OK, team, this is where I tell you that the old Master Chief Gunner's Mate in me is coming out again. For those of you new to my blogs, that means if you are "sensitive" to rough language or straight talk, you MIGHT not want to read this one.
First of all, I am a Gunner's Mate Guns through and through! I bought into the idea that Gunner's Mates were and are the BEST the Navy has!! We can and will do it all. That is why the FIRST Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy was a Master Chief Gunner's Mate. Not a Yeoman, or a CT, or some other limp wristed Radioman trying to do as little as possible and get as much liberty as possible. Gunner's Mates can move ammo all day, clean their spaces, man the lines to pull in, get cleaned up in a dress uniform, and pull the meanest, roughest liberty, all night, and be ready to go before the morning chow line opens! Read some of my posts about some of my mentors. They were men's men! John Wayne style men, who talked tough, shot straight, and would stomp a mud hole in your behind if it was necessary. I know a Chief Gunner's Mate from the USS Wisconsin that could move 2700 pound, 16"/50 projectiles from the outer ring to the moving ring, by putting his back against the wall of the turret and his feet on the projectile, and then pushing the 2700 pound projectile with his legs! I also saw him shatter a Chief's jaw and break his nose with one punch. The Chief did deserve it! In any case, Gunner's Mates are the reason surface ships exist. To deliver ordnance. We also handle and store all ordnance in the Navy, all small arms, worked special weapons, and anything else that goes boom. Prior to the mis-guided Master at Arms rate, the Chief Gunner's Mate was almost ALWAYS the Chief Master at arms, and he did this along with his regularly assigned duties. The Navy needs a special rate of Master at Arms as much as it need Navy Counselor, Musician, or the career recruiter farce. No that is not a misspelling! When I was the GMG detailer, I would not talk to the NC, I wanted to talk to the Gunner's Mate. Why, because the NC was worried about his reenlistment statistics and knew nothing about what it would take for that young man to advance as a GMG. I did. Ask some one who was a GMG when I was the detailer and ask him if I steered him right! I will stake my entire reputation on the outcome of that discussion. In my humble opinion, and I will break any one's nose who differs with me, OK, maybe not, Gunner's Mates are the best. We were always the sharpest division for personnel inspection, had the sharpest spaces for zone inspection, and scored the highest for PMS inspections. An, I don't think they give the Battle Efficiency "E" for the best pop tarts. I knew the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Israeli Navy, Master Chief Gunner's Mate Oded Ogor. He said, not my quote; "If you are not a Gunner's Mate, you ain't shit!"
Second, I have nothing against female sailors. When I was the GMG detailer, 1980-83, there were female 46 Gunner's Mate (Guns). They, by law, could not be assigned to combatants, but our community was so short on manning that if I did not have them, I would have lost every armory on every Tender in the Navy!. Not to mention magazines world wide. They did a superior job in the assignments that they were permitted to have. And, I am sure they are the best sailors, on any ship, now, not because they are females, but because they are Gunner's Mates. So take any sexist bull shit and stuff it where the sun don't shine. A Gunner's Mate is a Gunner's Mate.
Now, on to my topic, I was sent an email by an old shipmate, announcing that all four Navy Sailors of the Year were females. No SEAL, no EOD Tech, no rescue swimmer? In the picture, I could see that at least one of the Sailors of the year may have a slight problem with the PRT weight requirements. Oh, I forgot, they are females, they carry their weigh different than men. Still, I will bet she can't see her belt buckle unless she takes it off. Hell, I'll bet she can't see her shoes! Still, if this is the BEST of the E-6 and below portion of our Navy, I say, congratulations to them, they have accomplished much. But If it is not the best of our Navy, and this selection was only for political gain of someone high up in the chain of command, enlisted or officer, then I say: "Shame on you, politician" Shame on you, purveyor of lies" Shame on you, non-combatant feather merchant: "Shame on you, Command Master Chief Community!" "Shame on you, Chief's Community!"
The best should be the best, regardless of sex, race, religion, and even, rating. Yes, there are outstanding individuals in rates other than Gunner's Mates. And I will bet they are all not female.