i was a spit shined and clean cut 20 year old standing tall in my blue coveralls with a a metal eagle pinned to each collar, my name sewn over my right pocket and US NAVY over my heart. i have no idea how it happened, but i was a third class petty officer in charge of 32 deck seamen, most of which were only a few months younger than i. my job title was boatswain mate, which meant that i was basically unskilled labor. a roustabout. jack of all trades. most boatswain mates know everything about ships and sailing , but little about anything else.