Tender "Detours"
Training, Schools, Shore Duty
and other more "Regular Navy" like" stuff...

While the "Silent Service" is truly a totally unique branch of the Navy - Submarine Tenders - by their very nature served as a "bridge" to the "Regular Navy". Many sailors manning Submarine Tenders are members of the Silent Service - I.e those people who have served on - and became qualified on a boat becoming entitled to wear the Silent Service Dolphins. However - a lot of sailors assigned to a Submarine Tender may not have had any previous Silent Service duty or training - often Machinist's Mates,Yeomen, Storekeepers, Quartermasters, and such serving in the surface fleet may receive orders to a Submarine Tender - just as any other ship. Having that connection to the "Regular Navy" - Submarine Tender sailors must also receive the same specialty training, career advancement grooming, etc., as well as damage control, arms handling and qualifications, and other "regular Navy" activities expected of all Navy Sailors.

All sailors have a common "entry" experience - Boot camp. This is the Navy's method of purging undesirable civilian characteristics - and instilling a basic framework of things "the Navy Way". At one time there were four major recruit training centers: San Diego, Great Lakes, Orlando and Bainbridge (3 more smaller factilities added during the early years of WWII - at Norfolk, VA; Sampson, NY; and Farragut, ID) - now there is only one (Great Lakes).

Leaving boot camp - sailors take one of two paths - some are sent directly to the fleet - where they become apprentices to learn a skill; other will go through one or more "service schools" where they learn enough to be assigned a specialty - or rating. Most technical ratings (Torpedoman's Mate, Electrician's Mate, Electronic Technician,  Fire Control Technician, ect.) go through two (and more recently three) schools - Apprentice Technical Training - a basic course (such as Electronics "A" school), then an advanced course in a specific field (such as ET-NAV "C" school at either Kings Bay - or Bangor). Many Submarine Tender Sailors share these technical school experiences at some point in their career - as submarine tender duty was a farily common "rotation" for Submarine Sailors.

Damage control - primarily firefighting training is something that is not only taught at major Navy training commands - but individual commands often organize and hold their own training. USS Proteus "borrowed" the firefighting training site on Anderson Air Force Base from time to time - to give sailors both new and refresher training in live fire situations. Nothing like facing a real inferno to impress upon someone just how serious fires can be. And at sea - you can 't just "pull over" and wait for a firetruck - you either put it out - or die. At one time there was a really effective firefighting training facility at Treasure Island (San Francisco) - which many ships in port at San Francisco - including in the Mare Island Naval Shipyard - would send their sailors to a week (or more) in-depth training sessions.

This section is dedicated to several of those shared experiences - that many Submarine Tender Sailors have in common.

Recruit Training NRTC San Diego, CA
Polaris Electronics "A" and "C" School Dam Neck, VA
FireFighting School Treasure Island, CA

Return to TenderTale Main Page

© 2011 Common Cents Computers