Shipboard Life: A Do-it-Yourself Kit

Copyright 2000-2013
[] All rights reserved. 

     Follow these easy instructions with the aid of your family and friends to recreate the untold joys of life aboard ship.  Kit easily adapts to Navy or Coast Guard use with the addition of appropriate color paint and logos (paint and logos not supplied in kit). Break into a chorus of "Anchors Aweigh," hum a few lines of "Semper Paratus," or if really motivated stand at attention and shout the "Marine Hymn" and enter the real world of life at sea. 

     Anyone who need a reality check after watching any movie of happy sailors at sea.   It will most beneficial to former sea service personnel suffering from "brain fade syndrome" or those reporting to their first sea duty.  However, those who would have the most to gain from the kit, recruits with illusions of sailing the seven seas in cruise ship atmosphere with ample leisure time among friendly natives in Bora Bora, or high school students who has talked to an overly friendly person in uniform who mentions the word recruiter, will probably not understand.

Module 1: Living Aboard Ship
Module 2: Evolutions
Module 3: Work and Watch Standing
Module 4: Quality of Life
Module 5: Leave and Liberty
Module 6: Leadership


Module 1: Living Aboard Ship

1.1 Buy a dumpster, chip the paint off down to bare metal, paint it gray, and live in it for six months. {Coast Guard simulations use white paint.}

1.2 Run all the piping and the wires inside your house on the outside of the walls. 

1.3 Repaint your entire house once a month. 

1.4 Place metal barriers on the lower 18" of every door in your house and add eight handles to every door..

1.5 Pump ten inches of nasty half sewage water into your basement.  Pump it out, clean up the mess and paint everything in the basement gray.  Repeat frequently for added realism.

1.6 On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday turn your water temperature up to 200 degrees, on Tuesday and Thursday set the temperature at 10 degrees. On Saturday and Sunday inform your family that they used too much water during the week and as a result all showering is secured.

1.7 Stack all beds on top of one another in the closet. Raise your bed to within six inches of the ceiling. Stow all your clothing and possessions in a 36" x 18" x 12" locker. If anyone is sick and throwing up assign them to the top bunk.

1.8 Give the keys to your house to your next door neighbor. Instruct him enter your bedroom every morning at 0530 (5:30 am), and blow a whistle loud enough to wake Helen Keller.  Instruct the neighbor to shout in a amplified megaphone six inches from your ear, "Reveille, reveille, all hands heave out and trice up. The smoking lamp is lit in all authorized spaces."

1.9 Have your mother-in-law write down everything she is going to do the following day.  Assemble your family and stand in the back yard at 0600 (6 am) while your mother-in-law reads her "Plan of the Day" (POD) to you.  Stand around for 15-20 minutes and then have your uncle join the group read the same thing again.  Repeat this everyday expect Sunday, unless you are simulating "at sea" in which case you may opt to do it seven days a week. 

1.10 Eat the raunchiest Mexican food you can find for three days straight, then lock the bathroom door for 12 hours.  Hang a sign on the door that reads, "Secured - Contact OA Div at X-3053."

1.11 When you leave your house make sure to take the phone off the hook so it will be busy all day. [ Mike C.]   

1.12 Observe the ship board multi telephone line rule.  One line is always reserved for the use of your father-in-law, one line reserved for your mother-in-law, and the third line is reserved for official business.

1.13 Install a bell on the front porch.  Whenever your father-in-law comes over ring the bell 4 times and announce his arrival/departure over a megaphone. [PO3 Petras]

1.14 Every time you leave or enter the house salute the porch light and ask your dog for permission to leave or enter the dwelling. [Paul]

1.15 ( Aircraft Carrier Simulation)  At random intervals from 1000 to 2200 (10 A.M. to 10 P.M.), have a biker gang with sledgehammers pound on your roof to simulate the launching and recovery of aircraft. At night, after the family has gone to sleep, have the bikers drag chains and heavy equipment across the roof to simulate the 're-spotting' of the aircraft for the next morning's flight schedule.  [AT2 Adam C. Vonder Ahe-Cossey]

1.16 Install flashlights (battle lanterns) at the precise height at which to bang your head in the dark. Point the flashlight and important items (such as the sofa, all doorways, stove, etc).   Occasionally turn the electric power off at the mains and run around the house turning on all the flashlights. [DC2 Scott Corbitt]

1.17 Use an air-raid siren for an alarm clock. [AD1(AW/NAC) Dale Bishop]

1.18 Remove all wrist watches from the family.  Use the dinner bell as a systematic time indicator. Ring it madly when every body is  their hungriest and announce the "Chow-line is not open for an hour."  Do not drool when you hear bells. [AD1(AW/NAC) Dale Bishop]

1.19 ( Aircraft Carrier Simulation)  Have house mover relocate your home ten feet under Runway 19 at Chicago O'Hare International Airport for 6 months. [AD1(AW/NAC) Dale Bishop]

1.20 Divide bathroom shower with three partitions. Remove shower nozzle and replace with kitchen sink dish sprayer hooked to the cold water line only. The "extra" two showers now represent actual percentage of operable showers. [AD1(AW/NAC) Dale Bishop]

1.21 Remove bathroom sink, mirror, and all shelves. Replace with water fountain for shaving and hygiene use. [AD1(AW/NAC) Dale Bishop]

1.22 Do Laundry using only the rinse cycle with paint thinner for detergent. Dry for 10 minutes and randomly redistribute. [AD1(AW/NAC) Dale Bishop]

1.23 Have an electrician certify as 'safe' and hang a tag on every electrical appliance you own, no matter if the appliance is brand new or if its own manufacturer claims it is up to safety standards. [Michael White]

1.24 Buy a two year calendar. Carefully mark your EAOS (End of Active Obligated Service) day two years out, and number the days back to the present date for a long count down.  Mark each day off for two years, dreaming of the "get out day."  Then march down to personnel and ship over (reenlist for additional years service). [Radioman]

1.25  Place fire extinguishers on the bulkheads (walls) of your home at elbow level next to the door openings to conveniently rip your shirt. [FC2 Pickett]

1.26  Stand in your living room with all the lights turned out, except for one red light by which you read a small print book. [QM2 Judd]

1.27  On the hottest day of the year, have your local mechanic inspect all the fans and air conditioners per the "MIM" (maintenance instruction manual) for resistance to ground.  When he finishes, have him announce, "They failed the 'xyz' and 'opq' tests. I'm required to cut off all the plugs."  [Former Carrier Sailor]

1.28  Place your home on large hydraulic jacks. At random intervals, kill the lights and have the jacks move your home to and fro at unexpected intervals and angles. (Simulates dropping the load {loss of power} in 20 foot seas).   [ABF2 Yanes]

1.29 Gather the family and drive to McDonald's. Park twelve blocks away, line up and slowly walk toward the front entrance moaning and griping each step of the way. Reach the door at closing time and have the manager yell, "Chow is secured." [William Jackson]

1.30  Invite 60 street people with bad habits to room with you for six months at a time.   When ashore at a naval air station take the worst three and room with them for the rest of the year. [AZC D.Velasquez USNR (Ret)]

1.31 Move out of your home for six months leaving your wife with three children and dog for a tour of solo parenting.  Return and immediately begin to tell your spouse how to run the house and raise kids.  Warning - this usually result in revised copy of the rank structure and job descriptions for the home. [Steve Donovan]

1.32  Four hours after you get into bed have your spouse shine a flash light in your eyes and mumble, "Sorry, wrong rack!"

1.33  Have everyone in your family hang two pillow cases next to their bed with large clothes pins and mark them "white" and "blue" for their dirty clothes. On laundry day put the pillow cases into two separate trash bags and designate a junior family member to drag them to the laundry room. [SH1 Gil Orozco USN (Ret)]

1.34  (Submarine Simulation)  Go from house to house in your neighborhood when you need a place to sleep.  Climb in the closest empty bed. The owner will wake you up when they want to sleep. [Norman Babcock CS3 (SS)]

1.35 (Submarine Simulation) Cover a copy of UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) with plastic.  Screw it into the wall (bulkhead) next to the toilet for handy reading. [Norman Babcock CS3 (SS)]

1.36 (Submarine Simulation) Move the contents of a grocery store into your house.  Put the cans and boxes on the floor in the bedrooms, dining room and all the hallways.  Stoop over when you walk to avoid whacking your head on the ceiling.  [Norman Babcock CS3 (SS)]


Module 2: Evolutions

2.1 Sit in your car and let it run for four hours before going anywhere. This is to ensure your engine is properly "lit off." 

2.2  Before leaving or arriving at any location require your family to stand on the hood of the car for the preceding hour. [Special Sea Detail]

2.3 Empty all the garbage cans in your house and sweep the driveway three times a day even if they don't require it. [Sweepers]

2.4 Stand in the sun for an hour without moving a muscle while your grandfather reads the complete Old Testament book of Numbers.  [Change of Command, Retirement, etc.] 

2.5 While driving in foggy weather, instruct your children to turn around and look out back window and make reports on anything they see. [Low Visibility Watch]. [ PO Petras]

2.6 Have your spouse set off the smoke alarm.  Grab a pair of headphones and microphone (without cord), run into the kitchen and stand by the stove.  To no one in particular say "Stove manned and ready".  Stand there for four hours doing nothing.  DO NOT sit down.  After four hours say "Stove secured", once again to no one in particular.  Return to your regular business. [PO Rich]

2.7 String lines (ropes) from your roof to your neighbor's roof at 0500 (5am) have all family members assemble on the roof wearing lifejackets and hard hats.  Stand around until 0800 (8am).  Send everyone inside telling them it will be 2 hours until  they will be needed and they should get breakfast. Wait until the first fork of food is in their mouth and call them back to the roof.  Transfer the contents of your neighbor's garage to your garage using the lines strung from roof to roof.  Repeat every 3 days changing the times to randomly interrupt every meal. [Underway Replenishment at Sea - Unrep]  [BM2]  

2.8 Assemble the family at the local high school football field at 0600 (6am) every day.  Have the kids line up side by side to the full width of the field.  Tell them you have hidden a gold nugget on the field and if they find it they won't have to line up at the football field for one day. [Hint: It is very small.]  Also inform them that mom is behind them and that she likes to collect things.  Have the kids walk slowly toward the other side of the field, heads down, no talking, picking up every piece of chewed gum, lint, or pebble and hand it to mom to put in her handbag.  Remind the children that there is a golden nugget so they will be excited and look more intensely.  The purpose of  the hunt is to keep the lawn mower from sucking something into the blades and spitting it out the other side. [FOD (Foreign Object Damage) Walk Down]  [Brad]

2.9 Twice a week at 0230 have your neighbor sneak into your house with a bell and a bullhorn  Instruct him to get as close to you as possible without waking you then ring the bell and scream through the bullhorn "Fire! Fire! Fire! There is a Class Alpha Fire in the Galley!"   As soon as you peel yourself off the overhead (ceiling) get half dressed and run for the door, have him yell, "This is a drill!" [Fire Drill] [DC2 Scott Corbitt] 

2.10 Install a 10 inch composite loop fire main system in your house.  Designate a closet in your house as a repair locker, equip it with firefighting gear.  Hold fire, smoke, and flooding drills every day. [DC3 Dustin Strong]

2.11 Enlist a team of paintball players to run through your dining room shouting "Security Alert!" At this, you should drop to the floor (deck). Best done during mealtime. [Michael White]

2.12  Stand in line at the local mini-mart for a lottery ticket when the jackpot is around $100 million (simulates either the chow line, mail call, or the ships store on payday on an aircraft carrier).  [Michael White]

2.13 Button up your shirt to the neck; pull your socks up over your pant legs; put on a scuba mask and breath into a paper bag while trying to read your least favorite book. Do this for an unknown length of time. (General Quarters). [Michael White]

2.14 (Submarine Simulation) Install air lines throughout your home with connections every eight feet.  Store surplus gas masks (one for each member of the family) under the kitchen table. During your favorite dinner, announce with megaphone "toxic gas in the forward compartment, all hands don EAB's" (Emergency Air Breathing apparatus).  Don the rubber mask and plug into air system. Wait two hours or until dinner is cold and thoroughly congealed. Announce "Secure toxic gas in the forward compartment.  Drill is secured." Do not sit down to eat.  Shovel food into your mouth while en-route to the garbage pail.  Scrape remaining food from plate into garbage and run upstairs and sit in a closet for six hours. Repeat. [Paul Strauss]

2.15 (Carrier Operations) Have your neighbor stand across the street on the darkest of nights.  Give him a flashlight with a cone on the end so that he can signal you when the coast is clear of oncoming cars. When you're halfway across, have him change the signal as a car is ten feet from you and blaring its horn.   Break into a sprint and trip over the curb as you try to find the darkest set of shadows to hide in. (Fly 3 LPO/AGO) [Melanye Francisco]

2.16 (Carrier Operations) Assemble your neighbors on Super Bowl Sunday in the street with push brooms.  Turn on all the garden hoses available and use extra strength dish detergent to wash the street.  When half done turn on the fire hydrants to the part you haven't washed drenching everyone. (Flight Deck Scrub Ex) [Melanye Francisco]

2.17 (Carrier Simulation) Move all of your neighbors cars in a seemingly random order 3-4 times a day. (aircraft re-spotting).   Ensure at least 10% are deemed hanger queens (aircraft that are used as a parts store for other squadron aircraft) and don't bring them out of garage for six-months while removing 1-2 parts per day. At end of six-months give your kids 3 days to make them all perfect again. (Simulates preparing for Squadron Fly Off) Draw straws to see who must use them first. [Mark Trail]

2.18 Cover your garage with plate steel. Label the door 'RADIO 1.'  Buy an old Cadillac. Take the tires off.  Hire a crane and have the operator lift the Caddy six feet and drop it on the roof of the garage every couple of minutes for two or three hours while you live inside the garage.  (Gunnery practice or shore bombardment simulation)  [Mike Casey]

2.19 In winter (best around ten below zero), stand outside your house in a light jacket, with a white hat that doesn't keep in heat and a pair of latex gloves for the 2000-2400 (8pm to 12pm) quarterdeck watch. Invite every person you've ever met to your house at 2330 (11:30pm). ("Cinderella Liberty" - everyone back by midnight..).  Salute every person that gets near you and grant them "Permission to come aboard". Have your wife relieve the watch at 0015 (12:15am) dressed in warm clothes. Spend next two hours warming up and manage two hours of sleep before the next days work. [ET2(SW) Ken Kalish]

2.20 On the interstate, follow close behind an eighteen wheeler, mimicking its every move.  Do this for months on end. [Simulates plane guard for aircraft carrier]

2.21 (Submarine Simulation)  Make a large birthday cake for your brother-in-law's big party. Mix the batter and put the cake in the oven.  Have your neighbor yell, "Prepare to Surface."  Catapult the stove eight feet into the air and watch the cake batter pour out of the oven. [Norman Babcock CS3 (SS)]

2.22 Before filling your car's gas tank hold a meeting six hours in advance of the station's opening.  Assemble medical personnel, all your immediate relatives, safety observers and the fire department ready with fire hoses three hours before the station opens. Require everyone to line up on the sidewalk at parade rest as the clerk opens the station.   Send a fuel sample to a testing lab before starting to fill up. (Refueling at sea) [GM3]


Module 3: Work and Watch Standing

3.1 Perform a weekly disassembly and inspection of your lawn mower.  If you miss a week or fudge complete disassembly, hold a trial and restrict yourself to the house for a month.

3.2 On six month intervals disassemble, inspect and reassemble your car engine using only a 12" Crescent wrench and screwdriver.

3. Require your family to qualify to operate all the appliances in your home (example: Qualified Dishwasher Operator, Qualified Blender Technician, Qualified Toaster Operator, etc.).  Hold weekly one hour classes after working hours on enlightening topics such as "Breathing 101" and "Literary Nuances of the UCMJ."

3.4 Walk around your car for four hours, check the tire pressure, oil level, and fuel level every 15 minutes and keep an accurate log (record book) of the readings.

3.5 Don your Sunday best and go stand on your front porch for four hours. [CWO4 Al Canfield]

3.6 Periodically run your life on an "8 on 8 off" routine.  Work 8 hours at your normal day job.  Take care of your personal matters during the next 8 hours.  On the next 8 hours off, have an 18 wheeler from a grocer distributor pull up in front of your house.  Gather all your neighbors, form a human chain from the truck down to your basement (be sure to route it through the backyard to avoid "officer's country").  Pass all of the contents of the truck hand-to-hand down to the basement.  Turn your cap around and go on your normal work shift.  Repeat the process the next 8 off shift, but this time unload a truckload of high explosives. [David W. Den Beste]

3.7 Remove the contents of a walk-in closet and replace with three desks.  At the nearest Salvation Army Thrift Store salvage the oldest computer that you can find (make sure that that at least two vowel keys stick) and set it on one of the desks.  Take three of your "closest" friends into the closet and shut the door.  Give everyone a five page article to type and a 15 minute deadline.  As one is typing, have the other two talk, tell jokes, and hit each other.  As you type the last page, have someone unplug the computer (do not save the document).  Attempt to retype the document with people yelling, "Hurry up."  Repeat five times a day. [Chief Kleinsmith]

3.8 With the help of your two six-year old nephews and a 1976 manual, replace the starter in your 1987 car, working only from the top. Have your father-in-law remind you every 3 minutes that you have 15 minutes to finish because the car is needed for the next mission (trip).  [Paul Basso]

3.9 Stand by the phone on the mid-watch (12 A.M. to 4 A.M.) with a log book, fire bell, and intrusion alarm panel within reach. Mount a gauge on the wall to read your house's water pressure. Have your youngest child walk around with a tape measure to see if your house is flooding. He/she must check each room every hour and report back to you that all conditions are normal.  With each report, phone a neighbor and tell him all conditions are normal at your house and report the water pressure. Have your child wake up your spouse (watch relief) a half hour prior to the end of your watch so he/she is sure to be 15 minutes late relieving you. This ensures that you will get two solid hours of sleep before you face another day.  [DCC (SW/AW) Curtis]

3.10 Walk outside your house, preferably in dismal weather, and direct traffic on the street for 8 hours. If  a break in traffic flow permits you a short rest, go in the house but don't get into your bed - lie down in the hallway (Flight Ops).  [Michael White]

3.11 Install humidifiers throughout your house.  Fill humidifiers with a half and half mixture of water and 90 weight gear oil.  Remove the muffler from your lawn mower and bring it into the house.  Run humidifiers and lawn mower constantly. (Engine Room Simulation) [Chief Reyes]

3.12  Disconnect your TV cable box and stare at static for six hours.  Report every 15 minutes to no one in particular, "Sonar holds no contacts."  Do not fall asleep.  The following 6 hours disassemble your TV and rebuild using VCR operating instructions.  Touch a live circuit thereby shocking yourself.  Report back on watch and receive extra military instruction (EMI - a mild form of "instructive" punishment] to hold safety training on the topic, "Why it is dangerous to be electrocuted."  [J. Yates]

3.13  Go to a local bridge, stare at the water for twelve straight hours. [Capt. C. Abernathy, USMC, Ret.]

3.14  At an amusement park, fill your stomach with coffee and ride a roller coaster non-stop. (Coast Guard WPB (Patrol Boat) Simulation).

3.15  Pick a six month period when your work and home life are at their busiest, get your neighbor to phone you at 2330 (11:30pm), dress in the dark, and hang a brick on string around your neck and stare at the backyard from your patio. Identify the whereabouts of all bats, crickets, moths and stray dogs by sound and sight, keep a written record of everything you see, and choke down at least one cup of four-day old coffee (preferably black) every thirty minutes. Anytime a critter enters the yard, call your wife on the cell phone to apprise her of its movements. On snowy or foggy nights be sure to blow an air horn at regular intervals to warn the neighbors of your whereabouts. (Midwatch Simulation). [CDR Tom Koehl]

3.16 Sit in front of your kitchen stove for six hours. Look at nothing but the stove. Maintain a log (record book) of the position of all the knobs. Have your kid randomly report to the kitchen "conditions normal" in the house. Have him randomly ask permission to turn on various appliances in the house. Grant him permission to start half of them, and have him immediately report the condition of the each appliance. [EM2(SS) Sommer]

3.17 Wash and wax all the cars on your block once a week in the rain to simulate washing aircraft.  Have a 10 year old neighbor kid QA (Quality check) the work and tell you all the places you missed. [Naval Air rules]

3.18 Have your father in-law (Squadron Maintenance Officer) set 20 unachievable goals on Monday morning with the promise that if they are achieved there will be liberty for whole family on Sunday.  Have the entire family work 18 hour days for the entire week while your father in-law plays golf.  Achieve all the goals. Upon his return Saturday night have him announce one of the following on a rotating basis, Due to operational commitments: (1)The duty section (1/3 of family) will have to work Sunday, or (2) Liberty is canceled.  Do this for couple of years and then reward your father in-law with a promotion and a medal for superior operational readiness. (Mark Trail)

3.19  Purchase a beat up 30 year old car (aircraft).  Keep the following schedule to the letter and with accurate records of everything.  Have three highly qualified people inspect the car before driving (preflight), then have 16 year old who just got his license and knows nothing about cars inspect it again. Have him drive car as if it were a rented Corvette with full coverage insurance (flight ops).  When he returns have him tell you everything his one month of vast experience tells him is wrong, using vague phrases.  Have three people inspect it (Post flight/Daily inspection) and the next morning even though the car has not moved have three people re-inspect it and repeat twice a day.  Every third day replace the alternator before driving.  Every 7, 14, 28 and 56 days, take one section apart and reassemble and every 128 days take entire car apart and reassemble. (Mark Trail, A-6 Plane Captain, VA Squadron)

3.20 When talking to your wife drop every third word in your sentence (POTS - ship to shore telephone). [Lt CSF]

Module 4: Quality of Life

4.1 Invite 200 to 1000 of your 'not so closest' friends to come over.  Board up all the windows and doors to your house for six months. After 6 months take down the boards.  But, since you're on duty, wave at your  family through the front window of your home.  You and one third of the 'friends' can't leave until the next day.

4.2 Shower, eat, and sleep with the above mentioned friends never more than an arm's length away.  Instruct 10% of the 'friends' NOT to shower on a regular basis and an additional 10% NOT to change clothes more than once a month. 

4.3 Cook all your food blindfolded, groping for any spice and seasoning you can reach.  Fry everything and serve cold.  Note: You must not gain weight on this diet while locked in the house for six months or you will be singled out for the 'fat person' program.

4.4 Have your neighbor collect all your mail for a month.  Instruct them to trash every fifth item and to send every other week's mail randomly to Japan or Italy.

4.5 Spend $20,000 on a satellite system for your TV, but only watch CNN and the Weather Channel.

4.6 Have your 5 year old cousin give you a hair cut with dull hedge clippers.

4.7 Sew back pockets to the front of your pants.

4.8 Work at McDonalds for four years flipping burgers day and night. Do NOT get promoted, but stay motivated. 

4.9 Needle gun (compressed air powered impact device for paint chipping) the aluminum siding on your house after your neighbors have gone to bed. 

4.10 Instruct your doctor to only dispense "aspirin" (APC - all purpose capsule) to you no matter what the ailment or complaint.  "Chest pains, take two of these."  "Foot fungus, take one."

4.11 Gather all the neighborhood dirty laundry and mix the clothing in a pile.  Rip off every other button, pour bleach directly on the pile, stuff the washing machine to maximum capacity, DO NOT separate by colors. Partially dry items and redistribute the "clean" items in a random fashion among the neighbors.

4.12 On the hottest most humid day of the year, close all the doors and windows in your house, remove all fans for preventive maintenance and disassemble the air conditioner. On the coldest day of the year disable your heating system for maintenance.  All family members must wear sweaters, heavy coats and gloves indoors to keep ice from forming on body parts.  If going outdoors for any occasion everyone must appear uniform. If one person doesn't have a coat and gloves, all must go without. [PO Petras]

4.13 Stand in line for an hour to buy a candy bar and soda, only to find out the ship's store is out of sodas and the candy bars are liquid from the heat. [Paul Basso]

4.14 Cut the ends out of two juice cans, place them over your ears to distort the sound while watching your TV.  [Paul Basso]

4.15 Do your laundry using only the rinse cycle with paint thinner for detergent. Dry for 10 minutes and randomly redistribute. [AD1(AW/NAC) Dale Bishop]

4.16 Serve "Stuffed Cabbage Rolls" for dinner and the next evening strip off the cabbage leaves and serve the same thing calling it "Beef Porcupines."  [Michael White]

4.17 Leave a 55 gallon drum of fish and crab parts under your bedroom window for three weeks.  Have the kids needle gun (compressed air powered impact device for paint chipping) your exterior bedroom wall from 6 am to 6 pm. (Simulate Drydock) [FC2 Pickett]

4.18 Every two weeks have your fifth grade son cut your hair. Teach him to say,  "It's a new style.  I'm practicing until it comes out right." [Paul Basso]

4.19 Have total strangers decide what 10 movies you can watch for the next month and show only these movies. [EMC Morales]

4.20 The day before the quarterly Physical Readiness Test (PRT) get Yellow Fever and Typhoid shots.  Hold a safety stand down immediately following PRT on the importance of hygiene, physical conditioning, and proper diet and nutrition.  After the safety stand down, hold a picnic featuring hot dogs and hamburgers (rollers and sliders) plus lots of greasy fries. [Melanye Francisco]

4.21 Paint all NTD (non water tight doors) bright blue and yellow and tell your family these colors promote "productivity." [BM3 USCG]

4.22  When baking a cake prop up one side of the pan in order to have one side 3 inches high and the other 1 inch high.  Level it with lard frosting.

4.23 When watching TV, turn the cable off every 3 to 5 minutes saying that the satellite signal is lost. [Lt. CSF]


Module 5: Leave and Liberty

5.1 Every couple of weeks, dress up in your best clothes and go to the worst part of town, find the most run down trashy bar, pay $10 per beer, and then walk home in the freezing cold.

5.2 Submit a special request chit (form) to your father-in-law, requesting permission to leave your house before 1500 (3 pm).  You must submit the request chit two days in advance.  Instruct your father-in-law to hide for added realism.  When you find him listen to a lecture on "work ethics and responsibility."

5.3 Submit a special request chit (form) to your older brother requesting half a day off to conduct personal business.  Listen to his standard response, "Give me an original excuse, and I may consider it."

5.4 Spend a week in the filthiest sea port red light district of Europe, and call it "world travel."

5.5 Enter an exotic foreign port and be told that only officers will have permission to leave the ship.

5.6 Instruct the the neighborhood kids to crowd around you, patting your pockets down, looking for change.  Have them make a lot of noise that you don't understand. Take a handful of pennies from your pocket and toss them in the street.  Run like mad when the kids jump for the coins. [Paul Brasso]

5.7 At least once a month make coffee from salty sewer water.  Pretend the coffee is good until everyone has had a surprise taste. (Simulates a boot messcook filling the coffee pot from sea water tap in the head). [Ike]

5.8 Send $200 every month to a "honey" thousands of miles away that you met on liberty in a foreign port. Send for one year then change to an another one as your first love got married to one of the ten sailors supporting her.  [AZC D.Velasquez USNR (Ret)]

5.9 On liberty in a white shirt and white pants (Dress Whites) eat out with friends at a local Italian restaurant without wearing pasta and tomato sauce home. [Steve Donovan] 

5.10  Go to a seedy Laundromat for social hour, meet exciting new friends and discuss how your Clorox 2 beats Tide or Bold detergent. (Simulates doing your laundry versus letting the ships laundry mangle it). [Steve Donovan]

5.11  Announce to the family that a great weekend vacation (port call) is lined up, and everyone is to have fun.  The vacation site is famous for nightlife, however everyone under 18 years old and non petty officers have to be back in the hotel room by 2200 (10 p.m.) [EW3 Derek Ten Eyck]


Module 6: Leadership

Section A: Chief Petty Officers [A tip of the old flat hat to Senior Chief Faulconer]

6.1  After 20 or so years of following these guidelines, have your wife's 22 year old brother come over, take charge and spend the next two years telling you what you are doing wrong.  Then have your 21 year old son's best friend do the same thing for the following two years.

6.2  Have your father-in-law require you to write a 300 page work package prior to authorizing you to take the lawnmower apart.  Make sure that he changes all of your adjectives to synonyms and require you to re-write the entire package at least three times before he authorizes the work.  The end result package should look exactly like the first one you submitted.  {**Webmaster note:  This is known as the "Great Circle Law."  Avoid heartburn, save copies of documents as the first submission will most likely match the approved submission after numerous rewrites by the chain of command. Hence, the great circle.}

6.3  After you get permission to start work, have the most mechanically inclined member of your house assigned to wash dishes, the next most gifted assigned to sweep out the bedrooms, etc. until the most mechanically inept member of your household takes the lawnmower apart while you observe.  He should put it back together incorrectly several times.

6.4  Report to your father-in-law that the work is complete, and explain everything that you did and why. Write a 300 page incident report regarding each incorrect assembly.  Use the same approval process as the work package.

6.5  Draft a training program and force everyone in the house to attend the lawnmower procedure training. Even if they did not and never will touch the lawnmower.  Explain to each member how important the training is.  Write a final exam that the Briggs and Stratton engineers would fail, and re-train everyone that doesn't get 75 percent correct.

6.6  Hold a ceremony to promote and congratulate the kid that screwed up the lawnmower, your wife's 24 year old brother, and anyone else who had nothing to do with fixing it.  Give yourself a poor evaluation in leadership.

6.7  When it's over make up stories to tell young folks that make it sound fun. 

Section B: Petty Officers  

6.8 When you reach age 35 invite a green college kid over to your house, salute him, call him sir, put him in charge of everything that he doesn't know anything about.  Laugh at him behind his back. [PO Petras]  

6.9 Work 15-20 years as a machinist, make a 23-year-old English major the boss to tell you how things should be done.

Shipboard life!  We love to complain, but most wouldn't trade the experience for anything - once it is ten years in the past.
This page is copyrighted by our sister site  It has been copied without permission and appears on several web sites.  The Life at Sea theme is not original but this work is thanks to many shipmates who have sent their ideas.  IF you're prone to steal from shipmates go ahead and steal this and call it yours.