So you’ve graduated from Navy basic training. Good job. I mean that. You know better than all of us it was hard. In the eyes of a lot of people, myself included, you’re officially a man. A young man sure, but a man nonetheless. You should be proud.
My own father did a pretty fine job raising me too. Look at me, I have a blog and everything! Nothing says success like a blog* my friend.
Here are few lessons he shared with me. It’s good stuff, take notes.
10. Shave before you shower.
I’m assuming you’re using a razor and shaving cream these days. If so, shave
before you shower. That way, if you nick yourself, it has time to stop bleeding during the shower. This works 99 percent of the time. During that 1 percent of the time it doesn’t work, keep some Chapstick in your shaving kit and run it over the cut. Apply pressure if needed. If you don’t have Chapstick in your shaving kit deodorant also works as a backup.
9. Always, always, always look good.
I can’t stress this one enough. The military, I think it’s obvious, is about to go through some pretty radical transformation as we move from wartime footing back to a peacetime footing – people are getting fired in the near future. So, obviously, do your job well. But there’s more to it than that. A lot of your peers are going to push the boundaries when it comes to military regulations about appearance. Don’t do this. Uphold the standard, be better than the standard and never, in the military at least, test it when it comes to appearance.
8. It’s okay to fail.
No matter what job you get in the military, I can tell you with absolute certainty they will tolerate your retarded 19-year-old failures. And there will be a few. Get used to it, you’re going to fuck up. Don’t get me wrong, if you fuck up too much there is hell to pay. Trying and failing is natural, expected even. The trick is though, to rack up wins. Ninety-nine percent of the time wins are easy. Be first to show up for the shift and be last to leave. Do the thing that no one wants to do. If there is nothing to do for the organization, find something productive to do for the organization. Be an asset. Do those things and falling on your ass once in a while is viewed more as a learning experience on your part by your bosses rather than another fuck up by a fucked up person. I can’t stress this enough — if you’re always trying to do a good job, occasionally falling short of that goal isn’t viewed as a bad thing.
7. Have sex with tons of chicks
Got your attention there didn’t I? I mean it. Be safe about it, put a condom on your penis and respect the woman you’re with, but have fucking fun. It’s what you’re going to do anyway so any advice I’m offering here is really just after the fact. The point is, explore and have fun. When you meet her — you’ll know. Until that time, call me with your awesome stories of your hot sexcapades (call often please!)
6. Be first. Second place is literally the first loser.
This plays off rule three. None of your successes in basic training matters — not a one. Sorry to be a bummer. You’re about to go to your first duty station and I’m here to tell you that being the best now is what matters. You won’t always be the best and that’s OK (see rule three) but be the best as often as you can. If there is a competition, fight for first place. You might have heard the saying about the military, “Don’t be first and don’t be last, be in the middle.” It’s a bullshit bit of advice from here on out. Be first, always.
5. Always, always be a gentleman.
Hold the door for the person behind you, regardless of sex, age or anything. Hold the door. But this rule goes beyond that. Offer to help with the hard stuff, always. If a person is carrying a shit ton of stuff, you’ll see this in the military more than once, offer to help carry the load. Once in 1996 I was literally carrying two duffle bags and a rucksack from one barracks to another when an officer stopped his car and insisted I toss my bags in the trunk of his car so he could drive me the last few block to my new barracks. He was right to do it, we always, always help each other. That always extends to the world at large. You wear a uniform now, it’s your duty to help. If you see someone struggling, help. It’s that easy.
Do the TSP investment. Do it to the maximum amount they will let you. It’s a generous investment plan that will 2 or 20 years later have a bit of cash in your account. Take advantage of every investment opportunity they offer, grab those with both hands. If the investment plan has a .mil on the end of it invest in it. Also put a portion of your check in a savings account, every month.
3. Go to fucking school.
Take advantage of the educational opportunities the Navy presents you. Don’t be like me. I only milked them out of an associate’s degree in general studies which is like if someone said, “You can have whatever you want in this ice cream store,” and I ordered a fucking vanilla scoop in a cup, and no I didn’t even get sprinkles. Don’t be like me, I’m an idiot. Milk it for every penny it will give. Go to school.
2. Be yourself
Be you, my friend, be you. You’ll have bosses you don’t like, assignments that suck and jobs you hate. That’s part of being in the military, hell its part of life. Through all of it though, be you. There will be clique’s that see it different, fuck them. They’re retarded. Be you. Always.
1. Call your mom.
Always call mom. She’s gives better advice than this piece of shit blog ever can. Mom loves you, she will always give you rock-solid advice. A fact I think you’ll soon discover. You’ll be out of the training environment soon and on your own. Make it point to call home once a week on a regular basis. Mom will be there if you need to talk to her more than that. Once a week, call home.
* Everything says success EXCEPT a blog.