April 24th, 1972: The Oath

First published in 2012 when I started theleansubmariner blog. Updated to 2020 to mark the 48th anniversary of the day I took my oath to defend this nation. This is the 900’th posting on the blog.


April 24th, 1972 is a day that I first raised my hand.

Like most kids, I was cocky, self centered, in too much of a hurry to be grown up and not as disciplined as I should have been. But everything began to change on that day. Up until that point, my recruiter had been the face of the Navy . He was a Senior Chief Machinist Mate named James Dotson and he was the head recruiter out of the McKeesport Pennsylvania office.

I actually signed the initial paperwork on April 19th with Mom and Dad having to sign as well. I was only seventeen. The swearing in occurred a few days later in Pittsburgh at the MEPS station in the Federal Building. That was my first exposure to standing in line at attention. It was also a chance to figure out that this was definitely different than hanging out…

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5 thoughts on “April 24th, 1972: The Oath

  1. Very well written & said. I believe most of us who served remember all too well those first surreal moments at the start of our career. Long or short.
    I remember mine vividly as well.
    Kudos shipmate…proud to have served.

    1. Thanks Mark. My short term goal is to make it to the fiftieth anniversary. But I am incredibly grateful for the amazing journey up until now.

    1. Nope. The program was called the Delayed Entry Program. It allowed them to begin your processing and gave you a guarantee for the training you wanted to take when you graduated form boot camp. But it locked you in and you were unable to change your mind once you got sworn in.


  2. About 30min. after arriving as a recruit in Navsta San Diego I had a BGO ( blinding glimpse of the obvious) that no one there loved me.

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