NORFOLK, VA — Junior sailors onboard the USS Wasp are listening intently as Damage Controlman Chief Jose Cortez stresses the importance of learning about something they will never hear about again, sources confirmed today.
“This is incredibly important,” Cortez says while holding up The Thing, a piece of equipment that isn’t even worth describing in detail because, honestly, you’re just there to sign your name to the attendance sheet. “Everything you do in the Navy will involve this in some way.”
“Are you following me?” asks Cortez to a nodding class not paying any attention.
Listing off a few facts about The Thing, but not bothering to teach any sort of conceptual knowledge, Cortez tells the class they “will see this material again” — a telltale sign the sailors would not see the material again.
Sources confirm a clueless Seaman Apprentice in the front of the class was taking notes, too inexperienced to know he would never ever use The Thing. Every few months he might see a binder with The Thing’s name on it and in a year he would overhear a sailor mention The Thing. Those would be the only interactions with The Thing he would have in his career.
“Is the muster sheet going around?” Cortez asks. “Good. Make sure you sign for this, it’s important.” Sailors passed the muster sheet around, knowing that signing that they learned about The Thing was more important than learning about The Thing.
“Everyone has to pass the test before they leave here today,” says Cortez while passing out a stack of papers. “If you don’t pass, you will not get qualed to use The Thing. Everyone have one? Good. Question one is A, two is C.”
After the training and test were complete Cortez handed the tests and muster sheet to the divisional training petty officer, who threw the stack of papers into the trash.
At press time, sources noted two airmen had failed the test.