The Saga of the

Why They Wear Dolphins

The following artical is reprinted from the September 1967 issue of ALL HANDS Magazine.

WHY DO NAVYMEN volunteer for the Submarine Service?

What makes a sailor willingly submit himself to the rigors of the confining and often uncomfortable life of a submariner? The men of the U. S. underseas fleet claim they put in longer hours, are separated more from their families, must perform more diversified tasks and take greater risks than their surface counterparts. They live in an atmosphere where there is not enough water for daily showers at sea, where sleeping quarters are sparse and overcrowded, and where daily living can be rigorous as well as demanding.

Yet each year thousands of Navymen – seamen apprentices and veteran salts alike – volunteer for submarine duty. What’s more, those who volunteer seldom change their minds. The dropout rate is practically nil. Why?

Here are the opinions of men in Submarine Flotilla One. It is a sampling of some 35 crewmembers from the following submarines:USS Bream (AGSS 243), Baya (AGSS 318), Caiman (SS 323), Diodon (SS 349), Razorback (SS 394), Redfish (AGSS 395), and Salmon (SS 573).
Most of the men who took part in the survey decided upon the Submarine Service after studying all the Navy’s programs. More often than not their initial interest was sparked by friends who had served in – or were at the time serving in – submarines.

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© Ric Hedman 1998 - 2007
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