Thursday, November 6, 2008

Contemplating Poopie Suits

Recent talk about the new cammo uniforms has got me thinking about what used to be a sub exclusive: the underway coverall, aka the poopie suit.

Way back before I was even a nub, I was subjected to a propagandized version of the undersea world thanks to Hollywood and Tom Clancy, The Hunt for Red October. I ate it up with a spoon. I was confined to Admiral Rickover's preschool for wayward boys in Orlando and, somehow won tickets to the premier of the flick at the Colonial Mall theater right off of the base.

I remember my bunkie from boot camp went with me to see the daring exploits of America's Undersea Heroes. Every dig it from the base was there. Anybody that had ever heard of a submarine had gotten tickets.

It was in the movie that us pre-nubs were given our first lessons in life aboard a sub. And the thing I remember the most was how cold it must be on the boat since everybody had on white turtlenecks. (Somehow, the blue shirts aboard the movie version of the Dallas weren't permitted the glories of the poopie suit and had to wear their prison issue dungarees.)

So I report to the Ustafish around the same time as my birthday and my well meaning aunt, a YN1, gives me the aforementioned white turtleneck before my first (after cranking) underway. Its Novemember, Norfolk and as usual, its cold.

We leave the pier, I race to my rack in the Torpedo Room and quickly try to look like the natives. And, I put on the movie inspired, white turtleneck and quickly realized...I was freakin HOT with that thing on. I took it off on a coffee run and never wore it again.

I realize nuke boat sailors only have a passing idea of what hot really is. The DBF crowd can testify as to why submarine sandals were still in the NAVSUP catalog at least into the mid 90's.

Just goes to show you how much Hollyweird can screw up reality. I'll save the movie Crimson Tide for another rant.


jerry said...
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