Another Crazy English Word and my US Navy History

The English word “order” is yet another word that can mean different things, depending on how it is used. Recently I sent an order to Amazon to purchase five copies of Raymond C. Ortlund Jr.’s book, PROVERBS, WISDOM that WORKS. When Cindie and I go to a restaurant, we place our order, which is a request from the menu. My basement and garage workshops have a certain type of order (and at times disorder) so that I can find what I am looking for.

Yet another use of the word order has to do with commands. If I am the supervising signalman on board ship, I can order those of a lower rate to perform certain tasks.

Orders from 1971 Through 1975

Signalman School class records. I don’t remember doing this well. Perhaps that is why I was sent to Hawaii!

 When I enlisted in the United States Navy, my life was directed by a series of orders. Some of them seemed strange and a few were even wasteful, in my opinion. However, my opinion of each order, regardless of how I viewed them, did not matter. If I was given an order, I was to obey. Perhaps the strangest of the orders came at the conclusion of my basic signalman training. I was stationed in a cold place: Newport RI. When my orders came at the conclusion of the training, I was puzzled. I was not assigned to a ship. This was strange because a signalman’s occupation is a shipboard role. Rather, I was assigned to “NAS, Barbers Point.” At the time, I didn’t know what “NAS” meant, nor did I know where “Barbers Point” was.

NAS Barbers Point

Barbers Point is on the southwest side of the beautiful Hawaiian Island we call Oahu. So I was going from freezing winter in RI to sunny Hawaii. That was marvelous! The “NAS” portion is the navy’s abbreviation for “Naval Air Station.” They don’t need signalmen at an air station, at least not the kind of signaling I could do.

Arial View of NAS Barbers Point, Oahu Hawaii
This is at the gate entrance to the NAS Barbers Point US Navy base.
NAS Barbers Point is no longer in service.

Therefore, when I gave my papers that had given me the order to report to the NAS, the receiving officer was baffled. “What are we going to do with you?” I won’t tell the whole story in this post, but I started cleaning dishes in the mess hall and did that for several months. Then, to my surprise, I was asked if I would like to drive fuel trucks and refuel jet aircraft. That sounded like a good deal to me, and so it was that I was trained on-the-job to be an aviation boatswain’s mate. The abbreviation for that rate is ABF.

What does an ABF do?

“Aviation Boatswain’s Mates play a major part in launching and recovering naval aircraft quickly and safely from land or ships. This includes aircraft fueling and fuel systems. Later in their careers ABs can earn the advanced AB rating that requires supervision of all these individual specialties.” – See link on “ABF”.

How to Identify a Follower of Jesus

John 20:21 “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.’”

2 Timothy 2:1-4 “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”

Wayne Lynn Winquist aboard the USS Bagley (DE-1069) in the Pacific Ocean

Five Minute Friday

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up.

All scripture passages are from the English Standard Version except as otherwise noted.