My typical day on the USS Blue Ridge when we are underway begins with the sound of my cell pone alarm clock under my pillow at 0500. I put it under my pillow because I don’t want the noise to wake up the other guys in my berthing, because I know I always get up much earlier than most of them. The time I get up varies depending on whether I am going to work out that morning. Most mornings I’m too tired and just keep sleeping.
Depending on whether I took a shower the night before, I might shower in the morning. I also of course shave and brush my teeth. A proper military shave is clean and neat. The sideburns cannot extend any longer than the middle of the ear. A mustache is allowed, but must not extend past the sides of the upper part of the mouth. I have actually tried a couple of times to grow one, but each time, I only lasted a few days, because I realized that I would just look silly with a ‘stache.
After that I put on my coveralls and my flash gear. My flash gear consists of two canvas fire retardant gloves, and a fire retardant face and head covering. These must be worn in a strap on our belt at all times just in case we have a “Casualty.” A “Casualty” is some kind of emergency.
After this I go down to my shop and check my email, then I go to “chow.” Lately my ship has been making steaks for breakfast! Yes, you heard it right, steaks! Some days they are delicious, other days, they are okay. I usually have blueberry pancakes, and a T-bone steak.
After this I usually just waste time until quarters at 0700. Quarters usually consists of my LCPO, my DIVO, my LPO and my WCS (LCPO – Leading Chief Petty Officer, DIVO- Division Officer, LPO- Leading Petty Officer, and WCS- Work Center Supervisor.) putting out things that we need to do during the day. Such as things we need to fix, or maybe certain meetings that we are required to attend.
At 0730 after Quarters we have cleaning stations till 0800. Cleaning stations for me is for me to clean the upper and lower vestibules for my shop. This usually takes me only about 20 minutes, so the rest of the time is usually spent straightening up the shop.
The rest of the morning could be spent doing a number of different things. Whether we are doing drills or just working will affect my morning. If we are doing drills we might go to GQ (General Quarters). For my GQ station I go to Repair 3. My job in my repair locker is an on-scene-phone-talker. I follow the fire-fighting team into the area to fight the fire, and establish communications between the fire-team and the repair locker. It’s a fairly easy job.
If we go to GQ, this will usually take us all morning. If we don’t go to GQ, my morning will be spent helping the other guys in my shop fix things, or possibly do maintenance. From 1100-1300 we have lunch. I usually try and get in line early so that I can go and take a nap for the rest of lunch time. Sometimes, if the food looks unappetizing, I will go to the ships-store and buy something to eat. Especially when we go underway, the food gets pretty bad sometimes. We probably have rice at almost every single meal. I have gotten into the habit of getting the rice, and drenching it with hot sauce. Sounds funny I know, but I’ve become a pretty big fan of Hot Sauce!
The afternoon is usually spent doing pretty much the same thing as the morning. At 1700 we have dinner, again, just like lunch, I will either eat what they have, or I will buy something from the ships store. Dinner lasts from 1700-1830. Usually after this our day is pretty much done. We may work on some little things, but this is usually when the Xbox is broken out in our shop, and the guys will start playing "Call of Duty." I usually won’t play, but once in a while I’ll jump in on it!
I am usually the first one to go to bed in my shop. By about 2000, I’ll start checking to see if I have any last minute work to get done, if not I will probably head for bed. I brush my teeth, and hop in my rack, throwing my cell-phone, and my MP3 player under my pillow. This is when I read my Bible. I usually read 2 chapters in the Old Testament, 1 chapter of Psalms, and 2 chapters in the New Testament. When I’m done I usually put my ear phone in one ear, whichever ear is not on the pillow. This is in an attempt to keep the noise out. Lots of people in my berthing are not as noise considerate as I am. Depending on how my day went, I may fall asleep immediately, or I may take about 20 minutes to fall asleep.
I get up the next morning and start it all over again.