posted on Oct, 19 2008 @ 10:53 PM
In 1990, I was promoted to Leading Petty Officer of the Navigation Division onboard the USS Emory S. Land (AS-39), a sub-tender stationed out of
Norfolk, VA. I had 6 subordinates, all E-3 or below. Every day it was the resposibility of the Duty Quartermaster to wind and compare the ship's
chronometers and submit a report to the Officer of the Deck, who would in turn submit it along with the other reports from other Departments to the
Old Man by noon. Since I always had at least one of them on duty on any one day (we were in 4 section duty stations) it was their responsibility to
do this. It takes 3 days for a chronometer to unwind completely.
I would spot check the chronometers and the log book about once a week to make sure it was up to date. One day I went to check them and lo and
behold, all three are stopped. I checked the log and it was up to date. This means that for at least three days they had been gundecking the log. I
wound and reset them, made a note in the log, and went to inform the Chief.
Our ship's Navigator was an old salty CWO4 who had been in the Navy for 28 years and had started out as a QMSN and worked his way up. I told the
Chief what had happened and he told me that he was not going to be the one to tell the 'Gator, that was my job! I was scared to death!!!
I went back to the bridge, told all 6 of them to muster immediately on the port bridge wing, as I did not want the entire 04 level to hear me go off!!
Once out there, I put them all at attention, which was not my normal style ever! We were a rather informal group and all called each other by our
first names. I began a tirade to end all tirades! The look on their faces when I told them that the punishment for this in time of war was death by
firing squad was truly priceless. Luckily for them, it was peacetime and we were not deployed.
After about 5 minutes of reading them the riot act, and informing them that they all would be there until I said so (It was Friday afternoon and close
to liberty call), I grabbed up the chronometer logbook and with a knot the size of Kansas in my gut, headed up to the Navigator's Stateroom.
I knocked on the door, received permission to enter, and explained to the Navigator what had happened. His face remained calm throughout my
explanation. When I was done, he asked me if I chewed them out, and I told him the highlights of the bridgewing meeting. He then asked me what I
planned on doing to punish them and I told him I planned on working them like dogs for the whole weekend from reveille to taps. He then asked me if I
had reset the chronometers, to which I replied "Yes Sir!". He signed the log to confirm the reset, said "Good job" and sent me on my way. I was
on the verge of vomiting the entire time, so finally my stomach began to settle.
I went back down to the Chief's office and got him up to speed, and he just couldn't believe that the Nav had not lost it on me! He told me the
reason he didn't talk to him about it was that he thought he would go ballistic! Well, I kept them there all weekend and worked them to exhaustion!
Needless to say, it never happened again!
[edit on 19-10-2008 by JaxonRoberts]