A young ensign had nearly completed his first overseas tour of sea duty when
he was given an opportunity to display his ability at getting the ship under
way. With a stream of crisp commands, he had the decks buzzing with men and
soon, the ship had left port and was streaming out of the channel.
The ensign’s efficiency has been remarkable. In fact, the deck was abuzz with
talk that he had set a new record for getting a destroyer under way. The ensign
glowed at his accomplishment and was not all surprised when another seaman
approached him with a message from the captain.
He was, however, a bit surprised to find that it was a radio message, and he
was even more surprised when he read, “My personal congratulations upon
completing your underway preparation exercise according to the book and with
amazing speed. In your haste, however, you have overlooked one of the unwritten
rules — Make sure the captain is aboard before getting under way.”