All Hands Heave Out
F3 men are early risers. This much I know.
To insert into the F3 Conversation an essay extolling the benefits of early rising is “preaching to the choir” taken to an extreme. But preach we must, not only in an effort to support each other, but also because early rising is an essential element of F3 that presents a large, but surmountable, obstacle for potential FNG’s.
The benefits of rising early have been sung throughout every age and culture. If you have not done so already, I urge you to read – or re-read – this piece by Monsignor Lemieux which does as good as job as I’ve ever seen in summing up the reasons and benefits to rising early.
Let me also tell you a personal story that helped set my view of early rising.
At USNA, and aboard ship, sailors hear these words EVERY MORNING at 0600, “Reveille, reveille. All hands heave out and trice up. Man the hatches with the overheads lighted.”
While at the Academy I was 99.99% effective at observing “reveille” as I was supposed to. Well, wouldn’t you know that on the .01% day that I failed to roll out of my rack the Duty Officer was patrolling my passageway. When I didn’t appear at my door on time, he burst in with a “Form 2” which put me on report and guaranteed that I would lose at least 2 weekends of valuable “liberty” in town.
The Duty Officer was a commissioned Lieutenant, fresh from the fleet. As he was signing the “Form 2” I was feeling a little put-upon to say the least. In fact, you might say I was pissed. I was a First Class Midshipman. I’d worked hard for 3 years to earn the right to have weekends off, and I’d just lost two of them because I was 30 seconds late in rolling out of the rack.
I guess the Lieutenant read my body-language. As he looked me over he said, “Midshipman Cannon, this Form 2 is not about you. It’s about them.”
He pointed out the door.
He went on, “Your plebes are all up. You’re supposed to be their leader. And right now, as we stand here, there is some kid who’s been on watch for 6 hours on the bridge of a ship. He’s up. This is for them and all those who are going to count on you to be up on time. Every time.”
So here is what helps me roll out of the rack early… the realization that rising early helps me, but it’s not ABOUT me. It’s ABOUT making me a better man for others – my family, my country, my God.
Personally, I love our 0530 launch time. I roll out of the rack at 0445. I have time for a few prayers (I always start my day with the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel), to Tweet out some encouragement, grab a snack and head out for wheels-up.
So when you have an EH on a potential FNG and he demures at the early hour, maybe you can politely let him know that early rising can help him take the focus OFF himself and direct it outward where it’s meant to be. Maybe you can send him Msgr. Lemieux’s words of encouragement.
Any other advice or comments from the pax on what get’s YOU up at zero-dark-thirty?