Fondest Memory: As having many years in Boy Scouts and two years of High School Junior ROTC, I was selected for the position of 2nd Platoon Leader with the rank of Recruit 1st Class Petty Officer. This position had its perks. I had a locker and did not have to roll and tie my uniforms. As 2nd Platoon Leader, I did not carry a rifle and did not have to do the 16-point manual of arms during drills, parades, reviews, etc. As a company of 100 sailors, we won many awards and ribbons for precision drills and inspections.
Worst Memory: On a ship at sea, fire is the most dangerous as there are no fire trucks. We were briefed on how to fight a fire on ships. A mockup of a compartment of a ship was used in real time firefighting exercises. In one exercise, I was the nozzleman and me and the instructor were the first to go into a burning compartment. We were making good progress, but apparently moving too fast and had a “flash back” and the fire re-ignited behind us. The instructor had us lay as low as we could while a second team extinguished the fire from behind.