SAN DIEGO, CA — Amidst a hanging cloud of dank smoke, inside the boatswain locker of the USS Tarawa (LHA-1), U.S. Navy Rastafari Chaplain Commander Winfrey Dalter invoked his bleary-eyed congregation of nearly one hundred sailors and Marines, “not to worry about a thing, because every little thing is going to be alright.”
It was first of its kind as well as the fastest religious service ever performed onboard Tarawa, where everything is everything. A Duffel Blog investigative reporter uncovered the fact that it wasn’t even a real mass but a Rastafarian ritual known as a “reasoning” session, where everyone smokes marijuana and attempts to hash out spiritual ideas.
A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Dalter’s previous military experience was that of a lieutenant in the Jah Army.
When asked about how he felt the reasoning session was conducted, Dalter replied, “Ya mon, everyting is irei mon. We smoke da ganja to bring us closer to Jah.”
The reaction on the deckplates of those attending was mostly positive. Seaman Terry Ovis, of Portland, Ore., was overjoyed not to wait out his enlistment to partake in the reefer madness. “All the guys told me that Rastafarianism meets the criteria for a religious belief specified in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and since congress can make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibit the free exercise thereof, I’m good to get high as long as I’m in the Rasta circle. First Amendment baby!”
“I knew it was something cosmic that told me to keep that last box of Twinkies in my rack until tonight,” Lance Corporal Wayne Morgan said. “Jah was watching over me. Hands down, this was the greatest night of my military career.”
Some officers on Tarawa were not at all pleased with Winfrey’s military bearing. Lieutenant Bradley Keegan lamented, “he has dreadlocks down to his ass but no one says anything just because he’s an O-5. And as for the smelly, unreg, rainbow knitted hat he wears all the time, it disgusts me and the rest of the wardroom for that matter. You can’t even understand most of what he says! I think it would be in his best interest to take on the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior.”
Despite it’s detractors, the night raged on with inter-division hacky sack contests, drum sessions, and crew members gorging on tasty treats stolen from the ship’s galley. Culinary Specialist Chief Petty Officer Sara Coffie was a huge hit after preparing the entire ship’s stores worth of steak and lobster. When asked about her secret recipe for the scrumptious vittles, she replied “What, wait, what?”
Master At Arms First Class Daniel Christmas dispatched a rapid response team to break up the ritual but the eight member squad was immediately overtaken by a contact high upon entering the space. The team leader reported back to Christmas that he couldn’t bust anyone because he just loved everyone too much.
Dalter not only presided over the “mass” but acted the the DJ as well. “Ya mon, every ting is criss mon. I ain’t never seen da blue and green sides actin’ together as one like dis before mon. One love rudeboy!”
The sounds of Bob Marley’s ‘Redemption Song’ played until morning quarters when the announcement of a command urinalysis was made. Reality then hit when three sailors were hospitalized for drinking bleach and one died after drinking too much water.
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