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.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Live Free... Or Die!!

During a visit to Norway last month, the crew of USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) got roped into an international naval parade in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Norwegian Submarine Force. Here's the picture:

Some other pictures from their European tour can been seen here and here. I've always thought it was a pain to have to go out in town in a liberty port in uniform -- except in Australia. (My favorite story of a shipmate having a great adventure while in uniform out in town was recounted here.) What ports have you been to where it's worth your while to hit the beach in uniform?

(As to the title of this post, I just wanted to honor my favorite state motto -- New Hampshire has the best, no doubt about it.)


Blogger sigszilla said...

Uniform-required ports: Odessa, Ukraine, was pretty sweet, as was Novorossiysk, Russia, in the mid-90s... There was this one time, when I was assigned mandatory fun, and it turned out to be a tour of a vodka factory...

Probably another story for another time...

6/23/2009 8:46 AM

Blogger Kat said...

Having been born and raised in New Hampshire, I have always loved the state motto.

6/23/2009 9:38 AM

Anonymous STSC said...

No surprise that alot of them are out of step, heheh.

Best place I've been on liberty in uniform was Columbia, Missouri for a namesake city visit. Totally awesome reception & it was damn near impossible to pay for anything while in uniform.

Bergen, Norway (out of uniform) was also one of my favorite (albeit expensive) liberty ports. We had an awesome time at the Polar Bear Bar - not sure if it is still there. There are NO ugly Norwegian women, or they keep them locked up out of sight. Everyone spoke understandable English & were very welcoming.

6/23/2009 11:04 AM

Blogger Steve said...

I had a great time in my home town in uniform. Not many squids walking around in Shreveport Louisiana.
Bergen Norway was great. I agree with STSC. Apparently, they killed the ugly female children at birth.
I always cringe when I see squids marching. We're so darn bad at it that it could not have been impressive to our Norwegian friends.

6/23/2009 12:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve is quite correct.
It seems like after we leave Great Lakes and then BESS, we automatically forget how to march.

Yes, that looks bad. But when do we have time for close order drill when most of us are in the pipeline between A&C schools and then reporting to our first boat as a NUB? Saluting and facing movements aren't a problem for most us. But yes, alot of us become a bit challenged when it comes to attempting to march and stay instep in crew formation.

Hopefully the guys on the USS New Hampshire did the parade some proud justice.

6/23/2009 1:34 PM

Blogger tennvol said...

@stsc: Ahhh, Bergen. My first liberty port on Whale. Wish I could remember more of it :)

6/23/2009 2:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My first ten years in the Navy (58-68 on sea duty) going ashore in civvies was never even on the radar. Only the officers went ashore in civvies and that was in coat and tie.

Wearing the uniform ashore was no big deal. You just did it. We were Sailors in the biggest and best Navy in the world. If you were a submariner it was even better. For me wearing the uniform never hindered a "good run ashore." Even in major home ports like San Diego and Norfolk you had to wear uniform off the boat. If you wanted to wear civvies you rented a locker in a locker club in town and went there to change.

Home ports like Pearl, and later Charleston, and New London with barracks for attack boat and SSBN sailors started to make inroads on homeport policy. You still arrived and departed the boat in uniform though.

Admiral zumwalt changed all that.

IMO something important has been lost with the demise of wearing uniforms ashore on liberty. Pride in the Navy, the ship, and the uniform.

My two cents, and keep a zero bubble..........


6/23/2009 2:42 PM

Blogger Scott said...

Seeing this post is a giant kick to the teeth for me. The New Hampshire was commissioned last October, and now are visiting overseas ports. I arrived on the USS Virginia a month after her commissioning in 2004, and left the boat this past January. How many foreign ports did we visit in those 4+ years? Not a one. "Join the Navy, see the world!" If you say so...

But back to the topic at hand, When I was in prototype in New York, the command had a bunch of us march in the Saratoga Springs Memorial Day parade. The reception out in town was really awesome, and we had a pretty good time. I do love that city.


6/23/2009 2:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scene shown in Bergen is Bryggen, Norwegian for the Wharf.

And yes...Norwegian women are beautiful. Married one, in fact.

6/23/2009 2:59 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

What this code phrase really means, it was invented by the “I hate the government” fruit cakes...what it really means is Live Free of Government, or Die!

6/23/2009 4:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have to agree that Australia is by far one of the best ports to go to. However, right after I made Chief we went out in our uniforms and hit many a pub. After a couple drinks we got some of the locals in the bar to sing the submarine song. Sometime during this one of my so called Australian drinking buddies ran out the door with my CPO cover. After we realized it we laid chase down an alley but he was long gone.

6/23/2009 5:00 PM

Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

I'd like to see this. I hope there's plenty of military bearing and they're marching on a heavy left foot in tandem.

6/23/2009 9:33 PM

Anonymous STSC said...

@Tennvol - we have a Whale group on Facebook FYI. Several good sea stories on the forums there.

6/23/2009 9:53 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Was part of the Royal Navy Submarine Centenary in 2001, and a dozen of us participated in the parade. All submariners from something like 12 countries.

Brisbane, Australia, July 4. Required uniform the first night out. You were not even allowed to approach the bar because someone would stop you and push a beer into your hand. Then there was the young lady that demanded to own my hat...not just wear it for a bit, but own it. Ah, Australia.

6/24/2009 1:01 AM

Blogger tennvol said...

@stsc: Already there and posted a few times. Definitely brought back some memories, some good, some not so much.

6/24/2009 9:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ft. Lauderdale 1981. I was on the La Jolla right after we went back to Crackerjacks. I took extra uniform parts, neckerchiefs, ribbons, Dolphins and hats. I wore the Crackerjacks every time I left the boat. I never paid for a taxi ride, cover charge or drink and I got tail every I was on the town. Man what a liberty port that was.

I almost always wore my uniform when I went home to litter town Iowa. Every body there was so appreciative of a man or woman in uniform. My sister was in the Army and when we were home together, we would hit the town running with both of us in uniform. If I was asked about submarines or the Navy I would talk about it but mostly I wore it so the others could talk about their military experience. The uniform opened so many conversations with old timers and parents. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “my son/daughter/nephew/niece is in the Navy. Do you know them?”

That Damn Good Looking Aganger From Iowa

6/25/2009 12:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I meant Little Town Iowa.

That Fat Fingered Damn Good Looking Aganger From Iowa

6/25/2009 12:03 AM

Anonymous STSC said...

I thought that was just your accent coming out through your fingers...

6/25/2009 1:45 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

Hell, I ALWAYS wore my uniform at least one night in Ft. Lauderdale! That was guaranteed to get me free drinks on the strip! The absolute best night there was July 4th, 1991. I left the boat with 40 bucks cash in my pocket, bounced back and forth between Summer's On The Beach and The Candy Store, had to be carried below decks after quite a night of debauchery, and woke up the next morning with 65 bucks cash in my pocket. Egad I loved Ft. Liquordale.

6/25/2009 2:05 PM

Blogger Squidward said...

crackerjacks are an absolute babe-magnet. When I went khaki, that was the only aspect of enlisted uniforms I missed (SDBs are so blah)

No woman of any age can resist the amazing crackjack-power.

And thats aside from the collateral free-drink aspect.

6/25/2009 4:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would go so far as to say that Ft. Lauderdale is my favorite 'foreign port.'

6/25/2009 8:15 PM

Blogger RM1(SS) (ret) said...

The first time Oly visited Olympia WA, uniforms weren't required - but I don't recall seeing anyone in civvies. Free drinks, free rides; some people got invited out deep-sea fishing or for rides in private planes....

6/26/2009 6:26 PM


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