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Letters, Random Memories and Assorted Sea Stories (Cont.)

THIS SITE IS NOW 6 YEARS OLD!!!!

Wow, can you guys believe we are now on Page 50???? I Remember when I started this site back in 2001 it took six or seven months to gather enough material to start my second page. Today it takes about two months to fill a page. I usually make a new page when the latter page weighs slightly over 100KB. So if I now have 50 of them that's about 5MB.  (No wonder Jules asked about a search engine.) To complete my outlandish comparison I will mention that if you printed out each KP-Site page you would need 2,500 pages (or 50 packets of paper). Laid end to end those sheets of paper would stretch 2500 ft or 9 football fields and weigh almost a ton. Not bad.

Thanks to all for keeping this site going strong!!!!

KP  

3/3/07

Kissing cuzins ...

There were female nukes in 7904 and every class ahead and behind our class on-site Orlando in the late seventies/early eighties. I can't remember how many classes where on-site at a time, but I do know a class left every seven weeks. So the guy's timeline holds water with regards to rating/NEC of cousin. Not too many of the splittails made it all the way through to final qualifications back then. Didn't matter any way cuz they'd just use up a 33xx shore duty billet back then anyway as 'they' couldn't go out to sea.

Jim Tecson Engineering / M LCPO '97 - '01

3/4/07

A 3rd Div Night to Remember:

Remember when you started school in Orlando they told you that if you failed out that you would spend the next six years chipping paint well they lied to you I only spent four years chipping paint the cancel the two year extension for ET's. But Since my intention was to initially become a nuke and I did end up on the Enterprise in Deck Dept 3rd div which bordered nuke berthing I do share a little of a kinship with you so I'll share a story. Sorry it doesn't have anything to do with a cousin or anything. As I remember it we pulled into Souda Bay in 96 and had been at sea for awhile. I along with most of the crew was suffering from a severe case of berthing fever, so I did what any other sailor would do. I bought a case of Budweiser that MWR had so thoughtfully provided us with and watched CMC Hertzog make a fool of himself on the stage. Seeing as none of us could leave the pier area for no apparent reason there was a lot of drinking going on. I finished as much of my beer as i could i guess (the details are kinda fuzzy) and proceeded to stumble my way up the ramp they built for us onto elevator number two. After a couple of tries i finally made it to the hangar deck, and eventually down to the second deck then headed aft through nuke berthing. Now i was in Third Division Deck Dept berthing just off the Nuke berthing I climbed into my rack and passed out. Then of course that Budweiser got restless and decided that it didn't like its new home so it left and i puked all over myself and my rack. A fellow shipmate woke me up and informed me of my poor aim and told me that I probably ought to clean this mess up, so i climbed out of my rack took my pillow sheets mattress and blanket out wandered into nuke berthing and found a suitable replacement switched them out and went back to my rack with my new bedding and finished my nights sleep. So if any of you out there were that fellow that I switched my bedding with I would just like to say sorry and thanks again for the good nights sleep. 

BM3 J Dietz 

Iceman_481@yahoo.com

3/4/07 

Female MMs That Paved the Way for The Others (And More Skuttle Butt) 

Hate to be a consecutive poster but I read up some and saw where someone was asking about female steamside MMs and I just had to comment:

When I was coming through the pipeline, female MMs were a rare sight – I could probably name most of the first ones that successfully made it through, as most of them washed out in A school when we were learning to rebuild valves and clean lube oil purifiers. The Navy, in its infinite wisdom, shuffled the successful female MMs into cake jobs (usually against their will) to put off dealing with the problems of females on combatant ships where there were no existing berthings, etc. I went through the pipeline from 1 Feb 95 until I left S5W Charleston, SC (MTS-626, if you were wondering, the ex-USS Daniel Webster) in July 96 and this is what I remember:

We classed up in MM A School (at Orlando) with less than 10 female MMs, and only a few of them made it to NPS Class 9507 (section 5 for me) let alone prototype. Trina Hammersley went to Ballston Spa and I don’t know what happened to her. Liz Meredith and Misty Sampson came with us to S5W. There may have been more from our class, but those are the ones I remember. Females had been through the pipeline previous to our class, but I seem to recall MMCM Tomondong (Anyone remember Chief Tommy?) telling us that our ladies were the first fleet-bound nuclear MMs, as all of the previous female nucs had either been ETs or just plain unsuccessful. I remember a tiny African-American girl who was very smart and very nice, but the pressure of A school gave her an eating disorder (she didn’t eat at all) and MMCM used to come into our class after lunch to make sure one of us had escorted her to the galley and made her eat. She didn’t make it. There were others – Katherine Davidson and April McHam tried very hard but washed out trying, just like many of our male schoolmates.

At any rate, Liz and Misty both qualified, and I’m fairly sure the Navy tried to shunt them into the ELT program. Liz probably took it but I don’t remember – she was a good kid but all 90 pounds of her wasn’t really suited to the physically brutal MM rating. Misty Sampson was a Texas girl and I’ll give her credit – she wanted no special treatment, even opening that big-ass knocker valve MS-1 on a startup, that rite of passage that damn near killed the average male MM and required massive physical strength to achieve. I’m fairly sure Misty went on to be a successful steam-side MM somewhere, and I would have been proud to stand watch with her.

There were lots of female EMs and ETs around, enough that they weren’t really that remarkable, but the female MMs were, to a woman, tough, confident and a blast to be around. There were some that came after us – Heather Tegerdine comes to mind. They really resented the fact that the Navy didn’t consider them to be suitable MMs even after they’d been trained equally to the males, and they HATED the fact that the guys resented that they got all the ELT school billets and staff pickup billets over the guys, because the Navy didn’t want to send them to sea.

So all you female MM nucs out there in the pipeline (I understand this site is now unofficially required reading for NPS and Prototype), these ladies were the trailblazers who knocked down the walls, allowing you to go to sea as equals with the men you work and train with today – they shouldn’t be forgotten. There were guys out there who didn’t want the ladies to succeed, but most of us were very supportive and saw you just like we saw each other – teammates. A lot of good women washed out – Denise Quinones, Laura Brinley, Lindsey Purcell, Drew Hoffman, and many others – and they paid the price to get you ladies the more equal treatment you get today. But really, Trina, Liz and Misty are the first successful female nuc MMs that I’m aware of, and ought to be memorialized somehow amongst the Benevolent Order of the Navy Nuc.

Thinking about school made me want to mention some of the more outstanding instructors we had that were involved too – future nucs, ask your instructors about MMC(SS) Simeone, MMCM(SS/SW) Frank (Francis) Tomondong, MM1(SS) Tim Hull, EMC(SS) (Later a surface officer on the Big E) Yates, EMC(SW) Bickford, LT Herrington from MTMO, ENS Tompkins from the Math Department, MMCS(SS) King from CMR – MM1 Ron Leonard (ELT instructor from S5W), EM1(SW) Moses, MM2 Capps (HELL YEAH), my personal Sea Daddy at Prototype MM2 Rod Fullingim, who was the best kind of Sea Dad – you never saw him unless he had to check your qual card progress – MM1(SS) Crouch and MM1(SS) Schulz, who once told me I’d be a hell of an operator for someone if I wasn’t so damn lazy. These guys *made* MMs, and they took their jobs very personally, and I am eternally grateful for their patience with me and how much they cared. Crouch and Schulz, along with Rod Fullingim, are probably as responsible as myself personally for getting me through school and making me a nuc. Well, that and Matt Capps coming back from his stint at Jax (don’t ask – it involves a hockey game and a fight) to blaze the holy crap out of my qual card in ERUL between the SSTGs one night, muttering “Hell, you know all this crap…” over and over again as the smoke arose from his signing pen… just before he unexpectedly tripped both TGs and made me recover the plant to prove it. Bastard.

I don’t know how it is now but back then, once you got to prototype, you qualified pretty much when the instructors decided by acclamation that you “knew your shit,” as EMC(SW) Bickford so succinctly put it. Took me 4 ½ months to qualify. The last six weeks rocked – I got to stand throttleman and switchboard cross-deck watches in Maneuvering, and got to belay a student EWO’s order when, as I was standing 2AMRLL the dumb shit ordered me to start two [BIG ASS DC-POWERED WATER PUMPS OF WHICH THERE ARE FOUR ON THE AFT BULKHEAD OF THAT SPACE] on the same electrical bus. Kids, remember your rules about those four pumps (no two on the same bus, no two physically next to each other) and try not to swear over the SPP when your EWO trainee wants you to sink the MTS.

Well, I’ve posted at great length so I’m going to cut it off here. Seriously though, I want to hear from all you mid-to-late 90s guys, and wouldn’t mind hearing from some nubs with questions, either… tcdruck@insightbb.com

3/4/07

KP Note: Tim, great post. Never worry about consecutive posts, as well written thoughts are always welcome. 

More About Female Nucs ...

Some slight info correcting here... I was in class 7904, and there were no female nucs of any type back then. I was in the fleet when I first heard of them, and they all went to tenders or instructor duty (staff puke-ups) back then, as there was no place to put them in the fleet. They weren't allowed on combat vessels (every nuc was a combat vessel.. go figure). I'd say the first had to be in the fleet in early 81 or so... least as I recall.

Arrgh! 7904; RC-14 (80-83)

ps - there is a chance I am wrong, and those particular brain cells were unceremoniously killed in the PI. I know there were no female nucs in 7904, section 12 (I have pictures of our class to prove that one)

3/5/07

More ...

We had several young ladies in RM Division during my final tour. At best, they were a distraction (sitting in berthing dressed in very little). At worst, they just converted oxygen to carbon dioxide. I am sure there were some exceptions, but none come readily to mind.

Now, in M-Div, there was a young lady from EM-23 who was a hot runner. Got qualified CMO quickly and then Water Control Watch in Central. Petty Officer Schoeneman was a good watch stander, did not require constant supervision. She handled the airdales with flair. An added benefit was she was a bit of eye candy for us old lecherous Chiefs who stood watch with her. Thanks Marlayna, you made the job easier.

Mark Best

3/5/07

re: tim's 'Female MMs'

"[...] but I seem to recall MMCM Tomondong (Anyone remember Chief Tommy?) telling us that our ladies were the first fleet-bound nuclear MMs, as all of the previous female nucs had either been ETs or just plain unsuccessful."

~~~ ??? the way i heard it ... all ET's were female ... as well as being unsuccessful ... which is why we were called 'PussyCats'. ;) or so you jealous lo-life EM/MM pukes would like to think. ;) lol

seriously tho ... imagine 'guys', if you can ... [rhetorical question, i know you can't ... but humor me ...] what it must have been like to have to endure all the shit we all had to go thru as nuke nubs ... and have, in addition to that, all the extra bullshit these females had to put up with from every 'swingin dick' out to prove women weren't as capable of doing the job as they ... including not 'allowing' them to do the same job in the fleet, as if it was their fault guys break out drooling and soiling their skivvies at the very sight of a female, esp a 'roundeye'? now tell me honestly ... who's problem is that? who is it should be owning that shit?

same thing in any other 'male dominated' job/industry. i see the same thing still taking place in the power industry ... the 'good ole boys' network not yet having been completely put out to pasture. still lots of 'old school' bigots about ... even tho many of them are pretty worthless at their jobs themselves at their age, having been 'promoted' to pushing paper in some cubicle and hardly in a position to judge anyone else who is still out there doing the real work.

hell, not much different from what 'people of color' had to put up with in the service in ww2, eh? [and still do, btw]. just go back and take a look at the rhetoric ... [actually, you don't have to go very far back] and substitute 'broad' or 'gay' or 'immigrant' for 'colored'. kinda scary how history continues to repeat itself, eh? same ole story ... we humans so love to 'draw lines' and make distinctions between 'us' and 'them' ... who 'they' are not really mattering all that much ... too young/old, female, gay, non-Christian, non-American ... doesn't matter ... as long as we can find some distinction to make, something that makes them 'different' from us. and hey ... if it isn't really there, we'll make something up. actually, it's all made up ... just 'us', trying to finger out who 'we' are/are-not ... then identifying with/attaching to ... that self-created image. it's comfortable and safe, eh? humans are indeed very strange critters. imo. ime.

-steamer-

3/5/07

Humping Cousins Revisited Last Time.

KP,

Final email on this as it is getting boring. Not that I would dispute CPO Tescon or a Chief in general. I was hoping R___ was going to tell us which class he was in. Chief is correct "In 1979, the Navy allowed approximately 130 women to enlist in the Navy's Nuclear Power Field. So Chief, based on your posting. I agree there were females in the pipeline around your class number. But that door was shut soon thereafter to any more women, until the 1990's.

Another point in his story doesn't gibe. He claimed "She finished BEE and A schools and arrived in Orlando." I have a question. Why wasn't she in Orlando once before R__ you could of had her much earlier. RTC Orlando was the only RTC for women starting in 1973. Before it was some hole in Maryland (Yes I googled it..way to much trivia).

Since I am a MM, I wouldn't know much about BEE or A school as R___ wrote or their locations but if she was female "why would they send her all the way to Great Lakes when there was a perfectly good BEE school in Orlando. BEE is the precursor to several ratings. Was she a EM or an ET? Now NFAS Orlando stood up in 1985 so they rolled BEE and A school into one (for EMs and ETs) I thought.

Perhaps KP deleted too much info but R___ never stated his class number or hers for that matter to see if it adds up. R__ won't fess up. He claims he went to a boomer out of Charleston and went out directly to sea??? Perhaps that is true but usually new arrivals are assigned to the off crew first. I wonder how Holy Loch was as the boomers did crew swap overseas How bout some Charleston stories when you were on off crew or the fat Scottish woman you caught a disease from R____. How long were your deployments R___? What was the color of your crew? What did you qualify? What was your rate? Lets make this simple. Which boomer class sub were you assigned to and its name/hull number.

Me thinks his story his story is crap and he is not a nuke and good chance he is not even in the military.

Schmidty (RL90-94)

3/5/07

HP Tape, Cloth Backed Tape, Etc

KP,

Thanks TimD for the story, especially taping. During the ROH in the early 90's, various types and copious quantities of tape could be found anywhere on the ship. I still cringe every time when I hear tape being pulled from the roll. Back in my time the sound of tape coming off the roll was the "ELT Love Call" according to Willie Jackson. My head was on a swivel as I tried to find the nearest exit cause that sound meant a victim was chosen. Been privy to several tapings during the yard period. Overheads were the best locations but taping to chairs and tape mummification are noteworthy. Regarding overheads, I could say at least we were thinking some modicum of safety and left the arms free just in case gravity overcame the adhesive. Some injuries eventually resulted due to the struggles of the victim (broken bones), loss of eyebrows (the androgynous look) and if it was really high quality tape left on for a period of time, loss of skin. I think it was MMCM W who put a stop to taping in no uncertain terms. Wonder if taping still happens today?

The other uses of tape were:

1. The tape balls that were being created in each of the plants. Khaki and NR would find those everywhere. Think 1 plant won overall with some monster in the 70 lb range before it was discovered. Smaller versions were good for getting someone's attention in the MMR or playing chair basketball in the office. 2. Creates shelves and compartments in drawers. 3. Pipe patching, ventilation duct repair, and even some hull leaks (different ship) 4. Decontamination. Ahh the old tape press method to remove those pesky particles. 5. Install the black foam insulation on cold water pipes. Acts a lagging cloth too, especially after you paint it. Most couldn't tell the difference, unless you tried that on a steam pipe. 6. Bandage. Use a kim-wipe as the gauze.

I am sure there are more uses...just like crazy glue

Schmidty (RL90-94)

3/5/07

Doug Miller Comes Aboard ...

Ram, Just thought I'd drop you a line and give you my e-mail address for your list.

ET2 Doug Miller, RC-23, 1986-1990

douglas.miller@comcast.net

KP Note: Miller! Hey, I totally remember you. Didn't you hang with Scoggin and Roady?

3/5/07

More Memories ...

Correction, I was in class 8004. I think I was supposed to be in 7904, but they had too many people in the pipeline. I checked badges for a long time. I was there from well before Christmas '79 until August '80. Anyway, like I said, there were females in every class on site when I was there during the aforementioned time period. I know a very low percentage passed the comp. Most failed out or got preggars. I think my section, section 9 was the only section that had more than one female pass the comp test. We had 3 pass the comp I think. One of them got married to another student at the prototype I went to (S1C). And was still there after I came back from 4 years of sea duty for instructor duty. One of them had a hair casualty and her hair turned green. The other one had a cousin in another class ... no, just kidding.

I am also tired of all this.

I think the toober is lying about the cuzin deal.

Jim Tecson

3/5/07

Taping and Other forms of Persuasion ...

I am fairly certain that our class 8203 was the last with females. All of them (like Jim Tecson says) failed or got pregnant with exception of Debbie Warren. She ended up being a Master Chief with very little sea time under her belt. She must have excelled at something during her career for she was promoted just about first time, every time.

Now, taping …. yeah, the ELTs were the champs, but just ask a young mechanic (if he ever shows up here) by the name of Kevin M. He was taped to the peppermint stick on number 3 main engine for the better part of an entire duty day. I am fairly certain that the young man never blew off a duty day again.

Back in the olden days … we used to handle much of the discipline in the plants. You rarely (if ever) saw a nuke going to mast. Behind in quals? Port and Starboard duty. Not qualified a steaming watch? Better not find you in the lounge EVER and rack time was limited to when you were not standing under instruction watches or cleaning the bilge in 3RAR. Yes Jim that was the smell of a urinal that you always wrote down on your zone inspection sheets, but it was more so in the 80s when we actually had a deep sink that drained into the bilge near the eductor.

Nowadays, I bet you go to mast for the silliest of things. No wonder they are making the plants easier to operate … there probably just aren’t enough talented operators anymore.

MrB

3/6/07

Word to Jim T:

Hey there, Jim T. I probably checked badges with you in Orlando. I arrived there just after Christmas and then joined 8005. I think that was the number. I remember three women in our class and I believe they each made it through. One, Penny V, was in prototype in New York when I was there. Nice gal. One of my room mates from NY was like her puppy. Any way, back in Orlando while checking badges, I made acquaintance with a few of the females in classes before mine. They just like so many of the guys had mandatory hours to put in and would rather spend it chatting than sitting in class pretending to study. We didn't do any taping there while on watch but we did on occasion try to ride the floor buffer on the late shift. It was that or prank calling the Orlando residents at two in the morning and patching them through to "Dial a Prayer". I did get to meet a bunch of good guys there that were destine to fail. I do recall the threat of having to chip paint for the rest of their tour. A couple of guys I remember were actually busting their humps to get through but didn't and upset about it. One was sent home to Maryland and had duty on a PT boat in the Chesapeake bay. Another, from the Texas Nucs group, ended up passing out basketballs somewhere. My time in NPS Orlando in 8005 was 2.5 and survive. I think I had a 2.55 when I finished up. The whole thing gave me headaches and I was prescribed vallium. I slept through many a class and really didn't give a crap. I spent probably as many hours in the garages there as I did in class. I had a 57 Chevy, silver with blue flames, that kept me pretty busy fixing it or driving somewhere other than there. I was reading earlier about how tuff it was to be a MM. I must have been on a different ship than those tuff MM's. The hardest thing I remember was trying to climb a ladder in 3 RAR with a clip board while I had a broken collar bone and in a sling. The hardest thinking I recall doing was when somehow the only remaining sea water pump that matched some on the "E" was delivered to us. It was my job to put it someplace so with clamp plates and chain falls, it was hoisted and slung down, over, up and around ended up in one of the shaft alleys and is probably there today. I should have put my name on it. 

Dan Fisher

3/7/07

Another Boomer Visit:

Hey Big E nukes, Love your site. I was TM3 on Alexander Hamilton, Gold Crew (SSBN-617).  Was supposed to be decommissioned in '86 but got a reprieve when the Nat Green (SSBN-636) grounded.   I laughed when someone mentioned fat Scottish girls. Ah, I pity the fool who never saw Holy Loch, Scotland. I remember my first Lassie. Lassie is about the best way to describe what she looked like too. Maybe I'll work up the courage to send in some stories.  

3/8/07

KP Note: Thanks for the email. If memory serves me right both Holy Loch and PI ceased to be used by the US Navy in 1992. Thus, ending eras that many surface and sub nukes of yore allot significant memory reserve for.  In NPS I recall hearing much about Holy Loch, as most of us were presumed to be headed for Boomers. I'm sure someone can do the math (I guess I could but I'm too lazy) to calculate the probability of winding up on a boomer verses a fast attack or surface ship in the 70s & 80s. In those days (before Salt II) it seemed like there were dozens and dozens of boomers creeping the ocean floor. No doubt, however, the majority of us nukes went to Big E with it's billet space for about 900 trained operators. How lucky we were.  

I'm curious about this probability now. Can someone do a back of the envelope calculation to predict how likely a nuke graduating from NPS in 1985 would be to go to either a carrier, boomer, fast attack boat, or cruiser. Assume there is no input from sailor (dream sheet) so all choices are random.   

3/7/07

Taping. Unbelievable tale to tell.

'99 - '01 occurred quite a bit, unbeknownst to me. Suspected, but never could catch them, never put much effort into, now that I think about it. I put a stop to it the few times people were caught red taped handed and turned in. Always sent them to security and let them figure it out. They never wrote anyone up, but I made them make desk journal entries (or whatever that log book is in security). Except one time, I didn't turn in a Junior Officer that was involved, I turned that matter over to Rx Dept as that was were this person was from. Never heard a word about it for a few years.

Told you all that to tell you this ...

I'm not the best inside guy to tell the story as I was an MMCM at time, but this about how I remember it going down ...

In 2000 or 2001 Rx & Eng sent about 50 + Sailors to MAST (each and every one busted down one pay grade) right in a row for 'torturing' some poor fella.

A story of epic and Biblical proportions.

Involved to some extent, a spring bearing that someone forgot to put the oil back in and no one noticed it (except for, thank goodness, a new guy on his first or second SAP), a group CO's MAST for the forgotten and not noticed oil (in which a girl somehow escaped 'awarding' of punishment, a post restriction party where an alleged male on male sexual assault of some sort occurred (ick), a new car stereo, a desertion and the situation (s) all coming to the attention to BIG E's Chain of Command via a congressional inquiry from Senator Barbara Boxer D-CA. She was and still is the Senator from the young lad's home state. Seems he had a repressed memory come back when someone figured out he'd been on leave a little too long. Seems he got strung up and among other things, got his butt cheeks superglued while on FPW. Apparently he explained all that when he got back, from being a deserter. Dropped a whole armored car full of dimes. That dumb bastard must have sold a kidney to get all the dimes he had to drop.

"THEY" were interviewing everyone. "THEY" came to me and ask me what I did whenever I heard about hazing. I told "THEM" that I never witnessed it, but whenever it was reported to me I took the folks involved to security and made sure they made a desk journal entry. Then "THEM" asked me "in every case?". "I believe so, have someone go look through the desk log journals during the deployment." "Okay Master Chief, we've already done that, we found them. Are you sure every case got reported?" "Not anymore." "What about any involving (officer's name)?" "Oh, that one, I told the Rx Dept LCPO about that. I wasn't there but I was told that information was relayed up the Chain of Command." Then every shitbird on the Ship sez I dropped the dime on that particular officer. That turd (or is it terd) who started all that crap even told everyone about every thing he'd even heard or read about. Got most of his info from those stupid bitch books/dopey books you guys kept/keep (that's right, us dickhead lifers found them all the time, good reading, good art, a good book to pass the time on a proficiency watch, and oh yea smart guys, it wasn't too hard to figure out everyone's nicknames). So then "THEY" want all the dopey/bitch books rounded up. To quote Jackie Gleason "That there is evidence boy, put it in the car."

"THEY" kept bothering me. Only two guys involved came to ask for my counsel (sort of hurt my feelings, for about 2 seconds), I told one of them I'd listen very carefully to my rights and would probably execute those rights, especially the one about remaining silent. "You can do that?" "That's why they read them to you." My memory is shot, but that is almost exactly what I said to him. Of course "THEY" got really pissed at me cuz he remained almost silent, exceptin' for the part of who told him he should remain silent. The other fella that came to see me was cooked and he knew it, he was dead-man walking, I felt really, really bad for that young man. The guys involved/around at time can guess who that poor guy was.

Out of all the guys that got the dime dropped on them for being a hazer, I think the three guys who chose to remain silent are the only ones that didn't even go to XOI.

Anyway, the taping stories brought this all back. I don't believe the shit myself and I was there. Post what you will, but this really happened, pretty much as I have written. I'm sure I have some of the stuff wrong, but it's in the ballpark. It was without a doubt the craziest thing I saw in 22+ yrs. Someone else out there can confirm almost all of this.

Another side note to this whole shameful episode is that very soon after that two guys who had been busted down one pay grade for hazing got turned into me for doing it again a few days after they got off restriction. They both were out of the Navy within ten days. Obviously rocket scientists or brain surgeons now.

notes: -"THEY"/"THEM" = composite crew members of some rank and/or import at the time, all very, very senior to me (and probably still very pissed at me to this day)

-I think I remember the names, but I don't want to get sued since I don't have a dopey book/bitch book name. I think when I wrote in the bitch book on TRUXTUN I used my own name anyway, so I never had a bitch/dopey book name.

Jim Tecson

3/8/07

Hazing

As far as 'hazing' in general I'm not sure if it was that prominent during my era. I know that we often 'fucked with' people, but not really to hurt anyone. It was more of getting back at folks that were assholes when they didn't need to be or just a way to mess with people's minds in a gentle way.  I apologize if any one was aversely affected (even you Lt. R and CHUD, or that poor E-Div chief we kept calling The Fonz). This site is filled with such tales of mind-messing and high sea high jinks. That's what we did to while away the hours of boredom. It was life at sea. I wouldn't mind exploring this topic if others want to. 

The other night I was reminiscing about those long ago days of simple things amusing simple minds, when I was the late-night roving RE and I paid my visit to EOS to take logs and BS with my pals Spuds, Hefty Hen and Deck Drains while the PPWO sat there minding his own business. On nights such as that the panel boys would often engage me in a topic of conversation that would confuse and befuddle anyone who was of the thinking sort ...  one example I can recall off the top of my head is:

Panel A: "Hey, [KP]. How's your shit experiment going?"

KP: "Pretty good. I'm getting some great results."

Panel B: "Are you collecting all the data yourself?"

KP: "No, I got a few nubs helping me out. This week we're only eating canned peaches. Our data is pretty consistent."

..etc & such ...

The poor PPWO, overhearing this, would have to ask, "What are you guys talking about?"

Then Puffo or Spuds or someone would explain how (by then I was done with my logs and out of EOS) that while underway [KP] would only eat one type of food and then take logs on his 'logs' so to speak.

PPWO: "Why?"

No one could answer that. 

Ens. Scheffield and Ens. Paavola (both Maverick ex bubblehead chiefs who stood their watches in 4 Plant right after qualifying ) were no doubt given that conversational treatment and probably volunteered to take data themselves when the shit experiment was discussed. 

KP  

3/8/07

Hazing ...

When I was getting ready to go into the navy my brother, A Boiler Tech on the RK Turner (CG-20) told me about how everyone got hazed at some point. Whether they were prussian blue balled before going home to their wife (or worst, wedding) or greased. I did 6 months TAD on the Frank Cable (AS-40) before starting nuke school. Taping was big there. Not only were you taped to something, may times you were also hydroed by sticking a hose under the tape. If you leaked, they taped you some more. I only saw one person get taped so well that the running hose didn't leak. The worst part about getting tape is if they lifted your shirt to tape across your belly. Man, that was brutal trying to get it off. Think scene from '40 year old virgin'. I don't recall any taping on the Enterprise when I was there. Everyone had stories of someone taped to a shaft on turning gear all day, but I never saw it. We in 3 MMR were more likely to have water fights on shift. Mark B, Chris Briggs and John H. might remember some good ones. We also hung a few water filled condoms in the overhead for the next shift. I think ETCS Cook had a close call with one during one of his PPWO tours.

Chester

3/10/07

Ask & Tell?

Hi Bill, Jim Whitsett was the one who told me about Dave W__ton AKA "John Boy" (the ET-2 who eventually got his junk removed to change his gender). W__ton was the guy who went awol during the yard pac in 80/81. If I recall correctly, the Navy booted him with a less than honorable for disappearing just before or during the ORSE/fast cruise. I "discovered" this information after Jim mentioned to me in an e-mail that Dave's photo and story was up on Classmates.com in the Enterprise section. Being a gold member of that site I found and followed W__on's trail of crumbs for a while. He did not have kind words for the Navy in general or the people he worked with on the Enterprise (apparently because of his gender dysphoria). According to his auto-bio he went on to work in a book store in SF where he says he explored the alternative life-style. He decided he was a woman and had the surgery to complete the deal. He changed his name to something feminine, weird and Irish-sounding. (Last I knew) he lived in or near New Orleans and was into the whole trans-sexual life scene. I think he might have been HIV + too. His information is no longer available on Classmates. His web site links went inactive long ago, so I suppose he is choosing to go to ground or he contracted AIDS and has passed.

Does anybody know or have information about Chief/Ens Kelley? He was (in)famous in RE div in the late 70's and early 80's. I remember going to his crib on base to "interview" for the RE LPO/section leader job. He went to OCS and returned to the Enterprise as an Ensign just shortly before I got out in November of 1981. What a piece of work he was.

Tom Lindmark

3/11/07

KP Note: I did not know Chief Kelly but knew of him as many of the senior REs when I was a nub were nubs when he was chief. Randy Snook once told me that he often saw Kelly riding the BART trains. He wasn't going anywhere, just riding. You'd see him here, there and everywhere, just riding the train. Even after Chief Kelly got out of the navy he was still seen just riding the trains. Snook told me (or I overheard him telling someone else ... I have no idea if this was true) that once the Big E pulled into Seattle and a bunch of REs took the train somewhere and surprise of all surprises there was Chief Kelly, riding on the train.  I could be wrong that the chief was Kelly. One of you early 80 REs will have to help me out here.

Hazing...

The only hazing I recall was "tacking on your crow" when someone got got another stripe. We had one guy in EE30 who got tacked enough to cause some bleeding.

Practical jokes would abound. We had a 1st class (can't remember his name) come to EE30 just before the 89-90 cruise that slept ALL the time. If he wasn't on watch, he was in his middle rack. He was once duct taped into his rack while he was sleeping. Unfortunately, it was a bad taping design (no tape wrapped to bunk above or below) and he was able to kick out pretty easily.

Rob

ps: Wasn't there a female 1st class instructor at MARF when we were there?

3/11/07

KP Note: I don't recall any females at MARF. Joe from Ike, did you remember a female at MARF in 8502/3 time frame?

No Recollecta!

Rob, To answer your question, no, I don't recall any females at MARF. Like probably most everyone from the 80's the only female nuke I recall is that one at NPS Orlando. What did she do? Some medical function, right?

Joe B from Ike

3/12/07

BO-BO COMES ABOARD!!!!

Ram - You Son Of A Bitch..LOL

How are U. It is none other than I, ET-2 Bob Kessler. I can't believe I happened upon this site. I stopped playing [guitar] a few years back but I did reach "FAIR" status. I used to jam out with that 100 watt Yamaha I got from... can't remember his name... the EM I shared the guitar locker with, he was like your best friend [Hordyke?] and I still have that Gibson Sonex Custom I bought from him.... and was told by a neighbor that I sounded really good, whatever, the dude musta been tone deaf... LOL. This definitely brings back memories. So I don't have a lot of time right now, rarely do, but I wanted to say HI and touch base with ya. I would definitely love to hear from ya, what you are doing, where ya live and work, etc. Did ya get married. You know the drill.

I never left the Bay Area and after years with an Engineering firm as a Construction Manager, now find myself working for the City of Vallejo as a Water Department Instrument Tech. Married twice... Blah Blah Blah... Gotta Go but definitely will correspond when I have more time.

Awesome you made the personnel site, I gotta check on a couple of those guys. You have a CD, too?! I'd love to hear it. You were (are) an awesome guitarist! It has only been 17 years!

Much Love Dude

Bob Kessler

feedthebobo@yahoo.com

3/15/07

KP Note: Bo-Bo!! (Or Ken as I used to call you incorrectly)!!! Man, is it great to hear from you! There is much written on this site about you. I can only assume that you bought my album when you discovered my site--but if you haven't send me your snail mail address and I'll ship one of the remaining ones off to you. You taught me a song once (Scorpions?) and I used a version of that lick on my song Mondo Mooj. See if you can find it. You also taught me how to play Duane Eddy's Rebel Rouser and I have played that live once or twice. Once you see all your 3-plant buds are here I know you'll be inspired to share all your torrid tales!

Hazing, Cont.

I do not think many incidents onboard the good ship ENTERPRISE was ever referred to as hazing. That term really did not come into place until Tailhook in 1991 or the Naval Academy (chaining the young lady to a urinal) incident in 1994. Most of the time, these were all in fun and no one got hurt. Some times, these were lessons to be learned.

My feelings were confirmed recently. Nukes rarely, if ever, went to mast. Things were handled in the department or within the plants. There was never any need to involve the outside.

Things changed incredibly during my last tour. Nukes were going to see the old man almost as often as the Deck Department people went.

We never hurt anyone during these antics. It actually helped build camaraderie and pride in oneself and in one’s plant or division. Just knowing what the potential was, kept many from being a bagger or dirt bag more than once or twice.

MrB

3/15/07

Shawn Wilmsmeyer Comes Aboard:

Name: Wilmsmeyer, Shawn 

Div: RL Div Years: 95-99 

Email: shwilmsmeyer@aol.com

Please include me on the list.

Thanks, 

Shawn

3/22/07

Mike Takacs Comes Aboard:

Mike Takacs 1981-1985 RM-11, RM-3. 

Just found the web site. My email is michael.takacs1@dhs.gov

Hi All!!!

3/24/07

More on Hazing….

KP, Most of the "hazing" I observed in the Navy occurred on my first ship. Between "A" school and NPS I spent about 5 months on a rusty old destroyer. I was assigned to the aft engineroom, the most feared division on the ship. I endured all the usual shit like being sent for "50 feet of water line" etc. Got my new crow tacked on by pretty much every petty officer in Engineering. During my first months aboard, I heard constant rumors of greasing. The aft engine room was supposedly the prime greasing unit on the ship. Deck apes feared passing the access hatch to the aft engineroom due to rumors of snipes popping up like trap door spiders and pulling unsuspecting squids down into the hole for a good greasing. I heard stories of guys being stripped naked, hung upside down by the ankles, and getting a grease gun inserted into their rectum. During my 5 months aboard I only personally observed one actual greasing. (Mine) One day, about three months into my stay, I was wrestled to the deck on ERLL. My pants were pulled down to my knees and a rag loaded with at least 2 pounds of Mil-Spec axle grease was smeared on my naked ass. Penetration was not achieved, but I seem to recall that my next several shits came out REAL easy. Like most legends, the rumor was far worse than the real deal. (I guess I must have taken my greasing like a man, because I was accepted after that.)

Only saw taping once during my entire six year hitch. A couple of weeks before I shipped out to NPS, the aft engineroom got a new nuke fresh from "A" school. (My replacement actually) One day, just before lunch, a bunch of the gang grabbed the guy and taped him a vertical run of main steam piping just forward of the evaporator. A Buck knife was left in plain view just out of his reach. The gang then went to lunch for about 2 hours. When we came back, the dude was just silently staring at the knife. We cut him free, but the event must have f**ked with his mind, because he didn't talk much after that. (I felt kind of guilty, because I took part in the shit.)

Didn't get hazed much on the Big E. When we first went down to the plants, guys would act like they were gay and make us think that we were on the menu. Did my share of bilge diving, but hey, I was the F**king New Guy and I guess SOMEONE had to do it! Just part of earning your acceptance into the plant.

One event did cross the line however. One night on the '74/75 cruise, an ELT(?) named K_____e was asleep in Rx berthing. Like most people, he kept his shoes on the deck outside his rack. Someone came by and took a huge dump in one of his shoes. K_____e failed to see the humor in it. He took the shoe, complete with the steaming turd, to the Rx office and demanded that something be done about the harassment. A big stink was raised for several days (no pun intended) but I don't think they ever caught the culprit.

Shellback initiation was cool. I went through it with Paul Burke. We had to crawl around the flight deck on our hands and knees while we were sprayed with salt water and paddled on our asses. At one point, I was forced to crawl through a canvas chute into which some shellbacks had just poured an entire shit can of garbage. Man, that shit stunk! All in all, I thought it was good fun and a rite of passage that I'm proud to have gone through. I'm sure that in today's unisex, PC Navy this ritual has been considerably toned down. Too bad.

In a way, just being assigned to the plants was a rite of passage, especially for us steam side MMs. Standing a 4 hour watch on ERLL in the Indian Ocean ain't for the faint at heart. We used to envy the pecker checkers, Yeomen and airdales for their cushy working conditions. But at the same time we felt superior to them because of the shit that we endured. And we endured it as a group, which made us a tighter knit bunch than those other clowns whom we considered to be pussies. I guess the shittier the experience, the prouder you are to survive it.

PP

3/25/07  

Hazing...

Regarding hazing and the previous comments, "That term really did not come into place until Tailhook in 1991 or the Naval Academy (chaining the young lady to a urinal) incident in 1994." ?

Hazing is an activity that is many hundreds of years old and indeed well known of. We have seen it regularly in our lives in sororities, fraternities and the military in particular.

Most of us in this group have personally experienced hazing with our "Pollywog" to "Shellback" initiations... crawling on all fours, humiliation, paddling, being hosed, forced to blow water out of the tie-downs, King Neptune's peanut butter belly kissing, and on and on. Moreover, we even have a photo record of it in our Cruise Books. See more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazing

Jules J. LaMontagne, ETI, West Pac 74, # Plant, properly hazed 15 January 1975

3/25/07

Shellback Memories ...

Yeah, I remember (semi-fondly) my three crossing the line ceremonies--one as a wog, two as a shellback. The day we '86 Wespac wogs became shellbacks was memorable. Yeah, I got whacked plenty--I was a smart ass and my division elders made it clear I was a marked man--but, WTF, at least it was something exciting to look forward to and then look back upon years later. It was that one interesting day bunched between many many boring days of Gonzo Station sailing. I know today it is pretty tame. Maybe that's a good thing. Anyway, I certainly wasn't harmed by it. True, I had some bloody knees, a sore ass and quite a few bruises. But that night's celebration--when the whole crew was one with Imperium Neptuni Regis--was a great time had by all and it was one of those life at sea things you never forget (like your first walk along Magsaysay). Then the next day it was business as usual.

KP

3/27/07

Grease is The Word ...

It was talked about ... threatened ... but I never saw it happen. Was anyone ever really Greased in a USS Enterprise engine room? 

3/27/07

Greased ...

The worst greasing that I ever saw was the occasional Mobil Red in the sound powered phone gag.

I think we got greased more when we ate on the mess decks.

MrB

3/27/07

Goodbye, Old Friend, CV 67!

... 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 68 ...

Wow, Big E Bros, CV 66 & CV67 are now retired from the fleet and CVN 65 still steams strong! No more conventional carriers remain so our Beloved Gal is the next to go.

KP


JFK Decommissioned After 38 Years 

(From Navy News by PO1 Bill Larned)

Mayport, FL. -- The aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) was decommissioned in Mayport, Fla., March 23.

After a 17 gun salute, USS John F. Kennedy Commanding Officer Capt. Todd Zecchin addressed the more than 5,000 guests, former commanding officers, city officials and distinguished visitors. In his speech, he described his feelings for the ship and the legacy of its crew.

“While preparing for today, I realized that serving on this ship is akin to having a relationship with a tried and true friend," Zecchin said. "Saying goodbye is a sublime melancholy.”

Zecchin described the level of dedication the crew revealed. He illustrated their pride in professionalism in terms of a recent port visit to Boston, when 21 degree below zero windchills made working conditions at night unforgiving.

“None of the watchstanders complained. In fact, I had to order them back inside the skin of the ship because they were so intent on getting the job done.”

The ship’s commanding officer took time not just to remember the crew’s efforts, but of those backing each of them.

“Nobility of purpose, service to people, devotion to a cause and a deep belief in each other is what sustains us. We could not have done it without the support of family and friends," he said.

Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command Admiral John B. Nathman talked about the ship’s history and the deployments to the Middle East that made headlines in the 1980s, 1990s and the present decade.

“You have served with honor and distinction,” Nathman said, addressing the crew. “I commend you for facing challenges head-on and for welcoming your responsibility. Feel privileged to bear your responsibility. Wear it as a mantle on your shoulders with the pride it deserves.”

To recognize some of the former commanding officers of USS John F. Kennedy, Zecchin asked all who had once commanded the warship to stand. A hearty applause erupted from all of the seated guests, young and old, military personnel and civilians.

The 80,000 ton warship, namesake of the 35th President of the United States, saw 18 deployments and 30 commanding officers in its 38 years of service.

3/28/07

84 RM3 Pic

rx-040107-RM3.jpg (175323 bytes)

(Click to Enlarge)

Thought I'd send a pic from the old days. I think Wes-Pac 84. Not sure if I got all the names right. 

Dan Fisher

3/28/07

More on Hazing... 

I misinterpreted Mark's [MrB's] comments. Mark is right... we did all this never referring to it as hazing... but rather just as our initiations.

We all experienced the fun of these equator crossing initiations even with the follow-on bloodied knees and sore bottoms mentioned by KP. Year after year, and crew after crew... we all experienced the same! These initiations were the time-honored badge of our individual sea-going experience. But is was what is was... an expected and anticipated event with good humor as an honorable tradition. I know of no sustained injuries or damage otherwise. It was indeed fun. Just look at the pics.... we were all at our best... and our worst... with smiling faces!

Jules J. LaMontagne, ETI, West Pac 74, # Plant, properly hazed 15 January 1975

3/28/07

RC23 In The House!

It's been years since I've visited this site, and I thought it time to share a story and note my change of address:

Mike Bristol, RC-23, 1987-1989 bristomj@nv.doe.gov 

A quick hail to Bobo! It’s good to know you’re still alive and kickin’. Good move not going back to the big MT. By the way, thanks for turning me onto Metallica…before they were very widespread. I remember you hitting those guitar finger diagrams trying to get the licks down in the lounge.

Hey to Doug Miller! You were the only dude that could make a pair of BC’s look cool. I remember something you did right after that famous purge of the engineering spaces:

In our malicious method of “following orders” we even threw our Control Equipment phone overboard so we wouldn’t have to put up with CHUD calling and bothering us (by the way as I remember, we in RC-23 came up with the name CHUD, after someone else came up with the Humpty-Dumpty part). Anyway, we later regretted not having a phone down there, so you took it upon yourself to get a toolbag and head up to the chow-dale spaces to requisition one of their phones. In typical Doug Miller fashion, you boldly went into their TV lounge (with them currently in it), and began removing their phone. When questioned as to what you were doing, you told them that they were getting upgraded and that they were getting the new <who knows what> model. They simply let you walk out with their phone. Nice work!

Speaking of CHUD, I remember him getting pissed during one of the ORSE drills when no one could find any electrical safety mats (again, due to the purge) so we could begin troubleshooting the problem we had. We were all standing around waiting for someone to find a mat and bring it down, when CHUD found our "emergency electrical safety kit" that was always hanging around being useless (nothing more than a briefcase of a few items that were pretty much useless). He proudly came into Control Equipment and threw the thing at our feet and made some snide comment about us not knowing what we were doing. Ken Yamamoto looked at him and then the briefcase on the floor. Ken then said "Oh, now I understand" and then stood on it and began to act like he was going to reach into the PPI instrument cabinet. We all started laughing while CHUD walked off in a huff. Thanks Ken!!

Anyway, I’m busy loving life in Las Vegas…doing Instrumentation and Controls engineering...finally finished my degree several years ago.

There is life after Nuclear Power!

KP Note: great to hear from you again, Mike. Do you work at Yucca Mtn? Just curious. My favorite RC23 CHUD story was when you guys kept calling him and waking him up and sending him to all the plants one-by-one. You are correct, "CHUD" was the brainchild of RC23. (Just as creative as "Flangehead" I must say.) I remember the RCA was referred to as Humpty Dumpty for quite a while and then the "clueless" part got tagged on. CHUD was forever known as CHUD from then on. Someone should google our former RCA and see where he is these days. He might be an Admiral for all we know.

From Wingo:

Mike, welcome back!

Hey, I'm going to go way out on a limb here and suggest that names for CHUD and Flange were the work of my old pal Randy Jestice who started out in 3 plant. Randy had a very distinct talent for that sort of thing. I can hear him saying it now. God knows how much he loved Flange.

Boys the weather is getting nice in KC, hope to see you here on June 9th for our next reunion! Blues, buddies, BBQ, and San Miguel beer, are all waiting for you. The Little E sets sail on the 10th so bring your swim trunks too. I can teach anyone to wakeboard and I can knock anyone off an intertube. Ram I'll expect you to bring the PMooj to play the party.

Louie Wingo

KP Note: I believe you're correct, Sir Wingo. I am pretty sure Flange was the most detested chief in the Department during that era (86-87). I know we're not supposed to share memories like this, but didn't Flange get into a 'bit' of trouble in the SRA. It involved him and the wife of another chief. There was a subdued glee about the department as it looked like Flange was gonna get either transferred or booted... that glee was squashed when they made him a senior chief instead. It was nasty business is all I remember.

4/1/07  

April Fools Day?

Ah, my favorite secular holiday has arrived. I was sitting here trying to remember some of our better April Fool's gags on the ship but can't remember anything. I know we did them but can't remember anything specific. Or, simply, everyday was April Fools Day for us out there on the high seas. How about sharing some of your favorite navy April Fool's Day stories with the gang?

When I was at SAIC I was notorious for pulling off AFD gags. Every year I had to out do the year before and it got pretty tough toward the end because everyone was expecting it. Even after I left SAIC I was asked to do stuff to former co-workers by other former co-workers. This was actually the first year I wasn't asked to do one of my deeds. Perhaps after 5 years I have been forgotten. Or, maybe it's because AFD fell on a Sunday... 

KP

4/1//07   

APRIL FOOLS ..... Everyday

yep...

Every day was April Fools day as I recall. April 1st, like New Year's Eve, was referred to as "amateur night".

The pros like us never usually fell for the usual stuff. I never went looking for a BT punch or anything, but I could have seen it happening early on. Fortunately, I learned fast. I didn't fall for the old "thumbs in the vice" gag, which was tried by some steam side guys. Greasing (or prussian "blue balling") was probably in the air that time. I just laughed at them, and told them they'd have to do much better than that to get Arrgh!!

Arrgh!!! Retired professional prankster

 4/2/07

West Pac 82-83 Crossing The Line ...

Hey all, It was called hazing even way back in the good ole days. As usual, it is widely accepted and tolerated until someone gets hurt or some jerk crosses the line. I and a few others would not participate in the ceremony. Those in charge were not pleased. On the bright side, there was a Chief Paul who after the ceremony as many did, threw his clothes over the side, along with his wallet, keys and whatever else in his pockets. 

Dan Fisher

4/2/07

Got High Speed?

If you do, then I invite you to listen to a bootleg recording of The P'Mooj's thirty minute set from The Marquee Theater last Tuesday. The sound is pretty raw and the vocals are too high for the first few minutes until the sound engineer does his thing (that's what you get when you don't do a sound check).  My wife heard this and told me I should be ashamed of myself for not memorizing lyrics to songs I wrote. As usual I'm making up most of what I'm singing on the spot. I only like the third and last song so hopefully you can brave this out till the end.

P-MOOJ LIVE At MARQUEE

On a sad note The P-Mooj (in their original lineup) are ending their reign of blues on the valley of the sun. Tracy, our drummer, is moving to Texas and Richard, the other guitar player, is moving to London. Dave Hull and I will continue to perform as a power trio (with a new drummer) under the name BSOM (Bastard Son's of Mooj). 

The second P'Mooj CD will be ready in June! Put aside your $10 now so you have it when you need it!

4/2/07

Yet More on "Hazing"

I've done a lot of stuff in my life that scared me shitless, but I don't remember ever having butterflies in my stomach like the day I reported aboard the USS Robert A Owens at the D&S piers in Norfolk Va. The Owens was moored about 5 ships out and I had to cross over 4 other destroyers to get to mine. I was worried shitless that I was going to f**k up the saluting ritual that was required when coming and going on each ship. ( We had been taught this ritual in boot camp, but now it seemed like a kazillion years ago.) When I finally got to the Owens, I saluted and presented my orders to the young man with the pea coat and .45 pistol. He called for an escort who took me to the ships office where I checked in. After I had completed check-in, a young yeoman escorted me to M-Div berthing. We went down the ladder and the yeoman nervously introduced me to no one in particular. He then fled up the ladder to the safety of the main deck. I was left there standing alone in my blues with my sea bag at my side. I glanced around at the berthing area. It cramped and reminded me of something I had seen in a WWII movie. The only thing more primitive than the berthing area were it's inhabitants. 10 pairs of eyes silently stared up at me from various card games. For what seemed like an eternity you could have heard a pin drop, as my new shipmates eyed me top to bottom. Finally MM2 Smith broke the silence,

"Dibs for the aft engineroom." 
"Fuck you Smitty, he's coming forward." 
"Fuck you Cartee. You got the last nukie." 
"Yeah, but you got the Ryans. Both of them." 
"Fuck the Ryans. They're both E-2's. Mess decks could steal them anytime. We need a Petty Officer." 
Smitty and Cartee traded "Fuck you"s for several minutes. 

Finally one of the forward guys looks at me and says, "You play spades kid?"

I hesitated, then squeaked out some stupid shit like, "No, but I guess I can learn." "Fuck 'im Smitty. You got 'im. Forward ER don't need any kid can't play spades." It was done. I had been bartered off like a cheap whore. I was now officially property of the aft engineroom. That night the Ryans took me to to to the Aerodrome, the local on-base watering hole. MMFA's Ritchie and Mike Ryan were 2 brothers from Illinois who had mistakenly enlisted on the 3 year buddy program. The Ryans were glad to see me. Even though I technically outranked them, I was replacing them as low man on the aft engineroom totem pole. Over beers, the Ryans laid out what was in store for me. It was here that I first heard the dreaded term "greasing". Mike was wise beyond his years and suggested that no matter what shit came my way, I just "roll with the punches". If you let the gang see that it's getting to you, they'll act like sharks sensing blood in the water and shit will just get worse for you. (Great advice, Mike. I still use this principle today.)

After a couple of weeks aboard I settled into a more or less orderly routine. I learned to play spades, but was only allowed to play with the junior guys, not the "big kids" like Smitty, Rud or Fay. As the FNG, pranks were pulled on me, but I was too smart to fall for shit like getting 50' of water line or a bucket of steam hammer. One day after lunch, I came down to the E.R. and MM3 Ritterich was pounding out a gasket for some pump. In an urgent voice he asked me to go the the aft fire room and get a "BT punch'. I trusted Ritterich, and the request sounded legit, so off to the aft fire room I went. At the bottom of the ladder leading down to Fire Room Upper Level I was met by BTFN Underwood. (AKA : Underdog.) Underdog asked me impolitely WTF I was doing in HIS fire room. I stood my ground and told him that I had been sent to get a BT punch. Underdog got an evil grin on his face and yelled, "Hey Tiny! Come here a minute!" All 6' 7" 300+ pounds of BT2 "Tiny" Landreaux lumbers over. (Tiny''s previous employment was as a longshoreman in New Orleans.) Tiny glares menacingly down at me and demands to know what I want. I meekly said that Ritterich had sent me to get a BT punch. The other BT's knew from experience what was about to go down, and jockeyed for better viewing positions. Tiny asked if I was sure that it was a BT punch that I needed. I gulped and nodded. Tiny says, "Okay, if you're sure!" and let me have it. Son-of-a-bitch!! Tiny damn near knocked me through the bulkhead. It was almost a f**king week before I could use my left arm without grimacing in pain!

I learned something that day! I never made a stupid mistake like that again during my whole Navy hitch.

PP

4/4/07

Ugaki on The Run

Hey Ram,

Just catching up on the site again. We are getting settled in the Valley, building a house out in Tolleson. We still have to get together for a cold one some night. Just thought I would ask you to kindly change my contact address to kevin.kucifer@gmail.com

I also wanted to share a story that is majorly minor league compared to the antics of the great KP and his cronies, but I still remember it like yesterday.

I was on watch at feed control in 4 plant, up on 8, steady state, yada, yada, yada when all of the sudden my buddy Johnny Sackett comes flying down the ladder from the CTG flats with MMC Ugaki just a step or two behind him, out for blood. After Johnny escaped and the commotion settled down I had to find out what happened. This is the story as it was related to me.

Johnny was the CTG operator and Chief Ugaki was the Watch Sup. They were talking and Johnny bet MMC a quarter that he could take a cigarette from Ugaki's pack, balance it on the top of the pack, hit it and flip it into the air and catch it in his mouth in three tries (of course Johnny hadn't ever done it before and more than likely there was no way he was going to). So MMC took the bet, but Johnny didn't have a quarter with him, so he actually borrowed one from the chief. Sackett carefully balanced the cigarette across the top of the pack, flipped it and almost caught it twice, but never did. On the third try, Johnny made a fist and just completely smashed the whole pack, which was almost full. He looked at Ugaki and nonchalantly says "guess I can't"; here's your quarter and flipped his own quarter back to him. At that point, Ugaki was raging and would have killed Johnny if he had gotten his hands on him. The reason he was so mad is that we had been on station for a couple of months and Ugaki was down to his last few packs of cigs and they were like gold.

I still remember the wild look in Ugaki's eyes as he was chasing Johnny, running as fast as his short little legs would carry him. Johnny on one side of the engine and Ugaki on the other. I don't think Chief Ugaki ever forgave him.

Thanks for running this site. It brings back some very fond memories. I will try to get out to see the P Mooj sometime soon.

Kevin Kucifer RM14 / RM03 '87-'91

4/5/07

Power Follows Steam Demand?

I found this on Wikipedia today.

Click Here

Look familiar? 

KP

4/6/07

Jeff Lyden Comes Abaord ...

Please add me to your contacts list for 1980’s (1987-1991). RM23 & RM Division Office

Use my personal e-mail address of jlwl1@charter.net. Thank you.

I served with you and remember you well. You kept everyone grounded with your humor & wit. Great site by the way and I am glad that I found it. Take care.

Jeff Lyden

4/13/07

KP Note: Hey, Jeff! I remember you.  

8503's Mark Romero Stops By ...

Hi Ram, I am Mark Romero (Romo, Pedro), ET3 in Class 8503 in Orlando, and Idaho Falls (S1W). I am one of the forgotten Enterprise sailors, you know, the one who had orders cut but they were canceled because I failed my final twice in prototype? Yeah, I was dropped. Oh well, I moved on.

I was roommates with Leonard Ravan and 2 other guys in Orlando. Lots of us went to Idaho after graduation. Rikki Jay Houston (a stock broker last I heard), Ravan, Doug Sampson (now a CMDR), Russell Breedlove (retired ETC), Donald Beane, and a bunch of other guys I don't remember. I knew Randy Jestice and Mark Groseclose from Orlando. Randy, I, and a guy named Brian Turner went to Brian's parents' condo in Florida one weekend and Randy made his (in)famous homemade spaghetti sauce. Of course we got drunk.

While in Orlando, after a heavy night of drinking with my bro Mike O'Leary (he went to the USS Ike), I came back to the room and Ravan jumped out of his top bunk and asked me, "Do you want to have a sword fight?" In my naiveté, I didn't have a fucking clue what he was talking about. Those of us who lived with Leonard had another issue to deal with. The dude fucking stunk. We had to turn him in to our class LPO, or whatever he was called, ET1 Ewald. A great guy. I think Leonard finally showered a little better.

Upon graduation from Nuke School, me near the bottom of the class, we went out and got hammered. I ended up puking in my bunk and left it there the next morning when we went in to wrap things up. Evidently, some Master Chief had inspected our rooms while we were at the school, and mine had a pile of puke still in it. I went back to the room later to clean it up. Moments later, someone asked me if the Master Chief had said anything to me. I said no, not realizing he showed up while I was cleaning the vomit from my bed. I guess he understood.

Idaho is still somewhat of a blur. Lots of hours spent in that shithole site. It was fucking cold there and always seemed to be dark. My old roommate from ET School was an instructor at A1W, John Oswald. I failed 2 of the 5 sections on my final and my (MM) Chief threatened to take my crow. When I retook the test, I failed one section, a section I had passed the first time around. I was out. My Chief asked me, "did you try your best?" I said, "yes" knowing I hadn't. Rick Houston had said, "Damn, Romo, I was looking forward to partying with you in the PI." My Sea Dad told me, "don't worry. You'll be dropped, go back to Great Lakes, pick up a SATCOM C School and you'll be on your way." And that's exactly what happened. After SATCOM school in Ft. Gordon, Georgia, I spent 2 years in Gitmo and my time was done. It was a good 6 years I guess. On my last day in the Navy, March 30th, 1989, while standing in line at the base bank in Norfolk, some lunatic in a Ford Escort stopped next to me. It was Mike O'Leary who I hadn't seen in almost 3 years. We then proceeded to get drunk and I flew home the next day. Lots of memories.

I am now a Network Engineer with General Dynamics Information Technology. We mainly redesign Air Force networks so I go to lots of AF bases. I don't see a lot of sailors these days but the few times I have, I've opened up my wallet and bought them a drink.

In closing, it would have been cool to have actually been on the Big E and had some of the experiences I have read on your site. It is funny hearing about and seeing some of the "old guys". Thanks for your time and keep up the good work. 

Mark Romero, Former ET2.

4/13/07

Bill Copeland Comes Aboard ...

I was surfing the web and found your site.

I would like to be added to the email list.

William "Bill" Copeland (MM3) 1975-1979 2MMR, 1 and 2 AMR copeland0818@yahoo.com

Thanks,

Bill

4/15/07 

SHAVA, YAAR!

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