Favorite Commands

  My Favorite sea duty command was a frigate, the
U.S.S. W. S. Sims (FF-1059)

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.

   Not a big choice in favorite shore duty commands, I went to the same shore
command for both of my shore duty tours.    My favorite shore duty command was at Recruit Training Command,   Great Lakes, Illinois.

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)