4 responses to “Today’s shellback initiation less violent than in days gone by

  1. I just had the opportunity to speak to a young sailor several weeks ago, and as usual the question are you a Shellback came up. So I asked about her (yes her) initiation. Did you get your but beat with wet fire hoses, Oh no, the Captain wouldn’t allow that, Well, did they muster you on the fo’c’sle and hose you down, no, again, the Captain wouldn’t allow that. By now I’m getting the picture, but continued, so I asked well did you at least go before the Royal Court and have Davy Jones read out your wog offenses and send you to the royal barber and doctor to get a hair cut and a squirt of his medicine, did you have to crawl thru the chute, anything like that. She goes yes we went to the Royal court, who is Davy Jones and we didn’t have any offenses. King Neptune just said I declare you a Shellback and then we had to go below decks. My heart felt sick, they took away one of the most praised possessions Being a Shellback. It also made me mad, and I wanted to say, sweets, you ain’t no Shellback, I find it hard to believe you were even a sailor. But I didn’t, the conversation sorta went cold after that and I finally said a fond farewell. It seems evil political correctness has scored another victory, this one at sea and the Navy isn’t the Navy any more.

  2. Kevin K. Chedville

    Just happened this post — i was on the USS Ranger back in 1976-77, went on one Wespac Cruise — but it was fun — except for pretty bad Fire aboard while we were in port at Subic Bay… i remember opening the XO’s office door and nothing but Black Smoke rolled in at shoulder level — I ducked and hauled ass down the hall ways to the to deck — i felt luck — only firefighters were left to take care of things — everyone else sat on the beach watching from afar… and Yes i did become a Shellback while on that cruise… remember it well — loads of fun… will never forget those days .

  3. “Sailors aboard such amphibious assault ships as the USS Ranger…”
    There has never been an LHA or LHD named Ranger. Seven ships have been named Ranger. The last two were both aircraft carriers, CV-4 (the first keel up aircraft carrier, rather than a refit. CV-61 the ship my paternal uncles and I served on (at different times). Also, the first Ranger was a sailing ship that was Captained by John Paul Jones himself.

    USS Ranger (CV-61) 1985 to 1988. I can be found in the Ship’s 1987 (Pearl) WestPac Cruise book page 171.

  4. Bradley Black

    I also question the “Sailors aboard such amphibious assault ships as the USS Ranger…” as I made the deployment mentioned as a Shellback. Last time I checked the ships hull number was CV-61, well at least until she went to the breakers.

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