Tacking On The Crow Essay

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Tacking on the Crow is a naval tradition in which a Sailor is frocked to the next higher pay grade. The Crow is an unofficial term for the petty officer’s insignia which sits upon either one, two or three chevrons depending on the members rank. Tacking on the Crow dates back to the Royal Navy and days of the sail. When a Sailor got word that they were to be frocked, the peers of the Sailor who were in that new paygrade would scramble about the ship to find the new petty officers’ insignia and bequeath it to them. Since the Sailors would spend months at sea, they had no opportunity to buy new insignia. Therefore, the petty officer’s on board ship would pass down their uniform items to the newly frocked Sailor. The term tack means to temporarily fasten items together. A ceremony would be held to recognize the Sailors’ achievements, hard work and dedication. The Sailors’ leadership and their new peers would take turns stitching the new insignia onto their uniforms while proving direction, guidance and words of wisdom to help the Sailor in his new position. Over the years, the ceremony was diluted and slowly transformed into hazing. Hazing is any action that is "cruel, abusive, humiliating, oppressive, demeaning or harmful" (Navas, 2005, p. 2). The method of the tack evolved from sewing to punching the arm of the newly selected member. The evolution of this ceremony escalated from recognizing a Sailors achievements to…show more content…
The tacking on the crow ceremony can continue with strict oversight from leaders in an effort to stamp out hazing and to revive the heritage of this tradition. Chief petty officers are bringing back this tradition by teaching their Sailors’ the original meaning of this ceremony. With no official script to go by, in a tacking on the crow ceremony in Virginia Beach, VA in 2012, Navy divers witnessed this traditional ceremony first

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