- How to become a Paul Bownas
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This is a lesson in what to do to become a Submariner
How to become a Submariner. by Paul Bownas
A Funny Story contest entry

I am listing the necessary steps for becoming a submariner for the benefit of anyone who might be interested.
Step One: Be 18 years of age. (this is optional, you can be older.)

Step Two: Join the Navy. (this is a prerequisite, and is not optional!)

Step Three: Have a medical examination from a Navy Doctor. (if you walked in there, you passed!)

Step Four: Volunteer for Submarine Service. (or wait long enough and be volunteered anyway, because they can't get enough Volunteers!)

Step Five: Have another medical to see if you are stupid enough for submarines.

Step Six: Do a test in a decompression Chamber to see if your eardrums burst. (If they do,
you are ineligible for Submarines, and may then also be ineligible for The Navy!)

Step Seven: You have now been accepted for training as a Submariner, and it's now time for you to do "The Tank".

Step Seven:(Continued) The "Tank"'s other name is "The Submarine Escape Training Tank". This name is shortened to the SETT. It is a round building about 100 feet tall. It has little airtight blister about every ten feet up the inside. You enter the Tank at the bottom, clad in a pair of swimming trunks. You then step into a little blister with the Instructor.
The Instructor explains to you that you are now going to duck out of that little blister into the water, and you are going drift all the way to the top of the tank, BREATHING OUT ALL THE WAY! You promptly decide that you didn't want to be a Submariner after all, and attempt to leave the tank. You are then physically restrained by a very burly Instructor, who informs you that you are going to do the tank, pushing you back into the blister, and out into the water. You promptly hold your breath for all you are worth, as you begin to ascend! Remember I told you about those little airtight blisters every ten feet? Well in each of them is another instructor, who swims quickly out as you go past, AND PUNCHES YOU VERY HARD IN THE STOMACH! You then breathe out very suddenly, and continue to do so, knowing that there are another eight Instructors all the way to the surface, just waiting for you to hold your breath again!
Step Eight: You have now qualified to begin to learn to be a Submariner.

Step Nine: You go into a classroom with all the other novice Submariners, and it doesn't matter if you are a Cook, a Stoker, or a Seaman, you have to learn how a Submarine works. This is because if something goes wrong (which it quite often does) you have to know what to do, in case you are the idiot who is standing where it went wrong!

Step Ten: You now actually go to sea in a Submarine, to find out how it all works, (and you hope that it does, because by now, you have forgotten all that crap they taught you!)

Step Eleven: You now do a practical test, to see if you have remembered anything they taught you.

Step Twelve: You did remember some of it, and you are now a Submariner, and you receive your gold dolphins badge to wear on your nice blue uniform.

Step Thirteen: You are now a fully qualified Submariner, and to celebrate this proven fact, the Navy promptly posts you to an Aircraft Carrier! Well done Navy!

Author Notes
When I wrote this piece, I was writing from personal experience. At the time, it didn't seem humourous, but in hindsight, I can't help laughing at some of the things that the Navy did to me!


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