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Focus on Service

Cranking

Focus on Service: MMFA Dillon Maddox

Talk to most Sailors in boot camp or A-school and they'll tell you they can't wait to get out to the fleet and do their job. However, for many new check-ins onboard a ship, there's one thing that will keep them from doing it; cranking.

Cranking is a term of endearment onboard the ship and is more properly known as Food Service Attendant (FSA.)

Duties can range anywhere from carrying boxes from store rooms to serving food on the chow line, or in the case of Fireman Apprentice Dillon Maddox, busting suds in the ship's scullery. Maddox is temporarily assigned to the mess decks onboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), where he mans the deep sink, washing the dishes the culinary specialists use to get food to the Sailors.

Maddox said washing the dishes is a tough task, and he has a new found respect for the culinary specialists who normally man that sink.

"The hours are horrible," said Maddox. "But even here we get days off. Underway, they have to do this every day."

The good news for Maddox is that most Sailors only crank for about three months and then they usually get to go back to their divisions to (finally) do the job they joined the Navy to do.

Did you spend time on the mess decks? What was your experience like?