Like wrecker my career path in boats was chosen for me but once I was a submariner I never ever considered returning to GS.Only big changes in my personal life persuaded me to leave the RN.I have never regretted my time in boats having had the pleasure of serving with great mates and professionals.
My regrets come and go but for 18 months I was posted to a boat and regretted ever emerging from the birth canal on a daily basis.
I had a boat before and after this particular draft and I can state with all confidence that the bad one...the one that caused me to draft a CTRF on a daily basis with a request to hand in my notice...was the most self serving, bad-natured, disorganized, life shattering place I have ever, ever worked and I am including jobs before the navy in that as well.
There seemed to be a constant atmosphere of either paranoia that someone was out to get you or people were actually out to stitch up their oppos...usually downwards.
The department I was in was a microcosm for the boat, clash of personalities, micromanagement at a level I have never seen before, blatant favouritism and a boss so tightly wound he had to screw his uniform on at the start of each watch.
There were times at sea when I even considered just leaving him asleep so I didn't have to deal with him at handover and just take the watch myself for a couple of days.
Other than that no, no regrets other than the ones that were thrust upon me and have now gone but then every job has it's ups and downs and I think I've had my down, way down in Chinatown.
Was unlucky enough to get the 1st POLARIS boat (RESO) in 68, then for the next 10 years, had SSNs - wouldn't've missed it for the world - some more than interesting running, with some of the best mess and shipmates you could wish for. Also gave me an insight into the Operations side of life that you'd never get on the surfarce - can anyone ever remember a Jack Dusty in the Sound Room (or whatever they call it) or operate a CEP with complete confidence ? Loved nearly every minute of it, including the odd moments of sheer terror.
Only regret was when they pissed about with the Greenies branch to their detriment.
I bet their aren't many General service Greenies that navigated a ship. I did on boats
Great time on boats excluding bloody Bombers.
Great times I will always remember mates I'll never forget.
Plus If I hadn't joined up I wouldn't have met Jan Berry!!
I didn't have much time at sea overall as they kept scrapping or mothballing the Boats I was on or about to join - of course when your on them they are a pain but when you look back I have to say that was the best years of my working life.
Other drafts included central London which was great and several shit jobs whilst they had too many men after they killed off all of the Diesel boats, then I got fed up and left rather than move to Jockland. I even went back as a full time reservist as well.
There are only 6 months out of the 10 years I did that I would say I hated, the rest was rough or smooth. You do get some say in where/what but it's mostly decided for you, I was sent to boats but enjoyed it overall. I miss the mates more which is why i'm here.
Polycell: Now Jan Berry ,there's a name I've served with on Conx. Only met him once after leaving boats and that was the first Conqueror reunion at the Victory Services club in London. What a guy. You probably already know this but he ended up working for the ex-Jimmy of Conqueror as a researcher I believe. Knew him as LSA Dirty, as LSA clean was Bungy Williams !! If you hear from him again pass on my very best wishes...