In 1913, Navy Secretary Josephus Daniels issued a revolutionary order: no more alcohol on board ships. According to official Navy myth, sober sailors mocked their boss by nicknaming their coffee — the strongest drink still allowed on board — a “cup of Joe.”Not sure if I'd be happy with this if I was still in. Same principle as random cup peeing I suppose, but unless things have changed allot they shouldn't be having that much of a problem. It was usually easy to tell the guys (or girls) who really needed to go to Level 2/3 just by being around them and/or smelling their breath at quarters.
A century later, current Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is one-upping Daniels, ordering the installation of breath-test machines on all ships and submarines, as well as on Marine Corps bases. One can only imagine how he will go down in naval lore.
According to Mabus, the breath tests are not intended as a crackdown measure but rather to help identify sailors who might be struggling with booze. The alcohol testing is part of a broader new Navy program designed to improve the physical and mental well-being of those having difficulty coping with the stresses of a decade of war.
“We are not telling you not to drink, if you are old enough,” Mabus told an audience of sailors and Marines Monday afternoon aboard the USS Bataan at Naval Station Norfolk. “We are telling you that it is important to keep legal, responsible use of alcohol from turning into a problem.”
Mabus made his announcement aboard the Bataan, an amphibious assault ship that returned last month after 322 days at sea — the longest deployment of any Navy ship in four decades.
Also, 322 days at sea? That's just crazy, especially with the wars ending (Iraq) or winding down (Afghanistan). Wonder what they did for all that time?
If the Navy is still doing that 'random deployment length' idea that came up after 9/11, I have to wonder what it's been doing for retention rates. It's one thing to have an extended deployment for a hot war (did 8 months for ODS) but it doesn't make much sense in peacetime/low action occupation time. Not like the enemy can't turn on the news and see at least in general where the ships are, or when they are deploying/returning.