a technician - what's that?

Contributed By Esther Stormer

Long before Fred's Place and Point--Counterpoint the only forum for airing out grievances informally was the now defunct U.S. Coast Guard Magazine. Read the letter and see if the tone still rings true; Old Guard -- New Guard - Go Figure -- Jack


CG-83486, Provincetown, Massachsetts

March 1, 1957

Editor, U.S. Coast Guard Magazine

This is probably the damndest tale of woe you've ever encountered but I've been saving it up for years so I may as well spill it now.  I'll start on the Cordiner pay scale which doesn't look like it is going to pass anyhow and which I know very little about, but what I know about it, I don't like (except for the raise part.)

Granted a serviceman needs and deserves a raise, but the prospect of one rating being paid more than another is devastating.  The old 1918 Blue Jacket's Manual I used to possess shows that it was tried once before.

I for one, as far as the sea services go, I can not figure out who should be classed as a technician.  It's the old argument as to which rate is more important on the ship.  Pay one rating higher than another and watch the strikers you'll get in that rating.  You might just as well make them all Chief and name them Joe (as Stan Phelps says) because inside a year when Special Sea Detail is piped you'll find the whole crew mustered at which ever station is manned by the so-called technicians.

While you are at it I can't see the line NCO of the Army or Marine Corps getting his tail shot off for less money then his running mate gets for staying home soldering wires on airplanes. Soldering wires on airplanes both help win wars but the man with the gun is the best bet yet.  Personally I think the technician problem would soon be settled in the event of war.  When it comes time a man has to take a rifle and go and fight, or a soldering iron and go to work, there'll be damned few killed in the rush for the armory.

Married men's pay versus single men's?  I've drawn both and by careful budgeting and never letting my wife have more than one pair of shoes, I've saved enough that barring the unexpected, I'll be able to take the family to the movies sometime next summer.

F.L. STORMER, ENC USCG

Ed: You're playing with fire Chief. You know what happened to Charlie Wilson when he accused the National Guard of being Draft Dodgers.

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