Induction, initiation, hazing. It’s Chief season in Hampton Roads! For all of you navy folks out there, yes I realize I am being very politically incorrect with those two words, initiation and hazing. But hey, I say if the pot is black, why not say so.
Induction, initiation, hazing.
It’s Chief Season in Hampton Roads! For all of you navy folks out there, yes I realize I am being very politically incorrect with those two words, initiation and hazing. But hey, I say if the pot is black, why not say so.
From the beginning of August through the middle of September, it is officially Chief Season in the Navy. If you’re a civilian, this doesn’t affect you much, other than the mass amounts of available car washers in the area. If you are unfortunate enough to live in military housing this means you are probably awakened every morning by a herd of running mad men (and women) singing about their momma, their chief, or any other authority figure that they find amusing that day. Lucky for these folks the season’s almost over, so these squibs should be in pretty good shape by now–meaning that they are running faster and will be past your house quicker, so you can roll back over.
The true victims are the families of a chief.
We all know about the secret brotherhood of the Knights of Templar, the Masonic Lodge, etc., but the Chief’s mess is as exclusive as it comes. It wasn’t until we (and notice I use the term WE) went through induction that I learned being an E-7 doesn’t make you a chief. Seems that only a successful induction makes you a true chief.
I can’t really, fully tell you what my husband went through in order to be inducted into the Chief’s mess, but I can sure as hell tell you what I went through.
For starters, his alarm went off at about the time I went to bed. He would do P.T. (that’s physical training, folks) for a couple of hours, running and chanting and being all jolly. He would then go to work, where he was required to build and then carry around this little wooden box that other chiefs tried to steal from him. He was called into the mess (the room, not the organization–I know, it’s confusing) where the group of inductees was required to perform ‘team building’ activities in front of the ‘genuine chiefs.’ This included things like sitting together on the floor and scootching around on their rumps while singing row, row, row your boat.
My husband would come home to grab a quick meal only to leave again and meet up with the other inductees for some task due the next day. He’d arrive home drained and cranky, and I’d end up staying up with him painting rocks to resemble little sailors for his ‘rock division.’ Seriously, we stayed up until his alarm went off again, and I watched him put on those ugly little blue running shorts as I climbed into bed. I’m not sure the real purpose of those painted rocks, but I’m sure they were important because after he was done with them they got a burial at sea.
Okay, so this goes on for over a month, and then the big night comes… “Hell night.”I don’t know about you but anything with hell in the title is usually not for me.
Hubby was required to bring a whole list of supplies that included items like safety blankets, eggs, and condoms. By this point I didn’t even question the list and just assumed that I wouldn’t understand anyway. He spent the whole night on the beach and was driven home by his sponsor (a genuine chief) in the morning with only enough time to wash the sand off and put on his uniform. As we arrived to the pinning ceremony (this is where the little gold anchors are pinned onto their collars and their chief’s cap placed upon them), I thought my husband was going to fall asleep in that formation. Surprisingly he didn’t, nor did any of the others, though they looked to be in exactly the same shape.
Here’s the thing I don’t’ understand–the Navy cringes when you say initiation and defecates itself if you say hazing, but isn’t this ritual exactly that? I’m not saying that nothing good comes from it. My husband learned how to be a part of this brotherhood and how to be a great leader. Not to mention all the money the chiefs raise and donate to organizations in need. I’m just say that you can call it a pot or a kettle, it’s still black.