeks from now, they will be iron-forged into the Navy’s newest Chiefs.
I’ve been one of the higher-ranking Sailors at a Command and I’ve been one of the lower-ranking. And currently, I am the latter and it is nothing but pure joy. For example, I could not get away with this piece o’ Thomas Foolery if we had junior folks around:
My boss (a retired Navy Captain): So NavyOne, what do you think of that luggage that I gave you? (He sold me, at a very nominal price, a piece of luggage that was too small for him.)
Me: I love it, sir! Although, one of the wheels is a little squeaky. Other than that, perfect.
A Commander sitting next to me: You know what they say about the squeaky wheel?
Me: It gets the grease?
The Commander: Yes. . .
Me: Well, Commander. (I don’t use “Commander.” I call him by his first name, even though I shouldn’t as an LT. In my strident defense, I knew him before the silver oak leaf.) I had plans to take it over to Jiffy Lube and get it up on the racks. It’ll give those guys over there a chance to really get to the heart of the problem.
A British Officer, who vastly outranks me, half chokes on his beer (we’re in a hotel lobby) and stares at me as if I am nuts. Then he grins ear-to-ear and tips his glass my way.
Me: Could cost me a little bit though.
(I never learnt how to leave a punchline good and alone. I do refrain from asking the group how they pronounce Jiffy Lube in Mexico. Yiffy Lube, if you must know. . .)
There is a special warm place somewhere south of here (and I don’t mean Venezuela) for frauds who impersonate military veterans for their own gain. You can consider adding Mark Niemczyk of Tinton Falls and Thomas Scalgione of Manahawkin to that list.
I am not judge, jury, and executioner, but I get angry when real vets are mistreated. Like Ralph Carnegary, a Vietnam vet who was jumped on a New York City subway. On my old line, the 6 Train at 28th Street. . .
When I got back to shore from the aircraft carrier, my back was mess. Not only was I always hunched over to avoid objects up high, I had a scab on my scalp. I look at the Netherlands’ women’s field hockey team and wonder how they play all hunched over:
“I was hungry,” he said. “They (the Navy Recruiters) told me I wouldn’t have to worry about that, and they were right. I never missed a meal.”
I only missed one meal on the mini-deployment I just did. Just my luck, I had to brief the Operations Officer (OpsO) that morning and I had low blood-sugar. Not a big deal, but I never missed another breakfast. As for Rabbit’s story, it was a different country back then.