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U S Military Badges For Current Or Ex-service Members

Okay... I am probably going to get in trouble for this, but..... this here is a sea story - only this one is true.
If any naval types (includes Marines) remember something called reftra.... here we go.
Reftra is navalese for Refresher Training - which usually comes immediately after a ship is through with a yard period as in NavstaChasn -(Naval Station Charleston) a glorious place to be far away from! And, in 1971, the DDG on which I served (now converted to junk, trash, and scrap metal) had just finished a yard period in ChasnNSY - a part of Naval Station, Charleston - Six months of framming, bamming, painting, sweating, cussing and cleaning up after yard birds, and trying to keep communications up with the rest of the fleet (and with "Headquarters") in an office on the top deck (floor) of what used to be a WWII blimp hangar about a half a mile from the ship itself at the same time.
The only grace was that the little office in which we did our communications work DID have air conditioning (and heat!) [We went into the yards in August, and got out in January!] Immediately after sea trials (checking to see everything worked) we headed for the glorious little hole in Cuba called Guantanamo Bay. There we would be for six weeks learning how to best use the new gear and other stuff on the ship while having reveille at 0530, being underway at 0630, exercising until 1600 being back at the dock at 1700 with NOTHING to do except hit the enlisted club for 3.2 brew (on a good day!)
One of the officers said that if the Lord was going to give Earth an enema, he knew where it would be.
Early on in the yard period anyone who was being transferred was sent off, and new guys coming aboard would be received as their school training ended. Well, we got a couple of new radiomen in the radio shack - one was okay, the other thought he was God's gift to the United States Navy - which eventually wound up alienating him from almost everyone else - including the two lead radiomen - the chief and first class. It even reached up to the Communications officer and the Operations officer (Ops Boss).
When it gets that far, even the officers in the Wardroom knew that person was not meant to be on a small ship with any sense of entitlement. We did everything from short-sheeting his rack to giving him the worst of the new crew tasks - like climbing the mast to replace gear, or paint the antenna standoffs, to doing the morning cleanup from the midwatch - anything to get him off his high horse, as well as the normal head cleaning cleaning detail as most newcomers did. It did not work. Even the time spent mess-cooking in the galley did not phase him. And we were stuck with him the entire time of the yard period and into Gitmo.
On top of everything else, his Mama sent him a letter to tell him that she bought him a new Pontiac GTO. All he had to do was pick it up at the dealership in Jacksonville. He became almost impossible, and things were not going well in the Radio Shack. This is not a good thing to have when the ship's crew was under pressure of refresher training with lack of sleep, and drills at all hours of the day.
Well, he got his GTO as soon as we returned to Jacksonville (Mayport Naval Station - right at the entrance of the St. Johns River.) He made sure that everyone knew everything about that car, to the point that even the people at the EM club got tired of his bragging. At that time, we were in and out of port several times each month for some testing, training, or maneuvers with other tincans or cruisers, and sometimes with the BirdFarm (THAT usually kept us out for a week or two!) Well, someone told him that since his car was so beautiful, he ought to park it nearer the ship, and that there were several places just over the road from the ships dock where the destroyers tied up when they came back to port. [Those spots were reserved for officers!] So, as we pulled out one day for a two weeks exercise with the DD Squadron and some submarines, he just pulled in there and ran onboard just at the end of liberty and the ship was already fired up and ready to back out. Half an hour later, we were heading out of Mayport and into the Atlantic.
No one told him that he had stuck his GTO in officer parking without the proper sticker. (Most of us were in the radio shack getting stuff set up for communications - that was an all hands evolution!) Firing up transmitters, receivers, or tranceivers, pairing them to the right gear either in the shack or on the bridge or in CIC (Command or Combat Information Center), making all the proper information was coming in and shifting broadcast covers from the beach to the ship! Besides that, we were too busy to notice where he had parked his new car.
When we got back in, his GTO was nowhere to be seen, and he went totally crazy. It was later found that since he did not even have a base sticker on it, it was pulled into the impound area, which was locked, and since we pulled in after base hours on Friday, he could not even see his car until Monday, if he could get permission to leave the ship to check on it.
Well, he found out what it was going to cost to get his car out of impound, and begged everyone for money. That was not too very successful after his behavior about the car (as well as the financial paucity of Naval Pay anyway!) After a few days we noticed that things were missing, both personal and from the ship. It turns out that this guy was so shortsighted that he began stealing things from the crew AND THE SHIP and taking them to pawn shops to get the money to get his car out of impound. I do not know how it worked out, but he was approached by some one to see if he could get a sample of or manual for some of our classified pieces of gear in radio. [ That person turned out to be a USN officer from an investigation group.] He did get the manual, turned it over to the officer, and the next day was arrested and marched off the ship. We never heard anything about him again, but I did learn from the Ops boss that everyone else in the shack had been reviewed and checked out perfectly clear.
fuk Buffalo


Appreciate your service but don't bring that crap here in this thread
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