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Other Souls
Bootcamp Company 68-423
I have the "cruise book" from bootcamp. Two copies, in fact. These are a few of the folks from that time:

BTC B. Nash (CC)
RCPO John Huffstot SA Cecil Cooksey
SA Tony Herrera
SN Arthur Jensen 
SN John Lightsey
SN Richard Maddux
SA Pedro Vargas

Other Souls
CYN "A" School
NAVSTA NORVA
I wish that I could remember all the names of all the people with whom I became a radioman. These are just two:

RMSN Pete Tobacco
RMSN B. Winchester

The US Navy: Not Just a Job . . .

Updated 25 July 2004

If you lived through the 60s as I did, you may remember the draft. Every mother's son, upon reaching 18 years of age, registered with the Selective Service & upon being called up, had to serve at least two Main gate, NRTC SDiegoyears in the US Army or the US Marine Corps. Most of those who did so ended up in Vietnam and 58 thousand of those who ended up in Vietnam died there.
    There were two ways out of the inevitability of Vietnam. One was being declared a "Conscientious Objector" by dint of religious belief. The second involved going to Canada or Sweden, giving up their US citizenship with assurance that they would never set foot on US soil again. There was one third option and it was the option I took.
    I joined the US Navy on June 18, 1968 and ended up on an airplane to Naval Recruit Training Command San Diego, California. For the next twelve weeks, I became a sailor, or at least the beginnings of one.
    At some point in the process of "boot camp," we were given a battery of exams to identify our skills, talents and intellectual weaknesses. On the CW test we had to identify various letters of the International Morse Code. There was a language test, a math test and a physical metacognition test to see if we could think in three dimensions. I did fairly well on the CW test, mechanical skills and physical metacog tests. And, as far as I know, aced the language aptitude test.
   My story, however, is probably different from most. See, I'd originally done so well on the language tests that I was nearly a shoe-in for a CTI position . . . after (and if)  I got past the Top Secret Crypto clearance & the Monterey language school. Only problem was, I knew some hippies. And in 1968, knowing hippies was no way to get a TS/C clearance. So I was shuffled across the hall to a room where a grumpy chief petty officer looked at my records and said "Well, you did real good on the radio tests. You wanna be a radioman?"
    Having heard enough about carrying backpack radios with six foot poles on the back carrying the flag that said "SHOOT ME FIRST!" I declined the offer. "No sir, I'd like to be an instrument repairman."
    "You sure? You did real good on the Morse test."
    "No sir," I repeated, "I'd like to be an instrument repairman. Or a yeoman."
    The chief looked at the papers, ruffled a few sheets and picked up a huge rubber stamp from the carrel on his desk. "Ok," he said as he brought the stamp down on my paperwork with a resounding thump, "You're a radioman."
    A few weeks later, I was off to Communications Yeoman "A" School at Norfolk. As neurotic as they get, as green behind the wet ears as I could possibly have been, I dragged my sorry can & sea bag a couple blocks from the bus stop at the gate to the barracks where I was to sign in.
    Twelve weeks later, tested & approved, I was on my way to US Naval Facility at Ramey Air Force Base, Puerto Rico. On the west end of the island, a few miles from the town of Aguadilla . . . which means "little swamp."
    I spent two years at the NAVFAC. I learned that everything they'd taught me in "A" school was behind the times or dead-out wrong. I learned about the chain of commmand, cryptographic security and a bunch of other stuff. 
    But that's another story. . . which leads to the next page.


Copyright 2004 Nils R. Bull Young