Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chief Petty Officers - A Tribute


… Then, Admiral Jones (that crusty chap)
Went down the brow at last,
And found, without much fare-thee-well
A mooring, safe and fast,
And pierside,by a bollard stood
His putative relief,
To his surprise he spied, as well,
A work-stained Navy chief.

He wore no brass, except the mark
Defining time and grade:
Long years from ‘prentice up to now,
And sacrifices made;
A strainer he had just rebuilt -
Where lube-oil marked the spot,
His grimy hands and sweaty face
Declared what he was not!

“How goes it, Chief?” the senior said,
Now late for first good-byes,
Wars demand – receptions wait
As dark clouds fill the skies.
The aide, accustomed to delay,
Was now in Option Two –
Separate the Boss and Chief,
And do it - PDQ!

“Well, Sir,” he said, a messenger
Called down for volunteers;
The OOD was in jam-
In crap, up to his ears!
The pump , here, it had gone tits-up,
But, Sir, you know it well –
My duty section has the watch,
There’s not much more to tell!”

The parting one sat on a bits,
And waved this chief to join,
His medals clinking on his blouse,
His aide confused, forlorn,
The three-star had some time, that day –
(his future firmly set)
A warrior-turned to Memories,
Of days he’d not forget.

“Have them wait five minutes more,”
The Old Man told his aide,
“Chief Mix and I Are old, old, friends –
A trip or two we’ve made,
Across the Line – and to the Poles,
Through thundr’ing seas – or flat,
A street-wise kid – a leader now,
Since the day he won his hat!

“And Tonkin Gulf, Sir – the Mayaguez -
Khaddafi’s ‘Line of Death;
So much he shot his mouth off, Sir,
He just ran out of breath!”
“And that he did, Old Mummar,”
The VADM soft, agreed,
”But other feats eclipsed the task
And fulfilled a greater need!”

The work-soiled chief, puzzled, tried
To remember something large
With a parting salute, the flag took leave:
“Your guys sure fixed my barge.”

Khaki was living large that day -
Go on - I’ll make it brief.
The Fleet does not get underway
Without the gift of chiefs!

S C Myers 03/15/2010

Written by a great Shipmate of mine - Captain Steven C. Myers. You can find his book on Amazon @ "TO THE FLAG"

1 comment:

Brian Ashpole said...

There are certain milestones in any Sailor's (Officer or Enlisted) career, but for the white hat, after his/her marriage and the birth of children, the greatest day in his/her life is that day when they receive the Chief's Hat. Notice that I did not say cover - it used to be informally referred to as "the day I got my Hat." God Bless - they make he ship run.