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Enlisted's Mess

Enlisted or not! This room is for everyone!

All are welcome to join this group!

I just thought there should be a place anyone who served at any time at any command could go and throw out a thought, ask a question or gripe!

Location: Below decks! Haze gray and underway!
Veterans: 82
Latest Activity: Apr 21, 2018

However, if some brass should show up would someone please shout "attention on deck"!

Discussion Forum

Time in rate

Started by Kenneth C. Shee. Last reply by Anthony Giannette Mar 1, 2017. 5 Replies

open ltne

Started by Wm. E. Gardner. Last reply by Robert John Friedhaber Aug 23, 2012. 1 Reply

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Comment by Rick Boutcher on March 1, 2017 at 5:14am

Anthony. . .

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my follow up to your comment. I will tell you that if I had not been treated as such I would have re-enlisted (as my childhood dream was to make a career in the navy). I am sure that if I had re-enlisted I would not have ended up as I have, a retired Professor of Electrical Physics and living in the Philippines.

Comment by Anthony Giannette on March 1, 2017 at 2:32am


Thank you for that very detailed account of your experience. I can see everything that was wrong in those communications by your XO and CO. They were both in violation of Article 133 of the UCMJ. But careful not to violate anything that could be noticed by another command.

They should have been proud to have you on board and shown as an example of Navy standards. The guys who were transferred from BUDS to our command had that (good) kind of treatment. We were happy to have someone on board with combat medals most of us could only aspire to. 

I do know the older officers during my time who had war time under their belts thought very highly of themselves and often insulted and bullied anyone not in their own path of righteousness. A lot like being in a church that didn't want you. In a nutshell you were treated terribly in order to get you to take a discharge on your own, which you did. 

We had one Boiler Technician on board. Loved the guy but due to injuries during his last Mekong River run, he gained 15 pounds in surgical steel and bit of a brain injury. Officers and chiefs kept trying over and over to get him to not re-enlist but he kept on going. Got promoted to E5 around 1990 and retired out. His story was similar to yours, lots of medals, CAR and more weapons qualifications than any Gunner's Mate he ever met...and the disrespect of officers everywhere.

It's a fact most sailors have little opportunity to qualify for small arms throughout their enlistments. I was fortunate to obtain those and quite proud of it at the time. Counted myself lucky not to have been in hell's kitchen as you have. Also glad you are here to share some stories these kids just can't understand.

Comment by Rick Boutcher on February 25, 2017 at 4:07am

Hello Anthony Giannette, I noticed my name,  Boutcher, as part of  your first sentence in regard to the treatment of the Mobile Riverine Force sailors (Brown Water Navy) got when assigned to a Blue Water Navy Ships. (My story does not stand alone) As I stated in my original comment of July 1st, 2016, I was the Radioman 3rd Class and Coxswain of a 50 foot Alpha Boat, hull number A-91-3, assigned to the Mobile Riverine Force (MRF), River Division 91 from August of 1968 till December of 1969. It was in December of 1969 the MRF was handed over to the Vietnamese Government during the Vietnamization Program. A-91-3 was handed over and her crew were given orders. My orders sent me to DD 805, USS Chevalier out of San Diego. Before I even arrived, the Bureau of Naval Personal notified the Captain of the Chevalier (CDR Greenwalgh - not sure of the spelling) that a RM3 Rick Boutcher who was being assigned to the Chevalier had a TSC (Top Secret with Crypto Access) Clearance was being assigned to the Chevalier. He was annoyed about me before I ever arrived. On the Chevalier only he, t he XO, the  Communication Officer and the RM1 had TSC Clearance and here comes this RM3 with less than four years service with a TSC. he told me to my face that he was not very happy about me holding a TSC and he himself wrote my duty schedule. The Chevalier had just returned from a Westpac cruse and was docked in San Diego. The Crypto equipment, found behind a locked vault door in the radio-shack, was shut down but this is where I would spend my days and he expected me to be off his ship at the 3:00 pm liberty call and not to return till the 7:00 am morning muster. Basically he did not want me on his ship and when I was he did not want to see me. To make things worse, the Bureau of Naval Personal notified the Captain of the Chevalier that he was to call his crew to quarters so he could present to me medals and citations regarding my actions in combat and under fire while serving with the MRF on A-91-3.  Not once , but twice within a two month period of time. After the second time he called me to his cabin and asked me if I was expecting any more medals and citations; telling me that he was not happy about having to call his crew to quarters to present to me medals and citations that had nothing to do with the USS Chevalier and if anymore were to come he would simply give them to me in his cabin. My persona; feelings are that he was very jealous of me getting medals and citations pertaining to my action under enemy fire during point blank fire fights in a real combat condition and the fact that he had to present to me the Navy "Combat Action Ribbon" (CAR), something he was never going to be able to earn. 

The thrid month I was on-board the Chevalier the XO gave me the standard ship over pitch offering me E5 (RM2) and a $10,000 dollar bonus. But because of the treatment I was given on this ship but both the crew and the officers, including the Captain, I very nicely told him to stick his offer where the sun did not shine and took a Honorable Discharge from the US Navy on May 1st, 1970.

So my questions still stands, Why were the Naval In-country Vietnam Vets with actual under fire combat experience (The Brown Water Navy) treated so poorly by the Blue Water Navy?

I would love someone to explain that to me . . . .

Rick Boutcher RM3 USN, Vietnam War Combat Veteran 1966 to 1970.

Comment by Anthony Giannette on February 24, 2017 at 7:42pm

Its been a few months since Boutcher asked about the brown and the blue but being from the gator navy, this is a pretty close question. My time was the 80's. Didn't see any treatment being poorly on that scale but there are always some semi-common prejudices all over. During my time it was old versus young. We had a large number of warrant officers in engineering during my time. They all had a consensus that anyone under 24 years old was really not worth the time of a conversation. Applied to officers and enlisted.

Could be I was young and dumb and blind as hell.Most of my memories are the smell of JP-5, boiler fuel, paint and old steel.On shore, my shipmates always had each other's backs. Too many locals out to get you, so we stayed together. 

Comment by Rick Boutcher on July 1, 2016 at 7:20am

Just a quick question if I may . . . .

Why is it that the crews of the big "Blue Water Navy" hated the sailors who were coming from the Mobile Riverine Force? By the way, the MRF was called the Brown Water Navy. Was it because we actually saw close up combat action and got to shoot guns and kill the enemy?

I came off of a 50 foot Alpha Boat, A-91-3 that had a crew of 6 and onto the USS Chevalier, DD805 and I was treated like a leper. It was this treatment by the crew and the officers, including the Captain of the Chevalier, that made me turn down the US Navy's very generous offer of E5 and a $10,000 dollar bonus and because of my two tours in Vietnam took  a three month early out.

Can anyone explain this to me? Or are the Brown Water Sailors who fought in  Vietnam still considered to be less then Whale dirt in the eyes of the "Blue Water Navy"? 

Don 't mean to be controversial here, just wondering . . . . . . . .

Never got to go to sea. Never got to cross the equator and become a Shellback. Never got to hit the liberty ports. What I did get to do was fight for my life in  point blank firefights with the VC and the NVA for damn near three years.         

Comment by David W Asche on November 13, 2014 at 7:05pm

We had our movies up on top of the MIRCS LAB unless we were underway or the weather was bad.  The forward mess decks was real crowded then.  Only good thing about movies on the forward mess decks was the ship's shore was right below it, so sodas and popcorn were near by.

Comment by Douglas James Riley on November 11, 2014 at 7:21pm
And movies become slip and slide fun during typhoons!
Rode through one in WestPac in the early 70s - everyone started spilling drinks and sliding. Back and forth across the mess decks! (We had stackable chairs, not bolted to the deck)
Comment by Jim Decota on November 11, 2014 at 7:18pm

Lee, spoken like a true DE sailor! If you ever want to join a DE crew again, we have space on the bench! The pic is the mess on board USS Slater in Albany, NY. We're always looking for vet crew members! We even have a group that includes some guys from Ohio that come up twice a year and spen the week on board. By the way, she just got her "ship's store" completely restored!

Comment by Lee Boulis on November 11, 2014 at 6:59pm

MESS movies, cards ,meals and friends. USS STEIN DE/FF1065 1975-1977. From WOOD CO. OHIO

Comment by James Franklin Benson on October 18, 2014 at 5:40pm

We're having a tough time here,in NC,trying to get rid (vote OUT) of one of Obama's socialists,KAY HAGAN! She knows she has plenty of brain-dead "recipients" who will religiously vote for her,no matter what she has been,is doing,and WILL continue to do to our country!!The problem is that the " recipients" don't have a CLUE as to what has actually happened to this once great nation,and MANY of these "recipients" are plenty old enough to have better sense than they show....NOW....You might say that you are NOT a "RIGHT WING NUT",but let me remind everybody that THE "RIGHT WING NUTS" are the only ones who are actually fighting HARDER than all the rest to rid us from the TYRANT in DC....So,no matter what your political affiliations are,you better start thinking....HARD...about OUR FUTURE....if there is one,that is...Join the TRUE FREEDOM FIGHTERS at the polls in NOV....Let's ALL KICK COME ASSESS!!!


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