About Naval Reservists and Naval
Note: This is about the Naval Reserve Ship program during the
'60s, '70s and '80s. The program has changed a bit since
There were basically two types of reservists;
Navy had reserve centers all over the country where Ready
Reservists would attend one evening drill per week or one
weekend drill per month, depending on the unit.
- Ready Reserves - Those on regular
drilling status and belong to specific reserve unit.
- Standby Reserves - Those who were not required
to perform training nor be part of any specific unit. They
did, however, create a pool of trained individuals who could
be readily mobilized, if necessary.
(A drill is four hours long. Some units drilled once per
week. Some units drilled on weekends where a drill weekend
had 2, four hour drills per day.)
(reservists were paid one days pay per drill and drills accrued
Additionally, in certain
ports, there were Reserve ships.
On the west coast there were Reserve destroyers in Seattle, WA,
Tacoma,WA, Portland, OR, Long Beach, CA and San Diego, CA.
There were also Reserve minesweepers in Seattle,WA, Tacoma, WA,
San Francisco, CA and San Diego, CA. For a short
time there were also Reserve amphibious ships in San Diego, CA.
Reserve ships were manned and maintained by active duty
personnel at about 2/3 (or less) of the normal compliment.
The rest of the ship's compliment was made up by the SelRes (Selected Reserve
Crew). As the name suggests, it was a Select Crew.
The requirements were;
1. The reservist
should live within 50 mi of the reserve ship's home port.
There must be a billet available for the reservist's Rate/Rating.
The reservist must be selected to fill that billet.
drilled one weekend each month aboard their ship with the
regular crew, often with an extra Friday night drill. The
idea was that, if mobilized or a national emergency, it would
become a fully trained ship with a complete crew, ready at a
The down side was that
the SelRes only drilled one weekend each month. For the
rest of the month the ship carried on with an undermanned crew
and, although not deployed overseas, the ship often spent a lot
of time underway without the reserve crew. The regular
crew was required to "cross rate" and learn each others job,
filling in as needed. I once had four General Quarters
stations, depending on the GQ condition
- I was a sonar operator in Sonar Control, or I was technician
in the sonar equipment room, or I was the POIC (Petty Officer in Charge) of the
upper handling room of a 5 inch 38 gun mount or I was a QMOW (Quartermaster of the Watch) on the
are required to have two weeks of AcDuTra (Active Duty for Training) each year. This can
be performed almost anywhere, but usually it was aboard a
reserve ship. Reserve ships would set set out on Summer
Cruises, touching port and switching out reserve personnel
every two weeks. Each work center hoped that at each
swap out, they might get qualified reserves to help out.
Sometimes there was - sometimes not.