Life aboard a naval vessel is… complicated. For those men and women who serve aboard a ship the size of small town understand what it means to be at the mercy of the “green sheet”. Regardless of the specialty pertaining to their rates (or MOS if you’re a different branch); sailors are at the whims of whatever the green sheet and plan of the day (POD) specify. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re doing their jobs as whatever has not been completed throughout the day has to wait until the schedule on the POD has finished. As many could imagine, this often signifies longer work days than the average 14 hours during deployments, and with the extra work comes less sleep, food, or even break times. These long hours of work are an experience nearly shared across the board by all of the sailors regardless of the platform, but on a carrier, with so many specialties it can be detrimental to progress.

To clarify on the specialties, I’m referring to the communities that each sailor belongs to such as:

• Information Warfare
• Sub-Surface
• Aviation
• Surface
• Special Warfare

While sailors of multiple communities might serve with each other in the same command; they don’t necessarily have the same requirements and watch standing procedures. Each community of warfare has its own unique set of responsibilities that are distinct from the rest. But, while onboard a ship it is the Surface Warfare community bears the brunt of the work; it doesn’t mean the rest of the communities don’t have enough on their hands already. Everyone in the Navy is overworked and exhausted, especially the personnel that works in the reactors and undesignated seamen who work 18-hour shifts nearly every day. Existing solely on the power of sugar and energy drinks.

For these personnel, the PODs almost has no meaning, chow time doesn’t exist for longer than 10 minutes, all-hands calls are meaningless hearsay, and their existence is nearly nil. All of them seek to simply do their jobs and sleep as much as they can, even doing their laundry means losing nearly two hours of sleep (which is about 30% of their free time). But, while they suffer from below the decks, above the upper levels exists the flight deck; the location where the aviation community suffers from their own woes.

Air dales on a carrier are always at risk of death. Whether the cable wires that catch the airplanes snap or their own unawareness gets a person ran over by an airplane or even blown off the ship; the dangers of a flight deck are ludicrously real. Rain or shine the mission must continue and unless ordered by a higher authority the air dales will suffer through in order to complete their objectives (this doesn’t mean the leadership isn’t sensible as they do think about the safety of the crew). Yet, in the end, it’s not truly about who suffers more or less, but that we all struggle together.

Being a sailor is a dangerous profession which involves a lot of pride and hard work. Heartbreak and suffering is a part of the job and nearly every single member of the armed forces has felt this pain. They all struggle together in order to survive and while it might be painful in the present; time will pass and fond memories will be made. Keeping the United States safe is the ultimate goal, but while it might not always be the case there are those who will risk everything throughout their careers to ensure the safety of their brethren even when they are woefully exhausted and overworked.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Emmanuel "Dash the Bomber" Barbosa

Emmanuel Barbosa, AKA Dash The Bomber, is currently serving in the 7th fleet, and has over 8 years of experience in the military. A writer with a penchant for the humorous and informative, he loves to share his stories with those who would be willing to listen. Having served in deployments that have taken him around the world, Dash has seen and heard about many things that would be hard to believe. A loving father and a faithful husband, he is dedicated to protecting his family and country. For fun he enjoys cosplaying, videogames, and writing for online magazines.

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