“Join The Navy See The World”
“Join The Navy Meet The Girls”
The above two slogans were very prevalent (in the US Navy at least and by imitation in our Navy too) during our impressionable days and helped some of us to quickly make up our minds as to which service to join.
And then, we got on to sailing, bunks, holy-stoning the decks and looking at miles and miles of water around the ships we sailed in. The ‘world’ that we had to see was Bridge, Wheel House, Ops Room, Engine Room and Paint Store.
Once, in a while, some of us who were (un) lucky, were sent up on the Crow’s Nest (a place on the foremast. In the days of yore, a sailor used to be put up there to sight the land). From the Crow’s Nest we could see more. That is more of ‘miles and miles of waters around us’.
So, who were the people for whom these slogans were applicable? I was of the rank of Commander serving in Naval Headquarters and I discovered that there was hardly an Electrical Officer, serving ashore, who had not been sent abroad on some course or the other. Curiously, many of these officers, after completing their courses, never again served on the equipment on which they underwent foreign training.
There was one exception to this. He was Cdr L (Commander of the Electrical Department on a ship) of just commissioned Godavari and retired as the COM (Chief of Material). When the commissioning crew was excitedly talking about the forthcoming dream foreign cruise, he, correctly and resignedly, predicted that as long as he was Cdr L of the ship, the ship won’t go abroad. He said in his 20 years naval career, he had never been abroad.
He was a rare Electrical Officer.
Until I left the Navy in 2010, I was in awe of these officers who had ‘seen the world’, so as to say, in their fair reward of having joined the Navy.
One of them was introduced to me in NHQ with: “He is presently on temporary duty to our country India in his permanent appointment abroad for the last two decades”.
After retirement, and thanks to HIAOOU (My Facebook group called ‘Humour In And Out of Uniform’, I discovered that there is another branch worth joining to give credence to ‘Join The Navy See The World’. It is the Naval Constructor’s branch. These guys go abroad to enable them to come up with indigenous designs.
Slogans are always true. They may not be applicable to the poor executive officers (the business end of the Navy) in the two pictures below:
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