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Old 06-30-2016, 05:13 PM   #121
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How Many Vets

I hesitate to tread into this subject. I am sure there are plenty of retired CPO's (Chief Petty Officers) lurking around the forum. One misstep by an officer on this issue, and I am toast! The following link gives a pretty thorough history of how Navy enlisted ratings developed over time starting aboard sailing ships patterned after the British Navy. The title "petty" does seem to stem from a French word related to "small" as you suggest, but in the naval context the meaning has more to do with "subordinate" than small or insignificant. Petty Officers on sailing ships were subordinate to commissioned and warrant officers, but still had authority over other enlisted sailors. That relationship has not changed, but the U.S. Navy now has six levels of petty officer ranging from Petty Officer 3rd Class all the way up to Master Chief Petty Officer, most of whom hold management degrees and serve as principle advisors to top level commanders. They are a big deal, and a smart commissioned or warrant officer of any rank will treat petty officers of any rate with a great deal of respect and appreciation.
All Hands Online : Official Magazine of the U.S. Navy
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Old 06-30-2016, 10:43 PM   #122
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Navy language

Puma, well said.
The naval rank structure and language seems like Greek to someone outside the lifelines. There I go... Outside the lifelines means not on board ship or the base. Not of the Navy. We have our own language in our respective fields. A watch (shift) turnover to my relief as MMOW, Machinist's Mate of the Watch, in charge of the enginerooom on board a tin can might go like this:
Alpha, Alpha, Green. 12 knots thataway. Translation - "A" Lubricating oil service pump on line, "A" condensate pump (moves condensed steam to the Fire Room to become steam again) online, "Green" set of air ejectors (maintains vacuum on the main engine) on line. 12 knots thataway means just that - going 12 knots or 13.8 mph. Total Greek to a non engineer.
The Chief Petty Officer is arguably ultimate source of knowledge in the Navy. "Ask the Chief" is a true phrase. If the Chief doesn't know, he will know who does or where to begin to look, with a network around the Fleet and from WW2 to present.
One of the things I was first taught in ARMY ROTC (another story to be shared over an adult beverage) was to LISTEN TO YOUR NCO's, they will keep you alive.
True story - USS Constellation CV-64 #3 MMR(engineroom).
I was starting a steam powered condensate pump. My Division Officer wanted to observe the startup. So I line things up and start to open the steam line and he sticks his face right next to the squirrel cage to watch the shaft steam seal. I told him to move back, it leaked. He stayed there. I told him twice more and he still stayed there. I grabbed his belt and yanked him back as I opened the steam valve and all this hot water and steam comes flying out around the pump shaft. He started to give me a ration for yanking him, then the realization that I had just kept him from being seriously burned set in. His eyes got all big and he said some choice words in reaction. Not directed at me but the situation and his own stupidity. I told him the same thing. Listen to us and we'll keep you out of trouble and alive.

Regards,
MMC(SW) USN/USNR (RET)
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Old 06-30-2016, 11:20 PM   #123
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How Many Vets

Well said, Chief! I think despite our lingo's peculiarity, it is something we enjoy about being in the service, and we do enjoy actually using it after we get out or retire. That is part of the experience and the memory. When we use our terminology and our unique abbreviations we sort of get to be there again, but without actually having to get up for that mid watch. (for the non-Navy type, the Mid watch is the 12-4 AM watch that takes a real bite out of your sleep.) Speaking of the mid watch, it is about time for me to get some midrats and head on to the rack!
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Old 06-30-2016, 11:25 PM   #124
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When and where were you in PMEL? I was active duty at Lowry 1972-1973 for tech school and at the lab at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque from 1973-1979.

I also worked civil service at the labs at Elmendorf AFB 1986-2002 and Selfridge ANGB near Detroit 2002-2014.
I was at Elmendorf from 88-92 both in the type II & IV labs. I bet I know you! Do you still keep in touch with Sid? I get an email from him every now and then. Remember Doc or Fin? Shoot me a pm.

ps. I'm thinking you were QA..?
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Old 06-30-2016, 11:50 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by Puma26RLSS View Post
Well said, Chief! I think despite our lingo's peculiarity, it is something we enjoy about being in the service, and we do enjoy actually using it after we get out or retire. That is part of the experience and the memory. When we use our terminology and our unique abbreviations we sort of get to be there again, but without actually having to get up for that mid watch. (for the non-Navy type, the Mid watch is the 12-4 AM watch that takes a real bite out of your sleep.) Speaking of the mid watch, it is about time for me to get some midrats and head on to the rack!
X2

I love the memories. Being in the Marines, I spent my share of time on Navy bases. We had a joke, what was the fastest thing in the Navy. Answer: Two Cheifs going after the last donut. Don't get bunched up swabbies, we Jarheads made fun of our own too. What is the most dangerous thing in the Corps? Answer: A Second Lieutenant with a compass.

Thanks to all veterans (past and present) and God Bless America.

Semper Fidelis
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Old 07-01-2016, 11:44 PM   #126
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Thumbs up How Many Vets

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Originally Posted by tkarper14 View Post
X2

I love the memories. Being in the Marines, I spent my share of time on Navy bases. We had a joke, what was the fastest thing in the Navy. Answer: Two Cheifs going after the last donut. Don't get bunched up swabbies, we Jarheads made fun of our own too. What is the most dangerous thing in the Corps? Answer: A Second Lieutenant with a compass.

Thanks to all veterans (past and present) and God Bless America.

Semper Fidelis
As a Navy medical type (psychologist) serving as CO of 4th MED BN Collecting and Clearing Company, I spent some time on Marine bases, in tents, running obstacles courses, setting up field hospitals, that sort of stuff. Camp Lejeune, 29 Palms (in July ). Best 4th of July fireworks I have ever observed was actual A-4's dropping ordinance at 29 Palms as part of 4th activities. Oorah!
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Old 07-02-2016, 10:00 PM   #127
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Old 07-02-2016, 10:23 PM   #128
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Old 07-02-2016, 10:50 PM   #129
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How Many Vets

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Originally Posted by TonyD View Post
US Army 1991 to 2003
Army Aviation-UH1 and CH47D driver
Alcatraz on the Hudson Graduate
Meals on Wheels Vet (Somalia, 1993)
Enduring Freedom Vet (Asscrackistan, 2002-03)
Love your wit!
Canoe U here! '66 Does the number "14" mean anything to you?
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Old 07-11-2016, 01:23 PM   #130
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Wife had the hard job on the home front and is still going strong, hung in there with me for the whole ride.


Lots of deployments and Wars. Wife said was time to come home for good.
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