An Officer’s Boy: Prologue

By Ensign James Rozo, USN

Dedication: To ABH3 K.M. Cherry, USN, an exceptional sailor and shipmate imbued with a strong sense of duty and a commitment to professional excellence.

Distribution: Per DoD Directive 5230, dissemination is authorized to inquisitive citizenry, historians, and researchers investigating the institutionalization of homosexuality in the United States Navy.

The Chief of Naval Operations expanded women’s role in 1978 - allowing them to serve on tenders, oilers, and other auxiliary ships. In 1993, Congress repealed the Combat Exclusion Law, allowing women aboard all combatants - forever destroying the traditional male bonding experience. Fortunately, during the author’s time on Independence no sea cows were permitted aboard.


“It follows than as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious.”  ~ George Washington, 15 November 1781 letter to the Marquis de Lafayette ~

Life at sea is a spiritual enterprise.

The call of the mysterious deep, primal and undeniable, resonates in the subconscious, haunts the imagination, and intrinsically stimulates ardent yearnings for adventure and exploration.

Longing for the open seas, mariners experience excitement watching Boatswain’s Mates cast off lines - severing the tether with ashore concerns. The ship’s whistle sounds a long blast, the Colors shift from gaff to mast, and she gracefully slips away from the pier.

Underway, making way, the cavitating propellers thrust man and imagination through space and time as sailors embark upon a profound journey of self-discovery…connecting to an ancient seafaring tradition steeped in legends and myths.

Congregating on weather decks at night, sailors skillfully maneuver in the inky blackness, awestruck by the infinite sky, the vastness of the oceans, and the insignificance of man and his tribulations.

Securely cloistered in their racks after taps, sailors perceive the ship's pitch and roll, the vibration of the main machinery plant, the whirr of the ventilation system, and the sound of shipmates dreaming of sailing ships - the snap of canvas and the creak of ropes.

Make no doubt about it, there is nothing like it, being a sailor on the high seas.

There is, however, a darker side to a nautical life.

A notoriously rigid ingrained hierarchy, the Navy operates on carefully calibrated brutality where rank, seniority, and military discipline govern everything. Despite extensive US Codes, DoD Policies, and Navy Regulations, alpha males in authoritative positions routinely abuse junior sailors - the unequivocal physical property of the United States Navy.

At sea, sexual interactions take many forms. Contextual instead of universal, gender identification is fluid, defined more by desire than biology…where a sailor becomes the object of affection and property of another more dominant shipmate, transforming the strict male/ female paradigm.

Cock sucking, a well-established nautical shibboleth, isn’t considered gay - it’s just bottom dwellers taking their turn over the barrel, paying homage to superior males.

Sharks and minnows, consumers and consumed, engage in a continuous struggle for resources and survival. Young and vulnerable sailors…submissive and confused, are aggressively pursued, skillfully acquired, and sacrificed for carnal delight and entertainment.

Tender young 3/c midshipmen, easily subjugated, are especially prized commodities. Sailing in dangerous waters, surrounded by formidable deep-sea predators, they never envision their transformation into fleet cocksuckers and sea-pussy.

Somehow, however, it always happens.

Voracious seadogs, alert to every opportunity, eagerly facilitate the metamorphosis. Exercising inherent rights, they force feed defenseless boys prodigious quantizes of delicious Navy jam while taking extensive liberties with their sweet uninitiated asses.

Experiencing overwhelming feelings of humiliation and shame, it’s often impossible for a midshipman to explain to family and friends that his major contribution to America’s defense while on summer cruise was to provide sexual services to aggressive, demanding shipmates.

In the Navy, rank is everything.

And life as an officer is sweet. For a midshipman or junior sailor, not so much.

The ensuing chapters document daily life aboard USS Independence CV62: the camaraderie and interdependence, the intimacy and emotional attachments, the struggle for survival, and the search for love on the high seas. 

Ancient superstitions and the deep belief that deleterious spirits, capricious and vindictive, must be placated with offerings and sacrifices, are also explored.

The voyage aboard Independence begins in chapter 1.

Comments and readers’ experiences with sailors, afloat or ashore, are always of interest.

The author may be reached at [email protected]


james rozo

[email protected]


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