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, November 19, 2011

Why Not The Best?

It's my opinion that every adult can lay claim to being the "first" or "best" in the world (or at least the country) at something. In much the same way that probably 95% of everyone asked would consider themselves to be an above-average driver, making this claim can sometimes require a little bit of self-deception, but no real harm is done.

For me, my claims to fame are that I run the world's most popular submarine blog, I was the fastest ever submarine Engineer on Alpha Trials (at least in the U.S. -- it depends on if the Soviets let their Alfas get up to flank on their initial sea trials, which I kind of doubt), and I lay claim to having written more Admiral's letters enclosures than any Eng in the history of the Submarine Force. (I wrote about 60, having been initial manning Eng twice; letters were due every 4 weeks in the shipyard.)

What's your claim to being the best?


Blogger 4MC said...

I've sailed on the USS Constitution, twice. Been under the ice on a submarine. And stood in a new construction reactor core cradle (my terminology is probably incorrect).

11/19/2011 2:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two atta-boys...

Completed intermediate range testing during an initial start up in less that 6 hours. The only out-of-band request was the EOOW (a good guy who was a former Nuc electrician) asked that I sit down more so he could see what was going on. Eng gave me the atta-boy later (also another good guy).

With the help of the M-div LPO and the LELT, did the plan for a primary DP cell replacement while we were participating in a big exercise. Radioed as much as we could to PSNSH and when pulled into Bangor reviewed the details during shutdown/cooldown. Everyone signed of and away we went.

Just over 48 hours after the lines had gone over, startup was underway and I had a chance to get off the ship for a couple of beers. Ended up meeting all our operation commitments.

PSNSY said they had never done one in under two weeks. It was a massively parallel plan with a target for 3 days to allow for oops-boo-boo or two but nary a problem. Good thing since NR was around for the whole thing.

Got a couple of letters of commendation for that one.

Post script: Some one was kind enough to say "Let him sleep" so slept through the entire maneuvering watch. The only time that every happened to anyone to my knowledge.

Old Chief from the dark ages

11/19/2011 3:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spent four PUC's worth of time on the Parche-don't know if that's a first or best but DAMN good no matter how you slice it!:)

11/19/2011 3:25 PM

Blogger Nancy Yockey Bonar said...

Best woman newspaper reporter to have written about diving aboard a sub on which her brother was an officer. Plus, another diver was this officer's father...a newspaper editor...also wrote a story.

11/19/2011 3:58 PM

Anonymous nukelizard said...

Joel, You are probably the only Engineer to have a crew member reenlist while standing in the bottom of the reactor vessel. Fat Larry must have been on leave or sucking up to Gov. Rowland.

11/19/2011 4:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was the first guy to qualify n my prototype class; so maybe I was the best for a briefe moment in time. During one patrol we went 4 section duty for EO's; I was in the rack for 18 hours but they guy who relived me went in for 22.

As a civillian I once got a meal and a nap in the torpedo room on tope of a locker during a three hour aborted sea test.

My labrador just had > 200 porcupine quills removed after a recent run in; not sure what the record is in that area.

11/19/2011 4:38 PM

Anonymous Bob L said...

First guy to paint the MCC fan room with epoxy paint while wearing an OBA (hey I ahd to be safe) and after getting butt chewed disposing of said paint while moored in Holy Loch.

11/19/2011 4:43 PM

Anonymous 3383 said...

First guy to have a female guest escorted off for flashing a passing frigate from the signal bridge. The crew of the USS Lewis B. Puller was appreciative.

Was punished by choosing to forego leaving the ship for that port visit.

11/19/2011 4:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have more time on the outboard shitter at test depth reading a f@ck book while eating lime jello. At Back Emergency.

11/19/2011 5:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

....than anybody else on the planet.

11/19/2011 5:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Possibly the first to program the range of the day on a TI-59 calculator memory strip in 1977.

11/19/2011 5:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a QM3(SS) I took the virginity of SUBASE San Diego CO's daughter in barracks 500, twice in the same night, if you know what I mean. The first time I had proof, blood don't lie. The second, well, lets just say that was one tight pooter!

Definately a first for both of us that night...I just love being a Sailor!

11/19/2011 6:07 PM

Anonymous Anon E. Moose said...

First to *REDACTED*. Silent Service, indeed.

11/19/2011 6:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

First American in Olongapo to recognize the Corizon Aquino government.

The day after Marcos flew off to Hawaii a shipmate and I were at the end of Magsaysay heading to catch a jeepney to the barrio while the parade passed by. A person in the parade saw us and started pointing...the whole parade stopped. Everyone was flashing a hand sign at us that looked like they were calling us losers. We flashed it back at them and the whole parade cheered. Later we found out that sign was for Aquino. If we'd flashed a peace sign to them we'd have been killed. That was Marcos' sign.


11/19/2011 7:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

First to been out to sea solid, shutdown and cooldowned following Japan earthquake

11/19/2011 7:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoohoo! First to crash test a 688
at flank as Diving Officer!


11/19/2011 8:43 PM

Anonymous C. G. said...

24 years as a QM/ANAV and not having run into a mountain (let alone, anything else)!

Oh wait, that's not being the best, that' just doing the job right.

11/19/2011 10:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

While on USS Barbel in the early 80's I plotted the stbd view of USS Enterprise NCC-1701 on a Tektronix 4050. Took almost 6 weeks to enter all the data points!

11/20/2011 7:05 AM

Anonymous Joe Turner said...

I qual'd ships in less than 90-days. And I wasn't a nuke. Probably done before, but was pretty neat to do.

11/20/2011 7:25 AM

Blogger Ret ANAV said...

First ANAV to go from the bridge to the control room without touching any ladder rungs on the way down...QMOW called a Red Sounding (which turned out to be operator error)

11/20/2011 7:50 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

First to shoot submarine tomahawks in war-Desert Storm. Fun trip!

11/20/2011 8:03 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if it was a first but I was designated stand-in OOD as QM2(SS) during ORSE workup on the Bremerton since the CO was clearly unhappy with the drills and had all officers and chiefs in the wardroom for several good old fashioned ass chewings. Then years later on the Vinson, accepted the deck and the conn as QM1(SS/SW) in secondary control since the alternate OOD in SEC CONN wasn't there. The XO then stuck his head in Secondary Conn and remarked standby to dive. It wasn't all bad.....the CMC was a former submariner, I was the only one on the ship allowed to call him COB.

11/20/2011 10:07 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

First USS Dallas crewmember that Tom Clancy ever met. Happened at a party at the Navy's test pilot base (Pax River) as Tom was there pumping the admirals for info for his next book, Red Storm Rising. As Dallas' just-former Weps, I was a tag-along with my uncle, a retired Vietnam-era superstar Navy fighter pilot. Made for interesting conversation.

Funny...but as Captain Jim Patton had lamented in a NSL publication (can almost hear his nasal New England twang), "...any submarine officer could have written The Hunt for Red October...and any submarine officer would have gone to jail for doing so."

Jim apparently had his mind changed: look at the credits for the "Technical Advisor" the next time you see the movie.

While we're here: hat's off to SOAC classmate George Billy, who appeared in The Hunt... as the 2nd-in-command of DSRV Mystic...of which he was actually the OIC.

11/20/2011 11:38 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

While not the first submariner ever to have been involved in certain unusual Ops, I seem to have been the first ever to have publicly talked about it.

11/20/2011 1:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Vig: link does not work.)

11/20/2011 1:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Link to Vig?

11/20/2011 1:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

First to shat his pants when we found out that "friendly" we exercised with for 4 hrs wasn't who we thought he was.(Eight waterslugs later)

11/20/2011 3:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Whoohoo! First to crash test a 688
at flank as Diving Officer!"

Wasn't Chris Gamblin the ANAV of San Fran when it hit the mountain? Was he a former detailer? Did he retire after the grounding?

Just curious.

11/20/2011 4:07 PM

Anonymous Mark/MM1(SS) said...

First former enlisted submariner to appear on Jeopardy. Well, first that I know of anyway - any pre-1997 claimants?

11/20/2011 4:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrote the first Submarine Radioman A School curriculum in 1986.

11/20/2011 4:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the opposite tack, served as a member of the last fire control party to shoot a stern tube in the Navy on USS Skate (SSN-578), circa 1981 or 1982. George Rodwell Fister was the CO.

11/20/2011 6:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the first among you to say that this blog blows! VANITY

11/20/2011 6:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last submarine officer to write a scaling critique of a Naval Submarine Training Center, Pacific ("NSTCPAC"), training course and survive--thank goodness we were an East Coast boat. Unknown to me, the new Chief of Naval Education and Training ("CNET") in PCola decided to personally read all course critiques for Navy training conducted during his first several months in the job. Apparently, my critique was at the top of his list--so much for being brutally honest. But if they absolutely prohibit you from staying late to study after school, what kind of education are you getting? A year later, my name was still instantly recognizable to members of the NSTCP staff, even though we weren't anywhere near Pearl Harbor.

11/20/2011 7:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

During the 1980s, the O'Club at the Subase on Point Loma had a relatively well-attended Happy Hour. They also ran a jail in which, for a sufficient monetary contribution, you could put your favorite fellow officer in the hoosegow for ten or fifteen minutes. Our wardroom was the first (and last) to summon the chutzpah to lock up Jack West (COMSUBGRU FIVE), normally not a man known to take prisoners alive. I apologized to my CO after filling out the necessary summons--in my best Maverick voice--something like "I'm sorry, Captain, but it was time to lock up the Admiral." To be fair, I did personally provide the Admiral with his favorite libation while he was temporarily behind bars.

11/20/2011 7:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow...some good times in the old O Club, what a hoot!! While enlisted guys just do dumb stuff like chasing pussy.

11/20/2011 8:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The chasing to which you refer is best done while single, lest a bird of the air tell the matter and so shall ye hear it again--usually in a divorce court. Such courts don't seem to distinguish much between officers and enlisted personnel--they provide both with excruciating pain. And with the advent of the cell phone camera, nothing that happens on WestPac stays on WestPac for very long.

11/20/2011 8:55 PM

Anonymous Dan said...

I believe I was the first to paint a submarine diesel yellow.

11/21/2011 12:09 AM

Anonymous Dardar the Submarian said...

Was the only one (that I know of) to paint the NAV Center titty pink.

My chief gave me a 5 gallon can of white paint and a can of beach sand tint and said mix it and paint it. No instructions, no guidance.

As I mixed, I started creating a nice titty pink. I then painted everything that wasn't moving. I didn't even wake my relief. I painted the night away. It looked like a South Florida laundry mat when I was done.

The CO was pissed, but we couldn't fix it because some big wig was showing up that afternoon. I got shit on for a week, but everyone laughed their asses off - especially since I perpetuated the NAVET stereotype.

11/21/2011 5:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Survived JO tour with 5 separate incidents....including loss of remote operability.

Was still the goto ORSE EOOW ADM Maneuvering Watch EOOW.

11/21/2011 9:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

SS-580. Shot more torpedos during 1973 than any other submarine in service. 118 including a salvo firing of two Mk 16-8's, and the first Mk 16-8 warshot OT in seven years. Made the first mine plant on a 580 class boat in 1974. Good times for the torpedo gang!!!

Keep a zero bubble............


11/21/2011 11:05 AM

Blogger chief torpedoman said...

Don't know if this is really a first or not, but it was for me. I suppose that after nearly forty years it is ok to talk about it.

First patrol and a nub TM3. I know my mom was dying of cancer and would proably be gone by the time we got back for off crew. Got woken up and told to go see the CO. Seems he got a message in telling him to be at a certain location in the Med at a certain time for a Humanevac of me for emegency leave. This was 1972 and no one had ever heard of this being done in the middle of patrol.

We we were not exactly close to that location and were not give much time to get there. I am sure the CO did not ant to break radio silence or miss the rendezvous. so he cranked up the turns a bit a time to see if the buoy would take it.

We made the rendezvous but having the helo winch me up from the missle deck was pretty scary for a young lad.

Oh, one more think. The XO told me not to take any mail with me. I had 43 letters stuffed down my blues. They were all post marked in Indianapolis, Indiana.

11/21/2011 1:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was ranked the 2nd best Russian linguist in the Navy in 2003... and since I know who was ranked number one was, I'm just going to say I was number one <>

CTIC(SG) (Ret)

11/21/2011 3:31 PM

Anonymous flem snopes said...

By virtue of owning 2 in the '70s I was once the world's best Fiat mechanic in amateur standing.

11/21/2011 4:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

and since I know who was ranked number one was,

Hopefully your Russian is better than your English.

11/21/2011 6:34 PM

Blogger SSBN617Blue said...

I was "first" on the comp in nuke school (3.90). Also as M Div leading "first" was on the first, and still the only submarine to ever have won the Secretary of Defense Maintenance Award.

11/21/2011 8:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fell asleep on the LP Blower while doing maintenance and didn't wake up when it started.

11/21/2011 10:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Called away smoke in the EOG and got to do the emergency purge while the rectifier was melting.

11/21/2011 10:48 PM

Blogger Ret ANAV said...

Wrote the first Submarine Radioman A School curriculum in 1986.

First submariner to rewrite the skimmers Ship Control and Navigation PQS (2 months to write it, 17 months to get it into the fleet...go figure)

11/22/2011 4:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody else have FIVE XO tours?

11/22/2011 7:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anybody else have FIVE XO tours?"

Did you finally get it right on the fifth one? (ducking)

11/22/2011 7:26 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"and since I know who was ranked number one was,

Hopefully your Russian is better than your English."

Ooops... too many beer nuts...

11/22/2011 8:49 AM

Anonymous STS2 said...

1st person to do a lot of shit with a Q-10 sonar system, including stand on said equipment to "thwap" the WLR-9. First sonar supervisor to proclaim that "if anyone can stick the ship's own head up it's ass, it'd be you sir" when the OOD asked if we could touch the tip of the dome to the end of the towed array during sound cuts.

11/22/2011 10:58 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Snopes the worlds best Fiat, ptooey mechanic, I also had one of those piece of shit cars....But all this "I am first" crap. Since it sounds like most of you are wardroom types and wouldn't know the bottom of a bilge if it landed on you and since this is all about being the first... I was the first to spend an entire watch at sea in the bilges in the AER cleaning it out because I DIDN'T do something.

11/22/2011 11:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@11:30 AM Anon/whiner: Tell us again, grandpa, how being in the bilge makes you a much, much better person than the rest of us. It seems to have gotten by us on the first try.

11/22/2011 2:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skimmers are best!

11/22/2011 3:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Tell us again, grandpa, how being in the bilge makes you a much, much better person than the rest of us." -anon

The first advertisement beneath the text suggest someone with lots of bilge experience may also be interested in a Homeland Security Degree

11/22/2011 3:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: Skimmers are the best

Looks like part of the post was cutoff, allow me to finish it...

Skimmers are the best targets!

Old Chief from the dark ages

11/22/2011 6:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old Chief from the dark ages,

True, Skimmers are the best targets!

The link suggests a whole new way of destroying them, however.

Apparently all it takes for them to self destruct is one disturbing phone call. Wow!

Obviously psych exams for skimmers would cut into manning, so let's just skip it.

C. Leach

11/22/2011 10:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

First to achieve criticality on the lead plant during physics testing following the Nimitz refueling.

11/22/2011 10:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was the first to "Pee in her butt."

11/23/2011 5:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Tell us again, grandpa, how being in the bilge makes you a much, much better person than the rest of us. It seems to have gotten by us on the first try."

You mean it's gotten by you! If your to stupid to understand it then you're to stupid to have it explained to you-SonnyBoy.

11/23/2011 10:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^Spelling error, -50...especially when commenting in a derogatory way on the intelligence of others ("your" => "you're").

You might just want to step back a bit from your attempts at flaming the intellect of others...especially considering the audience here.

A 'knife a gun fight' comes to mind.

11/23/2011 11:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I was the first to "Pee in her butt.""

I did that once and it was not a pretty sight. Luckily she was a throw away.

11/23/2011 4:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 11:59 AM

Me step back? Hows come you missed your own spelling errors -100:

"If your to [sic] stupid to understand it then you're to [sic] stupid ..."

See what I mean, flamer?

Pat Marshall, The even better-looking ST1(SS)

11/23/2011 6:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been chewed out by SEA00 himself. Not too many working level nubs have had that pleasure.

11/23/2011 9:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon@10:33 Stupid is what stupid does - Sonnyboy.

11/23/2011 9:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon@11:39. Sounds like you had your head up your ass on bilge watch. You are right. That was a first and I am confident that it will not be your last. Bravo dirt bag.

11/23/2011 9:59 PM

Anonymous MentalJim said...

First to point out how funny some of the comments to this post are.

11/24/2011 12:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was the first to "Pee in his butt."

11/24/2011 2:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was the first to "Pee in his butt."

Silly faggot, dicks are for chicks.

11/24/2011 4:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

First OOD on a PCU, first OOD to take that ship past its hull number.

Yeah...yawn, I know.

11/25/2011 8:37 PM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

First former enlisted submariner to appear on Jeopardy. Well, first that I know of anyway - any pre-1997 claimants?

Passed the test twice--once in 1994, once in 1996, although never got the callback to appear on the show. DID appear on Win Ben Stein's Money, however. Damn dude has some FAST fingers.

First one done with the comp in my class, AFAIK. Didn't do the best on it (3.64 IIRC) but I'll take it. Made sure I wasn't sober by lunchtime. Mid-March comps in Florida...and you thought we WEREN'T going to get drunk somewhere in central Florida?

11/28/2011 12:35 PM

Anonymous CE1 said...

I am the only person ever to be DCA on a United States Naval Ship underway as a CE2. It happened to be on the USS Constitution.

12/01/2011 6:44 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It appears that 95% of the posters failed to answer the question correctly. What are you BEST at? Best and First are not synonymous. RTF!!!

12/02/2011 12:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must mean RTFQ.

12/02/2011 12:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It appears that 95% of the posters failed to answer the question correctly. What are you BEST at? Best and First are not synonymous. RTF!!!"

Oh, you are one of THOSE types.

12/02/2011 3:39 PM

Anonymous BER said...

First enlisted to complete a 5 year tour without entering a bilge.

12/11/2011 4:44 PM

Blogger waterman said...

Probably the only ELT to serve two years on the Bainbridge with out ever entering either reactor compartment. Took some doing too, never put on the duck suit either.

1/06/2012 9:24 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Probably not the first but got to climb through the aft end of the boat (SSN-708) while it was in dry dock at PSNY (New Hampshire).

They had staging set-up for hull work so a couple of us were able to climb through.

I was #1 enlisted to qualify in my class in Charleston.

1/07/2012 2:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Son of MS1/SS and Father of STS3/SS, don't know if we are the first famialy with 3 consecutive generations wearing fish or not,pretty cool either way. Was a pretty proud day when my son said" No Dad, I want you to pin my fish, not the MCPON."

5/21/2012 11:41 AM


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