I've posted it before but it came up tonight again so, I'll do it again but different.
The Navy has wickets one has to pass through successfully or so long contestant. In surface warfare the first major wicket was Department Head School. It was formerly known as Destroyer School. If a surface warfare officer fails to select for that School, his position has been established and it won't be with the Navy. I jest, we used to laugh ourselves as our worst nightmares of officers came back as meteorologists but at least they were no longer in the line of command.
One of the classes at the school was on Leadership. Just the one, about midway thru the school and as we gathered in the designated classroom the evil bastard in front of us told us that the class would not begin until we all were sitting there with the class materials that had been issued 3 months earlier. People literally got in their cars and drove to their homes all through Newport, Middletown and other horrible places in order to return and commence the instruction that was in it.
I had to walk across the parking lot to get the course material because I was an idiot and living in the BOQ. No good place, no per diem. I was an idiot.
Class reconvened at around 5 or 6 that evening and the evil bastard came back in and asked if we had the required documents. When he was assured that we all did he headed back out of the classroom and tossed over his shoulder, "that was stress, don't do it."
I was a CHENG on 2 ships and I worked my people far too hard. Had to. We had a mission and engineering is not one of those forgiving departments where, for instance, nobody notices if your SPG-60 antenna fell off the mast, landed immediately in front of Mount 51 and you currently cannot put warheads on foreheads. The ship either goes or it doesn't. Not getting underway on time and schedule used to be a career killer but I think not so much anymore. I don't think the Navy is better for losing sight of the objective which is referenced just above. They do stress creation just fine.
We weren't painting the engine rooms, lining them with fur or converting those awful aluminum engines to vibranium. We were just working to make them work when called on which, in our case, was just about everyday. We were a CNO test ship and we got underway and returned to port about 4 days per week, every week, for years. A schedule like that, even before the mine battle force rotations to the Middle East takes a toll on men and material. I'm happy to say that I never had a man that missed a single day unless he was on leave. I don't know or care what they thought of me but I thought the world of all of them.
Until I lost Iverson and Anderson.