Gunboards Forums banner
21 - 40 of 48 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,409 Posts
It was said of David Beatty's much vaunted-and overrated-Battle Cruiser Fleet that "they did their target practice on the enemy" and as he acknowledged "There's something wrong with our bloody ships today-and with our bloody system."
In Vietnam-and Korea-so many of the Army's problems were due to assigning non-infantry trained GIs as riflemen. sending them into combat with weapons they'd never seen before. Relying too much on OJT mechanics-"If a part doesn't fit, you need a bigger hammer." And the old standbys of "Not my school MOS" and "Doesn't understand the manuals."
 

·
Registered
Collector of military rifles and modern handguns.
Joined
·
380 Posts
I arrived aboard my ship which I had been waiting for three weeks. I was transfering from boot camp in 70 degree balmy weather. When I left Great lakes it was about -20. Was told at revilie I would report to #1 engingroom Ambient air temp went from about 80 Degrees to to about 120 130.I was told I would be training with the messenger of the watch. So for the next few weeks O was his shadow and how tp take reading off the reduction gears, high and low speed turbines. So that was my first introduction to standing watches on a navy ship. In due course I sould become a qualified messesenger, Then onto training for lube pump man. There were a few other watches I would also have train on but didn't find them very difficult to learn. Don't make the mistake that I didn't know what I was doing. the pracitical expenience came. Remember the old saying" ten hours of sheer boredom followed by seconds of sheer terror.In less than a year I was qualified to stand all watches all unrated sailors must stand. You must remember that machinist mate and boiler tenders were critical ratings. It meant that there were not of us to go around. I usually pickup things quickly so asorbing info was my strong suit.Frank
I was also a MM. Boot in Orlando, school in Great Lakes. When I left Florida, in July, it was hotter in N. Chicago then is was in Tallahassee. Of course, come November, this old Florida boy was feeling like a human popsicle. That was fixed when I got back to Mayport and into the engine room.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,850 Posts
I think your assumptions are kind of backwards. First, they teach basic firefighting and damage control in bootcamp, as well as a general overview of how a ship works. Sailors going to a ship from bootcamp aren't completely mystified by what goes on when they arrive. Second everyone, regardless of training has a lot to learn when they get onboard. In addition to "the things they don't teach you at school", every ship is unique, even in the same class and you have to become acclimatized to that ship. Our senior enlisted have to requalify to perform their watches even if they'd done them before and have been on the same ship (I suspect the engineering chiefs cheated on tracing the piping in the main spaces).
Third, the apprentice program was the way everyone learned their jobs at sea for thousands of years. I think the A school concept cropped up during WW2 when sonar and radar became too complicated to learn via apprenticeship. It was a good idea but as usual they slopped a new coat of paint on everything whether it needed it or not and now even cooks have an A school.
While A school has become the norm rather than the exception there is still a place for a program where you can find out if you'll like a job before you actually commit to doing it.
 

·
Gold Bullet member
Joined
·
9,691 Posts
Well, I wasn't in the navy, but an experience back in 1973 in a US Army nuclear-capable Pershing 1A missile battalion was significant and, I think, relevant to this discussion.

By 1973 the Viet Nam war was over. Although my unit was priority for manning, we were losing personnel faster than the replacements were coming in. A Pershing battery was almost twice as big as a typical howitzer battery, and we had far more vehicles. After coming to the end of a stint on QRA - quick reaction alert - at a remote launch site, we did not have enough drivers left to convoy back to home base as a unit. We had to shuttle drivers back and forth to retrieve all of our vehicles.

With the end of the draft, Fort Sill did not have enough recruits with the proper qualifications to train replacements. Nuclear units required higher security clearances. Things got so bad that USAREUR diverted some of the first all-volunteer soldiers arriving at Rhine Main. So one day a bunch of fresh out of AIT 11B's arrived. They did not know what sort of unit we were, but we did not care as long as the soldier could walk and talk.

We had no choice but to OJT - on the job training - these freshly minted infantry men. Well, to every one's surprise, they turned into outstanding missile crewmen. Talking to a number of them, I found out that they were at first stunned and overwhelmed by Pershing missile system's equipment and mission. But they also realized that their individual importance had also jumped way higher up. We were doing as good a job, if not better, than Fort Sill, and by the time I left the firing battery my platoon had achieved outstanding performance standards and no - I repeat no - discipline or morale problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
I had a RMCS try to tell me when I put in a request chit for DP "A" school that I first needed to complete and pass DP 3 & 2 correspondent course which I didn't understand when they covered the accounting machines like the 407. Never seen a 407. My request went up through the chain of command and finally my school request was approved. That RMCS lied! He made up his own rules and regulations. This was back in OCT 1968. Anybody else have that problem????
 

·
Gold Bullet member
Joined
·
9,691 Posts
... That RMCS lied! He made up his own rules and regulations. This was back in OCT 1968. Anybody else have that problem????
Sort of... By August 1975 I had orders to return from Germany to go back to Fort Sill for the officers' advanced course. USAREUR had run out of PCS funds so I was extended. Time to report to Fort Sill was drawing near but I still did not have my "port call" although I had PCS orders in hand. (A "port call" is an anachronistic term for a MAC passenger ticket on one of those charter airlines nobody has ever heard of other than whoever in the Pentagon issues the contracts. Originally, it was a dated boarding pass for a troopship sailing from Bremerhaven.) I kept pestering the PSNCO - senior personnel NCO - for my port call and was told he could not get one because there were no USAREUR request forms due to a theater-wide shortage. (Note: at that time many or most official forms could not be locally reproduced unless specifically authorized. These forms had some number with an "-R" suffix.)
So, I "suggested" that he type out all of the required information that went into the USAREUR port call request form on a DF - disposition form - which was nothing more than a blank sheet of paper with a border around it and boxes to enter the subject and date. The PSNCO recoiled in horror at my suggestion of deviating from standard procedure, but I insisted. Well, two weeks later I got my port call.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,120 Posts
Dumping untrained troops especially into combat is termed "Fodder". That's the new & improved strategic battle plan for the Russian Army! Now 300K to be added! Big price for Putain preserving his: :)

Slava Ukraine!
Best!
John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Doesn't that sound like what we called "strikers" in 1970?
I started in 1974. That is certainly what it was called at that point. As far as I know, the Navy has always had people who did not qualify for an "A" School (or whatever they call it now) out of Boot Camp. This was generally as a result of low scores on the ASVAB (a battery of tests), but some rates (such as Boatswain's Mate) were "on-the-job" training. If I recall correctly, this guy wanted to be in Navy Special Warfare. Unless it has changed, you don't just walk into the Navy for that. You have to prove yourself first, BEFORE you get to go to the selection training, and this guy did not make it into that community.

As far as the "higher-ups", I believe they are being held accountable for the situation around the fire and the response to it. That is a different issue from the alleged crime of arson, which will have to be judged by the courts-martial.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Guys, short changing training costs lives. I was fully trained before sent to Viet Nam. I was not sent there and put in a OJT / Discovery Learning scenario with my life and others being put in the equation till I got trained or killed. We cannot and should not expect our NCO's to pull up the slack of a service that tries to Cheap Charlie basic and MOS training . I am not a Squid so I'll defer to those that are , but as a Infantry soldier, basic and advanced training is not an elective !
The Navy is not normally in combat like the Army or Marines, so their training scenerio is quite different. Those that lack the capacity to grasp the technical info in a classroom setting or cannot attend the rating school of their choice are normally sent to the fleet for OJT. It works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Guys, short changing training costs lives. I was fully trained before sent to Viet Nam. I was not sent there and
put in a OJT / Discovery Learning scenario with my life and others being put in the equation till I got trained or killed.

We cannot and should not expect our NCO's to pull up the slack of a service that tries to Cheap Charlie basic and MOS training .

I am not a Squid so I'll defer to those that are , but as a Infantry soldier, basic and advanced training is not an elective !
If you honestly think "I was fully trained before sent to Viet Nam" because you completed Basic Training and Infantry AIT, you are absolutely delusional.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Unrated seaman. Sent to sea without A school, usually dumped into 1st division, get to choose a rating and learn it through an apprenticeship program.
Hmmm.... So he received the GWOT-EM while still an E1 Seaman Recruit?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,850 Posts
Hmmm.... So he received the GWOT-EM while still an E1 Seaman Recruit?
GWOT didn't exist when I was in, but national defense ribbon, yes issued in bootcamp (in times of war or whatever replaced it under the UN). He doesn't have any hashmarks under the anchor so he's been in less than 6 months.
 

·
Diamond Bullet Member and the Revered Sir Jim
Joined
·
48,924 Posts
Discussion Starter · #37 ·
The Navy is not normally in combat like the Army or Marines, so their training scenerio is quite different. Those that lack the capacity to grasp the technical info in a classroom setting or cannot attend the rating school of their choice are normally sent to the fleet for OJT. It works.
I was in the Navy Sea Bees, 1966-69. So, my current info is very limited. The Sea Bees are trained Naval Infantry, and usually go in with, or before, the Marines in amphibious assault. In WW 2 Seabees were taken directly from constructions crews and given rates based on their experience. So, a person could become even a chief at once. This was tried again in Vietnam. They were IPOs, us that had been in the ranks called the Instant Petty Officers. They were just dreadful in my experience in Vietnam. They sometimes came to VN after only two weeks to get their shots and uniforms. They had not a hint of naval custom, ceremony, and usage. And, it showed. When I went to VN, I had boot camp at Great Lakes, 1 year at Adak Alaska in the Master at Arms force, "A" school, SERE training, and weapons training at Camp Pendelton. I was BUCN (E-3); a carpenter apprentice. We had a barracks inspection by our CO, a former destroyer Captain. I went full out getting my junk on the bunk, starched uniform, shined shoes, and shined brass. The IPOs laughed at me for being a "lifer". When the inspection party arrived and approached the door, one IPO shouted, "Come in. The door is not locked." I froze in disbelief. They were in flip flops cut of pant t-shirts. He and the XO and the yeoman looked at the barracks. It looked like Hogan's goat. He came to me with the XO and I snapped to and reported. he then turned to the XO and said, Why are there 86 men in this barracks and only one sailor ?" He then told me to have the barracks ready for inspection the next day at 13:00. A direct order. I got a lot of flack. The the IPOs were all 3-4 and E-5. They asked me, "Who the Hell does he think he is?" I told them we have less than 24 hours to have the barracks ready for a Navy inspection. If it did not, the senior IPOs would be busted in short order. They were in disbelief. I had a hard time to get them to turn to and get ready. We finally passed inspection. It was a Vietnam inspection and not up to a real fleet inspection. But, we passed. After that, I was always considered a "lifer". I had been in the Navy a tad more than 18 months. But, a few, and only a few, asked me to acquaint them with Navy procedures, and vocabulary. I was dumbfounded. I fault the Navy, and not the IPOs. They were truly clueless. I was happy when their year was up and regular Sea Bees replaced them from battalions.

My next duty station was Argentia, Newfoundland. All were ship shaped, and Bristol fashioned for any inspection. On our change of command inspection, our senior chief gave us a look in the barracks before we even left for the inspection. He noticed we only put on our National Defense medals. He said we were out of uniform. So, we had to put on all of our medals and ribbons from being in Vietnam. We all had a minimum of 5. Some had individual silver stars and bronze starts. I laugh at myself as I had only 2 Navy Unit citations with my medals. I did not know they were equivalent to a silver star and awarded to our little unit. The Navy, at that time, had a penchant for awarding a unit, like a ship. I have no idea what it is like now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
GWOT didn't exist when I was in, but national defense ribbon, yes issued in bootcamp (in times of war or whatever replaced it under the UN). He doesn't have any hashmarks under the anchor so he's been in less than 6 months.
The standard for the NDSM was basically a body temperature about 95 degrees and the ability to wear a uniform.

The standard for the GWOT-Expeditionary Medal requires a deployment.
 

·
Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
Joined
·
101,492 Posts
Battle Cruisers weren't intended to front up against Battleships, but needs must, as later in the case of the Hood.
Hood (the one started in 1916, then redesigned and competed post-War) wasn't really a battlecruiser (though she was classed with the BCs). She was (as re-designed and built) very much a fast battleship, armored as well as most British BBs of her time (including deck armor). But everybody, except perhaps historical naval architects, thinks of her as a BC and calls her a BC. Very handsome ship, very powerful ship (for her date), and still some question as to exact path of shell that destroyed her by detonating her after main battery magazines (and probably forward magazines as well).

But - BCs were indeed NOT intended to fight (or stand up under the fire of) other capital ships. And - couldn't, as loss of three at Jutland establishes. All lost to the fire of other BCs in fact.
 
21 - 40 of 48 Posts
Top