While not strictly about ships’ badges, this post reflects on one of the factors that determined the ships to which sailors were posted and consequently, the ship’s badges that adorn their bars and brag boards. If a sailor listened to their instructors in Recruit School, they would tell you that postings are the result of a complex interaction of:
- trade/specialty training,
- continuing development requirements of sailors,
- crewing gaps in the fleet,
- the ship – shore roster, and
- your personal posting preferences.
The Navy had a simple system for discovering your personal preferences for upcoming postings, form “PE 42 Posting Preferences Card – Navy.”
Sailors being worldly, but cynical, individuals often referred to these cards as ‘Dream Sheets’. This was the result of the inexplicably high proportion of postings, where the Navy’s need appeared to be the reverse order of a sailor’s preferences. That is, you seemed to uncannily end up being posted to your lowest preferred option. This led to an interesting view, where a number of sailors would make their first preference last and their last preference first.
Were you one of those who were prepared to ‘play the system’ and test the odds of being posted to the last place on earth you desired, or did you play it straight and still end up being posted to the last place on earth you desired?
Did the Navy have some form of extra sensory knowledge base of your least desired postings or were you one of the few who were happy with every posting you received?