by: Jim Christley
February 2000
Five years ago I tried to put into words for my book what I thought the submarine tradition was. As we reach out to the young sailors of the Force today in our 100th year, and remember our shipmates of past years, we might try to remember what makes us a happy band of brothers. From the first five men chosen to sail on the Alligator of 1862 to the men who will man the TEXAS, we all share this tradition.
There is something about the submarine service. It tends to create a bond between those who have served. It is one born of trust. Every submariner who ever put to sea and submerged has placed in the hands of another their very lives. The bond is not one of close friendship, even though those do grow out of the time spent aboard ship. It is one of mutual respect. The respect is blind to color, ethnicity, religion, nationality and gender. The bond is one of personal responsibility. Not everone has it. Some don't even know what personal responsibility is. True submariners know what it is. It is their way of life. The trust and respect and sense of personal responsibility is the submarine tradition.
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