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Must admit I dont have a problem with the Navy. In fact have always found them to be very hospitable and friendly; certainly can't compare them with the Armed Faction of British Airways. Often wonder why the Navy seem to get the best looking totty though.
There was a fish-head exchange officer acting as Pl Cdr at RMAS a few years ago gave a mate a mediocre mid-term report without realising the implications for sweeps week, when the sponsoring cap badges take a view on whether to keep you or cut you loose to someone else. He was trying for the AAC and needed an A1 report to be considered, and while anyone else would have given him one, fish-head mate gave an unusually harsh report to everyone in his Pl. Thankfully the Coy Cmdr advised a re-write of all reports but he could have ended a few careers before they had begun.
Navy uniform makes even the best looking WRENS look awful, best looking girls in uniform has to be the WRAF, in spite of the pretend Gods-of-the-Sky. Anyone familiar with the brunette Herc pilot with the nordic sounding name and the large "twins"?
I started my long and distinguished career (I wish) in the RN before putting on a green suit (TA). Hospitality is on the syllabus at Dartmouth. You start with "coffee mornings" during the standeasy break and working up to Cocktail Parties & Dinners.
The best example I have is when I was an Officer Under Training (swamp life - one below pond life) in HMS INVINCIBLE. I had invited my family onboard for a look round and lunch during the leave period. When I entered the Wardroom anteroom the only occupants were two Lt Cdrs watching TV. They saw "Guests in the Mess", turned off the TV and came over to help me host my family. My father, ex-crab, was gobsmacked, in his squadron mess they would have turned the TV's volume up and studiously ignored us.
The biggest culture shock I had switching suits was in the Mess. In the RN anyone one rank above you was Sir, unless they were junior in the rank and you knew them well. As a new Rupert I was told in no uncertain terms by my OC to stop calling him Sir in the mess. Violence was offered as an aide memoire.
Twenty years on and I almost never say "aye aye sir" but occasionally my foot drill can be a bit iffy.
I think all Air Crew have a problem, not only between flyers and non flyers but between themselves. Fixed wing and rotary, fast jet and prop are not a happy bunch together.
Harking back to my time in blue suit onboard INVINCIBLE there were five tribes in the Wardroom. Sea Harriers, Sea Kings, Ground Crew/ATC, Ship's Officers and the pond life (see above). The Harriers were unversally despised for their arrogance with exception of the one crab pilot. I suppose he had been flying Harriers longer than any of them and compared to Tornadoes he "knew his place".
I have to agree about the Crabs. I ran a range for some at Ash at v short notice as a favour, and of all the 6 or so officers there not one bothered to come up to me and introduce themselves. The Flt Lt mate of mine who asked me to run the range was noticeably embarrassed and complained to hi OC Ops about his colleagues lack of social graces, and I got a letter of thanks from him as a result. Most of the guys I know would bend over backwards to show gratitude for someone who had done them a favour. I didn't feel hard done by, but it does say a lot about the Crabs view of other services.
I had the privilege to serve for 6 months in a tri-service unit in the Falklands. In general, all people from all services were decent enough blokes/girls on the personal level, however things were different on a group level.
The Matelot mindset is the closest to that of the Army in terms of working attitudes, discipline etc. The main difference between them and Squaddies was the age in rank. Matelots, like Crabs, can serve till 55 as long as they reach certain rank by a certain age (I was quoted that a RAF Sgt could serve till 47 before being given his cards) so you tend to find that rank equivalence certainly does not equate to age equivalence (at all non-com ranks anyway)
The Crabs, however, were a totally different kettle of fish. If they could have had a Union, they would have. The most moaning, jobsworth attitudes seem to all emanate from the Crab ranks. They all seemed to hate being in the Falklands, despite being on 4-month tours and not 6 like us squaddies. They could not relate to the discipline that was laid down and I do not think this was totally due to the fact that the Unit (approx. Sqn/Coy Strength) had an Army SSM. Their attitudes towards the standard of accommodation stank, despite the fact that everyone had to endure it.
My lasting impression is one of affection and being on the same side as the Navy people but of being in a different world to the Crabs. I do not resent them; they obviously live life differently and to different standards. However, it is clear that they dont have the same Esprit de Corps as the Army or Navy. Perhaps it is because so very few of them would ever see their enemy and if planes are shot down, only the pilots become casualties. If an Army unit is attacked, the whole Unit is affected. If a ship is hit, the whole ship is affected (the Falklands War bears bitter examples of this)
As as serving RQMS, just, I am in a tri-service mess with a Navy wife (PO). I find the Navy always trying out do the Army-and failing miserably. In the end they just quote their huge wage packets. In our Mess we have embraced Naval tradition, (pussers rum and Pickle Nights) they have yet to comes to terms with Port and walking slowly towards the enemy. We like the RAF as they are civvies in uniform.
As well as doing a few courses where the majority were Navy, I've also had the privilege of joining a ship's company for a run down to South Georgia. Ten days in a force 8-9, cork-screwing all the way there and back. Funny thing was I felt fine until I got off at Grytvikken...blleeeeurgg!!! Anyway, I digress.....
F*ck me, what an eye-opener! The navy lads sure live in some arrse conditions when at sea. No bitchin' either - they just got on with it. As FozzyWozzy said, they've got the closest mindset (and sense of humour) to the army. Personally, I'd rather work with the RN than the 'jobsworth' RAF any day of the week!
Matelots are fine, worked with lots of them. Submariners are a scream (just don't accept a 'RAS astern' if you're offered it!).
Recently worked with the RAF, easy going chaps. We had a little bit of manual labour to do, which required the loss of sweat, getting dirty and lots of lifting, all in 37 degrees. Every single Army officer buggered off.............The RAF Flt Lt stayed and got tore in with the rest of us..........spoke f*cking volumes to me that did.
I wouldn't mind if the officers who buggered off were Cav or Guards (you'd have expected that)........but they were Rags, Lorries & Cakes, Monkeys, Scalies and other hangers on.......the upper echelons of modern society ...don't you know! "Manual labour 'Knuckles' old boy?"........."Not for me 'Razors' old chap, I'm off down the 'bookies' !".
RAF or RN?....I wouldn't have a problem working with them.
Anyone that works in a shoe box over a hot stove gets my vote. The navy chefs serve up less choices but its some good scran and they don't half the ear ache from the lads, thats probably because everybody on ship has a job and unlike the Army are not sat around all day trying to look busy and winging all day