Captains Mast

I witness I witnessed several captains mast’s so I’d like to relate a few memories of that at some point as well.

Our ship had a brig. That is a ship’s jail. I served as a guard. Young sailors could be sentenced to three days of bread and water. They had to wear the uniform of a present prisoner. This means their shoes could have no shoelaces, they had no belt. The back of their shirt was painted with a large P. The peace stood for prisoner. While a prisoner, they had no rank. It was not semen Jones, it was prisoner Jones. The prisoner had to request permission to use the toilet. The prisoner was permitted to take a shower once a day. And navy shower. A navy shower consist of one minute of wedding the body followed by one minute of lathering up with no water running followed by one more One more minute of rinsing yourself off. That’s a navy shower. In our break the shower controls were operated by a prison guard. How does that feel prisoner Jones, is it warm enough for you? If the guy was being a jerk, you didn’t have to give him warm water. If he was behaving himself you had the ability to warm things up for him.

The prisoner was allowed all of the bread that he could eat. So he had an entire loaf of bread that he could eat all day long if he wanted to. But that’s all he would eat for three days. The only activity that he could do was read the Bible. Or sleep. No actually I don’t think he was allowed to sleep except for a set amount of time. If I remember correctly, we had to keep him awake during working hours. I’ll have to check on that.

There are always two guards in the jail. One sat right outside the cell of the prisoner and one sat outside of another set of gates. Set of bars. There was an alarm system that could be activated in the event of an emergency plus standard communications equipment. I don’t remember being armed as a guard. It may well be that we had no firearms in the brig. I’ll have to check on that.

Other duties of temporarily assigned master at arms or shipboard police officers, would involve the mastering of the restricted men. They were also several young men on restriction. Basically they were grounded and couldn’t leave the ship. They usually had extra duties assigned as punishment. They had to report in several times a day. Their ID cards were taken away from them confiscated. They were given a restricted man’s ID card. Which they had to wear at all times. It was a form of public shaming. Everyone knew that man is on restriction.