When this article was first posted, most people in Europe and the United States were busy readying themselves for an evening of revelry to ring in the New Year. In part, they were free to do so because more than 80 U.S. Navy ships and more than 63,000 Navy sailors are deployed around the world, keeping them safe each and every day.
Ensign Meriano of the USS John S. McCain is one of the thousands of men and women who serve their country at sea. On December 31, in keeping with time-honored Navy tradition, Ensign Meriano entered the following New Year’s log entry, which he wrote with assistance from his crewmates.
Twas the Night before New Year; when Commander, 7th Fleet started his call:
On Benfold, On Barry, On Chancellorsville or McCampbell,
On Reagan, On Shiloh, or even Fitzgerald.
Unfortunately for him, the waterfront stood still,
But there was one, whose shoes other ships could not fill.
After 15 months in dry dock, Big Bad John was ready to rock
Through Fall and Winter patrol, we stood the watch
Even Christmas was stood with sand in our socks
Underway on New Year’s Eve
The McCain sailed the South China Sea
SNOOPIE Team away, Starboard Side
So we could check out the Chinese Jiangkai.
With 18 knots ordered, “Boats” drove us into the night
The Quartermasters exclaimed, “All Navigation lights burn bright!”
In the blue lights of combat, CSC turned and stated “SPY is secured.”
Air and MSS could not believe what they heard!
The TAO chuckled and sent them to bed,
With the OOD and her team on the bridge, there was nothing to dread.
The FCs had SPY maintenance looming,
But down in CCS, the engineers were zooming.
Away, Away, over X5J went Sounding and Security,
Even though we all knew they’d rather be in a brewery.
They manage our Engineering Plant, whose status is as follows;
2A GTM alive and kicking, in trail shaft configuration.
2, 3, and 5 Sea Water Service Pumps filled with determination.
With 4 and 3 Fire Pumps to add up to seven, those DC men sure were in heaven.
Number 2 Reefer was blowing cold air. The CSs were forced to bundle up with care.
With 1, 2 and 4 ACs at full attack, no one lay sweaty in their rack.
But alas, no one could be found there, even though sleep is what we crave most.
On the Mess Decks there were celebrations with cold root beer floats,
For we knew it’d be long ‘til we saw another coast.
The seas kept rocking us to and fro, and we had to ensure all gear was stowed.
Over the 1MC we heard Combat Systems Casualty.
The whole crew was stunned, until we heard it was only CONN 1.
Restored in a flash, the crew carried on with their New Year’s Day bash.
As we closed on the hour of O’ zero hundred,
We stand strong, just shy of a mighty three hundred.
A shout out to all those in Supply and Exec,
And to the guys in Weapons; stop causing a wreck.
With Operations and Combat Systems in battle over who was the finest,
The Snipes simply rolled their eyes in haughty silence.
Fortune Favors the Brave, lest we fail to remember the fallen.
We stand the watch to honor our calling.
With Sanchez and Sanchez to lead us through the night,
Happy New Year to all and fight the good fight!
This article appears courtesy U.S. Navy Live, and may be found in its original, unedited edition here.
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.