This scan is of a Christmas card from 1978.
This little ship was primarily an antisubmarine warfare platform but was also used for a lot of other missions.
I served on the Sims from 1977
to 1982. This included several Med cruises, an overhaul that
lasted a year, a Mid east deployment(Persian Gulf) as well
as local operations in the Caribbean Sea. While on board I filled billets as needed, starting as a First Class Machinist Mate , Leading Petty Officer for A-Division and ending up as a Machinist Mate Chief, Leading Chief for
M Division. I was initiated to the Chief Petty Officer brotherhood in 1979 while the ship was in the yards at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine.
I spent a total of seven years
there and loved every
minute of it. The day to day challenges encountered while training recruits
are totally different than those I encountered in other tours of duty. Many of these young men were away from home for the first time so this was a new experience for them as well. I enjoyed training the new sailors and years later found that quite a few had chosen to make a career of the Navy. I know that all the other recruit training facilities have closed, leaving Great Lakes the only recruit training facility for both male and female recruits. I believe the people that made that decision chose the best.
©1998John C. Benware MMCS(SW)
U.S. Navy (Retired)