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Subdeacon Joe

Something About Subs

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Interesting

From a guy I "know" from the milblog "Neptunus Lex" and now know on Facebook

In Part:

 

Quote
 
Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson, former Electronic Warfare Technician at United States Navy (1990-1994)
 
 
 

First of all let me preface my answer with a few caveats.

  1. Though I served in the Navy, I am not a submariner. My knowledge comes from study of available official materials.
  2. My information pertains primarily to the old Diesel Electric boast of the WW2 era, specifically the Fleet type Subs of the Balao/Gato class. The principles still hold true to modern nuclear subs, but the details are a lot different.

No answer so far has hit upon this fact, but one answer did hit upon it in the comments section from responses to questions in the comments.

So what is my little known fact that most people don’t know about submarines?

Submarines do not use their ballast tanks to change depths while submerged.

When on the surface, the Main Ballast Tanks (MBTs) are fully dry, filled with air.
When the sub dives, the MBTs are vented and water rushes in through free-flooding ports in the bottom which are always open to the sea. The MBTs are not strengthened to withstand external sea pressure at depth and must be fully flooded with seawater. 
The MBTs are designed with such volume that in a properly compensated boat. the complete flooding of the MBTs results in the destruction of the positive buoyancy and reduces the submarine to a state of neutral buoyancy.

The sub will submerge, but not continue to sink.

The MBTs are a fixed volume and cannot be altered. The weight of a Sub is alterable though food stores and other spare parts, crew, weapons, fuel, etc… 
To be in a neutral state of buoyancy, the total weight of the sub must perfectly balance the weight of the water displaced by the submerged sub’s hull (which is another fixed volume which does not change,not much at least, more on that later)

So a completely separate set of Ballast tanks are used. Not the MBTS, but a set of VARIABLE BALLAST TANKS are used. These tanks are internal to the pressure hull (except the Auxiliary tanks are outside the pressure hull) and are designed to withstand full submerged depth pressure. They can be partially filled. by varying the the water in the tanks they can offset the difference between the fixed volume of water in the MBTs and the varying weight of the boat to bring the sub to neutral buoyancy. 
All variable ballast tanks have no direct sea connection like the MBTs do. They cannot be vented and flooded quickly, or rapidly blown. Water is pumped to and from them through the trim manifolds.

There are Six Variable tanks.
Auxiliary 1 and 2: located near the sub’s center of gravity/center of buoyancy, they are primarily used to affect the overall trim and compensation of the boat for neutral buoyancy. They are the largest in volume of all the trim tanks

Forward and aft trim tanks: located near the bow and stern, these are used to adjust for any fore and aft out of trim nose/stern heavy conditions so the sub is controllable on an even keel.

Forward and aft WRT tanks: WRT stand for Water Round Torpedo and are co-located with the fore and aft torpedo tubes. Water in these tanks are used to flood the tubes as well as drain the water from the tubes after firing.

 

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as a kid got to visit the U-505 at the Chicago Museum of Sci. and Industry.

 

got to agree that it is way too small for me let alone a bunch of other people on board

 

probably why I ended up jumping out of perfectly good aircraft when in army

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Been on/in three submarines: U-505 after they brought it in over South Shore Drive from Lake Michigan.  They moved it up along side the Museum building and cut holes in the side so people could walk inside!  (A few years ago, they moved it and the Pioneer Zephyr (which I used to ride as a kid, when it was in regular service) inside an addition.)  The second sub was the U.S.S. Silversides, a Gato-class WWII sub, that the Navy had tied up at Navy Pier back in the 1950's, as a training boat, and the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, the SSB(N) 603 (IIRC) at Port Canaveral in 1961, when I was a summer hire for the Navy, on the Polaris missile program.  And, no, I don't like the idea of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane either! ^_^

Happy New Year, Pards!

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The Silversides is up the lake from Chicago now. Floating in Muskegon and open to the public. You can even spend the night in it

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Back in... oh, lessee... I think it was late 70's or there 'bouts... I was working for a banking outfit in San Francisco (Western States BankCard Assoc.).  And I knew it wouldn't last forever, but I really appreciated my office - not a private office, but my desk (I was the department head) was in a corner, second floor of the three-story building. And it came with a Million Dollar View for sure!  I could turn around and there was the Bay Bridge, Treasure Island, and heck... the Bay itself - literally right across the street.  That "street" was the Embarcadero, and if my window would open I coulda almost plunk a stone into the drink from my chair.  So cool...!

 

So there I was. It was a Saturday morning, and I'd decided to go in and do some "catch up" work while the office was mostly deserted and quiet.  Sitting there, working on budget stuff (pre-PC days). Paper spreadsheets piled on my desk, adding machine cranking away, when ol' Bob Lyons, my boss, comes wanderin' in.

 

"Hey! Rod! Did you SEE it??"

 

"Uh... huh?  Did I see what?"

 

Bob grinned, and said "Well poop! Turn around and look out the $^%&* window!"

 

Puzzled, I did as directed, looked out the window, let my eyes wander about the vista... and then, they snapped back to center.  

 

Holy Cow!

 

Right there, right in front of me... was a submarine, literally parked across the street!

 

"Damn, Bob!!  Wouldya look at THAT!"

 

"I was lookin' at it. And look again - apparently it's open! I see people wandering about!"

 

So, bein' the bright boys we were, we hauled spuds out of the office and across the Embarcadero to check it out.

 

Sure 'nuff... anyone interested was invited aboard to check it out. And needless to say, we were interested.  A young sailor took us aboard, and gave us a tour - the thing was absolutely fascinating.  And of course, we eventually ended up in the control room.  And there it was... the periscope!

 

Bob asked, "Can I look though this?"  And the the sailor said "Of course!"

 

Well... Bob eagerly plastered his face against whatever the danged thing's called that you look through... smiled... grinned... and busted out laughing. Finally pulled away with tears literally running from his eyes. Gasping, he pointed to the "whatever the danged thing's called that you look through" and gasped... "Look... LOOK! Ya gotta LOOK!!"

 

The sailor sorta smiled, and I took Bob's place, got in position, and looked.

 

First impression...  Huh!  This is just like looking through a riflescope... there's cross hairs... and... and... and it's focused... on a window... and... the cross hairs... are... RIGHT ON MY FREAKIN' CHAIR!!   :lol:

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That is an interesting write up Joe. I did not know about how they used the ballast tanks. 

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I have been on 5 submarines. They are interesting craft. The first one was the U-505. When I went on that one we were told that they still ran the diesels, maybe monthly. As I walked in I saw an electrical panel or switchbox, something like that with the letters AB inside a hexagon. I thought nothing about it until I was driving through Milwaukee on my way to visit relatives and saw the same thing on a big clock tower. Then the light came on as I realized it was for Allen Bradley the electrical component manufacturer. It was for the power to run the lights when they cut the hole in the hull for the visitors. The next sub was the USS Cobia in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. They built 26 subs there and the Cobia was of the same type. Another sub was the USS Batfish in Muskogee, Oklahoma. I visited my brother and got a tour of the USS Kamehameha. and I also visited the USS Nautilus in Connecticut. I trained n the prototype of the USS Narwhal for Naval nuclear prototype training. When I was done the Navy sent me to one of their biggest targets. The Nimitz aircraft carrier.          

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I put submarines in the same category as helicopters...

 

Complex devices that really shouldn’t work, designed by brilliant engineers, and operated by soldiers and sailors who really aren’t right in the head.

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12 hours ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

That is an interesting write up Joe. I did not know about how they used the ballast tanks. 

 

 

Thank you.  Mr. Hanson is quite a good wordsmith.  

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While I was going through instructor training at Bangor I got a personal tour of USS Florida. I was one of two Airdales in a class of Bubble Heads, most of which had just come off cruise aboard the USS Parche . Had no idea till I read Blind Man's Bluff several months later how special that particular boat was.

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I was part of the commissioning crew on the USS L.Y. Spear AS-36 and served there for about 4 years so I got to go on a lot of subs some diesel electric. It was shortly after the Scorpion failed to return that we took over from the Orion and it was still a hot topic. The old boats were tight inside and anyone who was the least bit claustrophobic had issues when working on them. The upper con where the E&E adapter that was my specialty was located would have you flinching for days due to the poor lighting/shadows and low overhead. The Skipjack was my favorite to work on since the control room was way more roomy than the newer boats.

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17 hours ago, Michigan Slim said:

The Silversides is up the lake from Chicago now. Floating in Muskegon and open to the public. You can even spend the night in it

At my age and lack of flexibility nowadays, I doubt I could fit through the hatch!  :(  As a matter of fact, when I was 19 and went aboard the Abe Lincoln, getting down the hatch was a bit of a squeeze.  Had to flex my long legs at an awkward angle.  Once down the hatchway, the ladder was no problem, however.  The really weird thing was when I got down on my back in the lower level of "Sherwood Forest" (where the green-painted missile tubes were), and squeezed partially into a launch tube, looking up at the aft end of a Polaris A1E missile! (They were changing out the nozzle-actuating hydraulics package.  There was about two feet between my face and the nozzles!  Several days later, the sub went downrange and fired five birds down the Atlantic Missile Range as fast as the range could reset!  I wasn't on that, however.  That was shortly after the Air Force attempted the first Minuteman I silo launch.  Bird got halfway out of the tube (on the Cape) and the second stage ignited! :o  Flaming chunks of stuff all over the place.  Navy people were laughing their "six-o'clocks" off.  Minuteman got revenge on me for laughing about four years later when I wound up maintaining them!  :P

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I tried to do subs as a high schooler. Found a heart murmur during my physical. Boy, was the recruiter pissed at me. He had a 6 year hitch all set and a bonus coming I'm sure.

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Iv'e been on 3 subs. U-505 when I was in A school at GreatLakes. USSPompanito when my ship went up to San Francisco, it was the sub used in the movie "Down Periscope" with Kelsey Grammer. Finally, I toured the USS Bowfin when I pulled into Pearl Harbor on the way to the Gulf.

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I'm startin' to relive memories of the Horse and Cow...  :rolleyes: 

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16 hours ago, Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967 said:

I'm startin' to relive memories of the Horse and Cow...  :rolleyes: 

Vallejo, California right?

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On ‎12‎/‎31‎/‎2018 at 9:00 AM, Sedalia Dave said:

While I was going through instructor training at Bangor I got a personal tour of USS Florida. I was one of two Airdales in a class of Bubble Heads, most of which had just come off cruise aboard the USS Parche . Had no idea till I read Blind Man's Bluff several months later how special that particular boat was.

One of my friends from work was on the USS Parche when it was doing some of those things written about in that book. He was told that he could not discuss the spook things and was surprised when I lent him my copy. Funny how those things go.

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39 minutes ago, Dustin Checotah said:

Vallejo, California right?

 

Yup... it was ~ after moving there from Mission St in San Francisco, after Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard closed, they "serviced" the bubbleheads from Mare Island. 

 

Some buddies and I used to "patronize" the place in SF ~ slaughterhouse butchers from Allen's Meats and Kappa Phi Delta frat boys hangin' with the submariners.

 

When it moved to Vallejo, why, we followed, of course!  ^_^

 

So, when I first met the Future Ex- Mrs Hardpan, she and my buddy Bob's wife were ER nurses at a hospital in Vallejo.  One weekend Bill W. and I went to visit; the gals were going to have a Girls' Night Out - and what were us guys going to do, they wanted to know?

 

"Oh heck!  We're gonna go to the Horse and Cow!"

 

They about freaked.  "WHAT??  How do you even know about that place?  We get LOTS of business from the Horse and Cow!"  :lol:

 

They were astonished when they found out we were on a first name basis with the owners...  and yeah, it could get kinda rough.  But it was SO cool!  :rolleyes:

 

Somebody above mentioned the book, Blind Man's Bluff.  If I remember correctly, the H&C was "mentioned"...  I'll have to find my copy and look it up.

 

BTW ~ Now in Bremerton, Washington.  From what I can tell it's changed radically, and looks like it's gone from being the most notorious hangout for submariners ever, to a family-friendly restaurant.  

 

 

 

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On 12/30/2018 at 10:23 PM, Dustin Checotah said:

I have been on 5 submarines. They are interesting craft. The first one was the U-505. When I went on that one we were told that they still ran the diesels, maybe monthly. As I walked in I saw an electrical panel or switchbox, something like that with the letters AB inside a hexagon. I thought nothing about it until I was driving through Milwaukee on my way to visit relatives and saw the same thing on a big clock tower. Then the light came on as I realized it was for Allen Bradley the electrical component manufacturer. It was for the power to run the lights when they cut the hole in the hull for the visitors. The next sub was the USS Cobia in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. They built 26 subs there and the Cobia was of the same type. Another sub was the USS Batfish in Muskogee, Oklahoma. I visited my brother and got a tour of the USS Kamehameha. and I also visited the USS Nautilus in Connecticut. I trained n the prototype of the USS Narwhal for Naval nuclear prototype training. When I was done the Navy sent me to one of their biggest targets. The Nimitz aircraft carrier.          

I have been in the USS Pampanito when it was moored at Mare Island & the Bowfin in Peral Harbor National Park & saw the U505 before it was opened up for visitors.  Those fleet boats are cramped.  My youngest grandson will be finishing prototype  school in SC in two weeks.  I remember him mentioning that his duty stations were permanently moored nuclear subs.  His grandmother & grandfather are extremely proud of him for being no. 1 on his written final.  He should do as well on the oral too.  He doesn't know what carrier he will serve on.  Since, he plans on serving 20 or more years he will eventually have to serve in the silent service.

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34 minutes ago, J.D. Daily said:

Since, he plans on serving 20 or more years he will eventually have to serve in the silent service.

 

He can do his entire Navy Career without having to pull duty on a sub. You have to volunteer for Submarines. He can do his entire career on carriers and shore stations.

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3 hours ago, J.D. Daily said:

I have been in the USS Pampanito when it was moored at Mare Island & the Bowfin in Peral Harbor National Park & saw the U505 before it was opened up for visitors.  Those fleet boats are cramped.  My youngest grandson will be finishing prototype  school in SC in two weeks.  I remember him mentioning that his duty stations were permanently moored nuclear subs.  His grandmother & grandfather are extremely proud of him for being no. 1 on his written final.  He should do as well on the oral too.  He doesn't know what carrier he will serve on.  Since, he plans on serving 20 or more years he will eventually have to serve in the silent service.

J.D.

He will have to volunteer for subs as Sedalia Dave mentioned. That does not always mean he will get to go. I had not really thought about going on subs until one of the instructors at boot camp talked them up pretty good. I volunteered for subs at boot camp, then at "A" school, again at Nuke school, and just for good measure at Prototype. When I was done with prototype and got my orders it was the big target, Nimitz. As they say they don't call it a Dream Sheet for nothing.

When I got to the ship I went to the so called career counselor and asked how I could get on a submarine. He said that I should have volunteered for them. One of the few times that I felt like doing traumatic dentistry on someone. I didn't.

 

Did you say the prototype is in South Carolina? Mine was in Idaho and when I was in there was also one in Ballston Spa, New York.

20 years as a Nuke and if he is enlisted he should be a Master Chief in about 12. I was an E-5 in 10days short of 1 1/2 years actually before I was done with prototype.

Only problem me and uncle sugars canoe club had a disagreement and I got reverted back to E-4. I had a bit of an attitude at times that did not serve me well.

I did get my stuff together and except for a few glitches I had a pretty good time, saw and did some neat things, visited 10 countries all in 6 years. 

 

Tell your grandson good luck and thank him for his service.

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7 hours ago, Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967 said:

 

Yup... it was ~ after moving there from Mission St in San Francisco, after Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard closed, they "serviced" the bubbleheads from Mare Island. 

 

Some buddies and I used to "patronize" the place in SF ~ slaughterhouse butchers from Allen's Meats and Kappa Phi Delta frat boys hangin' with the submariners.

 

When it moved to Vallejo, why, we followed, of course!  ^_^

 

So, when I first met the Future Ex- Mrs Hardpan, she and my buddy Bob's wife were ER nurses at a hospital in Vallejo.  One weekend Bill W. and I went to visit; the gals were going to have a Girls' Night Out - and what were us guys going to do, they wanted to know?

 

"Oh heck!  We're gonna go to the Horse and Cow!"

 

They about freaked.  "WHAT??  How do you even know about that place?  We get LOTS of business from the Horse and Cow!"  :lol:

 

They were astonished when they found out we were on a first name basis with the owners...  and yeah, it could get kinda rough.  But it was SO cool!  :rolleyes:

 

Somebody above mentioned the book, Blind Man's Bluff.  If I remember correctly, the H&C was "mentioned"...  I'll have to find my copy and look it up.

 

BTW ~ Now in Bremerton, Washington.  From what I can tell it's changed radically, and looks like it's gone from being the most notorious hangout for submariners ever, to a family-friendly restaurant.  

 

 

 

I have never been in the Horse & Cow but my friend did mention it. I believe you are correct it is mentioned in the book.

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I have a pair of binoculars from U-505. When dad was in the Navy back in the '50s, he knew one of the crewman who had captured the boat and dad won them in a bet. A lot of souvenirs were taken from the boat during it's capture and the skipper in charge of the mission ordered them to be returned. Many were, but not all.

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12 hours ago, Dustin Checotah said:

I have never been in the Horse & Cow but my friend did mention it. I believe you are correct it is mentioned in the book.

I remember seeing the Horse & Cow the many times I traveled I80 I Vallejo on my way to the family cabin in Lake County.  The place was rough looking; especially the sub on the roof.  It disappeared shortly after Mare Island NSY was closed.  The co. I worked for 34 years, 1978-2012 sold the CAT diesel engine generators that powered the drydock cranes & one standby genset for the central plant. 

 

19 hours ago, Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967 said:

 

Yup... it was ~ after moving there from Mission St in San Francisco, after Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard closed, they "serviced" the bubbleheads from Mare Island. 

 

Some buddies and I used to "patronize" the place in SF ~ slaughterhouse butchers from Allen's Meats and Kappa Phi Delta frat boys hangin' with the submariners.

 

When it moved to Vallejo, why, we followed, of course!  ^_^

 

So, when I first met the Future Ex- Mrs Hardpan, she and my buddy Bob's wife were ER nurses at a hospital in Vallejo.  One weekend Bill W. and I went to visit; the gals were going to have a Girls' Night Out - and what were us guys going to do, they wanted to know?

 

"Oh heck!  We're gonna go to the Horse and Cow!"

 

They about freaked.  "WHAT??  How do you even know about that place?  We get LOTS of business from the Horse and Cow!"  :lol:

 

They were astonished when they found out we were on a first name basis with the owners...  and yeah, it could get kinda rough.  But it was SO cool!  :rolleyes:

 

Somebody above mentioned the book, Blind Man's Bluff.  If I remember correctly, the H&C was "mentioned"...  I'll have to find my copy and look it up.

 

BTW ~ Now in Bremerton, Washington.  From what I can tell it's changed radically, and looks like it's gone from being the most notorious hangout for submariners ever, to a family-friendly restaurant.  

 

 

 

If you do a web search for Horse & Cow you will find that venue in Bremerton is under new ownership and that there is a Horse & Cow in Guam that is operated by the son of the original owner/operator.  The Horse & Cow in Bremerton was moved from the bar/club district; because, the city didn't appreciate the policing problems that surrounded the bar.  The article I read didn't say it but I bet their liquor and/or business licenses were threatened.  The city I lived in for years used that to closed down a biker bar/drug distribution center that predated the city's incorporation.

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On 1/1/2019 at 9:28 PM, Dustin Checotah said:

J.D.

He will have to volunteer for subs as Sedalia Dave mentioned. That does not always mean he will get to go. I had not really thought about going on subs until one of the instructors at boot camp talked them up pretty good. I volunteered for subs at boot camp, then at "A" school, again at Nuke school, and just for good measure at Prototype. When I was done with prototype and got my orders it was the big target, Nimitz. As they say they don't call it a Dream Sheet for nothing.

When I got to the ship I went to the so called career counselor and asked how I could get on a submarine. He said that I should have volunteered for them. One of the few times that I felt like doing traumatic dentistry on someone. I didn't.

 

Did you say the prototype is in South Carolina? Mine was in Idaho and when I was in there was also one in Ballston Spa, New York.

20 years as a Nuke and if he is enlisted he should be a Master Chief in about 12. I was an E-5 in 10days short of 1 1/2 years actually before I was done with prototype.

Only problem me and uncle sugars canoe club had a disagreement and I got reverted back to E-4. I had a bit of an attitude at times that did not serve me well.

I did get my stuff together and except for a few glitches I had a pretty good time, saw and did some neat things, visited 10 countries all in 6 years. 

 

Tell your grandson good luck and thank him for his service.

My grandson got his orders today.  He got his 1st choice, Newport News, & will join the 1st crew of the Gerald Ford.  Needles to say he is ecstatic.

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2 hours ago, J.D. Daily said:

My grandson got his orders today.  He got his 1st choice, Newport News, & will join the 1st crew of the Gerald Ford.  Needles to say he is ecstatic.

 

Good for him.

 

Tell him that an old former Navy Petty Officer said the secret to getting out of doing crappy jobs like Ships Laundry, and mess duty is to accomplish them to the best of his ability and with a smile. 

When his LPO sees that he does menial tasks well it demonstrates that he has the personal pride and professionalism to do the fun jobs correctly. He will spend a lot less time in the Laundry or Galley than those that piss and moan about their assignments.

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12 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

Good for him.

 

Tell him that an old former Navy Petty Officer said the secret to getting out of doing crappy jobs like Ships Laundry, and mess duty is to accomplish them to the best of his ability and with a smile. 

When his LPO sees that he does menial tasks well it demonstrates that he has the personal pride and professionalism to do the fun jobs correctly. He will spend a lot less time in the Laundry or Galley than those that piss and moan about their assignments.

Dave

His grandson just or is about to get out of nuclear prototype school. At a bare minimum he should already be an E-4. I was an E-5 by the time I got to my ship as a nuke. I wasn't sent to mess duty or to clean the bilges and such. I know there must have been some changes in the Navy since I first reported to the ship but I can't think that is one.

 

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44 minutes ago, Dustin Checotah said:

Dave

His grandson just or is about to get out of nuclear prototype school. At a bare minimum he should already be an E-4. I was an E-5 by the time I got to my ship as a nuke. I wasn't sent to mess duty or to clean the bilges and such. I know there must have been some changes in the Navy since I first reported to the ship but I can't think that is one.

 

 

Your Right I forgot about Nuclear ratings hitting the fleet at E-5..

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12 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

Good for him.

 

Tell him that an old former Navy Petty Officer said the secret to getting out of doing crappy jobs like Ships Laundry, and mess duty is to accomplish them to the best of his ability and with a smile. 

When his LPO sees that he does menial tasks well it demonstrates that he has the personal pride and professionalism to do the fun jobs correctly. He will spend a lot less time in the Laundry or Galley than those that piss and moan about their assignments.

Do E4 PO2's do these crappy duties?  When he advanced to Prototype School he advanced to E4.  He says he will soon advance to E5.  When I was in the Army I attained the rank of Specialist 5*, E5, & the crap duty went from KP, painting rocks & litter pickup to Charge of Quarters & Sargent of the Guard. My last unit was the 1st ID, The Big Red One" which annually participated in the Reforger exercise.  It was where the USA demonstrated rapid response to Soviet threat; by transporting a division to Germany to pickup prepositioned equipment, maneuver; etc.  It lasted approximately 30 days.  Being married I volunteered to be in the 1st group home while the rest of the division stored the equipment.  This was a mistake because I was one of the two NCO's in my battalion in the group. For the week before the rest of the battalion personnel returned I was alternating between CQ & SOG duty wo/time off.

*Rate no longer exists.

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An E-5 or even E-6 may be assigned "Mess Deck Master-at-arms".  That person is typically the supervisor for the sailors assigned to mess duty. I've also scene E-4s doing mess duty - sometimes twice. 

 

I don't know for sure because I only spent four years on a carrier as staff (we were totally separate from ship's company) but I don't think nukes go cranking. 

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Many years ago, I read ADM Dan Gallery's book about the capture of the U505. One of the things that impressed me was the fact that this was the first ship boarded and captured by the US Navy since the War of 1812.

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Georg van Trapp's autobiography of his leading a submersible in the Austrian navy in the Great War is a worthy read.  A reader will understand why the Nazi's wanted his service.

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