WE ARE SUBMARINERS – Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow



Throughout the generation where men have gone to sea on submarines, a bond has formed that crosses all of those generations. This anonymous quote comes from one of the web sites I frequent. I can’t identify the author so I have taken it directly from the posting but will gladly give credit if the author can show authenticity.

This is military appreciation month. In honor of my brothers (and now sisters) still serving, I dedicated this post to you.

Mister Mac

S-36 Officers and Crew close up


“We are not the first of them and we will not be the last. Our heritage runs back to the first submarine. This heritage line continues forward into an unseen future. The one before trains each generation. This will remain so until there is no more use for submarines, which will never be….
If one of us goes aboard a new or old submarine, we are comfortable with the men there. They are we, and we are they. Stand us in a line in all our dress uniforms or naked in our coffins, we are the same. We are and forever will be submarine sailors. WE ARE ONE.


We can have everything taken from us, uniforms, medals, our sanity and our lives, but we will always be recognised by others and ourselves as a submariner. This status cannot be removed from us. Our ‘Dolphins’ worn on our chests then, hung on our walls now, or later pinned on mouldering uniforms in our graves mark us forever. We are first, last, and always men that stepped forward and worked long and hard to become what we are. We are unique among sailors for we sail down deep into dark and always dangerous waters. We do this not with foolhardy go-to-hell bravery, but with cool calculation and care. We challenge the dangers with training and practice. We know that the time for bravery will come when two shipmates shut themselves in a flooding compartment, knowing that the whole boat and crew depends on them to control the flooding.


We believe in each other, because we must. Alone at sea, the crew and a pressure hull are all we have to reach the surface again. Men with confidence in each other dive and surface submarines countless times. Each man trained by others holds the lives of those shipmates in his hands.
‘Dolphins’ are the symbol of this tradition. Submarine hulls have numbers and men have hearts and souls. We carry those numbers in our hearts in life, and they mark our souls in death. GOLD DOLPHINS are a symbol of this.
To us ‘Dolphins’ are it, no other symbol matters or means anything as important as they do.”


History of how Dolphins came to be: http://ussnautilus.org/blog/dolphin-history/


Let the celebrations begin: http://theday.com/article/20140504/NWS09/305049950#.U2bR6gueH1k.facebook


5 thoughts on “WE ARE SUBMARINERS – Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

  1. Sorry, you had me up till you limited the brotherhood to “gold dolphins”. If you had left off the “gold” the poetry would have been universal. I was in a compartment that was taking on water. I sealed myself and the MSLL in and we took care of it, but not because you had “gold dolphins” on, but because I had “dolphins” on. Only a “zero” would make the color distinction.

    1. I appreciate the feedback Dan. If you read the beginning, I did say that it was a “quoted” story and I felt obligated to leave it as written by the unknown author. I am proud of both my silver dolphins and my Mustang Eagle and crossed anchors. I am sure in the history of submarines, men with both gold and silver have demonstrated courage that is both rare and unthinkable to the average man. I would neither denigrate the officers or men who wore a common pin under any circumstances.

      1. Mstrmc711, sorry. I read the blurb, and, due to having had a really bad academy puke in charge of our division for over a year, and he was definitely of the opinion of the superiority of officers, I whiplashed a reply. I guess I actually agree with you wholeheartedly that it’s the dolphins that count, and not their color. Luckily, on the boat I was on, we had men, both enlisted and officers, for whom I would swim out a torpedo tube. You sound like one of them. Can I buy you a beer sometime?

      2. It would be an honor. I have known a few over the years as well. I was reminded yesterday at a USSVI meeting that good men can come from many places. The guy sitting next to me is retiring after thirty years of faithful service as a Captain. I would take a bullet for him. If you read some of my older blogs about my career, you will see that I feel the same as you about others. Have a great week. If you end up coming to San Francisco for the convention this year look me up. If you can make it to Pittsburgh next year, I will buy the beer.

      3. I’ll do a little research on the convention. OBTW, I grew up in Hayward, CA with a clear view of The City in the ’60’s. Also, I was on a Permit class boat in the 70’s on the East coast.

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