What is was like to go to Yeoman "A" School Training.
I arrived at Meridian, Mississippi, for Yeoman "A" School Training, they called it. It was supposed to be a couple of months long school, where they teach you all the proper ways, to type up Navy correspondence, and other paper work.
I arrived in the middle of the night to my new duty station. The way the dorm rooms were set up, there were 3 guys to a room, and 4 rooms per common area, with sitting tables, TV, and stuff like that, that was like our living room. I remember a really big fat guy, yelling at the top of his lungs, "fresh meat", he was yelling. Luckily for me, that jerk was just on his way out, and I did not have to put up for him very long at all.
I remember, going the first day, down to school. First, you had to fall in line with everyone else. The whole school marched from the barracks, down to the school, in a military order. Down at the school, they were going to teach us how to type, to start off with. I had had, a typing class in high school, but I never actually learned to type one word on the typewriter. The teacher was nice to me, and gave me a D-, just so I could pass the class. But this was the Navy, and I'm sure they expected me to learn how to type. There was no way around learning to type, it had to be done. I learned to type the right way, and at a certain speed, in about 2 weeks.
The way the Navy teaches you to type, is they show you a movie in the dark, and hide your key board from your eyes. They turn the lights off, and they show you these Navy movies, that are about two weeks long. Each couple of hour movie shows you how to type different words, and before you know it, the movie is done, and you know how to type in your sleep. You do so much repetitive typing, that you end up doing it in your sleep, it seems, and you have to be able to type a certain amount of words, per minute, in order to graduate from the class, and move on to your next duty station.
Besides the day to day learning at school, about doing paper work the right way, and stuff like that. Yeoman school was pretty much just like any other school, you would learn stuff at. Except here, you wore a uniform, and had to get into formation each morning, and listen to things being told to you.
You could pretty much do what you wanted, after school each day. You were allowed to do what you wanted pretty much, but you were not allowed to leave the base, and go into town. I was in Meridian for about two months, but I did not have much chance, to see a lot of different parts of the town, only a few times, when they let us out on liberty call.
At school, most people are coming and going, getting ready to ship out, to new duty stations. People were getting assigned orders to all kinds of exotic sounding in places. They have a thing in the Navy, that they call the "dream sheet", where you pick three places you would like your next new duty station to be. The Navy says they will try to get you one of your dream duty stations, or as close to one of them, as they can.
I picked Australia, the Philippines, and Hawaii. The Navy ended up giving me orders to a ship that was stationed in Guam. I had never heard of Guam before. I had to go look it up on the map. It was about right in the middle of all three of my duty station selections, but just not one of them. But going to my new ship, would still come later. I still had to finish yeoman school, and graduate from it first. Some people could never get the hang of typing, at a certain speed. They ended up having to drop the school, and pick another job to train for.