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How I Spent 4 Years of Shore Duty – Finally Working With Women in the Navy
How it was like working on a ship in the admin office. When I first checked into shore duty, I stopped by the admin office, and introduced myself. One of the petty officers there, took my name, she did a search, and told me congratulations, I had just made E-5. So that meant I was going to do another job there. I went on leave for a couple of weeks, and then later, I checked back into the squadron for my new job.
When I checked back into the squadron a couple of weeks later, I was told I would be working in the Tactics Department. It was an office of about 6 officers and one enlisted girl. This was the first time I would actually be really working with woman in the Navy now. The squadron had a little over 300 people in it, and about 50 or more of them, were girls. The Repair Department, had a lot of ladies in it, a lot of lesbians, because the girls upstairs later, would talk about the girls down stairs. The office departments upstairs, where we all worked, was mostly all woman, and some of them, were very pretty.
The department I was checking into, and whose job I would be taking, was held by a girl named Denise. She was a very pretty blond girl, 19 years old. She showed me around, and then she asked one of the officers if she could leave for the rest of the day, and he said, “Yes.”
On the ship, you can never get out of work, unless you are really sick. I never heard of someone calling in sick, or someone in the office would of just said, you need to go to the doctor then. On shore duty, if you are a blond, and good looking, you can do what you want, pretty much. Denise already was living with a LCDR in the Navy, that was from another squadron.
I did not really have a job yet, and Denise had left early for the day, and most of the officers were not in the office. I would later learn, that Denise would get a lot of days off, just by asking, and she took advantage of her looks. We had 4 male officers in the office, that were training teachers. They would have classes of new pilots that go threw our school, since we are a school that teaches pilots how to fly radar planes.
The classes always consisted, of 6 new Navy officers, that go threw our school for about 6 weeks. So we get a lot of congressman and admirals, that like to stop by all the time, to show their face. There was always a lot of cake cutting, and ceremonies going on, at the squadron.
Denise told me that there was another yeoman on leave, who would be coming into the office also, to help me. I would not see her for awhile. I worked in the office, doing pretty much nothing, most of the time. I could not believe, they did not have enough work to keep me busy, and now it was pretty boring already. The officers were in their own little world, and didn’t even know I was there, pretty much.
They had aircraft flights, that the officers from our squadron, could ferry, which meant, they could take the airplane out, and go to a certain airport somewhere in the United States, as long as there was a reason. They could get a free vacation, and take their own airplane to that place, if they could maneuver it, and a lot of the pilots could come up with a plan, to use the planes, for their own personnel little vacation. One of the CDR’s in the squadron, who was one of the coolest officers I also ever met, always called Denise, by her first name also. He started calling me Vince, and I could just never get used to it.
One day, Denise was telling me something, and she was saying this guys name, and I did not know who she was talking about, but she was talking about the Commander. I just never called him by his first name. She went on a couple of those ferry flights, and the officers used to make jokes about it, like she was up there having sex with someone, but only the people aboard the plane, knows for sure, what goes on up there.
Over the 4 years at shore duty, I spent a lot of personal time, with a lot of the girls from work. Mostly I spent a lot of time with Debbie. She had her own apartment, and was serious about her education, and wanted to get her degree and get out of the Navy, and get a big corporate job. Me and Debbie became very good friends over the years. We were not lovers, but we should of been. We always flirted a lot at work, but never when we were alone, it seemed.
Our Public Affairs officer, who was also a yeoman, just like us, took over the job, that was supposed to be filled by an officer. Sandy was her name, and she was very cute also. She could of passed in the top 3, for the squadron, of sexy girls. She also, was only interested in dating officers, it seemed.
One of my duties was to put together the secret message board each morning for the CO and XO. For the six months I had to do that early job, I would be the first one in the squadron, besides people on watch, and the XO would not be to far behind me.
This day, the XO was already at work, and when I opened up my Operations Department door, he was standing there, kissing Sandy in a passionate kiss. I closed the door and left, and nothing was ever said to me. The XO was notorious for that.
One day, Linda, another yeoman, that worked for me, from time to time, went into the XO’s office, and later, she told me, that he had came over to her in his office, and kissed her on the lips. She said, she just turned around, and walked out the door. Linda never liked to date any of the officers. She always seemed to like marines. We all spent time going out on base together, or over to their apartments, and have, small little parties. Linda used what she knew about the XO, to her advantage.
Sandy, had dated a few of the other pilots in the squadron. Most of the pilots were getting out of the Navy when I was in. The airline industry was hot, and they were hiring. One of my part time jobs in the Navy, was I would do the officers a personal favor, and type up their resumes for them, for the airlines they wanted to work at, for no charge to them. I had did other pilots resumes up for them, and the word was out that I did a good job.
I must of did a good job, because a lot of the pilots got hired. They would send them free airline tickets, and an interview date, and then back again, all in the same day. They would apply to all the major airlines, and go on a lot of different job interviews. Most all the pilots were getting out of the Navy when their 6 years of duty was finally up.
When it was time for Sandy to either re-enlist, or leave the Navy, she told the captain, that she would only re-enlist, if they could get her duty with the Navy’s famous flying Blue Angel’s. Which I guess the captain was not able to do, so she decided to leave the Navy, and she became a flight attendant for the airlines.
When she left the squadron, one of the officers gathered all the other officers around, and they made a formation for her. They did this song and dance routine, just like when the captain departs the ship, and they all gave her a salute send off. She probably dated more officers than any other girl at the squadron.
Debbie was not like that. She did date some officers, but she also dated enlisted guys also. When she was dating someone for a month or so, it seemed we would not talk much. When she was not with anybody, we did a lot of things together. We would go places, see things, eat out, and just hang out.
When she graduated from college, I had bought her a nice watch as a present, and taken her out to eat. I was in the parking garage, and I gave her a congratulations kiss, and then I noticed that the XO had been just around the corner, and he was in his civilian clothes, and it always seemed to me, that he had a crush on Debbie, and now, here he was, at her graduation. She left me for a bit, and went over and talked to him. She never would say, what he was all about.
That XO guy, that was in the parking garage, he never seemed to like me, and lucky enough for me, he was not around that much, because his time at the squadron was up, and I couldn’t wait to see him go.
One time, when I was working in the office, he told me, that the office was not clean enough on inspection. The next day, I came in early, I took every single thing in the office, out of it, which was about 8 desks, and all the file cabinets, plants, copy machines, and everything else you could think of.
I took everything outside onto the deck, above the airplanes, behind our office. All the offices were in a row, and the repair guys and others were below, and all the officers and admin were up on top. If you open up our rear office door, it goes out onto a patio area, that overlooks the airplane hanger, and you can look down, at the guys working on the airplanes.
The only things I could not take out of the office, were the telephones, because they went right into the floor. When the officers came in, it was supposed to be a busy day for the Tactics Department. They could not believe I took the whole office outside, and they could not work. I told them the XO said the office was not clean enough, and my job is to make the office as clean as he wants it to be. So I’m stripping the floor, and I could not of put all the items back in the office for them, and most of the day was wasted, or spent doing something else. After that, they never inspected me, or asked me to clean the office again.
I don’t know about the marines, but when I was in the Navy, besides boot camp, you were supposed to exercise and do your physical fitness test once a year. The Navy basically had no exercise program, or one that was nonexistent. For our squadron, and for the ships I was on, you were supposed to do a physical fitness test, once a year. For most people, that was the only day that they ever exercised, me included. Well, I did have a stint for a couple of weeks, where me and Debbie, would go out running each day for lunch, but that did not last that long really.
For about two of the years, I did not even take the physical fitness test, I could pass it, I just didn’t have the time to take it, because we were the office in charge, of checking off the list, and making sure all the other people in the squadron, had completed their test. Sometimes, I would just check the box that said I did it. I could of did it, but why, I was not in the best of shape probably. I smoked about a pack of cigarettes a day, and drank about 2 or 3 cups of coffee each morning, while working.
Debbie got the job of being the CO’s new secretary. We had never had a secretary for the CO before. But, the CO said he wanted a new secretary, and he choose Debbie. Debbie was great at her job, and the CO gave her the best evaluations you could get.
But Sandy, the XO’s secret girlfriend, she was ranked number 1, of all 2nd class petty officers in the squadron, and there were about 50 of them, or she would of gotten mad for sure, I’m sure. I used to always tease her about dating officers, and that the only reason she was ranked number one 2nd class petty officer, out of 50 of them, was because she wanted it that way, and the XO, just wanted in her pants.
I was lucky, I worked with all girls almost, and I was the senior yeoman in the office. We did have 2 other senior people, a first class petty officer, but our department head, did not like him for some reason, and thought he was very slow, because he was an older guy, who joined the Navy late in life, and wore a hearing aid already, he worked at night time, and only by himself.
We had a chief in the office, who was a Philippino guy, he was in the Navy, for 27 years already, and he just sat in the back of the office, and did not really do that much. He seemed to just read manuals all the time, in the back of the office, and work on special projects, for the department head. He had very little to do, with running our office. He and his family, lived far away, and he would live in the barracks threw out the week days, and every Friday, he was allowed to leave at noon, to be with his family, on the weekends.
He was waiting to put in his 30 years, so he could retire, with the highest pay, you could retire with, after 30 years. A lot of guys, they just put in their 20 years, and then retire with a paycheck for the rest of their lives. If you get another job, that extra paycheck, will come in handy, later in life.
Most of the officers that came in the office, would come looking for me, because I would be in charge of whatever paper work, they sent up to be typed up for them. We controlled all the travel orders, rental cars, airline tickets, leave papers, pay checks, and all the other paper work, they needed all the time from us.
When I spent some time, working in the Operations Office, our job, pretty much, was taking care of pilots flight logs, keeping track of their flight hours, putting out flight schedules, and stuff like that. One of the new duty section leaders, decided it was time for me to stand a watch. I was assigned to do a watch, at the enlisted barracks. I had never ever been there before, and had to figure out how to get there.
When I was there, I had a security roving patrol, that would report back to me every 30 minutes. He would let me know, that, “things were all well”, as they say in the Navy. On one of his rounds, he came back to me and said, some guys were fighting up on the 4th floor. When we got up there, we did not see any peopled around, and one of the doors was smashed in, and the fire extinguisher, had been all used up and sprayed everywhere.
The next day, a report was made up from the same command master chief, that I had a problem with before, saying that I should be referred to captain’s mast, for punishment. I could not believe this. I could not of heard something on the 4th floor, even if I wanted to. But if you are the guy in charge, you are responsible for it. I just decided to go and talk to the captain.
I said, “Sir, why do I have to stand duty, at a barracks, that I have never even been to before, when someone who lives in the barracks, and knows all the people around it, and the routine of the barracks, should be the ones standing watch at it?” I told him, “You have repair guys, upstairs, standing watches at the squadron, when I can do the same job, better than any of those other guys.” He said, “You are right”, and I never had to stand another watch at the barracks, as long as I worked there, and everything against me, never materialized.
One time, during the annual Christmas party, I was going to stop by Debbie and Denise’s apartment, and we were all driving to the party together. We drove to the party, and it got kinda wild at the club it was held at. There were the usual awards ceremonies, and then all you could eat food and drink.
At the end of the party, me, Debbie, and Denise, went back to their apartment, and then a bunch of the officers, that were just flight students from our squadron, showed up, and crashed the party. I guess Denise had invited them all over to her apartment, and me and Debbie, did not know they were coming, I felt very awkward, and decided to head out, and I don’t know what happened there, the rest of the night.
I’m sure Denise got lucky that night, because before I left, she went into her bedroom with one of the LTJG officers from the squadron.
We had this one LT lady, and she was married, to a full bird captain, that used to come around the office sometimes, and just sit in her office, and visit her, when he was around. All the officers hated this lady officer, because she always had the power, of her husband being a captain. One time, they had a picture of her face up on the wall, and the XO was throwing darts at it. She never knew that, her picture was used for that. Even thou, he did not have anything to do with our office, it usually always sucked, to have a captain or admiral around, as it always put people on alert, and they were not relaxed.
She was not a bad looking officer, she had long brunette hair, and her ass was pretty nice looking still. One day, I walked up behind her, and grabbed her by the sides, and tried to tickle her. Boy, she freaked out on me. She took me into her office, told me about how hard it was being a lady officer, and to have me just come up behind her, and grab her like that, she was just shocked. I kinda think she might of even got jealous of me. She had at one time, been enlisted in the Navy, and she was a yeoman also, and now she was a LT, and her husband was a full bird captain. She was still pretty sexy in a way, but strict.
One day, my girlfriend gave me a hickey, and you could hardly see it. She saw it thou, and took me back into her office, and told me she never wanted to see a hickey on me again. I never knew of any rule about hickeys, but she was sure mad I had one.
I could tell also she was kinda jealous of me, for the way I would walk around, and talk to the girls in the office. One day, Debbie called on the phone, and the female LT answered it. Debbie was on the phone crying, something about her car broke down, and she was asking for me. The female LT found me, and told me, Debbie was on the phone crying, and needed to talk to me. I could tell by the way she told me that, she thought me and Debbie was an item, and she was kinda jealous, but we were just two people, on different tracks.
Me and Debbie did not have anything going on. I had a lot of respect for Debbie. She was beautiful, she was smart, she was loud, very loud sometimes. Anytime we went out to eat, it would automatically end up, being a big deal for the server. No matter what, the food could never be served perfect, be it fast food, or good food. I was always prepared, for her always asking to see the manager, at the slightest problem. Those things she did, I could live without.
One time, when me and my girlfriend were not getting along, I moved out, and got a small apartment. Well, one of the guys from the office found out, and started coming over there all the time. The next thing I know, he has one of the girl yeoman’s over all the time, and then before you know it, they are getting married.
Well, at work, you are not supposed to get married to each other. Especially from the same office. So they decided to move Kaye, to another department, and then the Navy, gave them their blessing. When I had this apartment, one time, my girlfriend was over, and Denise called on the phone, to see if I wanted to come over to her and Debbie’s apartment, to go swimming in the Jacuzzi, and drink some wine coolers. As I was talking to her on the phone, my girlfriend came over, and ripped the phone right off the wall, as I was talking to her.
The next day at work, Denise said, “What happened, we were talking to you, and then the phone went totally dead?” I told her that Eva was not impressed with me going over to the Jacuzzi, to swim with them, even thou I had already did it lots of times.
When I first checked into the squadron, most of the yeoman’s were wearing nice dress uniforms, the Navy had. There were different uniforms a person could wear. And since most of these people, had never been to a ship before, they would wear, either dresses for the girls, or dress uniforms for the guys. I was from the regular Navy, and wore dungarees, which are like blue jeans, and flight deck work boots. One day, I asked the captain, I said, “Sir, do you mind me wearing flight deck boots and dungarees in the office?” He said, “Not at all.”
Well, one day, this command master chief, who was a black guy, and is the highest ranking enlisted guy in the squadron, he was in his office, with two other black master chiefs. Well, he called me into his office, and told me to shut the door. I was surrounded by 3 black master chiefs, and they were all air dales. Which meant, they always worked on airplanes, and aircraft carriers, and they didn’t know much, about the regular Navy.
They tried to ask me, “What the fuck are you doing, who do you think you are, dressing like that, walking around the squadron, dressed like that?” I told them I already asked the captain, if I could wear my flight deck boots and dungarees, and the master chief said, he was going to change that, and he better not see me with flight deck boots on, any more.
Well, I did not feel like they were being regular criticism to me, but it seemed like 3 black guys were ganging up on me, because I was the new, white guy upstairs now. I went back to my office, and went over to the female LT, and said, I can’t believe what just happened to me, these 3 black master chief’s, just called me into their office, and tried to intimidate me about a bunch of stuff, including my uniform.
I told the female LT what had happened, and she must of told her husband, or the XO or CO, because the master chief that came over, never came over to our squadron, any more, and I used to see him all the time, and our command master chief was sent off too. A new one came in, that ended up being one of the coolest master chiefs around, compared to the asshole that was just there.
One of my jobs, was to monitor the squadron telephone bill, since we must of had 100 phones throughout, the whole squadron. Some phone numbers, were making a lot of long distance calls. I was supposed to track down, and bill anyone, that had a phone bill, over $1. One of the phone numbers I was looking at, must of had a thousand calls from it, and some of them were very long, and a lot of money also.
One day, I went over to the phone bill, and it was the master chief’s phone number. I went over to his office, I said, “Master Chief, you owe $300 and some odd dollars for long distance calls.” Then I just stood there. Then I said, “Nah, don’t worry about it, I won’t make you pay”, and then I left. After that, he was always so nice to me, and I sure liked him a lot better, than I did that other master chief we had, who was just mean.
When I worked in the Operations Department, we were in charge of young, naval flight officers, that had just become pilots. They were all brand new designated pilots, that had just gotten their wings. They were now at our school, for more training. Most ensigns, and LTJG’s, that come threw our squadron, are green horns, and don’t really know much about the real Navy. They have been in school most of their life, and are just about to be assigned to their first real squadron.
One day, I was in the office, and my department head at the time, was a CDR, who was passed over for Captain. When that happens, you are pretty much washed up in the Navy as a career. You are pretty much forced to retire, at the pay grade you are at. This commander, did not seem to care about making captain or admiral, he was just doing his time, for 20 years he said, and he will be done. He was known as one of the cooler pilots in the squadron, first, because he was a commander, and most commanders let their gold brass, go to their head.
This guy, was more interested in life, and just having a good time. I was in the office, and this CDR, who was my department head, was telling me about a bike ride, he had went on, with his bicycle. He liked to ride his bike a lot, and was telling me about one of his recent rides. Well, a couple of student pilots, that are ensigns in the Navy, came in, and one of them, told me to do something for him, and the commander overheard this. He told all of them to get outside, and stand at attention. I have never really seen an officer, yell at another officer before like that.
They all stood at attention, right outside the door, and then as calm as could be, the CDR, continued telling me the story, about his bicycle ride, and how he enjoyed it. When he went back outside into the hallway, he turned ugly again, and yelled at those guys, “When I’m with Petty Officer Stead, you do not bother us, he does not work for you, he works for me, he has more Navy knowledge, than all you guys put together, you are students here, and you better damn well remember that!” With that, he told the officers to leave, and he went back down the hall to his office. He was a good guy, and I could easily handle a student officer myself, but knowing he thought like that, made me really like the guy.
Our squadron was the squadron that became famous, because of the Tail Hook scandal. We had several woman pilots, that used to come threw our squadron, and were part of that. The main lady in the Tail Hook scandal went threw our squadron. Our squadron trains student pilots. One of the officers many parties, was called, the Tail Hook convention. The Tail Hook is the thing on the plane, that catches the airplane, when it lands back on the aircraft carrier, or catches the wire, so to speak, as they say in the Navy.
The Tail Hook scandal, was a party that went on in Las Vegas, where the officers set up different things, like ladies leg shavings, and they had a hallway they called the gauntlet, that women had to go threw. it was a lot of sex, and young, horny pilots and naval flight officers, going wild. Some of the lady officers, claimed they were harassed, and it turned into a great big scandal for the Navy. That was mostly from my squadron, those guys really knew how to throw a party.
Most all the officers from my squadron, left for the Tail Hook party convention, and it would go on each year, and this would be the last one, because of all the wild behavior. There has been several books written, and dedicated just to the Tail Hook scandal, so if you have never heard of it, you might want to read more about it, from Amazon.com or some book store you shop at.
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