Only the Navy…

Can take a sophisticated game and turn it into a raucous rule bending game played all over the Navy…

Welcome to Acey Ducey! This is a picture of an old WESTPAC board, probably from a Chief’s Mess on a ship looking at the ratings shown.

And as part of another ‘discussion’ we’ve had ongoing for a couple of weeks now…

We’ve been batting around the idea of an anthology either titled ‘The MilSpec Chronicles’ or ‘The MilSurp Chronicles’.

I know there are enough TRUE stories out there on either one of those to blow most civilian’s minds… LOL


TBT… — 21 Comments

  1. The true stories are enough for those gray/white hairs.

    Don’t forget the waivers. Can’t meet spec [“cost, schedule, performance”]?

  2. When I hear “military grade” I cringe. One, there ain’t no such thing. It’s another catch phrase made up by the media. As we were often told:

    “MILSPEC” means “Measured with a micrometer, marked with chalk, and cut with an axe!”

    Or: That piece of high speed, low drag special operator equipment that your life depends on was made by the lowest bidder with a minimum wage work force of high school dropouts.

  3. “Milspec Chronicles” will give most veterans couple of bad nights, and a lot of laughter mixed with groans. But go for it! It sounds like a great idea.

  4. Have you ever read the mil spec for toilet paper? I’d hate to actually use it, it’d be worse than using sandpaper!

  5. Some of my lovely, sweet coworkers have yet to figure out that each individual word in “government-committee designed, lowest-bidder enacted” may be work appropriate, but the meaning behind it is anything but.

    The active duty and prior service folks I’m warning about the non-obvious requirement? Well, I frequently get military punctuation in the reply.

  6. Really. Every time some ‘breaking news expose’ commercial comes on about ‘Military Grade’ weapons, well, gee, the Mosin-Nagant Garbage Rod is ‘military grade.’ Good for butt-stroking Tiger tanks, digging foxholes, lighting the night every time you shoot it…

    But accuracy and finish and beauty? Not so much.

    Military Grade. Milspec toilet paper can be used to polish out that dent on that Tiger tank, and remove MRE droppings. As actual soft comfy butt-wipe, not so much…

  7. Don’t forget to include the opening sentence for all the true Navy sea-stories in your anthology.

  8. MilSpec Chronicles: yes, please!

    My introduction to Acey Ducey was when I bought a backgammon board in Korea and the Chief said “Here, lemme show you how to play.” Don’t assume that piece he’s waving around is actually part of the game…

  9. I was responsible for several display integrated circuits when I worked at Hewlett Packard. The ones for the civilian market were well behaved and easy to build. The one for the US Air Farce made up for the rest.

    I think the designer of that chip disappeared in a stink of sulfur shortly after the design was committed to silicon. I *hope* it’s not in service any more, but if any of the C-135 AWACS are in service, I wasn’t there.

  10. My Dad had an oil cloth Acey Ducey board and pieces from his navy service during the Korean War. We’d play some when I was a kid (I could never figure it out) and a cousin who was Air Force would play him when he came home on leave for hours at a time it seemed.

    “Mil Spec” would be a great read. I lived near Kennedy Space Center during the 80s and many Shuttle launches (including Challenger). I always admired the Astronauts. It takes a brave soul to ride a rocket into space and back that was built by the low bidder.

  11. My class in engineering school in the mid-1980s was the last class to get real time on a drafting board. The class after us was cutting their teeth on AutoCAD v2. I had one year in the field as a board rat and then that place switched to “the tube.” (CRT CAD drafting.) I still have an Ames lettering guide and my tape ball.
    We snuck some teeny little gags here and there. One guy did a half-scale bug screen for the front grill of a truck, and he snuck a teeny little cartoon-y bug in there.
    A handful of times, in the MIL SPEC portion of the title block I got away with adding “MIL-TFD-41” in the list.
    It was already a time-worn shop joke back then, and it means “Make it Like the F***’n Drawing For Once.”

  12. I spent 12 years working QA at a small defense contractor. I had to know the mil-specs and product specs better than the government people. That way I could defend what we were doing and how we were doing it whenever I would have a .gov inspector or engineer come through who had only half read the specs and would try to find something to complain about.

  13. Never worked on mil-spec items directly, but it seems there were similar problems building computer chip making machines and surgical and communication laser systems. Got to the point that I ended up doing QC/QA on various critical parts in the incoming dept or on the manufacturing floor of those three companies. Amazing what the machine shops would send in. Some parts were measured to 6 figures in tolerance, some in partial wavelengths. Annoying to have to do 100% checks on critical dimensions of important parts.
    One internal machine shop wasn’t any better, surprisingly. Returned a badly made part that I had designed to a machinist, and he took it and threw it across the shop, where it bounced off a wall. His boss ended up re-machining it. At least I didn’t have to deal with another layer of oversight directly, although they did get involved in the medical end of it.

  14. Feral- Ah yes, the half trained inspector/engineer on a power trip… sigh

    Will- I can’t say I’m surprised by this. There is no ‘pride’ in product anymore.

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