26 March 2008

Milestones, Major and Minor

Sailors, particularly ones who decide to make a life in the Navy, tend to measure their lives and careers in milestones. Some are long-range milestones, like promotions, changes of station or warfare qualifications. Others are short-range milestones, like starting or ending a deployment or major maintenance period, "chopping" from one fleet area to another, visiting the next liberty port or the mid-point of a deployment, "Hump Day". A few Sailors have even begun counting the days until our scheduled return. “A hundred and ninety something”, I heard a Sailor say just yesterday.

Why do I bring this up, you ask? Well, we reached the first obvious milestone in our mission to the West and back: Burger Day. On most Navy ships, Wednesdays are Burger Days. I'm sure this may seem like a small thing to most of you. However, in a world where the lines between days, weeks and months blur under the busy pace of operations, little things like serving hamburgers on the same day every week are the only landmarks by which a Sailor can shoot a bearing and mark the passage of time. And you can be sure, if we missed a Burger Day, our Supply Officer, the Command Master Chief and I would hear about it from the crew.

On this, the First Burger Day, our Food Service Division ensured the mess line was well-stocked, not only with regular and veggie burgers, but with an impressive array of fresh lettuce and tomato, sliced cheese, grilled onions and, yes, bacon. After all, everything’s better with bacon. The mustard-dill fish looked like it knew it was outclassed.

Maybe it needed some bacon.

Only 20-something more Burger Days to go 'till homecoming....


Galrahn said...

A wise man once said, never underestimate the power of routine.

That wise man liked bacon too.

Rosemary said...

Welcome to the Milblogoshpere! We have what is known as "Wednesday Hero" and I am wondering if it would be possible if you could provide me with someone you know who deserves the attention of a Hero. As indicated, the posts go out every Wednesday. My e-mail is rawsense2004 AT yahoo DOT com. I would really enjoy posting any info (that is okay'd) that you could provide. Again, welcome!

I'm so excited, because I ALWAYS have this little back and forth with other guys (I'm a gal) when it comes to football. They know they'll never beat us, so why do they keep showing up? LOL. No, I'm not a member of the Navy, but I did try to enlist way back when. That's neither here nor there. I love our Navy, and you guys ROCK! :)

I'm going to add you to my blogroll. Rosemary's Thoughts.

Rosemary said...

I just finished reading the rules about commenting, and I think I may have violated one of them. I took the picture of the USS Russell and added your URL to it for people to be able click on it to find your blog. I will remove it and await your permission to post it in my sidebar. Sorry about that, and thank you for your forgiveness. *please*

LCDR Chris van Avery, USN, Executive Officer said...


I don't think it's a problem, so long as it's credited as a U.S. Navy photo.

maxx said...

I look forward to your posts. I was on an old tin can way back in the early 70's. We didn't have missiles just 5' mod 38s and a double 3" just aft of #2 fireroom stack. We had hedge hogs and the depth charge racks for ASW and torpedoes. DDG's were in their infancy if I recall correctly. My how things change. Burger day? I'd say things have changed.

Anonymous said...

The navy has changed! In the mid seventies the large ship I was on had two chow lines.

One for the traditional entree and vegie and potato or pasta side dishes and one one for Burgers or Hot dogs and french fries. You could have Burgers every day if you wanted.

One peeve I had at the time was that the cheese burgers only had a half slice of cheese.


Rosemary said...

Thank you, LCDR Chris van Avery, USN, Executive Officer. Will do. Have a smooth sail.

cat said...

Haha! This is a cool post. My dad is a USN retired CDR, so I grew up around the Navy. I remember my dad's 'Round the World cruise, and a few other ones as well. Have fun with those Burger Days! Oh, and a great April Fools thought: begin to serve Burger Day on a Tuesday or something, just to see how many sailors actually know what the day is. Oh, and how bout that! April Fools day is a Tuesday! I don't know if you can actually DO that, but it would be great to see. ;)
Fair winds and smoother sailing!

Anonymous said...

Burger Day? The Navy is sure different from my day in Tin Cans (1960-1963)and what you call a Destroyer is more the size of an old Light Cruiser. You are certainly correct about days becoming a string of nothing but watches on more watches. We did Port and Starboard. Very mind numbing.


Anonymous said...

These daily blogs are so helpful!! thank you!! Especially since it is sometimes days without hearing from my husband!! Atleast I can hear from the ship about the ship! It brings comfort!! Best wishes to the Mighty Russell and crew!! Lots of love out to you from home!

Anonymous said...

Actually, we used to call them "sliders" on the Nicholson DD-982 and I believe the rest of the Navy did also and we served them on Thursdays. During our Persian Gulf cruise in 1986, our Philipino supply officer even had them served for lunch on Thanksgiving day! We had the turkey for super that day.

Chief Torpedoman

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the great invention of the messdecks, "Monte Cristo" sandwiches!

Wayne said...

Hello XO:

Great Blog. Extremely informative and well written. I am definitely looking forward to the next one already. Our niece's husband is an officer on board with you. Through him and now your Blog, I am learning a great deal about the Navy. As an ex Captain in the Army, through him and your Blog I am enjoying reliving many of my military experiences. As such I found your description of “Burger Day” extremely interesting. It certainly made it clear to me that I would have enjoyed being on board with you rather than in the snow and cold, in the mud, in the rain,in a tent, eating C-rations. I wish you a safe and speedy deployment. May the calm winds always fill your sails.

C S Carlson said...

hey guys just found your blog while swinging on the hook here in sunny (yes it is today) southe east alaska (SEAK) saturday. small boats are away and the crew has just turned to, which of course means the as the CO I get to head to the cabin and do...paperwork. I had to laugh, I began my career in the Navy, Salvage officer on one of the OLD junkboats (USS RECOVERY ARS-43), my 1st assigned duty was as the Food Services Officer. About week 3 of REFTRA there in beautiful GTMO I was informed that the supply barge had an "issue" with her reefers and while everyone elses supplies were fine "ours" were not (just part of the joys of being the smallest fish around).

Long story short, the following Wednesday after having briefed the CO why I was having to get a menu changed I was required to step up to the 1MC and apologize to the crew for not being able to provide them sliders.

Now I'm a Coasty in Alaska, command of my my own cutter, slider wednesday has been replaced by Friday surf and turf...but I still think fondly back to my days in haze grey...wouldn't trade back in a heart beat (LOL I mean come one sliders vs surf and turf?! but still value cutting my teeth with my big brothers. Good luck, (long post) and Fair Winds.

LCDR C. S. Carlson
Commanding Officer

Anonymous said...

As a sailor on board this fine warship, I have to say that ol' XO has hit the nail on the head with burger days and their ability to help gauge the time past...and more importantly, the time left.

I think I enjoy this blog as much as the next guy, even though I get to live it, (kinda surreal, eh?)

Thanks XO!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment from the NICHOLSON Sailor who remembers Wednesdays as slider day. Since almost nothing changes in the Navy, I would think that it had to be a conscious decision to change the name. Perhaps it was the Navy trying to change the perception that its food is unhealthy and greasy, for it was certainly the grease that allowed them to slide across the grill and off the spatula that gave them their name.