Different tracen-Same Games

By Donald C. Mello

 

Note: Most of the stories and articles on Jack's Joint involving training for rates took place at the Groton Training Center in Connecticut. In the mid 1960's Groton closed and many of the schools were relocated to Governor's Island, New York. Harassing of "Twidgets" was not left behind. - Jack

Beside LORAN duty one of the other locals for my ten year CG stint was as an instructor at Governor's Island, NY. We compiled a lot of funny and odd happenings there. One was recently related to me by a fellow ET who served along with me and currently works for the same company that I do.

One of the TRACEN watches was as Junior Officer Of The Deck (JOOD) and was usually occupied by one of the "other" rates. By other rates I mean those rates assigned to places like Electronic Technician School or the TRACEN in general as a QM or BM. These senior people were allowed to hit the rack after 2300. The old rivalry between rates especially between "Twidgetts" or "squirrels" as ET's were called, and any other seagoing rate where salt in the blood is a prerequisite, led to an interesting log entry one night.

The Detex clock and flashlight are the tools of the watchstander. At the TRACEN this was done by the students as a two hour watch which continued during evening and over-night hours. It was referred to as a firewatch or roving patrol. Since these junior people had about as much  knowledge as an O-1 (Boot Ensign) they tended to report every little thing much to the annoyance of the old salts standing Master At Arms (MAA) and JOOD watches. These senior people were usually allowed to hit the rack after 2300.

A QM2 suffering through shore duty as a TRACEN JOOD was forced to listen to an SA straight out of Boot Camp ranting about light bulbs burnt out in the attic at 0100. He told him, "look, don't wake me up again for anything short of war or fire, just make an entry in your log book".

The next morning as he reviewed and was about to sign off the log and watch he noticed an entry "0130, Two civilians are removing the TV sets from the second and third floor lounges"!

 

Thanks for the story Steve! (By the way Jack I do not have Steve's permission to use his name so this is a courtesy to him.)

 

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