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plappen's review of Vince Stead, Navy Fun: When Ronald Reagan Was in Charge and Being In the Navy Was a Blast

★★★★☆
Vince Stead, Navy Fun: When Ronald Reagan Was in Charge and Being In the Navy Was a Blast

“Interesting and worth reading”

Written on: 08/02/2013 by plappen (88 reviews written)

Navy Fun: When Ronald Reagan Was In Charge and Being in the Navy Was a Blast, Vince Stead, 2007, ISBN 9781598245141

This is one person's chronicle of life in the US Navy.

The author grew up in a small town in Michigan. Part of a large family, his father's attitude was that when each child reached 16 years old, they moved out of the house. A friend was joining the Navy, so the author followed him.

Boot camp, held in Florida, consisted of a lot of yelling, for no good reason. When it was time to choose the area of training the sailor would learn, the author, having no better ideas, went to yeoman school. There he learned to type memos the Navy Way, and otherwise entered the world of military paperwork.

His first duty station was aboard a submarine tender. It followed several submarines, and acted as their supply ship. He worked directly with the ship's Commanding officer and Executive Officer, most of whom were decent, reasonable people. He compared himself to Radar O'Reilly, from the TV show MASH, taking care of the paperwork. It was not the most strenuous job in the Navy. Later in his career, he found himself doing similar work on a destroyer and an aircraft carrier.

When it is time to board a ship for your tour of duty, the ship does not come to you; you go to the ship, wherever in the world it might be. The author talks about some of the places he visited in his travels. Places like Manila and Seoul very much cater to American military personnel. There are many, many bars and nightclubs, each with many beautiful young women available for one-night stands. Even the most plain-looking guy, who can't get a date back home, could have a different woman each night, if he was interested. He noticed that things are very different in places like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. He also visited Hawaii, Guam, Hong Kong, the Maldive Islands and Diego Garcia (which is little more than a giant military base).

This is an interesting book that's worth reading. It's short, and is written in a very informal style.

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