The second you step about a military base, or into a military organization, or aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, you notice the difference.
As we walked up the stairs and crossed the gangplank to the brow of the ship, our host, Lt. Cmdr. Steve Curry stopped just before boarding the ship, turned aft and saluted the flag. The enlisted people waiting for us, snapped salutes to him which he returned. We were among about 300 other "Tigers" on the ship for the four day cruise, and we soon were thankful our host was an officer. Most of the others were hosted by members of the enlisted crew.
Though they work as a team in close quarters, the line between officers and enlisted, is everywhere apparent--as you saw with the label on the door to the male officers head. Other labels in berthing areas clearly announce the area as officer country. You also saw the difference in eating areas, and officers don't have to bus their own plates.
Sleeping quarters are one example. We were bunked in a suite of six, two sinks, ample storage.
|Where I slept, bottom bunk|
|Four of the bunks in our area--you can barely see mine behind the locker and chair on the right|
|Another view, of the sinks, and storage.|
|Enlisted quarters, three bunks in a stack s0 there's less overhead room, and there are many bunks to each area.|
|Steve and I in San Diego. He's wearing the NWU.|
|Steve Curry's dress uniform, ready for wear. Note the name tag, with the ship's logo--a Lincoln head penny.|
|An enlisted uniform|
|An officer conducting a tour on the bridge|