Monday, May 11, 2009

Sub Wins Coast Guard MUC

The Submarine USS Hawaii (SSN-776) has been awarded the Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Citation for its role in tracking drug smugglers during its first mission. They become only the second sub to be awarded the CGMUC.

Back during my salty sea dog days, I had a really insightful encounter with the Coast Guard. Back in the bad old days, I was Deck Div's Leading Seaman, and, as such, I always ended up being "volunteered" to make the Servmart run. (For you Nubs, Servmart is a huge, 50,000 sq.ft warehouse that carries everything from those really crappy sponges we had to use to clean the decks with to some old school seamanship gear like sailmaker's thimbles, bosuns' knives and marlin spikes.)

On this particular occasion, I was accompanied by the Ustafish's Bull Nuke. He was really a good guy but a complete smartass a step above the typical know-it-all nukes. We were in line, waiting for the check out when I noticed a coastie in line behind us. Atop his ribbons, he was wearing a specialty badge.
I asked the chief if he knew what badge that was. He began to weave an elaborate tale about how that was the Baters' Badge. He went on about how there are a couple of levels of the award and that if I ever saw one with little stars on the waves of the badge, that symbolized someone that had qualified as a "Master" level of the award. The chief then told me I should go over and ask our shallow water warrior when did he expect to be come a Master Bater?

He almost had me but something held me back and I avoided humiliation at the Servmart.

Congratulations Hawaii! Job Well Done!

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