Once the man new to the service is put aboard ship, he is swallowed up in a large ship’s company, and there is not time enough to teach him the rudiments of seamanship and naval life and duty. On a big ship he must learn gunnery. On smaller ships he is kept busy mule-hauling. On most ships, as soon as it becomes apparent that a boy knows little and is slow to learn, the petty officers take little interest in him and the most responsible and instructive work that he is given is sweeping the deck and handling stores.
Can the Quality of the Seaman Second Class as Sent to the Fleet Be Improved?—A Suggestion
By Lieutenant Commander E. M. Williams, U. S. Navy.
As a general rule the seaman second class, as now first received in the fleet, is painfully ignorant of ship life and of what is required of him aboard ship, although he is well versed in matters pertaining to life on a training station in barracks. It takes him several weeks to become oriented before he can be left to his own resources to do even the simplest job. These boys often appear dazed and bewildered when they first come aboard ship.