Sunday, November 3, 2013

Harassing the FNGs

I was in the store and saw this in the sporting goods/boating section:

That was one of the common things to do to a FNG (fucking new guy) was to send him for fifty feet of shore line or water line. Another was to tell a guy to go get a bucket of prop wash from the fire room. The boiler techs would tell the FNG that they were fresh out and send him elsewhere. A common one in Charleston was to send a guy looking for the mast crank so that they could lower the ship's uppermost mast before passing under the Cooper River Bridge.

On some ships, the harassment of FNGs got into the kind of hazing that, in time of war, are called "atrocities". A couple skippers and command master chiefs were fired over that.

This is no shit: On one ship, there were some gunner's mates doing some maintenance on the after 5" mount. One of the junior petty officers told a FNG that they were fresh out of relative bearing grease and that the FNG should go to the forward fire room and get a tube of it. The kid did. The boiler techs grabbed the FNG, rubbed grease in his hair and on his face and sent him back to the gun mount.

The XO found out about it and did some ass-chewing of the Weapons Officer and the Chief Engineer. The truth of the old saying that "shit flows downhill" was demonstrated to all concerned.

About six months later, the same petty officer told the same kid to go down to the fire room and get a tube of true bearing grease. The FNG said: "There ain't no such thing as true bearing grease." The petty officer said: "Yes, there is, it comes in a tube like this" and held up a tube of DC-4. The FNG said: "Oh, OK."

Off he went to the fire room. The boiler techs told him to get the fuck out. They told their chief, who passed the word up to the Chief Engineer. Who then informed the Weapons Officer.

About three weeks later, the Weapons Department had to send four sailors mess cranking. A certain junior petty officer was one of them. He was made to understand that the alternative was to be taken to Captain's Mast, where he would be busted down to seaman, have half of his pay taken away for two months, be restricted to the ship for 45 days, get 45 days of extra duty and be sent cranking on top of all that.


Frank Van Haste said...

Dear Miss Fit:

Similar frolics were common in the shipyard among the trades. I recall one where a couple of pipefitters sent a rookie to the tool crib to fetch a pail of Freon. The toolie grinned and filled the youngster's pail from a drum of the fluorocarbon cleaning fluid. As our young hero headed back to the boat, the Freon (and, of course, the ozone layer) began to evaporate. So he picked up his pace. The fluid kept disappearing. He arrived from whence he was sent at a dead run, carrying an empty pail -- to the general amusement.

Good ol' (as someone sez) daze.


Sean D Sorrentino said...

My father warned me about this sort of thing. When he was in the boiler operators told him that they were running low on steam, so they told him to go get some more. In a bucket. I'm not sure who is stupid enough to send someone to get a bucket of steam, but apparently these guys were. Dad goes to the guys now call "Hull Techs" carrying a bucket, a couple of pipe fittings and a valve. He asked the First Class to weld him a lid on the bucket and weld the pipes in some configuration where he could open and close the valve, allowing steam to escape the bucket. The 1C scratches his head and asks what my father is trying to do. His answer was that he was going to fill the bucket about half way with water and then heat it up really hot with a torch. Then he'd carry it down to the boiler front with asbestos gloves, open the valve, and as the steam came out say "Quick! Get it into the boiler before it all escapes."

The 1C called my dad's boiler operator supervisor and told him to stop picking on people who were smarter than he was.

Comrade Misfit said...

I love that! I can see that happening, all right.

Sevesteen said...

80s USAF tech school, pingers (airmen fresh from Basic Training) were warned about the most common similar pranks--bucket of prop wash, 50 feet of flight line, hurricane watch (stare at the red light on the water tower, if it goes out, that indicates a hurricane) and mattress exchange. (Linen exchange was real, where we turned dirty sheets for clean.)

Both mattresses in my room were awful, with protruding wires, and holes you could see through. Around the time my first roommate graduated, I made arrangements to get better mattresses. I got a new roommate. When I told him we could get better mattresses, he told me "They warned us about that bullshit" and refused to carry his down to get swapped--but looked at me funny when I gave him the choice of the ones in the room.

Even better, when I came up with a brand new mattress still in plastic, he grabbed his, carried it down to the STI's office...only to find out that they had left just after I got my mattress.

Adam Smith said...

2 of the best ones I was ever privvy to both happened on a DDG out of Charleston...

1). Sending a VERY gullible young FN to the after boiler room to get us a "BT Punch". The poor sap went tramping off to the Fire Room and promptly asked the BTOW if he could get a BT Punch. The BT1 promptly complied, slugging the guy in the chest. At which the FN relpied, "C'Mon BT1, quit fuckin' around, I need a BT Punch".... he got hit again!

2). Sending another tender lad up to the bridge during Sea and Anchor as we were entering Charelston harbor after deployment with instructions to "Request permission to blow the MPA prior to entering port". Which he did, in textbook recruit form, standing at attention and in a loud clear voice. The CO turned in his chair, looked at the MPA who was standing JOOD, and said, "Well Tom, whaddya think?"