You know you're an old Coastie...

Purloined From Fred's Place

Edited By Jack Because This Is a Family Site

Authored By Some Old, Older, and "Older Than Dirt" Coasties

Names Withheld To Protect The Guilty



You still call it the Commandant's Bulletin.

You remember how to use a Rapidraft.

You remember arguing which was tougher, Cape May or Alameda.

You still aren't used to rub rails on the 41'.

You remember 95' PB's

You can still use a routing ****

You remember standard WSII

You remember MSIS, LEIS or SEER

You can say I served on a pre FRAM 378 or 210(opps)

You served on a 44' MLB

You know what SAT NAV is

You actually rebuilt or repaired an outboard

You had a service number

You didn't pay Social Security taxes

You ever made a Ocean Station Able

When anyone with a "shield" on their sleeve could drive a boat! (as long as you had your Chief's blessing...well not always...)

40' UTB (not the ones in some maritime museum)


GV's were gray with a stenciled UNITED STATES COAST GUARD on the door.
when CASREPs were handled "locally"

When you stood an STOOD an inspection. Not an informal "gathering".

PT was done in ranks...not at the gym.

A"45" was not a malt beverage.

Lighthouses were not automated

You can say I served on a pre FRAM 378 or 270

You served on a 44' MLB

Loran A.


Rubrails on 36'MLB?

Underway on an 83'.

13 Buttons and Dixie Cup.

Acetylene powered ATON

Rose Tattoo, Key West, Florida

When we sent messages using a Teletype

When we monitored 2182Khz

Liberty Cards

Dog Tags

Front and REAR vehicle stickers

Chambray shirts and "dixie cups"

Belt buckles with units or ratings on them


Mobile Dental Units

Wool CG Ensigns

Orders in the Navy Times

Your really an Old Coastie if you used to use carbon paper with typewriters that didn't need electricity.

If you used to smoke at your desk

You were required to have a liquid lunch at least once a week and maybe more.

You wore a Donald Duck hat to the base

Your Chief dressed in Khakis...

One of your buddies was an MM, BT, EN or CS.

When the letters USCG are so blurred on your tattoo they are no longer legible.

There was no racing stripe on ships

You wore your uniform on liberty

When you wore your uniform you could hitchhike and be assured of a ride.

Getting drunk was not something that hindered your advancement.

You attended "A" school in Rotten Groton by the Sea

Women LIKED men in uniform, but their parents didn't.

If you copied code

When you made E7 you were initiated and were blackballed if not.

When the Chief said jump and the Petty Officer did it without crying harassment.

You navigated by LORAN and had no GPS.

You know what an RM, ASM, or SS is.

WS II was cutting edge technology.

You "spun the wheel" on a 46 BUSL to postion.

You were handed a needle gun 15 min after reporting to your first unit.

Cutters answered to District Offices

Districts answered to either COMWESTAREA SAN FRANCISCO CA or COMEASTAREA NEW YORK NY depending on what side of the Mississippi they were located.

Government driver's licences (Psgr, panel, pickup).  Commercial radio procedure.

Class "E" Messages.

Sending a long Marine Information Broadcast by hand because the auto-keyer was Tango Uniform.
 Proudly wearing Sparks on our arm.

You went to the local gin mill in town on liberty and EVERYONE bought you a drink cause you were in the CG, and everybody LIKED THAT

At smallboat stations you ACTUALLY worked on stuff and rebuilt yer own engines. As an EN or MK it wasn't somebody else's fault if they didn't run right, IT WAS YOURS!!!

The CG actually had its own outboard "C" school at Yorktown

You stood morning colors EVERYDAY at 0800, and then you ACTUALLY went and did boat checks

The boats were WHITE AND CLEAN (them 47'MLB's GOTTA be the dirtiest looking boat ever)

You WEREN'T a National Treasure and didn't get 15 different medals merely because you were in the military doing the job you get paid to do

You DIDN'T whine about the above

Your Equal Opportunity Officer was the Chief you worked for, and he was VERY equal opportunity, everybody got treated the exact same way by him, like dogs.

You DIDN'T WHINE ABOUT THAT EITHER cause the Chief was doing HIS job which was to MAKE SURE you did your job

The Chief walking around with that green paycheck in his top pocket on payday. It was great because:

    a) you knew paychecks were in and,

    b) you knew the Chief would be leaving and not returning.

"You served on a 44' MLB" with an Air Start Cummins Engines!

Pegged Bells and Liberty Cuffs"

"Hogger Night" at Base Boston

Lightship Duty

180"s with Cooper-Bessemer Engines

GM meant Gray Marine Engines!

If you know what these mean:
    Lighting off 1&2
    Blowing tubes
    Stack Juice
    Setting excitation or losing excitation
    Using Ho249 and Ho 214

"When the Chief said jump and the Petty Officer did it without crying harassment".

When the chief actually had more experience than you.

When it took more than one year active duty to make chief.

When you could turn to a chief and expect an answer.

When you saw a chief and knew he was a leader.

Sea store cigarettes cost $.50 a carton.

Being paid in cash.

TAs and TNs.

Tills. (Making last call before returning to the Curtis Bay Shipyard)

Ernels, where the loose women were to be found.

XO crawling up the gangway at 0530 and making quarters at 0800.

Harass was two words.

Extra hours were a punishment

Beards were the uniform of the day for most

A 30 foot UTB was the duty SAR boat

Drinking and smoking were the rule not the exception.

A CWO Pay Clerk paid in $2 Bills when upset at town fathers.

Foul Weather Jacket with phony fur collar. Wore like iron.

"Sid the Tailor" at the end of the pay line.

Tailor made Blues and Neckerchiefs.

Dragons on inside of cuffs.

Rolling everything to get it in to your seabag.

That unforgettable smell of a wet Pea Coat.

Spit shined shoes.

That itch that wouldn't go away after wearing wool watch cap.


Were mounted to the racks.

Were mounted to the equipment.

Were put out on every table on the mess deck after the evening meal, because the mess deck was the only crew lounge.

When most of the kids at the unit are younger than your own kids.

You're older than your CO.

You remember the beer machines at RTC Yorktown

There were strippers every Wednesday at the club in Yorktown

You were part of a tie down crew for the HH52 and actually saw one land on water, on purpose.

The Albatross was still flying and Falcons were brand new.

A Chief's initiation was politically incorrect...and fun.

Old Coastie RM if.......

Collins 51J4 receiver

TAJ and TDE transmitters


OBS messages

BAREPs from 4YD

Getting a ZAA from NMH when it really was considered the "Voice of the Commandant"

ZUT (the first time around)

Split Phone Radio Watches Listening to 500KHZ MFCW in one ear, Military CW Working Frequency on the other.

0000Z OBS Sked RM collecting the most OBS & AMVERS gets "special libo". Unfortunitely, for watchstanding RMs, there was no special libo.

Dit wars between U.S., Canadian, USSR, Japanese stations, and ships at sea.

Ripping off OPS & AMVERS from other Radio Stations & COMMSTAS.

Receiving an "88" from a commercial operator.

Messages flew at 35 words per minute on CW.

60 WPM landline Teletype. 75 WPM Radio Teletype.

Message distribution at a district office comm center using spirit masters when the Coast Guard was too cheap to buy Xerox copiers. Hands were almost permanently died purple after a 12 hour watch.

Being required to stay up for a long a$$ personnel inspection after a 12 hour mid-watch with another mid the following night.

Hours of boredom followed by a massive rush of adrenaline at the sound of an Auto Alarm followed by SOS SOS SOS...

Copying the ICE Broadcast CW from Canadian Coast Guard Radio Station Cape Race, Newfoundland while hanging on for dear life and puking in the **** can.

Spitshine to this day (since '78).

Sea Farer Dungarees & Boondockers.

Beer in the pop machines at RTC Yorktown.

Topless dancers and strippers at the EM club in West Germany.

Painted with Red Lead, Blue Death & Green Death and Zinc Chromate

The bottom of all CG letters, etc. had those distribution codes

You painted just 'Coast Guard' instead of 'US Coast Guard'

The women wore those Gawd awful light blue double knit tunics

When soogie powder and green pads were used to scrub running rust.

When we said 'Oh God' and a Chief popped up out of nowhere

You reported aboard with your actual seabag and not suitcases on wheels

Our racks were made of those awful colored thin ribbed bedspreads, dingy white sheets and that nice itchy wool blanket

Those white card Government Driver's Licenses

Every so often, you would be rewarded with a beer in the soda machine on the ship

Beer machines at Permanent Party Cape May

Quartermasters used sextants for their fixes

OMEGA Navigation which was considered 'reliable' and having Omega Charts as part of our chart inventory.

When QM's go their first SAT NAV's and had to physically punch in way points every so many hours.

Hoggers night on Thursday Nights in Boston.

QM's would 'talk' regularly via semaphore or flashing light and show up the Navy boys

Buying rum at GITMO package store for 2 bucks a bottle

Chiefs Initiation, baby boot chiefs would dress up in ugly woman dresses and wear five pounds of makeup parading about the decks.

Punching a Detex clock during rounds

Manual teletypes at Stations; groups had tape cutters.

Cranking a siren by hand

Pull over jumpers

Cleaning paint brushes and rollers in # 2 diesel fuel

A2 foul weather jackets

Keeping the marine rail clear in the boathouse

Actually using the rdf on the bow of a 44.

No corfams!

Filling the daytank on a 95 footer

Sand Island hydraulic lunches

You know why they call a Procurement Request a "Brown Sheet"

You could send someone looking for the keys to the sea chest or a "DC Punch" and not violate his civil rights.

The tailor made liberty uniforms which when inspections took place (at least on the 255s in Long Beach) on the dock, you would be asked to turn up your cuffs to make sure they were regulation and not the tailor mades. Same for the neckerchief, only rolled, not flat.

You're kids are older than your Petty Officers.

Junior Officers  you knew back when became Admirals.

The ODU is your second major uniform change.

You can say you came into the service in the 2ND District.

4s were perfect sailors (4.0 system retired by Adm. Gracey)

"Beard" was not a cussword.

Porn wasn't tracked on a computers it was hung up on every locker.

District Morale funds purchased the Playboy/Penthouse subscription for the unit....

CG Day was something to look forward to, with free food, beer & soda...

Lighthouse duty was considered better than Light Ship duty...

Remember when your "seabag" was white and you carried your blankets, pillow, and fart sacks when transfered to another unit.

Cinderella liberty

New England boiled dinners on Tuesday

Fish on Fridays

Short arm inspections

There were real sailors in the Coast Guard

When ALL of your first classes and Chief's were Phillipino!!!

When you used to smoke on the messdeck at 0200 while your rolls were proofing (night baker)

When your hats issued in boot camp were black!!

When you were an SS, not an FS. OR when you can remember ST, HM, RM

When there was a three strike rule instead of zero tolerance

When the only galley in Petaluma was up on the hill and there was no such thing as a lower galley.

When the club was over by the "post office" at RTC Yorktown.

When there was no Port of York club at Yorktown, and the Officers ate on the other side of the Enlisted Dining Facility at RTC Yorktown.

Bus loads of nursing students being brought into RTC Yorktown from Riverside nursing college

You can remember the CG being fun, and not so PC

When Polar Ice Breakers went from Grey to all White.

When Polar Ice Breakers carried 3” mounts.

Being a CS before SD combined to make it the SS rate.

No club privileges for “A” School students at Groton during the week with the exception of 4 hours on Wednesday evening if your grade average was high enough.

Having a drink at Seven Brothers in Groton or Ernels in Baltimore

Eating Sunday super at Red Shield Club (I still love the Salvation Army to this day they took care of many a Coastie during the 60s and 70s) because you were broke or what money left needed to get back to base.

Having family quarters at RTC Yorktown.

Remembering the Radio Free Europe Cutter, Courier

Serving with CAPT Earl or knowing about the saving of the Pan Am flight passengers he and his crew saved while on Ocean Station

Knowing what the Hostess with the Mostes was all about.

Making a MARS call home.

Ham Shack and operator as important as your two cans of beer on Saturday Night on Polar Deployments

Division Entertainment for Saturday Night Happy Hour on Polar Deployments.

Reading from left to right while watching movies on the Mess Deck.

Standing in a pay call line.

Military pay raises being tied to Postal Employee Pay Raises.

Boston Combat Zone and the Armed Forces Police. Being caught by same with Cracker Jack Jumper Sleeves rolled up to show state flags or Confederate flags.

Touring the Block in Baltimore

Flying Military Standby on commercial airlines in Uniform.

Having protesters spit on your uniform at O’Hare Airport in Chicago.

Boston Commons off limits after 1800 to military personnel in or out of uniform.

Military only ones to have short hair at the time.

If you received the advancement msg via tty or msg board and not Fredsplace..........

The bartender would ring the bell and the member would buy a round of Cheer if they walked into the club with a hat on.

Having Navy flight crews and Helo while on Polar Deployments. They even cleaned their own berthing spaces.

Brown Sheets


The combat zone in Beantown

The EM club at the CGYard that place rocked.

The TTY perforated tape comms system

That green screen c3? system

Units and Ratings on the belt buckles

Brass Rivets on the belt for marking time.

All hands to Quarters for morning muster.

No Great American Whizz Quiz.

Doing your practical factors the correct way - no Gun decking.

Fantail Fireflys

The MK1 instructor from the school that worked there either on Sat or Sun afternoon. If it was slow he'd bet you you couldn't drink a shot of beer a minute for an hour. If you could that pitcher and the next one was on him. If you couldn't (and for those that couldn't it was usually right after they came out of the head from getting sick) you paid for that one and bought him one. Everybody usually got pretty stiff, but it was a great way to kill a weekend afternoon in Yorktown.

At Groton in "A" school there on CG day and the CG paid to have two Miller Beer trucks show up. They were oversized Vans and they had about 5 or 6 taps on each side. You just walked up and poured away.

We ALL had beards and the only thing you peed into was the urinal in the head

When the coast guard day picnic was free and fun to go to

No enlisted aircrew wore flight suits.

There was 35 Helmets (hardhats) in the Hangar for ALL Helo crewmen to share.

Flight Gloves were unheard of.

Ear (Hearing) protection was unheard of.What?

A 10 to 12 hr. search then a night training flight was not uncommon.

Folks had to take servicewide exams to advance.

You had to turn on the beacon to the jetty every four hours to ensure it was still broadcasting .. Ocean City Inlet.

The all important silent period at the top and bottom of the hour when no one could broadcast on HF or VHF


There were no "Black Flags" at Cape May?

The new Chiefs had to serve EVERY one breakfast on the morning of their initiation, not just the Chiefs mess?

We would tow folks because they ran out of gas.

Boat crews used to actually use the radio instead of the Nextel

Wooden Ships? The "buck and a quarters" ... General Greene ...........


40 MM Quad mounts

We were called The Hooligan Navy or Shallow Water Sailors.

Alameda was not for boots until 1950

No black hat in boot camp, during WW2 there were blue hats issued to the deck force in combat zones.

Pay call two time per month, and they had to be finger printed, on the pay slip.

Hot Shot Radiomen used a "bug".

All the chiefs had battle stars, on there fruit salad.

Navigator  used a Sexton on the morning watch.

Beans were served for chow when at sea, before Saturday Captains INSPECTION.

All calls were piped, by the B.M. of the watch, Chow, Colors, Sweepers, and side boys for the top brass.

All weather ships had 5"38 and quad fortys, kguns, 20mm,and depth charges.


IBM Selectric III's?

Having half your head shaved during initiation?

The Lighthouse Club in San Pedro?

When WPGs and WHECs stood Ocean Station

When you sent notes home via the flight crew of an airliner passing over ocean station

Liberty turns and channel fever

Forward and aft falls for lowering small boats.

"Tuning" a bos'n pipe.

"Worm and parcel with the lay, turn and serve the other way."

Boot camp in Alameda

"A" School on Gov Island.

First tour on a bouy tender that has now been decommissioned

Had keggers on the pier

Watched 8mm movies on the messdeck

We could not call home until we pulled into port

Stapled original to carbon paper to another sheet of paper to make copies

Bravos made from two different types of material

Did a tour on prefram 378

Dopers getting high on the fantail

When you carried Curb 60 and thought it would stop everybody.

When buttonup wetsuits were cold weather gear.

When you didn't need a 'letter' to run the lawn mower.

Lived on the ship....

(WPBs): Lived on the ship til you qualified...

Put in a chit to get married...

Manually tuned notch filters on Loran "A"...

Loran "C" TD books (instead of chart overlays)...

Bos'n Hole justice...

Piped "Lady Guest aboard"...

"PPE" was a police riot helmet...

CISM was a shot of whiskey & a punch on the arm...

SKs did pay...

Navigation was a true art & science...

"Can't make rate, go Boatswain's Mate"...


Orders in the Commandant's Bulletin...

No "fatigue limits

Coast Guard had its own phone lines.

When you had to man the phone switchboard at Group Rockaway to connect Third District Office to the Group Offices at Cape May, Atlantic City, and Sandy Hook.

Pumping bilge water over the side.

Group Offices had Warrant Officers in Charge and not LCDR.

Runs to Ambose Light to deliver personnel and supplies.


4.0 Marks meant you walked on water

3.3 3.5 3.9

You were only marked in three catagories: P = Proficiency L = Leadership & C = Conduct

Nooner's at the chief's club in Boston

Green foul weather jackets

No smoking in the berthing areas after taps

Cattle cars in Gitmo

Riding in the newly commissioned HARRIET LANE and were jealous of the way the TANEY rode along side.

Sailing on the BITTERSWEET and had a snowball fight with the SNOHOMISH and EVERGREEN.

You were always younger than the cutters you served in.

You owned a slide rule and sorta remember how to use it.

Pay records were kept locally and problems fixed on the spot.

Swapping films at sea.

Celestial fixes were more than a novelty.

Good Guys, Dankers, Black Angus and countless others your too old to remember.



Arm the lead(with what)???

S and Q

Rocks and Shoals

Silent Contempt

Dead Reckoning

Splicing the main brace during lunch hour with the old man

"Ballet" every Wednesday while TAD at Yorktown

Bos'n Hole discipline


Flashlight Chem lights

Retyping radiologs because typewriter correction ribbons were not allowed.

HF RATT was unencrypted.

Butterflying tapes or loading them backwards.

Those obnoxious aprons and being covered in INK.

MCT's at Petaluma RMA.

Metal ash trays in each watchstander position.

Making runs to the navy incenerator.

Thinking the WS2 was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Slaving over a WS2 because E.L.F. would not load properly.

Wishing you still had the STUMP software today.

When battle dress consisted of your long sleeve being buttoned all the way up, you collar tucked in, and your ballcap turned backwards.

Seeing the Deck Warrant say "your not a real Bosun till you eat one of these" then eating a buoy critter...

Underway training films on the ships entertainment system, And none of your MALE shipmates being offended by said training.

Your name was "boot" for the first 6 months onboard. AND you were terrified of the BM3, Hoped the BM1 did not catch you in a dark part of the ship and did not address or make eye contact with the Chief's, unless spoken to.

Making CPO with less than 16 years of service was unheard of.

Reftra in Subic (i.f. you remember more than that, then you were not really there!).

Circle William fittings actually worked and the Decon locker was not an extra storage room.

Having excess personnel on watch, on board or at a unit.

The rise and fall of S.P.E.A.R.

HYT and R.I.F.

Every other word in an email was TQM.


You know you're old time when you can remember when the Loran Station was completely labor intensive with zero automation and many loran stations, especially those overseas, had a three man watch Timer Room (ET/EW (Electronics Watchstander)), Radio Watch/Surface Aviation Weather Observer (RM/SK/SN/SA), & EngineeroftheWatch (EN/EM/DC/FN/FA).

Being the watchstander for two operate rubidium oscillator failures… Eek

You armed the lead with tallow. It would leave an impression of the bottom of the lead. I still know the calls and the markings on the lead. "And a half two".

If you went to boot camp at Alameda, and you got there by train.

If you can remember when the Bosun's Hole was called the Bosun's Hold.

$1.40 per fifth Canadian Club at the Yokosuka EM Club.

If you can recite, from memory, backwards:
Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy, Fox, George, How, Item, Jig, King, Love, Mike, Nan, Oboe, Peter, Queen, Roger, Sugar, Tare, Uncle, Victor, William, Xray, Yoke, Zebra

Monitoring our radiobeacon on New Orleans LightShip . (NO) and getting chewed out by some RM at either Group New Orleans or Group Grand Isle because our signal was jumping on Southwest Pass or Cape San Blas.

Sending lightship synoptic weather to the group via 2686KHZ because VHF didn;t extend out past the Miss. River Gulf Outlet, (New Orleans L/V WLV189, 1971)

C.L.A.S.S. computers


Parts on metal shelves

Stock record cards

Using the first version of lufs and asking "whats a luf?"

Milstrip messages that were preformatted

Days when SK's had more keys than BM's

Optar logs


Giving your buddy their paycheck a couple of days early because they were going on leave.

Shopping at GSA Servmart

When the CO would toldthe MM's on the 327' (DUANE) to make water or we were going home

Engineman (EN), Machinist Mate (MM), and Boilerman (BT) Ratings.

When women could only enlist or obtain a commission in the Reserves. Enlisted Women could only serve in certain ratings such as Storekeeper and Yeoman. They were known as SPARS.

More than one of your fondest ships is now either a maritime museum, former gunnery target, or one heck of a great Grouper hole

The Plan of the Day was on a mimeograph machine

Irish Pennants. When did we get rid of them?

What clothes stops are and what they are for. Extra credit if you actually have one (or more).

When motorcycles were not allowed on any CG (or military) installation.

Remember when the proper way to greet any woman was with a hand salute.

Officers only: If you remember how long a formal call should last and how many calling cards to leave, and whether or not to bend the corner of the cards.

If you ever read, and agreed with (in your heart), "The Laws of the Navy."

If you cried when Mr. Roberts was reported killed in action.

If you know what "Onionhead" is.

If you know who stole and ate the strawberries.

If you know why so many Coasties were born in San Francisco prior to April 18, 1906.

If you remember leggings in boot camp.

If you still reach for the 1903 Springfield lever.

You had to get your COs permission to get married.

If you still reach for the 1903 Springfield lever. Nope, but on the rare occasion that it rains around here, my large digit reminds me of the M1 thumb that I suffered through whenever I wasn't fast enough removing it from the chamber when securing from inspection arms.

When your third cutter had wooden decks.

The Radiomen's typewriters had all CAPS, all the time. It was difficult for a YN to use those things!

"Holy Stones"???

Blue Flat Hats.

If you were on the original PreCom crew for a 327, 311, 255, A class 210, or 180.

If you remember Jack Main, the Weather Bird.

If you remember all the Miss Ocean Station "............" contests.

If you refueled at Midway going to or from a Double Victor.

If you remember the Club Heaven and Hell in Japan.

If you remember walking Shore Patrol in Japan, or in Subic Bay with only a night stick.

If you remember Subic Bay, and all the associated "Fun" spots.

If you remember trying to find a parking spot amidst the oil derricks on the pier in Long Beach.

Or the Queen Mary, all primer brown, and with only one stack.

Kodiak and the Marines, and the Seabees.

Adak and the Marines and the Seabees.

Amchicka Island and the lost test ship loaded with all that TNT and stuff.

If you remember broadcasting WX at Commsta Kodiak, all the while knowing darn well that every ship was listening to Peggy instead of you...

If you remember getting your Bravos tailored by "Gusfux" when you were in boot camp...

If you remember grabbing a couple of beers out of the beer machine in the Barracks after a long mid watch... you might be an old Coastie.

REFTRA used to be in GTMO.

A sign in GTMO at a (the only) traffic light that read "THIS IS A STOPLIGHT."

Mod 28's in radio was fun.

We were RMs with sparks.

Paper Pay Checks.

Government LOSING your paper check for a week.

And an infamous pipe by "Rock" "Now, the roach coach is on the approach."

You didn't bring a "comforter" on board your ship

You didn't worry about internet or email access

As an E3 you knew you were sleeping aboard since the CG didn't give money for you to sleep anywhere else

You didn't worry about whether you would get a ribbon that gave you points towards advancement

You, and almost all your friends, smoked on the mess deck

You wore your uniform ashore when liberty was granted (and didn't have civvies on the ship)

Weekends were spent drinking with your friends....and THEY were your shipmates.

Ocean stations were just part of the routine....

Small boats had real hulls

If you know that a microfish is not a tiny fish.

That heaving lines did not always have that soft rubber ball at the end. (Remember monkeyfists)

What a B.A.R rifle is.

If you saw the movie warriors on the messdeck and it wasn't on TV .

For the SS guys if you remember a.b.c. dining facilities instead of large medium and small

My apologies if these memories were entered before. I have been retired 43 years!

165 footer bridge weapons were Lewis machine guns.

When you checked powder samples in the magazines by sniffing them.

When the retirement columns named cadets that were your students.

When a wartime promotion to chief was temporary,  provisional,  acting and the issue uniform was gray.

Before there were boot camps and most of the crews were prior service Navy or Marines.

The anniversary wreath laying ceremony at the site of the Titanic disaster

Making  a bunch of weather patrols in the company of Jack Main, Cord Clark, Ken Gove & a bunch of weather birds who made me feel like an outright lubber.

Pulling and packing the PA tube from the TAJ in preparation for firing Eastwind's 3" 50.
ChSupClk and armed escort leave Eastwind to go to the bank and pick up payroll for the coming Operation Deepfreeze (reportedly as much as $ 1/4 million.When we got paid in cash)

Re-upping for 6 years to get the princely sum of $2000 in $5 bills.

Re-Upping for 6 years and getting the princely sum of $360 less taxes.

Group Commanders were Warrant Bosn's, Deputy a BMC or BM1. There weren't any E8, E9's back then.

Groups handled the "Within" the Group Transfers and District Personnel handled within District transfers.

A BM(L) who stayed in one group for 29 years.

Acetylene accumulators (for buoys and lights)


Ropeyarn Sundays

Rocks and Shoals

Mixing  your own red lead and brown lead" (brown lead for second prime coat)

Slushing standing rigging with white lead and tallow

Dogging watches

Shortarm inspections

Rat Guards

Piss and Punk

Pro Kits

When Short Timers actually wore a 'Short Timers Chain'

Undress blues

Repiping dress blues

Bay Cafe, Base St. George, SINY

Crazy Mary (laundry lady), Base St. George, SINY

Underwater Sound Lab, New London Ct

Logistic runs to "manned" light houses

Train from NYC to Cape May

Leaving home for boot camp on a passenger train. (Not Amtrak)

You knew that a buck and a quarter had nothing to do with money.

You went on boat calls on a gasoline powered, wooden, 36 footer.

You were on a wooden 52 foot MLB that rolled.

You were a relief keeper.

You actually know what LORAN stands for…

You seek out your local Storekeeper for help with your travel claim.

How about them Beachcarts...Remember shooting the Lyle Gun aiming at the yoke on top of the tower which most LBSTA's (lifeboat stations) had in their yards. Then after the messenger line from the faking box was across, you rigged the running lines and the breeches buoy was set to go.

Station Ocean City used to be on the Board Walk.

Stopping at Connolly's in Baltimore's Inner Harbor while conducting Harbor Patrols.

Elmers in downtown Baltimore, Bikers & Coast Guard.

You served on the Acushnet.

You think it's about time they brought the Unimak back to active service.

Scrub brush washing whites at Cape May Company C (no numbers yet) Have Pic of me on clothes line watch.

Riding out hurricane in a buck and a quarter in Gulf of Campeche on patrol

Cleaning the Fresnel lenses in the lighthouse.

Raising the clockwork weights each day so the lens would rotate.

Polishing the brass frame and rollers on the lens.

You knew the difference between a 1st order and 4th order Fresnel lens, by size. (It is very possible to tell the difference).

Knew how to trim the wick properly.

Storekeepers did the payroll using big cards.

"Don Winslow of the Coast Guard" serials at the movie theatre before the main motion picture.

"Don Winslow of the Coast Guard" serials at the movie theatre before the main motion picture.

The Evergreen was painted black and did buoy tendrer work between oceanographic patrols.

You typed abstract reports

You didn't have epaulettes on all of your light blue shirts

You went out but you didn't have to come back

You didn't have to have a seven person conference call to pull a boat off of a sandbar with the 44' MLB

You had to form a natural working group to get anything productive done (not too long ago I admit)

You know your an old coastie when you realize that what made you a good Coastie in the old days would get you thrown out of the C.G. today.

If you know what TRAIL OARS, and PRESENT OARS, MEAN..... your old.

If you can remember when a leading seaman could lead...your old.

If you had a healthy dose of respect and fear of that leading seaman...your really old.

If you know, at 339 feet long the Kukui was the largest ship in the Coast Guard when you reported aboard out of boot camp.

Red lead in different shades, green death, blue death, tar set, needle guns and jitter bugs

TQM was just an idea

There was no worklife

Your BMC could chew your butt without getting busted for doing it

There was no outsourcing. You mowed your own grass

Special rules didn't apply.

You stripped and renonskidded your own flight deck

You were the last bootcamp company to get dog tags.

75 baud was fast

Being called a TAPE APE meant you worked in a district commcen

You made trips to the local DMRO to get your foul weather gear.

You were around for the transition from small boats made of steal (40 and 30 footers) to aluminum.

You know your old when you don't recognize anyone in the retired section of the retired news letter we get every 3 months.

You know your an old Coastie when more names you know, are in the "Taps" section of the retiree news letter, than in the "recent retirements" section!

When initiations were not hazing and you wouldn’t get brought to mast for them.

When you believe that things have gotten worse for the guard and not better; when you complain about the NEW guard and it's policies and truly believe the OLD ways were superior; if you think for a second we would somehow be better off if we could turn back the clock to when YOU first came in.

Thinking that way does put you in good company, however. The thought that the service is getting worse and not better was most certainly discussed on the decks of the Scammel and the Vigiliant. Old guys always lament "the way it was" and I suppose they always will.

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