Part of being on a ship is strictly following the duty you are assigned to, whether it's watch, maintenance, or support bill as I have mentioned before. Today my name was on the support bill under Scullery. The scullery is where the cadets and crew deposit their dirty dishes after their meals. My specific assignment was Master of the Decks (MOD). This means that it was my job to supervise all of the other cadets working in the scullery to make sure they were doing their jobs properly. One thing that you might have already noticed about MMA is that we follow a "Chain of Command" based on merit and class (or grade). The lower classmen look to the upperclassmen for direction. It is the job of the seniors with regimental positions to enforce discipline and make sure everything goes smoothly in a regimented lifestyle, such as the lives we live on the ship.
Since I had the highest seniority out of the group, I was in charge. I also had an assistant MOD (he is a 3/C) along with a sophomore and a freshmen "Grinder". The grinders made sure that everyone disposed of their food waste without dropping utensils, napkins, or anything else that is not food into the food buckets. Once a food bucket is filled, they bring the bucket to the stern where the grinder is. They get set up with the proper Personal Protective Equipment (tyvek suit, gloves, safety glasses, etc.) and grind up all of the food waste. This allows us to dispose of the waste at the appropriate MARPOL(international maritime pollution) regulations.
The other 4/C are called "Messmen", and it is their job to wash all of the dishes, pots, and pans that the ship goes through at each meal. One dish washer is available to use for all of the cups, utensils, and plates. However the larger pots and pans are hand washed, rinsed, and sanitized. Last but not least, there is a "Sanitizer" that stands at the entrance of the Messdeck and dispenses hand sanitizer to everyone that enters. With everyone constantly working, it is important that we take extra measures to make sure no one brings germs into the Messdeck.
Once the dishes are all clean, everyone takes part in cleaning the tables and benches, as well as sweeping and mopping all over the Messdeck and the Officer's Mess. The adult officer on shift comes to inspect and make sure that everything is spotless after each meal.
What is MARPOL?
Find out how trash and litter impact coastal environments
Learn more: All About Marine Debris