Ropeyarn Sunday “Sea Stories” and Open Trackbacks

April 4th, 2007 by xformed

It’s “that” day again. Post your posts if you have them!

“Sea Story” of the day:

On Monday, I blogged that it had been 30 years to the day since I reported aboard my first command for work, rather than school. It, however, was a Saturday night, so it doesn’t count as much as today, which was a Monday 30 years ago, and my first work day in the Fleet.

The routine when arriving at any command is to be noted in the Ship’s Deck Log and the taken to the Executive Officer to commence your check in. And so it was, early that day on USS MILWAUKEE (AOR-2), still moored at Pier 2 in Norfolk. It was that time when I met CDR David Martin, a Surface Line Officer, and second in command. Tall and reasonably thin for a man in his middle age period of life, it was then when he looked in my service record and made a comment discussed here.

I had been dropped from the skies on short notice aboard MILWAUKEE. I had visions of being a Diving and Salvage Officer, but a small issue of claustrophobia manged to help redetermine my career path. Just a few weeks before this day, I had sat with the Traing Officer at the Naval Diving and Salvage School, Anacostia Navy Yard, and told him I thought I would just decline to continue for fear of hazarding not only myself, but any diving buddies int he water. I was dispatched, not to a sleek “Greyhound of the Sea,” but to what, in my limited knowledge, was a dead end job for a young man with a desire to command a ship with many weapons, with a hope of playing a strong second to the legend of Lord Nelson, John Paul Jones and many others who had gone down to the sea before me.

On the advice of a family friend, who was responsible for advising one very well known and powerful senator, I had taken the orders. This man, who had served under Chester Nimitz, provide what was very sage advice: “I can get your orders changed, but just remember, there will be a very large stamp, unseen, but well known across the outside of your service record, saying “Political Influence. Take the orders, and if in a year you feel it’s not to your liking, call me and we’ll see what we can do.” I never picked up the phone, as I found I was enjoying my job far too much….

But, there I was, a whirlwind of a morning, taken to Admin, shuttled to the Captain’s cabin, introduced to my Department Head, LCDR Frank Mueller, and all sorts of other things, but, the one detail I remember clearly was shortly after lunch, I was in my newly assigned stateroom and there was a knock at the door. I tentatively opened the door and there stood two second class petty officers. Before I could say anything, the one with black curly hair, Navy “BC” glasses and a full beard shoved a manila folder in my direction and said “You’re our new Division Officer, sign this!”

Taken aback for a moment, I said: “No, I haven’t relieved ENS Ralston yet.” “Sir, he’s on leave and we need this signed. You’re our new Division Officer.” So I took the pen and signed the casualty report.

And so went my first meeting with ETR2 Mike Krutsch and ETN2 Craig Johnson, for I was, as they so clearly stated, their Division Officer….

And that is what I distinctly recall of my first real work day in the service of the taxpayers.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2007 at 12:01 pm and is filed under "Sea Stories", History, Military, Military History, Navy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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