Friday, August 28, 2015

The Last Ship

There are things that I enjoy about this series, but as a former sailor there are issues with it which rather have me grinding my teeth. The big flaw is, of course, the Captain of the ship repeatedly leaving the ship to participate in hazardous excursions ashore. No Navy Captain would ever leave his command leaderless like that even once, much less do it on such a routine basis.

A smaller issue is the officer who keeps telling the Captain that she has assigned “the snipes” to perform various tasks. That’s sort of bizarre. The term “snipes” is a term the Navy uses to apply to all specialties which are “below deck” rates, essentially those which relate to engineering. Other ratings are referred to as “deck rates,” even when their work has nothing specifically to do with the deck, such as Yeomen.

So when the officer says that she has assigned “the snipes” to do something, she is being really nonspecific, and no naval officer would use the term in that manner, which could be inclusive of, for instance, assigning Enginemen to fix an electrical problem.

What clouds the issue even further is that sometimes she is talking about a mechanical problem, which would be a snipe responsibility, and other times she says she assigned the snipes to deal with a communication problem, which would be the responsibility of Electronics Technicians, who are not snipes but are deck rates.

1 comment:

bruce said...

Okay, I think you're looking at it from an ex-sailor point of view, whereas most viewers would not know this. Sure it's a teeth grinding things, but it makes for semi-accurate drama. Most would not be the wiser and don't care.

The captain leading away teams is a different issue, and may not make sense for most logical viewers, especially any military /paramilitary types. But it's commonplace in television and movies. It's entertainment, not a documentary.

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