Started Basic April 1998, with RDC J, RDC V and SR RDC. RDC J was one who’s rate was pretty closed for Chief, had done 14 years in the fleet and said “I’ll push boots my last contract and retire”, and it showed. RDC V was a small stout Filipino, accent and all, that knew without pushing boots he would never make PO1. SR RDC was just about to push out to the fleet again as a Chief, tall skinny marathon runner. So about 3.5 weeks in we get a couple guys that got ASMO’d, sent back for failure of something.
Well one of them, we’ll call Recruit D, who was a lanky kid from an island in the Philippines. I mean straight off the plane into Basic type. About a week later we get to our first swim practice. This is where it goes down hill! We’re all lined up at the top of the dive tower and a few have to be goaded into jumping.
Then here comes Recruit D. He hesitates and refuses to jump. Here comes to RDC V “You stoopid mudder pucker!! Your ship is stinking! You have to jump or diiieee!”.
He still refuses and is holding onto the side railing!
Oh man here comes RDC J! Gives him one more chance and boom lays a shoulder and into the water goes Recruit D! He comes up and he’s just splashing all around! Flailing his arms and making this sound that just sounds like a duck is getting strangled! SEAL swimmer goes in and recovers Recruit D, instant swim failure.
Everyone gets back to the B’s and here comes the RDC with a Blue Rope (RDC in training) in tow. Blue rope takes the lead, this guy is 6’5″ built like a brick poop house, gravely voiced black guy! He later was our RDC when SR RDC left for the fleet, RDC M will be his name. Going all easy on him and trying to figure out what the issue is.
Recruit D pipes up and says he never learned to swim and is terrified of the water! RDC J comes running over yelling with spit flying! “What the fuk are you talking about Recruit! You’re from the damn Philippines! A god dam island chain and you can’t swim?!”
“Aye Petty Occifer! Me not know swim.”
“Well god dam! An islander who can’t swim! You hit that water and sounded like a damn duck was dying! You know what Recruit D? That’s you’re knew nickname! Ducky! Company?!”
“Aye Petty Officer!”
“Recruit D is now and until Pass and Review to be called Ducky!”
“Aye Petty Officer!”
Well he was called Ducky for about a week and half later and then he started having even more issues with classes. RDC V and RDC J called him to the RDC’s office to see if he needed extra help or what was going on with the exams. Next thing we know there’s yelling in Tagalog and Ducky comes flying out of the office! I mean he’s a foot off the ground and lands about 2 feet from the door! Apparently Ducky decided to take a swing at RDC J! Well out he went with all his gear.
Well we thought for sure he was out of basic! A few weeks later we’re getting ready to finish everything up with medical and there’s a group still in Smurfs, P-Days, if you’re Army think 30th AG.
Here comes RDC M: “Well what do you we have here?! A bunch of newbies! Still in their smurfs! Holy shit! What is this I see?! Is that Ducky? They kept you here?! RDC J, come here please. Is this the boy who took a swing at you? Be glad that wasn’t me you did that to or you’d still be in the hospital!”.
Oh did I forget to mention RDC M was a prior service Marine parachute rigger? Oops my bad.
We saw Ducky one more time during Basic, still in Smurfs as we were graduating.