As not to clog up the firearms thread, I wanted to post a place where MLP vets could come and share stories, pics, memes, anecdotes, ANYTHING vet related. I'll start! I can be honest about my service...I was no SEAL, or EOD..or anything. Just a sailor. I went in with no A School (thanks recruiter!!), so was what they called an "undesignated" Airman (or fireman, or seaman)..meaning, once I got to the fleet, I could be "placed" wherever the need was..well, for me it was Weapons Dept on CVN-73. First was with W Division, which were the WT rate (that dealt with NUKES)..but were phasing out, so it was just cleaning magazines (the bomb/missile holding type, in the bowels of the ship) At this point, I saw what my Grampaw meant by sea going janitor LOL. Foxtails, swabs and GP were the tools of my trade then.. Then W Div folded into Weapons Dept, the 1st classes took over W Div berthing, and I went to G-1 div..which is flight deck ordnance loading..manually humping missiles and bombs on skids..only for a bit, then was moved to G-4, which was Weapons elevators..we did the maintenance on and operated the elevators that would go 7 stories down into the ship, and the ones that went from hangar bay to flight deck..lots of grease!! All Weps guys would stand armed brow watch..(where the gangway is, how you board the ship) at enlisted brow and the the quarterdeck, where officer boarded..and you did not salute when armed! You'd have a Vietnam era flak jacket, a radio, a .45 with black leather US stamped holster, and M12 shotgun. Web belt with mag pouches for both. I also did Security Reaction Team, with the call of Johnny Quick meant you DROPPED what you were doing and RAN (and could run over people if you had to..Make a hole! was what we'd yell ripping through passageways) to the armory. Johnny Quick means intruder. Also stood an armed watch where you literally watched the anchor chain when the anchor was dropped..with orders to negate entry via anchor chain port. Then a few of us were sent to G-3 Bomb Assembly (I'd just gotten used to my new rack LOL) which were the crews that built bombs and missiles, and would store and transfer the 20mm to the FTs, who controlled the CWIS 20mm Vulcans on the ship. GBU, LBUs, 500, 1000, 200 pound bombs, Sidewinders, Shrikes, Tomahawks, Harpoons..I've seen and built 'em all. 20 hour build days were the norm..and did you know how comfortable a pallet of 2000 pound bombs could be? They'd be stacked 4 by 4..and you just lay in the groove between them. I was just a fin and tail man..no glamour..my job was to screw the fin tail on..I wasn't a fuse man or armer.. My General Quarters battle station was aft mounted .50. (one like this When used in shipboard config, (deck mounted) perceived recoil was minimal..like a arm and shoulder shake, that was about it. Never fired in defense..However, in '94, we did stop Saddam's troops from moving into Kuwait. Well, the Weapons Dept had several douche bag Joe Navy types, that would expect you to be inspection ready, and yet still deep clean stuff..and my best buddy was in Engineering..so I was a "striker" for Hull Tech..you'd get quals and OJT, they'd sign you off, and I liked all the guys in the Shipfitter and Pipe shop, AND went to a vocational school in my 11th and 12th grade, plus my Gramps was a master pipefitter at FORD, so knew the basics of welding, brazing, proper tool usage..etc..(and even taught the A school guys a thing or 2)...so with that, I blew the Hull Maintenance Technician Third Class out of the water, and made rate first time up. Funny story..I "ironed on my crow" meaning I was frocked..I could wear E4, but wasn't yet paid for it..and was still on Weapons watch bill..I moved to a temp berthing..(about 7 different racks total LOL)...Well one night I awoke to Master at Arms shining lights in my face yelling and screaming at me that I was later for armed brow watch and threatened deriction of duty and blah blah blah..I told them I wasn't even in weapons anymore..tuff shit was the answer, and was escorted to the armory to get dressed down for the watch..so I was probably the only Hull Tech to stand an armed brow watch. Life in Repair Dept was much more laid back. We did the welding and fabrication of the ship, and I was able to join the At Sea Fire Party..the "FLYING SQUAD", the fire dept of the ship..had a couple serious fires, NO one was hurt..but there was damage, lots of smoke alarms, floodings..my watches then were roving watch..just would keep an eye on machinery spaces, check voids, and look for fire hazards, then I got to be the Damage Control Central Watch Supervisor, who dispatched the rover...and would monitor alarms and tank levels and all that fun stuff. We had a list control watch as well, that by transferring water port to starboard via pumps, and had a clinometer, a level of sorts would keep the fight deck level..WAY down in the 7th deck. The last 9 or so months I was in was in the pipe shop..snaking shitters and basically all shipboard plumbing..also went to a valve and pump service school..which was very cool. Navy Damage Control is no joke..you can be the biggest bad ass, ultimate marksman/commando/tuff guy..but if you can't fight FIRE, you ain't shit..at least not aboard ship! That is your home! Fight deck smash and crash were a special bunch as well..to enter a flaming crash site to extract pilot or crew..trained on that on a simulator..but, in those scenarios..you just have to do it.. Thanks for letting me share..I was a nobody, but had the best memories of my life doing so.