If you look to the right side of my blog, you will see a number of patches that reflect my duty stations (boats and ships) along the way. My sub vets vest has a fair representation of them and it is a matter of some pride that I wear each one. They all stand for a part of my personal journey and I am very honored to wear each and every one.

Recently I was asked (like many others to reflect on a patch for a USSVI region. The patch was nice and reflects the geographic area the region represents. Nicely colored, it also has a submarine template which is generic enough to fit a number of tastes for members and potential members. But like most patches, it seems to be missing something for me. The National Patch is also very nice since it a symbol of our shared qualification. It is an achievement that not every man or woman can claim.


I wonder if there will come a day where the Submarine Veterans Organization will have a patch that reflects the men (and now women) who are the Veterans. Because of submarine development over the past 114 years, there will never be a real consensus about what the optimal “submarine patch” would look like. And that opinion would change from generation to generation. DBF guys will be duking it our with Nuke boat guys until we all pass to the next great command. And I can’t wait to hear the fussing between the boys who sailed on boats with our old technology versus the youngsters that literally “fly” the Virginia class subs.

But the one unifying thing between all generations is that sailor who shows up at the head of the brow one day with a seabag slung over his shoulder wondering what the hell he has signed up for. My favorite Navy symbol of all time is The Lone Sailor which graces the Navy Memorial in DC and many other places around the country (including Norfolk). Did you know that the guy who was the “model” for the statue was a boomer sailor from one of the Trident subs?

I wonder what that symbol would look like if it were to reflect the submarine forces? I wonder if it would even be possible?



The sailor who mans the watch transcends every divide submariners have ever had. It doesn’t matter if he was on a ship named after a fish or a man. Nuclear powered or diesel. Boomer or Fast Attack. East coast or West coast. Just some kid from someplace in America that put on a brave face the first time they closed the hatch on him and ordered the ship to submerge. When someone captures that, I think it will be the real symbol of our great group.

Mister Mac

6 thoughts on “Patches

  1. I’m a veteran of the Navy (Radioman 3rd Class) and I sent/received many a message from sub tenders at Holy Loch, UK in the early 80s. I think patches are awesome. A tattoo, of sorts, to claim as yours. A chapter in a life. Nice post.

  2. <r. Mac: Thanks for the info. Must have been my fuzzy head that thought the Lone Sailor memorial was for all Navy men and women and not specifically submariners. Duh!

    1. Hi Nancy. Sorry if I misrepresented the sailor. He is truly an All Navy image. I merely like to point out that the original model was a submariner.

  3. Hey Mac, I’m badly off topic here, but too lazy to dig out your e-mail.

    Don’t know if you remember but a while back, I wrote about my partner’s fiancee, who is a Filipina, anyway she’s here now and his wife, the article was here:

    and she has some questions about lean six sigma in this country, if you’d like to answer them, email me at the address in the comments and I’ll get you two together.



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s