Qualified in Submarines

Belowdecks Watch

Chief of the Watch

Qual Cards

Qualifying in submarines is long, difficult, but very important process. Each crewman must study and demonstrate detailed knowledge of ship's systems and emergency procedures. The safety, and in some cases, the lives of the crew depends on each individuals ability to react in an emergency. Each "non-Qual puke" is given a Qual Card and is expected to attend "School of the Boat" lectures and get each section of the Qual Card signed off on schedule. Anyone falling behind the qualification schedule is put on the "Dink"(delinquent) list, and has various privileges (liberty, leave, etc) lifted. Submarine qualifications is taken very seriously.

Once a sailor completes his qual card, he must go before the qualification board for oral and written examination. If successful, he is certified as "Qualified in Submarines" and is authorized to wear the "Dolphins". In the "old days", your qualification status was not "official" until you had your dolphins "tacked" on, and you completed the age old ritual of "drinking" your dolphins. When I qualified (June/July '72) we were at Pearl Harbor, and I had to drink my dolphins at the Enlisted Club at the Sub Base. The bar tender poured a bit of everything on the bar into a beer pitcher, that's all I remember. Today these "rituals" are called "hazing" and are frowned upon, if not prohibited.

Embroidered "Dolphins" on my "poopy suit"



Revised: November 22, 2008