Thanksgiving in the Navy

USS Nimitz Saliors Celebrate Thanksgiving. (Credit: PO3 Weston Mohr/US NAVY)

At any given time tens of thousands of Sailors and Marines are deployed on ships, scattered around the globe. It is a tough job sometimes to be away from your family defending your country and its interests. Being deployed during the holidays can be down right fucking depressing, especially for younger Sailors and Marines. One of the things we do pretty well, however, is adapt. We make the best of the situation. Onboard ships and in station galleys across the fleet today, our FSO’s and Culinary Specialists got to show us what they got. And for most sailors this is a time to look forward to, as Thanksgiving chow is usually a point of pride for the food service folks.

NAVSUP 2017 Thanksgiving Graphic
Graphic Credit: US Navy/NAVSUP

To put it in perspective as to how big thanksgiving is for the Navy alone, take a look at how much turkey we use. The Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) is in charge of food delivery fleet wide. According to their statistics they will send out more than 89,000 LBS of turkey alone. That is a shitload of turkeys.

Chief of Naval CNO Adm. John Richardson has Thanksgiving dinner with Sailors and Marines aboard USS Wasp. (Credit: PO2 Rawad Madanat/US NAVY)

Another interesting thing that happens, that si a small morale booster, is the age-old tradition of senior sailors helping out with the shit work. Officers and NCO’s take on jobs in the galley, mess and scullery. This provides the junior guy with some time to enjoy the day, and allows folks like the senior officers to get out and interact with the crew in a different way.  On that trend Thanksgiving is typically a time where various deployed units are by the most senior of the Navy’s leadership. In the picture above the CNO is posing for a dinner photo with a sailor on the mess decks of the USS Wasp.

Being away from home for the holidays sucks, there is no way to change that. What we do is we make our situation as bearable as possible. The entire chain of command pitches in, and it just makes it a little more bearable.



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