Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Yvan Eht Nioj

In recruiting new Sailors, the Navy has to go where potential recruits are, which nowadays means YouTube. Here's one of the newest videos the Navy put up on its own YouTube Channel:

Personally, I like it; there's nothing wrong with using a little humor to get someone to check out your website. What do you think? And what elements would you like to see in Navy Submarine recruiting videos? (I had some ideas back in 2005 I think might still work.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes... god knows we don't want to show the little buggers what they're REALLY in for... 9 month deployments, seabag inspections, and cleaning crap while groveling before the officers and petty officers appointed over them.

2/16/2008 8:46 AM

Blogger Tablebread said...

OMG!!! What are we?!? Still in Vietnam running river patrols?!?! Well, I did get a good laugh out of this one.

OR!!!! I got cheated b/c in nine years I never did a single river patrol...maybe my recruiter screwed me...hmmmm always a possibility.

2/16/2008 5:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe we can get the Beave to join!

Needless to say, not impressed. I agree with the above 2 posts.


2/16/2008 9:10 PM

Blogger Jay said...

Actually, we did ditch riverine warfare after Vietnam. The Army took it up, but, of course, now that the Army needs more boots on dry land, the Navy has taken over this mission again.

Old article here,
but better than nothing...

2/16/2008 9:26 PM

Blogger Wulf said...

I've got to agree with anonymous... anything other than mops and paintbrushes is a lie. And I guess if we're going to lie to recruits, we may as well go whole hog - it's exactly like the movies and video games, kids.

In seriousness, the only thing I think will effectively recruit young people to the USN in general and subs in particular is the promise of technical training, college assistance, and never getting shot at on a river at night. Let's be honest - we recruit from a different pool than the USMC does.

2/17/2008 8:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Screw the Navy. They don't deserve the quality of people they have now, the way they're treated. What may have been fine in the 1800's (treating enlisted like inmates) just doesn't cut it when they expect the scummy blueshirt to have something near a 4-year engineering degree. Since the Navy puts machinery before people whenever possible they better start building some self-cleaning subs pretty damn soon.

2/17/2008 4:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone sounds like they are having a case of the "Mondays" ohhh...poor enlisted nukey. I feel so bad for you. You must be too good to clean your own spaces. Whats wrong? You feel like you are better than those young JO's that you train to give you orders. You mean that the Submarine Navy is designed to have the enlisted
folk aka-the skummy blue shirts, train those appointed over them. and all the while you possess all of the knowledge and "they" even get paid more than you do! Holy crap batman, that doesn't make one lick of sense.
So what you are really saying is that while those guys you "trained"to tell you how to do your job are playing Halo in the Wardroom while you are field daying...Damn, that just plain sucks. Guess your recruiter failed to mention that.

2/17/2008 5:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about some hard-pack! Bet thatal make you feel better!
Nothin better than some hard-pack and a good porno to beat off to after sittin in the box.

2/17/2008 5:39 PM

Blogger Wulf said...

What may have been fine in the 1800's ... just doesn't cut it...

Well, that's why I got out. The day it dawned on me that I was smarter and in better shape than the khakis in my division was depressing and inspiring at the same time. To recognize that they were in charge solely by virtue of a college degree and an outdated rank system - it was monumental.

But I don't see that mentality overhaul happening across the service any time soon.

2/17/2008 5:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"they were in charge solely by virtue of a college degree"

Wulf, been there. I sense you have yet to appreciate, however, the universality of the 'put-down' system. It IS universal, my friend, and applies not only to U.S. and foreign armed services, but in civilian (corporate and public) employment, as well.

I certainly hope you are either pursuing a college education or learning to survive as a recluse because you really have no other choice. x submariner

2/17/2008 7:03 PM

Blogger beebs said...

Well, back on the USTAFISH in the early 80s, junior officers field-dayed alongside the crew.

I liked doing the diesel bilge and deckplates. The CO wouldn't let me "eat my meal" off the deckplates I had cleaned.

I had a great time on her, and I realized that most of the leadersleep concepts I had learned at the boat school were so much BS. My nukes were as least as smart as I was.

The movie was a bunch of Ooorah BS, but it was neat to watch.

2/17/2008 8:59 PM

Blogger Wulf said...

Anon, I got out in '99 and picked up a BS in physics. It's worked out well.

I would almost agree with you about the "universality of the 'put-down' system". There is such a thing as limited meritocracy, where people are not ranked by college degree and it is not necessary to kowtow to those whose knowledge is Officially Certified. It shows up more in the trade skills and private entrepreneurship than in corporate America, of course, but it does exist.

We all have our employers. The biggest difference is that it's easier these days for me to speak plainly about my expertise vs their ignorance. Unlike the navy, my civilian employers have always admitted that they know less than I do about my job - which is why they've hired me to do it.

So long as that behavior is viewed as intolerable insubordination punishable by revoking liberty or even reducing pay, the military will see many of their best and brightest refuse to stay for a career. I don't see an easy fix.

2/18/2008 7:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I take a dim view of the navy getting sold to kids with the offer of education and high tech training. I'm struggling to pay for college and none of my training from six years of being a nuke was transferred into college credits. The GI Bill is a joke unless you go to a community college or a diploma mill school. They should just go back to offering people military service or prison time.

2/18/2008 10:32 AM

Blogger Wulf said...

I'm going to have to suggest that you looked into the wrong schools. Aside from your (false) implication that community colleges have little value, the fact is that the GI Bill isn't intended to pay your way through a $20k per year school all by itself. But it does go a long way toward paying for a state university, and there are plenty of ways to suppliment it.

Putting in $1200 and getting back $1100 per month for 36 months is hardly a joke. Anybody who doesn't know how to make that work for them should take their DD 214 to the state college and ask to be signed up for Econ 101.

Besides... when was it that your nuke training wasn't accepted for credits? I didn't get much credit, but I have been told that this is much easier to do today, due to declassification. More importantly, interviewers in tech industries have practically fallen over themselves when discussing that nuke background on my resume. It's embarassing, frankly.

The training and the GI Bill is no guarantee of white collar easy living, but if that's what you are looking for, I suggest you marry well. There's little else for it.

2/18/2008 11:55 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is some movement underway now to improve the GI Bill, and I think we'll be seeing it soon. While my enlisted nuc training didn't translate into many college credits, it sure opened some doors for me once I graduated with an engineering degree - and not in the nuclear industry either. Almost anywhere in civilian engineering or IT, enlisted nuc training is considered a real leg up. It got me my first job and certainly helped me get several others.

All that being said, enlisted people get treated extremely poorly in the Navy - considerably worse than in the other services. This is largely due to historical reasons, but is really foolish because it damages morale and screws up retention. The idea that there is some sort of "class" or intelligence difference between, say, nuc enlisted and officers, is foolish. The navy must move past its history and find an enlisted/officer relationship closer to that of the Marine Corps or AF. The CPOs hurt rather than help, I think.

2/18/2008 1:09 PM

Blogger Wulf said...

All that being said, enlisted people get treated extremely poorly in the Navy - considerably worse than in the other services.

Enlisted people in the other services are issued firearms.

2/18/2008 1:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the above comment. CPO's
Does anyone know the real story about how the CPO mess came about?

I now work in a joint command and it is just embarrassing how my CPO's interact with the E-6's and below of other services. I often find myself apologizing for their behavior.
I never really took note of the general CPO community's attitude towards their subordinates on my last boat. Their collective attitude of I am a Chief and there for you must bow down before me, is just silly in a joint command. They even think that they are better than other services E-7's...because they went through "initiation"

How crazy is that!

And NO, I am not suffering from "chiefton" envy. I am only an E-5 and therefore not in the FCPO Association. Yet...

2/18/2008 1:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know...maybe I'm on crack, but I seem to recall being told I was wrong quite often by my enlisted when I was a nuke JO. And I seem to remember the JO's having a consensus that we listened to the enlisted guys if they knew what they were talking about (which was more often than not). Maybe your boat was different...or maybe you just know what you were talking about.
Regardless, I'm not going to try to compare the treatment of enlisted between services (save to say this, you get paid the same amount to take logs and clean the bilge as the guy who's staring down bullets in Iraq), but if you think the enlisted are treated poorly on your boat, go check out the surface fleet for awhile and tell me about it. We give our guys more leeway and responsibility than the skimmers will ever think about.
Maybe I'm just ranting, but it chaps my ass when I hear the complaints about what JO's have to do. Those guys get ridden like dogs until they leave the boat. They have to learn twice as much, in half as much time, and be around to take it in the face when their guys didn't do what they were asked and screwed them.
If you hated it so much, I'm glad you got out. Good for you. Many blessings on your new life... but it couldn't have sucked that bad... or do you just read submarine blogs because you like to be reminded of the hard life you lived before?

2/18/2008 4:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


My JO's were cut from the same cloth as yourself. I remember my first Div O addressing us right after being assigned. "OK guys, you know how the plant works and I know how the politics work. We'll stand back to back and keep each other from getting boned." JO's who were jerks generally took a lot of crap from both in and out of the weirdroom. We were a team. But my Ustafish was exceptional...
On the subject of GI Bills, the best don't come from Dear Uncle but from the states. I paid next to nothin' for a golly wow sheep skin from the Fightin' Illini. The people of IL picked up the tab because I was a vet from IL coming home to a state school. WI does the same and I am sure they aren't alone. Young pups signin' their life away today would do well to spend 6 months or establishing residency in one of these places before enlisting for that exciting speed boat stuff.

2/19/2008 2:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ustafish? Heck I guess I gotta talk about “Way-back-when” fish. Long, long ago, on a boomer far, far away. Ok, it was the SSBN 610.

Anyway as a TM Launcher Tech (read extinct animal now), I don’t remember too much problems with the JO division officers. Probably because I primarily dealt with only the Weps and Aweps; both of whom were Mustangs.

The Aweps was a former Nuke EM who went to the old NESEP program and got commissioned and then actually came back the same boat.

What happens now to the Enlisted men who make Warrant or LDO on the boats? Do any of them come back to the boats? It would seem a tremendous waste of talent to not bring them back.

Chief Torpedoman

2/19/2008 5:52 PM

Blogger Tablebread said...

Anon - Now if an enlisted guy goes officer they usually become LDO's (Limited Duty Officers). I come from a Comms background so our guys usually become the Communication Officers at shore sites. Either way they RARELY (I only saw it once) go back to a boat. The one time the guy did go back to a boat he was a pre-nuke sub qualified and got his degree then came back. But usually these guys become desk jockies. From what I understand they could go surface but they are limited there as well. But hey, with the retirement of an 0-4 or 0-5 I wouldn't be complaining.

2/19/2008 6:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was in Unclear Power School (ORL) we had instructors that were neither ROTC nor grads of Belly Button U, but came directly from college ("direct input") and were limited to teaching there ("limited duty officers"). As "Direct Input Limited Duty Officers" they had one of the Navy's best acronyms.

2/20/2008 10:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

fast nav, you didn't say exactly who you were addressing... but for myself, I was never on subs and I didn't hate JOs.

I did hate that my liberty and my mood could depend so much on the attitude of the person above me, whether they were competent and reasonable or not - and knowing that if I was saddled with a JO or chief who was spiteful, ignorant, or insecure, it would have to stay that way for the next 2-4 years until his shore rotation came around or I got out.

And they wonder why they have a retention problem with skilled billets?

2/20/2008 3:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


So a man gets selected to LDO based upon how good a job he is doing in subs and in his rating, then they take him off subs and put him in a job that he has not done before. Makes a lot of nonsense. Does he retain his sub pay or just have bragging rights on his dolphins?

Look at all that talent lost the the subs.

2/21/2008 6:22 AM

Blogger Tablebread said...

I believe the theory goes something along the lines that the guy is supplying his level of knowledge to the fleet through the command of a shore facility.

There are so many things wrong with how the Navy is now it's not even funny. After nine years I fielded a lot of questions from the E-9 crowd as to why I was getting out. I told them the Navy worked very hard to run the Navy like a business. No longer do we take the people into account first, now we take the 'bottom line' first. So because of that the decision to get out was an easy business decision. There simply isn't a logical argument to retire anymore. Money? Whatever. I will earn my ENTIRE retirement equivalent in 3 years. Medical? Have you been in a VA hospital lately? So what's left? Career? As this thread shows, it's like a box of chocolates...

2/21/2008 7:05 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fastnav - I never meant to imply that the enlisted are treated worse than sub JOs. I don't think anyone is treated worse that a sub JO - I know a lot of us were very sympathetic to the wringer that you guys were forced through. I am talking more about the enlisted-officer dynamic Navy-wide that in the sub force.

2/21/2008 9:12 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just a dumb civilian thats worked around and with the Navy for over 20 years now. Most of what I'm hearing here is a bunch of whining and b!tching "they weren't nice to me!" Please...give me a break. No one ever said you'd be treated nice.

It does not matter, whether you are a civilian or not, you will get out of a system exactly as much as you put into it. Not just your job, or task, or duty. Your enthusiam, your spirit, your committment is what feeds the engine. And if you were looking to get rich, you should have NEVER joined the service.

2/21/2008 4:44 PM

Blogger Wulf said...

Most of what I'm hearing here is a bunch of whining and b!tching...

Most? Really?

2/21/2008 8:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Mr Byron, Let's lay out the facts:

(1) The Navy treats most of its employees like garbage, based on a class system that was obsolete 100 years ago.

(2) The Navy is especially off the mark with it's "doublethink" regarding enlisted men: On one hand, we better be smart enough to operate, maintain, and repair the most advanced piece of moving machinery ever made (a nuclear submarine). On the other hand, we're illiterate children who have to be kept busy at all times and who can’t be trusted to behave on our off-duty time without filing a flightplan.

(3) Taking those two problems into account, I restate my earlier position: The Navy does NOT deserve the high quality of the people they’ve got today.

I’m not whining, bitching, or complaining – that’s stating a problem without a solution. I have the solution: vote with your feet. Eventually the zeroes will realize that bribing us with higher SRBs isn’t the answer, treating ALL sailors with dignity and respect IS.

2/22/2008 7:12 AM


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