Miguel posts about the Norwegian military reissuing the used underwear of discharged service members. One memory of my own time in the military makes me cringe to think about having to share skivvies.

When I first reported to the fleet, everyone who was E4 and below had to report for 90 days of “coop cleaning.” The coop was the compartment where about 200 of the sailors in the engineering department lived. There was one E4 and three sailors E3 and below who were assigned as coop cleaners. It was their job to clean the berthing compartment and its attached head.

Inside of that compartment were two laundry receptacles: one for dark clothes, one for whites. Twice a week, the coop cleaners would put the clothes into 60 pound bags and take those 5 or 6 bags down to the laundry to be washed. When those clothes came back clean, the coop cleaners would place them on each person’s rack (bunk). It was rather nasty. Imagine what 300 pounds of laundry that was worn in a hot, humid environment by 200 sweaty guys for a 16 hour workday smelled like after fermenting for three days in a common laundry locker. Yeah, it smelled like a mixture of ammonia, grilled onions, cheese, and farts.

One of the funniest traditions we had was to pin the skivvies with the largest skid mark to the bulletin board that was located next to the laundry bin. Since your name was on the skivvies, you were subject to ridicule. We had one guy, his name was Crenshaw, who regularly had skidmarks that were 6 inches long and two or three inches wide. He didn’t care one whit about the ridicule he was subjected to. Every laundry day, his underwear and its large skidmarks would go on display.

So no, I would rather go commando.

Categories: funGlory Days


Bert · January 12, 2022 at 1:04 pm

I picked the wrong damn shit to read during lunch break………

ChuckInBama · January 12, 2022 at 1:04 pm

Funny that you’d have to turn in yer drawers upon discharge from service. I don’t know about you other fellows, but the Army let me keep mine….

E M Johnson · January 13, 2022 at 2:24 pm

I was lucky. Reported to 1st squadron right after they returned from WestPac. TAD to base mess for midrats for a few months then I was done. the coop cleaning gig was nasty I’m glad I missed that

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