Case I.—Boatswain’s mate, first class, 13 years’ service. He’s devoted to the Navy, works like a demon, no matter what the hour. Undoubtedly one of the best seamen you ever saw, and you feel that you would trust him with any job of seamanship in the world. He rules his men with an iron hand and, all in all, he is leadership personified. As time goes on, you find out to your surprise that his men do not like him. In fact, they begin to hate him. Presently trouble begins to crop out, and your division turns into a bunch of reprobates, the requests for transfers are alarming, and the executive officer begins to eye you with that certain look. You are convinced eventually that your first class boatswain’s mate is to blame, but why? He’s the answer to a division officer’s prayer, according to all the rules, but what is the matter with him?
Ratings By Shakespeare
By Lieutenant V. P. Douw, U. S. Navy