I would love to tell you something crazy like that I was a Navy Seal or something spectacular and glorious like that. But alas such is not the case. If you recall I said on a previous blog that I made a really high score on my ASVAB. High enough in fact that my recruiter wanted to get me into nuke school in Connecticut. For some reason I had it stuck in my head that I wanted to be a diesel mech though. You may also recall that I actually remembered my recruiters name, Timothy Barnes (I actually still have his business card tucked away somewhere). I remember his name because his exact words were, “shoot if you want to work on diesel engines you should be a Machinest Mate”. So me being the unsuspecting fool that I was just took his word fer it without researching anything at all, obviously he had a billet to fill and since I didn’t wanna make glow babies I was his dupe of the month.
Pass and review, liberty weekend, Gurney Mills, Navy Pier, Michael Jordan restaurant and the Springer Show all checked off my bucket list…..its time to get down to business and get ready fer engineering common core school…..this was a breeze fer me. Just a little clue fer all y’all. If you have common sense the military is a stinking breeze. If you don’t you may end up a deck seaman chipping paint all day. Next up, “A” school. I’m stoked again, I’m about to learn all the Navy has to offer to teach me about diesel engines. I remember my first day of class like it was just this morning. I walked into the class room and there’s a drawing/diagram that runs the full length of the classroom. “what kind of engine is that?” I ask the instructor once he enters the room. Incredulous he looks at me and says, “that recruit is the basic steam cycle and I have a feeling your recruiter sold you a pack of lies my friend.” Ahhhhhhh, so now you know why I still know my recruiters name.
It took me about a week to recover from that blow and get knuckled down to learning what the heck a boiler was. I tell you what, after all these years I can still trace a drop of water through the basic steam cycle. I took my family on a tour of the USS Lexington a while back and I gave a better tour of the mainspace than the verteran who was there to guide us. It was like being home again…some things you never forget and you never want to. We sat in class, we PT’d, we joked, we learned and once again team work came into play. I graduated 2nd in my class (darn you Benjamin Hillabrand, we actually went to the same command after graduating). It wasn’t diesel engines but by the time I graduated I was proud to wear the SCREW of the Machinest Mate.
GO NAVY, FULL STEAM AHEAD……LET THE JOURNEY BEGIN