No Head-Banging on a Navy Destroyer

Good news, I visited a Destroyer yesterday and I did not bang my head once aboard ‘er. For two whole hours I roamed her confined spaces with nary a head-schwack to my name.

On the DDG, I ran into a Chief that I knew as a First Class Petty Officer. He has a good seventeen years in and had shared with me previously that he was worried he would never make Chief. He is older and set in his ways and not very good (by his own admission) of playing politics. So it was gratifying to see him as a Chief. I am not saying you need to play politics in the Navy, but this Chief as a Petty Officer was bluntly outspoken (to his detriment) at times.

He had a little pied-piper escort of Petty Officers with him and I could not imagine a better teacher for the young ‘uns. He is no different with anchors than he was with crows. Solid. My faith in the Navy is intact.

As for me and banging my head on Navy ships, I am reminded of the old Leonardo DiCaprio da Vinci quote concerning flight:

Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.

I would amend it, however, to read:

Once you have tasted blood in your mouth, you will forever walk the ship with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have bit your tongue after whacking your head on a crossbeam, and there you will never long to return.

Pretty easy, huh?

8 thoughts on “No Head-Banging on a Navy Destroyer”

  1. I’ve only toured through old ships, but it was the stepping up and ducking my head at the same time that gave me problems. Why ever did they make doorways like that? And the stairways…geeze louise, they were steep.

  2. When you catch one on your ‘noggin’ always walk away straight, with steel eyed determination and dignity, as though it were not you that provided the hollow thunk that resounded around the mess decks.

    If you are capable of this, (and there are witnesses to it) then a legend is born…

    Yours Aye.

    1. Such injuries were always referred to as ‘hatch rash’ in the RN/RM, which also occurred to ones shins on occasion…


  3. Never having been there, Navy One, I cannot attest to it but my sympathies are with all of you who have….I’m after all a rather leggy and tall individual myself….from the heights, I still manage to look down on my roommate…k

    1. Kristen, consider your self one of the lucky ones, as the cold dormant grey steel is oblivious of sex; in as much that each will eventually fall victim sooner or later. My worst ‘hit’ was taken to my right shin when I went through a hatchway at great speed, the pain of which I will take to my grave!

      I must admit to a big smile at seeing the 6′ 2″ ‘Jimmy’ (First-Lieutenant) on HMS London doing the same. His contorted face still makes me chortle to this day…


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