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Ringing in the New Year Navy Style

At the time this blog is posted, most people in Europe and the United States are busy readying themselves for a well-deserved evening of revelry ringing in the New Year. They are free do so, in large part, because at the same time more than 90 U.S. Navy ships and more than 47,000 U.S. Navy Sailors are forward deployed around the world. Your Navy wishes you a fun and safe evening! We’re proud to operate forward to deter aggression, protect the nation, reassure our partners, and maintain the freedom of the sea — the basis for global prosperity. The Navy has the watch! By “the Navy” we mean people like QM3 Patrick Cunliffe, USN, who at this moment is standing the watch aboard the Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigate USS Reuben James (FFG 57)Cunliffe and the rest of the crew are currently on deployment operating in the South China Sea where it is already 2013. Just moments ago, in keeping with Navy tradition ¹, Cunliffe posted the ship’s New Year’s log entry.


USS Reuben James Midnight Log Entry
Composed by QM3 Patrick Cunliffe.

Continued the watch underway as before,
with warship Five Seven on her final tour.

The crew lay asleep in their comfy racks,
entrusting their shipmates would have their backs.

The night was so peaceful, like many before,
as the watch teams waited for what lie in store.

“Boats” stood by with bells at the ready,
while the helm held the ship at a course that was steady.

“Wheels” at his table with the primary plot,
CIC too, though needed he will likely be not.

Navigation lights burning ever so bright,
as this fine Navy vessel sails through the night.

Modified Zebra set main deck and below,
Darken ship too, with no white lights to show.

The ship in condition of readiness three with nothing in sight,
in this wide open sea, no quarrel, no fight.

The ship is steaming ever so free,
with the mighty fine power of one GTE.

Cold is the ship from number 1 and 3 AC’s,
about it I’ll tell you of the SSDG’s.

1 and 3 are creating the power,
so after this watch we can all have hot showers.

1,3 and 5 fire pumps are all at the ready,
to stop any fires that may catch us unsteady.

Number 1 HPAC and number 2 LPAC are both also online,
with those guys in CCS who are one of a kind.

Number 2 reefer runs all through the night,
to keep our great Navy chow just ever so right.

1st Lt. has the Conn, NAV has the deck,
with mustaches combed tight to take on the night.

TrainO looks out over the seas,
as he stands watch as the JOOD.

Our esteemed Captain lay just right below,
his crew at the ready, this he knows.

2012 has gone by so fast,
warship Five Seven completed her tasks.

A new year is here, of this we all know,
but don’t you worry, REUBEN JAMES will set the tone.

To our families back home have a Happy New Year,
we send you our love and our holiday cheer.

Our Shipmates world wide look back with remembrance,
we are fightin’ 57, “BACK WITH A VENGEANCE!”

[¹]. No one knows for sure how the tradition of poetic New Year’s deck log entries began, but it is believed to have begun between the World Wars. In 2004 Stars & Stripes reporter Jason Chudy wrote a piece about New Year’s deck logs. More information about the official nature of ships’ deck logs can be found on the web site of the Naval History and Heritage Command. For examples of other New Year’s deck log entries, check out a developing collection of them at the web site of The Deck Log Project




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  1. Hey everyone out there Happy new year to all of you here in Montana it is cold 20 degrees snow and about 3:55 pm so i just wanted to give all of you a big thank you for all you do for America. God bless you all.

  2. Jeanne Chamberlain

    Happy New Year 57

  3. I guess I was never privy to the ship’s deck log but it is still nice to discover this as a veteran of FFG’s 21 and 28 as the independent duty hospital corpsman assigned. HMC Brian Jon Pederson (SW) USN Retired.

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