23 May 2008

Congrats To the Academy Grads of 2008

Is this too demotivating?

Ah, yes. It's that time of the year for the graduation at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. I extend my congrats to the newest Ensigns of the Navy and 2LTs of the USMC. Primarily because their willingness to serve allows disgruntled O-3s like me to get out of the Navy (which I'll be doing early next year). It also takes me back to 2002 when I was commissioned at OCS and I was so excited to be serving my country and doing "God's work". In the words of Chuck Palahniuk, "That's how dumb I was". Allow me to give you youngsters unsolicited advice on being an officer so you don't make so many goddamn mistakes and/or fuck over the people you will be in charge of:

1) Good job on graduating from the Academy! Please limit your conservation about the Navy football team, plebe summer, and that crazy night you got in a fight with the West Point guys to a minimum. People aren't very interested in that in the real Navy (especially if they didn't go to the Academy).

2) Don't get a DUI, because you'll end up kicked off your ship and have to do a year in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Gitmo. If you want to do a tour over here, then wait until your shore tour. Don't worry, these places aren't going away in the next 5 years.

3) Never tell the CO/XO/Department Head about a problem with the ship that the Chief can fix.

4) For the male Ensigns, when you first show up on the ship someone will most likely jokingly grab your ass. How you react to this is very important and will affect how people treat you the rest of your time onboard.

5) If you act like a douchebag to the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st classes while you are qualifying, you will find your life to be incredibly difficult. Being an Ensign entitles you to not know shit, and you never learn anything from the people who know things by being arrogant.

6) The first time you get a serious ass-chewing from the XO about a problem you know absolutely nothing about, congrats! You are now part of the team and a useful officer in the Navy. Expect more of these on a daily basis from then on.

7) The Navy is generally hard work and not very glamorous (that's why it's called military "service"). However, a port call anywhere is a recipe for a good time. Most people denigrate Guam by calling it "Ghetto Hawaii" or "Give Up And Masturbate", but even this tiny island has Jeff's Pirate Cove, the happiest place on earth.

8) Ensure your time in Thailand is filled with debauchery and lust. However, make sure you have mastered the covert "package check" on the lovely Thai girl talking to you at the bar, because it's very difficult to tell the difference between a "him" and a "her". Very, very difficult.

9) If you think that you have scammed your way out of work on the ship, just remember that some other JO probably had to do the job that you wouldn't do.

10) While sometimes you have to be the bad guy as an officer, just remember that it is no excuse to be a douchebag, and make sure you watch out for everyone, both officer and enlisted. Act like Bill N' Ted and be excellent to each other.

Congrats to our newly commissioned officers. Thanks for your service.