A conversation this week with a Marine “no longer on Active Duty” (my friend and mentor, Colonel Andy Weddington (USMC, Ret) taught me this) at work related to coffee mugs and salty Navy Chief Petty Officers. As I have related previously in this blog, it is a thing of Pride, while not necessarily beauty, to health professionals and civilians, to have a caked black, coffee-encrusted mug – the Chief’s coffee mug.
So Bill and I were discussing, with his wife – also employed at my company – coffee, mugs, Chiefs he had known as a Marine, and our Chief’s lore – particularly the Chief’s mug. I related to her my tale as a poor -just out of Recruit Training-schmuck Sailor cleaning the CPO Mess that took years to live down. I was asked how my wife endures my Chief’s cup. And I explained that I have “two” mugs: (1) any random mug at home. Sheri washes all the mugs in the house. When my spouse makes my coffee, I will drink it any way she serves it to me, black, with almond milk, or French Vanilla creamer. Even at Starbucks, I will have “hazelnut coffee – when we are having it together.
At the office, I have my office mug, a new one that I was given this year by the company, getting saltier and saltier and saltier. With THIS mug, with the “guys” and particularly with old Navy buddies – strong black coffee. You may call me a double-minded man.
I live by something I learned years ago: The Senior Chief’s wife is still the ISIC (Immediate Superior in Command), and sets policy – even in bare feet.