Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Squared Away

During our initial SSN orientation someone undoubtedly informed us who the barber was. It did not take long to realize submarine barbers were nuc' machinists mates with clipper custody, but no practice, desire or patience for cutting hair aside from rare preparations for doc's brain surgery or a half-moustache removal prank.

Chiefs were usually balding or flat-topped due to their own, careful efforts, and the wardroom had a handy steward or two.

In fact, SSNs were one of two places NEVER to get your haircut voluntarily. We revelled in our shaggy, pirate cuts between ports. It set us apart from the boomers, sub tenders and large skimmers.

SHs work in surface only environments, including ship's stores or barber shops.

Here's what one guy (MSGT Glenn) said:

We had shipboard barbers in the Navy. I was on large surface ships so seldom that I only know of a barber shop aboard a Submarine Tender. The Subamarine I was on had no barbers nor did the dive team I was on. The base usually had a barber shop but whether that was run by sailors or civilians I couldn't say.

Boomer sailors may not have been so lucky (would you really want a haircut in the ship's head?):

... to the Starboard side is one of the main crew's head (bathroom) which contained showers, sinks and a stall or two. The brushed stainless steel finish assisted with cleaning. Frequently, the head was the centerpiece of such activities as haircut day. Unlike surface ships, submarines do not embark a "trained" barber. Check out the rest of this neat page from USS Casimir Pulaski (SSBN-633) Lower Level Tour.

Hard as I try, I still cannot recall who our designated barber was (because no one really did it). Not part of qualifications. Would have made a decent oolie, though.
What stories can you remember?
Submarines are always silent and strange.



At 07 January, 2009 06:05, Blogger reddog said...

We always had several good hair cutters on board.


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