Author David Larter

As the clock turns midnight on Jan. 1, quartermasters on the bridges of Navy warships will scribble a new day entry in the deck log entry under a red-filtered desk lamp. It’s an old Navy tradition to write the New Years new day entry in verse and, while it may not always be Shakespeare, it is at least creative. Below is the Jan. 1, 2004, new day entry for the destroyer Cole, which was on its first deployment after the 2001 attacks that killed 17 of its sailors, as posted on the Naval History and Heritage Command’s website:

This year the carrier George H.W. Bush took top honors among the big-deck ships at Naval Station Norfolk in the base’s annual holiday lights contest. Tasteful? Eyesore? It’s all in the eye of the beholder; you be the judge. If you have pictures of your ship’s holiday lights, send them along to dlarter_at_navytimes.com with captions and credits. Here are a few more of the Bush for you.

It seems as if there was a time in the Navy when they produced awesome training videos. Today’s videos (like the one where they teach you how to wash your hands), with all due respect, just ain’t what they used to be. Exhibit A: Take this 1973 gem, The Return of Count Spirochete, produced by the National Naval Medical Center, which warns sailors about the dangers of syphilis. The vampire Count Spirochete wins top honors at the world Communicable Disease of the Year Award ceremony, presided over by Death himself. Spirochete beats out the common cold, smallpox and even gonorrhea…

It’s that time of year again, and the top brass are issuing their holiday greetings. Top marks, as usual, go to MCPON Rick West with yet another creative video put out on his Facebook page. You can view it here. He seems to enjoy putting out goofy videos to get his message across. CNO Adm. Gary Roughead issued his own message: Thank you for your dedicated service and the great work you continue to do. Because of you, our nation can celebrate this holiday season knowing the world’s most powerful Navy is on watch around the world. To follow MCPON…

Her Majesty’s fleet took an austerity beating in October; that’s when it learned its flagship HMS Ark Royal would be decommissioned. On Friday, the doomed carrier pulled into Portsmouth, England, for the last time. The Guardian reports: “It’s very emotional,” said Leading Seaman Paul Stockell, one of those who had tears in his eyes — and not just because of the biting wind –as he helped bring the ship alongside in Portsmouth today. Stockell has lived on board Ark Royal for four and a half years. “She’s home from home to me. It was a shock when we heard she…

The electronics on Navy ships are not subtle. They pump out a ton of power on thousands upon thousands of frequencies. So sometimes such pedestrian electronic devices as your keyless car entry remote and garage door openers get jacked up when the Navy comes around. The people of Bremerton, Wash., may have some issues this week, according to the Kitsap Sun, because the carrier John C. Stennis will be lighting off radars. This is interesting because the Navy has long known the effects of its equipment on civilian electronics. AEGIS ships are required to shut down SPY within certain distances…

The carrier George Washington had a special holiday surprise this year courtesy of North Korea. While the Navy says the carrier was scheduled to participate in exercises with Japan, the plan changed in the wake of North Korea’s bombardment of the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong. (That situation has become even more tense today.) So instead of celebrating a nice Thanksgiving at home, the George Washington headed to the Yellow Sea to flex our national biceps for North Korea. Do you think they’ll be impressed? But despite the less than ideal Thanksgiving circumstances, the culinary specialists tried their best to…

Remember all those exercises South Korea held with the U.S. a few months ago to send a message to its pugnacious northern neighbor? You know, the ones that had the carrier George Washington steaming with the South Korean navy? The exercises that drove U.S.-Chinese relations to a low-point earlier this year? Well Kim Jong-Il didn’t pick up the phone, apparently. This morning, the news broke that North Korea opened a barrage of artillery fire on South Korean troops, killing at least two people. The question must be asked: How do the U.S. and South Korea abide this? The U.S. pulled…

Happy Friday, everyone. The gator Navy is a little different from the rest of the service, mostly because its sailors have to drive around a bunch of bored Marines for months at a time. Unless you’ve been in the gator world it’s hard to know what that’s like. But the sailors of the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard wanted to give you a little taste of gator living. This retro, late-1980s sounding rap song is the Scoop Deck bored sailor video of the week. Observe:

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