Ropeyarn Sunday “Sea Stories” and Open Trackbacks

September 12th, 2007 by xformed

Certainly these days try a mental capacity. Between the anniversary of 9/11 and the reports to Congress…I’m digging deep for something to write about…

My first trip to the wonderful garden spot of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to spend some time with my soon to be new friends from Fleet Training Group was sometime in late 1977. Still a wet behind the ears Ensign at the time, I had several months of “Mac-inizing” to my credit and junior officer upbringing, so some basic philosophical foundations were already solidifying.

I was the Combat Information Center Officer (CICO), and therefore played a major part of the daily details of the events. Between being the RADAR Navigation Piloting Officer for entering and exiting port and anchorage, the “war” that virtually happened around our fine vessel was recorded, evaluated and disseminated from my little domain of CIC. Much of the pretend world, fondly called “scenarios” for us big boys playing, had to be acquiesced to by myself and my crew, and a little ad-libbing had to be inserted at times, just so there was a bit of consistency in the reporting of the things that most likely would have occurred in the real world, had we been i a real shoot ’em up.

I recall a Coast Guardsman, an RD1 by rate (equivalent to the now Operations Specialist (OS) rating in the Navy), was assigned as the chief observer for our world. There was something, and I’m not sure what, that caused me to have to “make some s— up” for the story to hold together, and I guess I, having had a number of long, hard days already, decided to make it good, much to the exasperation of the RD1, USCG in our midst (the master of our grades for the Division), and he requested a meeting with me on the weather deck, outside of CIC.

I think it was a compliment, but he didn’t have that sort of look on his face when he said: “You know what your problem is, Ensign? You play too real!” I actually had visions of if I could toss his short little form clear of the kingpost for the STREAM rig, leaving only the impact with the water about 40 feet below to leave any marks…for I was a little upset, not fully appreciating I was being accused of getting into the game more throughly than the instructors themselves.

Must have been the rapid fire questions to force him to fill in the blanks to keep things going….

Chief Mac and I laughed about it all later.

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

1 response about “Ropeyarn Sunday “Sea Stories” and Open Trackbacks”

  1. Bezer said:

    I am so sorry to learn of this, Mr Smith. I can understand why you would find this sbuject particularly heartbreaking. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for you, or what it’s like now all these years later The one good thing that came from the Vietnam dog legacy is that we learned, and that his will not be happening again. End of service rarely means end of life any more. Today’s dogs live because yesterday’s did not. I would very much like to see that photo of you and our best friend, and get to know more about you and Duke. Might I email you at the address you provided? If you prefer, there’s a contact button atop my website, and if you fill out your contact info you can reach me that way.

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