I am standing at the edge of the pier chatting with a Navy Chief. We are waiting for a late Warrant Officer before we go aboard a DDG.
You miss your last job? I ask the Chief.
Recruiting? Hell no. If I got home at seven o’clock it was an early night for me, sir.
How is it going recruiting linguists these days?
Good. They get bonuses and all that. But the thing that makes it rough are the wickets.
The Navy sets goals and it is not enough that you find one recruit a month to join the Navy. I wasn’t looking for a Nuke MM, I had to find a Nuke that was a Hispanic female scoring so high on the ASVAB. And preferably one that was young. Those are the wickets.
Where did you find the recruits?
When I got hard up, I went to fast food places. And the mall, I looked for the dissatisfied kids and went over and talked to them. I don’t want the white males, they don’t help with my wickets.
And I was recruiting in Kansas. The Navy wants its Sailors to fit racial precentages. And we used that in recruiting. At least, that was what I was told.
Rank is not hard, you go up or you lose stripes. Or you stagnate at your current position. What does not happen is what occurred to Colm Meany’s character, Senior Chief Miles O’Brien, in Star Trek:
Colm Meany, Senior Chief Miles O’Brien, Star Trek
His role and rank in the Star Trek series took several years to evolve. Beginning as a crewman in “The Next Generation”, the character of Miles O’Brien then graduated to the transporter room and was briefly a Lieutenant before being made a Chief Petty Officer thus joining one of the very few recurring enlisted roles in Star Trek (Mr. Leslie and Yeoman Rand being two others from the originial series).
Transferring to “Deep Space Nine” in 1993, the O’Brien character mutated the first two seasons between a Warrant Officer and an “Ensign Junior Grade” before again becoming enlisted as a Senior Chief Petty Officer around the fourth season. In the last seasons of Deep Space Nine, the rank of Senior Chief was once and for all confirmed and O’Brien became the first ever Star Trek enlisted character to be given an enlisted rank insignia collar pin.