Shore Story Urban Legends
The Navy, like every other organization, has its own collection of "urban legends" that get passed around. One of my favorites came from Nuke School.
For those unfamiliar with the culture of Nuke School, it's a place where it's easy to screw up. Not only are there academic pressures, it's very easy to get busted at Captain's Mast. When Nukes graduate from their "A" School, they automatically get advanced to PO3 -- this is much earlier than most people in the miltary make it to E-4. Back when I was going through the pipeline before Nuke Field "A" School, nuke MMs could be an MM3 within 6 weeks of leaving boot camp. Because of this, most Sailors felt that the enlisted Nukes hadn't really "earned" their crow. (Those Sailors, of course, were right.) Since it was relatively easy for the Nukes to make E-4, the COs at the school seemed to be of the opinion that it should be easy for them to lose it as well. As a result, everyone who went to NJP at Nuke School could expect to be demoted to E-3 as a minimum.
The urban legend I heard going through the school was about one such Captain's Mast where the smartass Nuke knew he was going to lose his crow, so he decided to make it memorable. He took his rating badge off his uniform, sewed his E-3 insignia on, then put his crow back on loosely connected at the five corners. When the bored CO, looking down at the charge sheet, announced that he was reducing him in rate, the Sailor dramatically ripped off his crow. The CO looked up and, without missing a beat, continued, "And since I see an E-3 standing before me, I'm reducing you to E-2".
As with a lot of urban legends, even if it's not true, it should be. What are some of your favorite Navy urban legends?