The kinder gentler Navy

We were all comparing bootcamp and HT “A” school experiences in the shop the other day.  Here is the then(1999-2000 vs 2001 and onward).

Bootcamp has a thing called Battle Stations.  13 events culled from the pages of Navy history involving physical exertion.  We had to double time all over the base in the dead of night for those thirteen stations.  The newer guys have it all in one building.  Now for the engineering school.  We had 3 weeks of basic engineering aka Fireman Apprenticeship Trainer Deck(FN ATD) or Common Core.  Tools and their abuses, pumps, valves, schematics, egress.  All the stuff engineers should know.  Very hands on.  Three weeks.  Eight more weeks of HT school.  One day of class, the rest of hands on every week.  Class was geared toward safety.  “The shear can cut metal.  It will amputate your finger without second thought.”  Now all engineering rates learn all modules on computers except for a few weeks.  I didn’t know you could learn how to weld or fight fires on a computer.  Pussification if you ask me.

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One thought on “The kinder gentler Navy

  1. Heh….it’s funny how your blog evokes old memories……

    Back in the stone age (1966) I went through boot at San Diego. One aspect of fire fighting training consisted of teams of recruits sent into the bottom floor of a four story concrete building, with only one other exit; up steel stairs to the roof, where the escape hatch may or may not have had someone standing on it. The fire was diesel fuel and old tires, we were not expected to put it out, we were expected to escape. There were no lights, and no windows. Anyone caught trying to get back out at the bottom entry portal had his air mask removed while his ass was well chewed, and sent back to the stairs. I remember that steel stairway railing was damn hot to the touch.

    I don’t know if they still run that exercise (or one like it) today, but I do know that if it had been taught on a computer screen, I’d have forgotten it in a week. The hands on training and lack of “pussification” doled out in those days left an impression on this country boy. It may not have been the kinder, gentler Navy, but it got my attention!

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