Friday, August 22, 2008

A Nub Story

Bubblehead over at The Stupid Shall Be Punished got me to thinking about my nub days. For those of you not blessed enough to serve beneath the waves, I offer you the following:

N.U.B. or NUB is an acronym for a long used expression in the U.S. Navy that means Non-Useful Body. Usually a term given to those recently out of school and have yet to learn the ways of being a true sailor.

Submariners in the U.S. Navy usually use this term towards those who have not qualified for submarines, an arduous task which ends in the sailor being presented his "Dolphins" and being accepted as no longer being a NUB.

I had to work hard to qualify. Being a Deck Div. orphan required me to quickly and accurately analyze the social status of each crewman and their divisions and their relationships with everybody else. Half the time, I couldn't get anybody to even talk to me about quals.

After many months of hard work and barter, I had the whole qual card signed off and recieved the object of my efforts: My Fish. (I paid for them dearly, more about that later.) The Boat was headed to Canada for some games with the Canadians and I come down the ladder for the first time as a real live Submariner only to be asked by the COB where was my apron. I was headed back to mess crank.

Now, keep in mind, I had already hit the limit on cranking. I had qualified Helms/Planes, Topside Watch and Lookout. I was well on my way to being battlesattions helmsman. Now I had my Fish and was no longer a NUB. I was now a UB.

I stood there, in upper level, with my mouth open in disbelief. Due to the manpower scarcity, mostly from nukes not cranking as much as the rest of us, Quailified in Submarines or not, I was headed back to crank in the galley.

What made it worse was I wasn't the only one. A QMSN friend of mine that had been on the boat a month or two longer than me was there too. A sacred tradition had been violated and the crew was not happy to see two qualified watch standers down in crews mess with paper hats on.

While most of the crew saw this as a grave injustice, there were a couple of idiots that needed to get their mind right. One smart ass nuke decided to pile on the humiliation by demanding that I refill his drink by saying in a loud voice, "Get me a drink, CRANK!"

At this point a massive Sasquatch from A-gang, known for taping up nukes, stepped in before I could respond and told him to get his own damn drink. The delicate peace between the forward spaces and the nukes lay in the balance. The nuke (obviously wanting to keep his pubic hair intact) backed down and showed some respect.

QMSN and I found a pair of iron-on Dolphins and added them to our teal colored crank's shirts (despite the Chop's insistence that those shirts really belonged to him) and served the rest of our sentence with a steely eyed demeanor of taking no crap from anyone.

I later found out why the COB had nobody left on the list to crank. The Chop had moved a new cook from cranking early and some douche bag Sonar Tech had altered his service record to show that he had cranked while he was TAD during training. If I could have TDU'd that bastard, I would have.

Just remember:

"One Boat, One Crew, One Shaft, One Screw."


blunoz said...

Great story, Duke.

Lance M. Gundersen, Sr. said...

I know this has been here awhile, but it was a good read. Thanks!

MM1(SS) Retired

USS Chicago SSN-721 plankowner
USS Los Angeles A-gang LPO

Anonymous said...

Reading your story just makes me think about how much of a worthless pussy I am. Submarining is definitely not for everyone. I know for a fact that if I'd have served during your time I very probably would've went insane. Hell, just looking at your picture of crews mess fills me with anxiety.