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Chief Bosun
10-08-2013, 04:21 PM
Saw this posted on the front page: http://www.navytimes.com/article/20131007/NEWS/310070047/Old-salt-mourns-death-Navy-tradition-epic-obituary

One thing the author probably hasn't seen is a trend towards turning commands with their own sense of identity and purpose into bland, faceless entities because someone decided that having your own name, logo, etc., meant you were not a part of the team. I've been seeing it within one major SYSCOM because some Admiral decided around 1998 their subordinate commands had to all use the same thing, and later followed on by combining apple and orange commands into one ill-smelling stew.

I'm waiting for the day when ships and squadrons lose their identity and instead have logos for PACFLT or LANTFLT for their logos and the name: Atlantic Fleet - USS Faceless XXX-01A

sandsjames
10-08-2013, 04:23 PM
Saw this posted on the front page: http://www.navytimes.com/article/20131007/NEWS/310070047/Old-salt-mourns-death-Navy-tradition-epic-obituary

One thing the author probably hasn't seen is a trend towards turning commands with their own sense of identity and purpose into bland, faceless entities because someone decided that having your own name, logo, etc., meant you were not a part of the team. I've been seeing it within one major SYSCOM because some Admiral decided around 1998 their subordinate commands had to all use the same thing, and later followed on by combining apple and orange commands into one ill-smelling stew.

I'm waiting for the day when ships and squadrons lose their identity and instead have logos for PACFLT or LANTFLT for their logos and the name: Atlantic Fleet - USS Faceless XXX-01A

On a different scale, but same issue, the Air Force did a similar thing years ago by getting rid of patches and squadron hats.

Chief Bosun
10-08-2013, 04:28 PM
On a different scale, but same issue, the Air Force did a similar thing years ago by getting rid of patches and squadron hats.

Not surprised. As I recall, Navy was (and may have) done away with ball caps for the most part. About all they have now is a small Unit Identification Mark on the service dress uniforms for E-6 and below unless those have been done away with as well.

Rusty Jones
10-09-2013, 01:14 PM
Doing away with "unit identity" might not be a bad thing.

Look at the Marine Corps - the proudest of all services. Can you tell what their command, MOS, or community is by looking at their uniforms? Or even their bumper stickers and t-shirts?

No - their source of pride is in being a Marine. Perhaps the Navy could learn something from them.

Greg
10-09-2013, 02:54 PM
In order for one to have an identity, or a tradition, doesn't it usually involve work?

Giant Voice
10-09-2013, 02:56 PM
Doing away with "unit identity" might not be a bad thing.

Look at the Marine Corps - the proudest of all services. Can you tell what their command, MOS, or community is by looking at their uniforms? Or even their bumper stickers and t-shirts?

No - their source of pride is in being a Marine. Perhaps the Navy could learn something from them.

That's the difference. The Marines still have pride. The Air Force lost ours years ago. If you wear pajamas, you can still wear unit patches. Red Horse can still wear red BB hats as well. Special duty AFSC's can do some things. The rest of us are just...the rest!

Greg
10-09-2013, 03:00 PM
Doing away with "unit identity" might not be a bad thing.

Look at the Marine Corps - the proudest of all services. Can you tell what their command, MOS, or community is by looking at their uniforms? Or even their bumper stickers and t-shirts?

No - their source of pride is in being a Marine. Perhaps the Navy could learn something from them.

US Marine tradition: every Marine a rifleman.

retiredAFcivvy
10-09-2013, 03:30 PM
US Marine tradition: every Marine a rifleman.
My dad served in the Marine Corps 1914-1918. One thing he cherished was his expert riflemans badge.

Chief Bosun
10-09-2013, 03:42 PM
Yes, the Marines are proud, and have good reason to be.

More important than saying every Marine is a rifleman is simply saying every Marine is a Marine, from the newest recruit coming out of MCRD to the Commandant. As I understand things (and Stalwart correct me if I'm wrong) no Marine will take offense at someone saying "Good morning Marine, how's things going?".

I can't speak for the Army if you say "Good morning Soldier" to an Army First Sgt. or a Major, or "Good morning Airman" to an Air Force Tech Sgt. or Colonel. Navy, I hate to say it, you would probably get your head handed to you on a platter if you said "Good morning Sailor" to a Chief or a LCDR despite the efforts to the contrary about 8 years ago.


Yes, I have seen some Marines displaying particular items on their cars. Normally, what I see refers to Marine Aviation and retired Marines. I don't see a whole lot for Air Force, Army usually seems to deal with their community, and same for Navy. As to Navy, the only way I would know what rating an enlisted Sailor is would be by looking at them in a service dress uniform if they are E-6 or below, their Service Dress Blues if they are E-7 to E-9, and for an officer I would not know their designator unless I asked them - best I can do with them is figure out a ship driver vice a suppo vice a medical officer.

Some traditions do require some effort to perform, as well as some effort to review to ensure they are still relevant. Too many simply don't want to be bothered - they want the quick and easy way of simply tossing them in the dumpster.

Stalwart
10-09-2013, 04:27 PM
As I understand things (and Stalwart correct me if I'm wrong) no Marine will take offense at someone saying "Good morning Marine, how's things going?".

That is correct. Coming from that kind of background, I have always thought there was too much "I am a [insert special group here]" in the Navy and not enough pride in being a Sailor.

Chief Bosun
10-09-2013, 05:07 PM
That is correct. Coming from that kind of background, I have always thought there was too much "I am a [insert special group here]" in the Navy and not enough pride in being a Sailor.

Thanks.

I've heard the same. While I will refer to myself as a retired Navy Chief if pressed, normally I simply say I'm retired Navy. The rest is details not everyone needs or understands.

Rusty Jones
10-09-2013, 05:07 PM
That's the difference. The Marines still have pride. The Air Force lost ours years ago. If you wear pajamas, you can still wear unit patches. Red Horse can still wear red BB hats as well. Special duty AFSC's can do some things. The rest of us are just...the rest!

My first duty station was shore duty in Groton, CT. I was really proud of being a Sailor, until that got botched by all the submariners with the superiority complex.


Yes, I have seen some Marines displaying particular items on their cars. Normally, what I see refers to Marine Aviation and retired Marines.

"Retired" is one thing, "Marine Aviation" is another - however, it's really not as bad. After "Marine," the next level of division is "ground" and "aviation" - so their pride is still in a much bigger picture than that of Sailors.


I don't see a whole lot for Air Force, Army usually seems to deal with their community, and same for Navy. As to Navy, the only way I would know what rating an enlisted Sailor is would be by looking at them in a service dress uniform if they are E-6 or below, their Service Dress Blues if they are E-7 to E-9, and for an officer I would not know their designator unless I asked them - best I can do with them is figure out a ship driver vice a suppo vice a medical officer.

You can't tell an officer's NOBC, true; but you can still tell surface from submarine from aviation from civil engineer, etc. On ANY officer uniform. And you can also tell the different staff corps officers.

You can tell warfare community on ANY Navy uniform once the pin is earned.

You can tell enlisted rating on any enlisted dress uniform (and E6 and below service uniform, up until 2009 when the "peanut butters" came out).

You can tell command on ALL Navy working uniforms (patches on NWU's and coveralls, ballcaps), on any E6 and below dress uniforms (and E6 and below service uniforms, up until 2009 when the "peanut butters" came out).

Boatswain's Mates get the pipe and lanyard on their dress uniforms, similar to how Army infantrymen get the blue cord.

Do Marine infantrymen - and I mean the ones actually designated with an 03XX MOS - get a special "device" on their uniform? Nope. The EGA says enough. Too bad the Navy's ACE can't do the same.

My thing is this: why does anyone outside of your chain of command need to know what your rating is anyway? Chiefs in khakis and chokers having been doing fine without it for decades.

Same thing for your command. All it does create the mindset, when I see someone with a different patch or ballcap, that he's not "one of us" - i.e., someone that I could care about, because he's not at the same command as I am. Granted, as a Sailor, I knew better than that - but it has a psychological affect that one has to make a conscious effort to overcome. It shouldn't be like that.

Chief Bosun
10-09-2013, 07:40 PM
Rusty -

True with regard to warfare quals, but that wasn't what I was getting at. Officers have their particular designators as well, which may or may not necessarily be reflected in the quals.

The division you cite - well, after Navy what I commonly see (and there are a lot of folks that are/were in the Navy around here) is "Surface Warfare" or "Submarines" or "Aviation". I really don't see that many patches, etc., except on presentations. Does it really make that much difference?

Yes, it is easy to tell a staff officer - just gotta look at the collar.

Enlisted - sorry, I was an enlisted person when I retired. But then, E-7 through E-9 are still enlisted - we have to periodically ship over/extend just like the E-6 and below. The only way you knew my rating without knowing me would be to see me in my dress blues. My dress whites don't have a rating badge. I am well aware that E-6 and below wore a rating badge on their summer whites, winter blues, and the old summer blue uniform.

Yes, BM's do get the call and lanyard when they are performing duties that require it - otherwise, they aren't to wear it. I think I'm qualified to talk about this. Also, who says it is only a BM that would have it? I personally know a reserve Chief ET that knows how to use one and did so as the situation arose at his reserve center. I know of an old SKCM that did the same.

I agree regarding the ACE - just not the same. To get it to where it is the same would require a major attitude adjustment for the Navy, and I just don't see that happening in this century.

Only mindset I ever saw/had with the ballcap was noting that the person was assigned to a particular command. Outside of that, I was not worried about it - had more important things to deal with.

Stalwart
10-10-2013, 01:09 PM
Chief Bosun is right regarding officer designators and pins. For example: I am an Information Warfare Officer (Cryptologist), I have qualified (can wear) the following pins:
Information Dominance Warfare Officer
Surface Warfare Officer
Naval Aviation Observer
Navy / Marine Corps Parachutist
Scuba Diver
Marine Corps Combatant Diver

Before the IDC pin came out, if my NAO wings or SWO pin were on top people assumed I was either an aviation guy or a SWO. Now, based on the Uniform Regulations I should wear the IDC pin on top, but when I was on the DDG, I wore the SWO pin on top and had a couple different arrangements based on which set of coveralls or NWUs I pulled out of my locker. I was our OPS O for about 6 months and few off the ship did not know I was not a SWO by designator, even the Commodore didn't figure it out until the relief arrived. In coveralls or NWUs I cannot tell a enlisted Sailors (Chiefs too) rating.

Rusty Jones, the only Marine units (other than Military Police) that wear something special to designate them are the 5th and 6th Marines (infantry regiments), Marines assigned (any Marine regardless of MOS) wears the French Fourragere while assigned (the units received the awards during WWI). The Landing Support Battalion Marines wear red patches on their utilities to ID them on the beach but in dress or service uniforms. But in general no, you cannot tell an infantry rifleman (MOS 0311) from an Admin Clerk (0151) in any uniform. The Marines are also few and far between on pins etc: Aviators, Flight Officers, EOD, Aircrew, Jump Wings and Diver Insignia is all that I remember off the top of my head. It was easy to tell another Recon Marine since we were the only ones with both jump wings and scuba bubbles.

Patches on NWUs are not required, most commands have them, some do not. I am personally not a fan, probably in part because of my background but mostly because I have seen a Sailor go from a command that had a large patch to a command with a small patch. After removing the large patch from the pocket the uniform just looked messed up where the new patch did not cover the old 'footprint'.

The ACE is not regarded the same way as the Marine Corps emblem (either inside or outside the Navy). While the general design has been around on the seal of the U.S. Navy for some time, it was not the emblem or 'calling card' of the Navy until recently when NWUs were adopted (similar to the embroidered emblem on MARPAT uniforms.)

Where this ties into Navy traditions and the article in the OP (in my opinion) is that many things that we, the Navy used to do is no longer accepted (over the top ceremonies & Chief's initiations, alcohol centered events, rank pinning etc.) and many argue that it is adversely changing the Navy.

In some ways I think some things like ball caps, ship’s logos, & liberty cuffs (I have some on my whites and blues) are great and good traditions. Some things like described in the article about pinning newly promoted Petty Officer's crows on got out of hand often enough that it was cracked down on. The demographics of the Navy have changed, there are women aboard ships now who have earned the right to be treated with respect and to work in an environment that is not hostile to them; that means some conversations, jokes, calendars and posters had to go – not a huge loss. We have a small percentage of people who don’t get right (from admirals to seamen) and they (again in general) are dealt with … but some people would rather spend all their time pointing out that small percentage and not the VAST MAJORITY of Sailors and commands that do get ‘it’ right.

At the same time we, the Navy remain a fighting force that is accomplishing the mission we are given: Power projection around the world, NSW raids on bad guys, VBSS teams rescuing Yemeni fishermen from Somali pirates, assisting in disaster relief, providing air support in CENTCOM, providing staging for Marines etc. We have not had a full blown naval engagement with another force in a long, long time but I am confident that most of the people we have can do their job in that scenario if needed. I have often said, over time things will change. Many who lament the changes in the Navy now, if thrown into the Navy of the 1800’s would be just as lost and regarded with the same attitude they now present to the current generation of the Navy. Something as basic as physical abuse in the Navy has gotten people in trouble since records on captains mast were first consolidated in the early 1940’s – not to say it didn’t happen and people got away with it, but the records are there – if you were caught you were held accountable.

At the end of the day Sailors will do their mission. Is our mission to take a good natured ceremony over the line to the point of injuring someone, using our rank or authority as a way to intimidate those junior to us, to sexually insult or harass someone to the point that they don’t want to come to work and do their mission or is our mission to win wars, deter aggression and maintain freedom of the seas?

UncaRastus
10-10-2013, 02:42 PM
Stalwart, there is one thing more for the USMC that is directly related to firing ranges coaches, OICs and Drill Instructors. They wear the campaign cover. Senior Drill Instructors also wear a black leather belt. The Drill Instructors that are not Senior Drill Instructors also wear a cartridge belt with the EGA (Eagle, Globbe, and Anchor).

Amongst the DIs, it is the only time in the Marines that their covers are called hats (sometimes, that is interchangeable). DIs, as a whole, which is never used except amongst DIs, is that instead of calling another DI Sergeant, Staff Sergeant, etc, they call each other 'Hat.'

Don't argue, or it's off to the Rose Garden for you!

Pullinteeth
10-10-2013, 03:20 PM
Force Recon also has their own insignia and Force Recon Marines will often let you know that they are Force Recon Marines...

Stalwart
10-10-2013, 04:12 PM
Stalwart, there is one thing more for the USMC that is directly related to firing ranges coaches, OICs and Drill Instructors. They wear the campaign cover. Senior Drill Instructors also wear a black leather belt. The Drill Instructors that are not Senior Drill Instructors also wear a cartridge belt with the EGA (Eagle, Globbe, and Anchor).

Amongst the DIs, it is the only time in the Marines that their covers are called hats (sometimes, that is interchangeable). DIs, as a whole, which is never used except amongst DIs, is that instead of calling another DI Sergeant, Staff Sergeant, etc, they call each other 'Hat.'

Don't argue, or it's off to the Rose Garden for you!

No argument, I just was addressing line units vice Recruit Training.


Force Recon also has their own insignia and Force Recon Marines will often let you know that they are Force Recon Marines...

Yes, there is a logo (most units have some kind of unit emblem) for Force Recon (I served in 2d Force for nearly 5 years), but it is not worn on the uniform, unless you count PT gear, and even then when we attended MEF PT we wore regular green on green with no special insignia.

Your experience with Force must be very different than mine, almost all of us were quietly professional about being there. I remember a saying. "It isn't the loud, barking & posturing chihuahua you have to worry about, it is the stronger, quieter dog sleeping in the corner who actually has what it takes to hurt you."

USMC0341
10-10-2013, 04:55 PM
Force Recon also has their own insignia and Force Recon Marines will often let you know that they are Force Recon Marines...

Chances are, if they are telling you they are Recon, they are not Recon. I have been aorund 2nd force Recon quite a bit and never experienced this.

Stalwart, when abouts were you roaming French Creek?

Stalwart
10-10-2013, 05:21 PM
USMC0341, from 1998 - 2003 when I transferred to the Navy to go to OCS. PM me if you have any questions or if we may have overlapped (there can't be too many GySgt's that got out to go Navy.)

Stalwart
10-10-2013, 05:28 PM
I guess a follow on question to earlier:

Have any of the traditions that people are talking about impacted the ability of the Navy to do our mission?

USMC0341
10-10-2013, 05:39 PM
USMC0341, from 1998 - 2003 when I transferred to the Navy to go to OCS. PM me if you have any questions or if we may have overlapped (there can't be too many GySgt's that got out to go Navy.)

we probably ran in to each other unknowingly a time or two. I was there 2000-03 and had a buddy in 2nd Recon if i remember his name i wil PM you sometime (been awhile since we last were in touch); I remember the pull-up bar outside of the chow hall being utilized for some of your young guys before being allowed to partake in some chow.

One of my old CO's came from the community previously and trained the hell out of us.

Pullinteeth
10-10-2013, 06:14 PM
Yes, there is a logo (most units have some kind of unit emblem) for Force Recon (I served in 2d Force for nearly 5 years), but it is not worn on the uniform, unless you count PT gear, and even then when we attended MEF PT we wore regular green on green with no special insignia.

Your experience with Force must be very different than mine, almost all of us were quietly professional about being there. I remember a saying. "It isn't the loud, barking & posturing chihuahua you have to worry about, it is the stronger, quieter dog sleeping in the corner who actually has what it takes to hurt you."

Are you telling me you have never seen a Force Recon bumber sticker? T-shirt?


Look at the Marine Corps - the proudest of all services. Can you tell what their command, MOS, or community is by looking at their uniforms? Or even their bumper stickers and t-shirts?

If you haven't...you can find a bunch here; http://www.cafepress.ca/+force-recon+gifts

Stalwart
10-10-2013, 07:21 PM
Are you telling me you have never seen a Force Recon bumber sticker? T-shirt?

Sure I have, but 'in general' we didn't run around announcing ourselves or saying "hi, I am a Force Recon Marine" either. As I said, we had unique unit PT gear too, that we often wore. But when we went to either MEF PT or when our detachments were assigned to MEU's and we went to MEU PT, we wore the same green on green as anyone else.

Rusty Jones
10-10-2013, 07:25 PM
Pullinteeth's quest to be prove others wrong and be right about something has no limits. He's even arguing with the BTDTs on this.