Did you write a New Year’s deck log poem? There’s a contest for that.

by Tommy Grant

Among the Navy’s various customs and traditions, the New Year’s deck log poem stands out.

As the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1, marking the beginning of the new year, the officer of the deck on a given vessel can write the year’s first log entry in poetic form.

Why does this happen? We don’t know. But according to the Naval History and Heritage Command, the tradition dates back to at least 1929 and allows a green shoot of levity into what is otherwise a gray and dry log of what the ship is doing at any given time.

And once again this year, the Naval History and Heritage Command is looking for the best New Year’s deck log poems for its annual contest.

The winner gets a no-fooling real piece of copper sheathing from the one and only USS Constitution.

All paygrades are eligible, but poems containing classified information are not.

Go here to learn more, and submit your log lines to [email protected].

Meanwhile, here’s a New Year’s Navy Times poem:

Stayed up too late,

In that lazy and great

Week between Xmas and New Year’s.

But libations were quaffed

And life lessons gained

While too much was eaten

And all the sodium was retained.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at [email protected].

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