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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
josepp BS: Maybe the Rapture really is here (1) BS: Maybe the Rapture really is here 21 May 11

I was busking today (after all, I want to be found doing my duty) and who should come walking by? My old boot camp company commander!!! That was in Great Lakes and here he is in the Detroit area. I was doing some blues and he was watching me for a few minutes and when I finished he clapped and said, "Don't I know you from somewhere?" I could tell by his voice who it was.

We talked for a few. He got a job out this way and had only been here a few weeks. He said he was out seeing the sights while his wife was working. There was a bar right where we standing so we went in and ordered a beer. We talked about our lives in the service after boot camp and then he asked if I ever saw any of the others after boot camp. I said I did in school but after I was billeted to a ship I never saw any of them again.

I asked him if he remembered H--- who was a hard luck case in boot camp. He said no. "He couldn't do anything," I said. "He couldn't march, he couldn't fold his clothes or stow his locker, he could barely pass the tests, flunked a lot of inspections. Nice guy and all but totally incompetent."

"No," he said, "there's always a few of those in every company and I pushed so many through. They all run together. What happened to him?"

"You ASMO'd him out," I said. When a recruit is kicked out, he goes to a Transient Personnel Unit to await his walking papers. They call it ASMO--I forget what it stands for but when you say someone got ASMO'd it means he didn't make it through boot camp.

"Well, I tried to hang to as many as I could," he said. "I never fucked anybody out of meanness. If I thought you had what it took to be a sailor, I did my best to push you through. Not everyone will make it though. I never had a company that I didn't have to ASMO someone. Didn't like doing it but sometimes it was the only thing you could do."

"Yeah," I said, "H--- could never have made it out in the fleet. First emergency situation and he'd fall apart."

"Yeah, that's what you look for as a CC [company commander] is whether this guy handle himself in those situations, whether you'd feel right putting other guys' lives in his hands. It's not a job I took lightly. The only thing that prevents an incompetent from getting out in the fleet is the CC. That's what the Navy counts on us to do."

"You were a great CC, Jimmy," I said. "I learned a lot from you."

We talked a bit more about places to see in town and what not. We finished our beers and he said he had to go home and help his daughter cook dinner for the wife when she got out of work. So we shook hands and wished each other well and off he went.

Funny how that worked.

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