Education Video Transcript

Narrator: U.S. Navy ships are floating schoolhouses. Sailors can study for promotion exams or enroll in mail-order GED and college courses.

Agustin Ramos: I didn’t graduate from the school, high school. So the choices I had after that was – go to work or join the services.

William D’Antico: I was just out of high school and I wanted to have a career and everybody was saying, you know, the military, they can teach you things.

Errol Kellum: When you came on the aircraft carrier, you, if you didn’t have an eagle on your shoulder that designated what your job was, you were just a seaman.

My first job was in the bakery, and then later on I was put in a deck crew.

D’Antico: Well, those are your fine jobs, like – chipping paint, swabbing decks, cleaning toilets.

Ramos: As tedious as that sounds, it was fun because we were just sitting there, rolling along on this net, smoking cigarettes, throwing paint at the ship, and at each other.

D’Antico: And I said, “Well, chief,” I said, “I don’t know.” I said, “I joined the Navy to learn something and become something.

We went into the barbershop. And he says, “Take a look around here.” “This looks really good! I’d like to, but I don’t know how to cut hair.” He says, “Don’t worry about it. We’ll teach you.” And that’s exactly what happened.

Kellum: What made me decide to break out the books and want to be a radarman, CIC, is when I was told, “We got a thing called a tunnel rat that we need in Vietnam, and I’m going to put you on that list.” I said, “You said what?” (laughs)

I secretly got the – broke out the books for radarman right away, and I got so serious about the Navy from that point on.

Ramos: I didn’t want to stay in the Navy more than necessary, so I was really looking forward to getting out. I mean, I did the studies and all of that, but I did a lot of mail order courses. I got my GED and I took some art courses.

I remember this particular guy. He was teaching me how to look at the Marlboro cigarette pack from a different angle, and where the lines would go, and the shadows and all of that.

So when I got out of the service, I got into, sort of, the art work. A lot of that goes back to a lot of the encouragement that I had when I was on the Intrepid.