The Adventures of Fireman Schmuckatelli

2 03 2008

Most people are unaware that I was in the US Navy for 4 years of my young adult life. These people are usually the ones that I meet nowadays, as people that knew me when I was in the Navy already knew that I was in the Navy (I tend to associate with people of average intelligence).

When I look back at my Navy years, I have lots of regrets. Not so much from personal choices I made relating to my life, but from professional choices I made relating to my Navy life. Since my Navy life doesn’t exist anymore, these skeletons in my closet are hardly worth seeing a psychiatrist about.

Yet some would say that I am venting all of this in lieu of seeing a psychiatrist.

What I’m talking about is the fact that I have been to Captain’s Mast at least five times (maybe 6) in the four years I was enlisted. In fact, that is so often (compared to not ever going to Captain’s Mast) that I have forgotten all but four. What that means is that there are at least two times in my life I have been tried and convicted of something illegal and they were so NOT a big deal that I forgot about them.

What were the charges? They varied from Mast to Mast. They include but are probably not limited to: absence without leave (Article 86), insubordinate conduct (Article 91), failure to obey a lawful order or regulation (Article 92), and noncompliance with procedural rules (Article 98). Thats just what I figure from looking at this list, because I’m sure they made some violations up to explain the things I was found guilty of.

Now I am something of a conspiracy theorist, and I’m sure that my command was out to get me. I’m not implying that I didn’t do anything wrong and that I was the victim, but it’s common knowledge that once a bunch of Chiefs or Officers get the notion in their head that somebody is a trouble maker, that somebody is watched very closely for every fuck up. I was one of those somebodies.

I was under such scrutiny (Wow, that’s the first time I have actually used that word properly in a sentence) that one of the times I got in trouble, my command actually went through the process of getting me dishonorably discharged from the Navy. Sadly, I can’t recall that specific Captain’s Mast. I remember that it was my third one, as they were trying to implement a “Three Strikes” rule at that time. The reason I didn’t get kicked out was because of the three times I had been to Captain’s Mast, none of the charges were serious enough for the Admirals Review Board (A board of Admirals that reviews discharge cases) to…well…take my command seriously. In fact, I heard that the Admirals laughed when the had to send back the request to my command, thinking that it was a joke. More on that another time though.

The first time I got in trouble, if I remember correctly, was within the first six months of being stationed on my ship. I say “my ship” for two reasons.

First, it was the only ship I was ever stationed on. In fact, in the four years I was in the Navy, it was one of only three ships I actually set foot on. Sure, I saw lots of ships, subs, boats, and other vessels, but I only stepped foot on three of them. And for that matter, one of those other ships was the same class of ship, so it was just like being in the Bizzarro version of my own ship (different colors on the bulkheads, some rooms switched around, different people, etc)

Second, for all practical purposes, it WAS my ship. I was stationed there for three years, and except for a six month period when I rented an apartment, I lived on board. I watched people come and go from that command. I knew every corner, every bit of cable and wire, every junction box, every piece of equipment, and every sailor on board that I cared to know. I went through three different Captains, and got to know them all quite well thanks to my under-achievements.

Anyway, back to my first non-judicial offense…

…which I will post some other time.




One response

3 03 2008
Joe Drinker

Well, that was as Ryan-Seacrested a post as I’ve ever read. We’ll be back after the break.

It’s bad enough when you have a boss who decided to make you his own personal project, but I can’t imagine being in that situation and having to live with that person. What a drag.

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