Saturday, May 26, 2007

Fashion on the High Sea

One of our favorite blogs to read is the Stringer Zoo, one of the members of the zoo is currently deployed on the USS Stennis. A couple of months ago he wrote a post that was informative as well as entertaining about Navy uniforms aboard ship. Due to security reasons I could not link directly to his post, with his permission I am posting it below. I thought this would be helpful after yesterday's videos. Now you will be able to tell what the different color jerseys signify. Scott, thanks for your fashion article.

What color are you?

Today was another quiet day. No watch, no alert, no flight. On the rare days like this, I have the opportunity to switch uniforms for the day. I actually have quite a few uniform options on the ship. First, there's the standard green flight suit--like wearing pajamas to work. I now understand why grandpa Ernie used to wear jump suits all the time! On the green flight suit, I have the option of full color patches or subdued green patches (very tactical!). Option two is the tan flight suit, which we always wear in a desert environment, but it's an option on the boat. The tan flight suit always has tan patches to go with it. On days like today, I wear a flight suit jersey, which is a cotton knit long sleeve turtleneck shirt. Everyone who works on the flight deck who is not a pilot wears a jersey, and the color of the jersey is determined by the individual's job. I mentioned in an earlier post that PC's jerseys are brown. All of the aircraft mechanics and technicians and arresting gear mechanics are green. Safety, medical, and quality assurance are white. Ordnance and crash/salvage are red. Aircraft handlers (those who drive tow tractors) are blue. Aircraft directors (they direct taxiing fixed wing aircraft and all towed aircraft around the flight deck) and "shooters" (officers in charge of the catapults) are yellow. Fueling personnel are purple (affectionately known as "grapes"). Enlisted men and women wear green camouflage or dark blue pants. Officers wear tan camouflage or khaki pants. The jerseys are always stenciled with the job that the person does. For instance, our Aviation Electricians' jerseys say

HS-8
AE
on the front and the back. Many of our jerseys also have a front facing helicopter pictured in the middle of the jersey between HS-8 and the "rate". A rate is an enlisted job in the navy. My green jersey says HS-8 MO, for Maintenance Officer. Most of the officers in the maintenance departments of squadrons have green jerseys. The QAO's jersey is white, and the Ordnance Officer's jersey is red. It's nice to have a little variety in what I wear while we're on the ship. It helps break up the days and their monotony. The only problem is that I really miss having 10 pockets! I often have something (if not many things) in every pocket!! Some day, I'll have to dump out the contents of my flight suit pockets and take a picture. It's pretty ridiculous.

1 comment:

Rich & Mel said...

I'm proud to be a GREEN shirt. It's actually neat to see the nice fresh, clean jerseys during the first week or so of cruise, but that quickly changes. We were always issued at least 4 jerseys (more if we could scam them) so they got a LOT of wear. One thing Scott didn't mention was now NASTY dirty the flight deck is. A lot of times, we would only have 15-20 minutes for chow, so you run down to the "fast food" line (burger, chicken patty, hot dog, etc) and grab whatever you could, then run back to the deck (no time to wash hands). We always said the flight deck grim added flavor to the food. At times I miss those days, but I have gotten a little soft and enjoy clean food.

Thanks again for the week of stories (and videos).

Rich