Pride and Glory
My name is Michael K. Woehler MM3/SS Medically Retired. I joined the Navy in 1989 in the usual fashion. I was what is known as a push button petty officer. This title is bestowed upon one who enters the navy with higher education above 12th grade, but not high enough to become an officer, thus automatically earning the rank of third class petty officer after finishing "A" school, and Sub school. I had achieved a degree in Automotive and Diesel Technology, equivalent to an Associate Diploma.
Upon my induction and arrival to the well-beloved Great Lakes Recruit Training Center, I was interned in the PFTU unit for fat bodies. PFTU was also endeared with the name of Pretty Fast Twinkie Unwrappers. Needless to say, upon completion, after the Navy Seals bit off a pretty big chunk of my butt, I was in the best shape of my life. I completed my training as Company 198's Master at Arms. I received this title due to my previous experience in the Navy League Cadets, Navy Sea Cadets, and NJROTC High School. The Navy was always my goal in life.
Once I was told if you want to be on a fast attack in Hawaii, ask to be on a Boomer in Groton. Well that was on piece of scuttlebutt that actually seemed to work. Once I arrived in Pearl Harbor I was assigned to the USS CAVALLA SSN 684 and subsequently attended all the schools required of an "A" Ganger. Then I soon discovered the pride and glory of the Cavalla, if I told you what it was I would still have to kill you, so for now we will leave it to be known as the pride and glory. During this experience I met many wonderful people of the Navy Seals. What great fun they were and boy! the trouble we, the crew, and these gents got into!
I put in the long hours and hard time, and earned my fish, but not after having the senior crew lovingly pound some of the hard learned lessons into my head. I was told, because I was an "A" Ganger I needed to know it the best, because we owned most of the ship, and my CPO would not let one of us be an embarrassment, thus you learned the hard ways are the hard ways. To make sure the information was embedded permanently into the gray matter sometimes you lost some having the lessons pounded into your head, lovingly of course. Then once a firm foundation was laid for greater learning you earned your fish, then by some strange stroke of luck they were pounded into you too. I wouldn't trade those days and memories for the world, because when all was said and done, I wore my fathers fish with a gleaming pride and dedication.