The Navy As a Career
Your naval career 3 Leader of men 3 General education 5 You enter the naval training station 6 Receiving unit 7 Pertinent advice 8 You are now beginning your naval career. You enlisted for various reasons, such as to learn a trade, to see the world, to go to sea, to improve your station in life, etc. You are young and your future is before you. Many of you have not thought seriously of your future, and probably few of you have made up your minds as to what you would really like to do. You will now have 12 weeks of training, and at the end of that time you will be sent ot various ships for service in our Navy. Upon arrival aboard ship, some of you will be sent to the engineer's department for duty as firemen and will be gradually developed into machinist's maters, water tenders, metalsmiths, electrician's mates, etc. The rest of you will remain in the seaman branch and gradually develop into coxswains, boatswain's mates, gunner's mates, carpenter's mates, shipfitters, quatermasters, etc. The training that starts here at the training station will be continued on bard ship. In every case this training is for the sole purpose of making you a useful man, a trained man, and a leader of men.
Your Naval Career
Keep this always in mind: You are being trained to be a future leader of men. The hardest workers among you may become chief petty officers, warrant officers, and commissioned officers. The rest of you will only get as far as your work, study, and efforts entitle you to go.
Once in a great while a man is born a leader. The rest of us become leaders by hard study and long practice of the rules of leadership handed down to us by the great leaders of the past. Following are given the rules laid down by these leaders. Study them and practice them, for your future
Leader of Men
success. will depend upon your ability to master them, whether in the naval service or later in civilian life.
Each man who desires to be a leader of men must learn the following essential points:
Obedience does not mean blindly carrying out an order or grudgingly doing what your are ordered or directed to do and then only doing enough to get by. Obedience means first of all cheerful and willing obedience and, secondly, intelligent obedience.
Good behavior and a clean record are necessary for promotion to positions of leadership. Men sometimes fail of promotion to warrant and commissioned rank because of bad records during early enlistments.
Knowledge comes only through study and hard work. There is no "royal road to learning." Men always respect you for what you know. It pay to know, and to know you know. Know your own job. Know the job ahead of yours.
Fighting spirit.--You know what this is. Without it, you are only a human biped who wears pants. With it, you are a live, red-blooded, go-getter--one will succeed. Have you the grit to stay with a hard job? Never say "I can't." Forget there is such a phrase. Don't be a quitter. "A man may be down but never out"--until he admits it.
Reliability.--Always do what your are told to do, and do it the best you know how. Can you be depended upon, whether alone on a job or with others? Get the reputation of seeing the job through.
Loyalty.--Stick up for yourself, your officers, your petty officers, your company, your ship. As you show loyalty to them, they will show loyalty to you, and people under you will do the same. Boost. If you cannot boost, do no knock.
Initiative.--This is one of the outstanding qualifications of a leader. The man with initiative takes hold of the things that need doing and does them without being told, while the other fellow is standing idly by because no one has told him what to do. A man with initiative thinks on his feet. He can be trusted to take care of an unexpected situation because he is always on the alert and thinking ahead of his job.
Self-control.--Do not fly off the handle. It nearly always gets you into trouble and always lessens the respect that others hold for you. If you lose your self-control in little things, you are sure to do so in big things. The man who cannot control himself will never develop into a real leader of others.
Energy.--A lazy man never has time to do anything right or to do anything to improve himself, and he never gets far. Be "peppy." Put
some drive into things. Carry a "self-starter." Don't have to be cranked every time to get started.
Courage.--A leader must have courage. He must have not only physical courage, he must have moral courage as well. He must be fearless in the face of his duty. A courageous man admits it when he is wrong and takes his medicine. He doesn't bluff. And when he is known as a man of courage he doesn't have to bluff.
Justice.--Be square. Play the game hard, but play it squarely. Give a square deal to others and expect one in return. Act so that others can respect you as a man.
Truthfulness.--The final test of a man is: In a pinch, will he lie? Lying is a dismissal offense at the United States Naval Academy, and is a punishable offense in the Navy. Many a man who told the whole truth has been let off or given light punishment, where the liar was punished for the offense and for lying as well.
Faith.--Believe in yourself. Trust yourself. Count on yourself. Count on yourself to be one of the best man-o'-war's men in the whole Navy, and then go to it and make good. Trust your fellowmen. They are good fellows and will meet you halfway as a rule. Believe in and trust the Navy. Splendid men have made it what it is. Do all you can to keep it as good as it is, and make it even better. ,p> Honor.--Act so that your home folks will be proud of you, and will tell all of your friends what fine things you are doing in the Navy. Act so that others will want to be like you. Few men can survive dishonor. Remember you can never disgrace or dishonor yourself without bringing dishonor on your name, your people, and the uniform you wear.
Cheerfulness.--Smile and the world smiles with you. Smile when things go wrong. if you cannot smile, at least try to. You can surely keep the corners of your mouth up.
Honesty.--Enough said. Without honesty your career is limited and your are sure to fail in the long run. Nobody want to deal with or associate with a cheat.
The Bureau of Navigation has prepared courses of training for many ratings. These courses show you what you must know to get that rating. Besides, there are many other courses that you can use to improve your general education. Make use of them. In addition to helping you to became a leader of men, a general education does the following:
Increases your range of knowledge.
- Gives you a better command of yourself and your personal ability.
- Trains your reasoning powers and enables you to think problems out better and more easily.
- Trains and stimulates your brain, and makes you more keenly alert and alive to world progress and affairs.
- Give you pleasure in life by enabling you to enjoy the great works of science, art, etc.
- Gives you a wider viewpoint and opens up greater fields of opportunities.
- Gives you a better chance at success in life.
Your first few days at the training station are probably days of great confusion to you. This little talk is to straighten out in your mind the process through which you have gone and to explain why.
You Enter the Naval Training Station
You reported at the main gate and were taken then to the receiving unit. There you were fitted out with a uniform, took a bath, and were given a thorough medical examination. The examination was given to determine your state of health. You have to be physically sound before you can start your period of training. The dental officer examined your teeth, wrote down their condition, and, if anything was found wrong, you will be called in later to have this fixed.
You were told how to dispose of your civilian clothes. It is best by far to get rid of them entirely. Your uniforms are all you ned, and the uniform is a suit of honor, which you can proudly wear anywhere. You cannot have civilian clothes either at the station or aboard ship. Some men keep civilian clothing in lockers ashore for liberty uses,but this is unnecessary and a source of large expense. Do not do it.
The chaplain or his yeoman has probably had a talk with you by this time and has asked you about your education, church preference, trade or profession, athletic ability, talent for entertainment, the rating you desire, your qualifications, your home, and the address of your parents or next of kin. This information is placed on your record and is used to assist in placing you properly aboard ship. The chaplain is always glad to help you in case of difficulty or trouble. Do not hesitate or be afraid to go to and talk with him freely.
You may be homesick and lonesome for a while. We all were. You are starting a new life, with new surroundings and new friends. Grin and bear it like we all did. No man ever succeeded by hanging on to his mother's apron strings all his life. But right here, do this: Write home
often and ask them to write to you often. A letter from home will buck you up more than anything else.
You are now getting your first taste of military training. it may seem hard to you at first because it is new, but it really is not as hard as it seems. Do what you are told to do, do it quickly and cheerfully, and you will be surprised how easy this military training becomes. Look at the chief petty officers who are taking care of you. Do they look downhearted, or look as though they have suffered from military training? Ask them questions about it. you will soon find that you will have more liberty, more privileges, and a happier existence under military training and discipline that you would have in similar positions in civil life.
You will be formed into a company of about 100 men and a chief petty officer will be put in charge of the company. This chief petty officer started his naval career just as your are now starting it. Through hard work and study he is now in a position of great trust and responsibility. He will teach you many useful things. Listen to him. Do what he tells you to do. Imitate his example. Ask him questions. Take your problems to him. He will be glad to help you, especially if you show him that you are really trying to help yourself.
You will soon be given the O'Rourke classification test. This test is given to discover the duties you can best perform. A high mark in this test will show that you will probably make a good petty officer. A low mark will show that you need a great deal of training and that you should study and work hard to make good. Do not be discouraged by a low mark, but dig in and make good.
You remain three weeks in the receiving unit without liberty being granted. This is the hardest period of your naval career. This three weeks' detention is necessary to prevent the spread of any infectious diseases. in the training station you live close together. One man with an infectious disease could spread it to every man at the station. The doctors will examine you frequently. They much prefer keeping you well than curing you after you are sick. They know how to keep you from getting sick, and these three weeks of restriction is one of their methods of keeping sickness down to a minimum. Realize this and don't worry about it. Your liberty days will soon arrive, and you will find that you will have more liberties than you really want.
You will now be vaccinated against smallpox and given typhoid prophylaxis. This is another way our doctors have of preventing you from getting sick. Our Navy doctors seldom have a smallpox or typhoid
fever patient. These diseases kill lots of people in civil life every year. Our doctors just wipe out all our chances of getting these terrible diseases. We all know that these vaccinations are tough, for we have all had them but we take them gladly because they prevent our catching these diseases.
As soon as your company is formed, you will begin your naval training. Some of the things you must learn before you can advance your rating will be told in the following chapters. Pay attention to your company commander. He will teach you many of these things, but this book will also help you, as you can study it at your leisure.
Everybody makes mistakes. This is human. That is why we have "erasers on our pencils." When you make mistakes do not try to bluff them through or make a lot of foolish excuses. Admit your mistakes frankly and take your medicine. But do not make the same mistake twice, and try not to make too many mistakes.
If you do not show respect to your officers or petty officers, you cannot expect them to show any respect for you.
Some men work without being told, some work when they are told, and some few only work when driven. The first class is easy to train, and from it will come our future leaders. The second class can be trained, and from it we get our followers. The last class cannot be trained, and in it are the ones whose discharge is to be hastened.
Yours is a profession, not a job. You do more than serve for pay alone. The government educates and trains you, and then gives you a fine position for life, for which, in turn, you agree to do whatever the government demands.
Always boost. if you cannot boost, at least do no knock. "Any fool can criticize. Most fools do."
Do not write letters to your COngressman or other people influential in political life, asking for special assignments to duty or for special favors. These people always send these letters to the Navy Department, and the fact that you have tried to get something by having a "political pull" rather than because you have merited or earned it will invariably cause your request to be turned down. if you want something special, write out your request to your commanding officer and turn it in to your executive officer. This is the proper Navy way of asking for things.
The efficiency of any ship depends upon the efficiency of the men aboard her. "Good men on poor ships are better than poor men on good ships."
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