Operation Decorama in Norfolk

| December 14, 2017 | 56 Comments

Mick sends us a link to the Virginian-Pilot which has pictures of our Navy ships in Norfolk decorated with lights for Christmas;

For decades, the ships at Naval Station Norfolk have spread holiday cheer by decorating with brightly colored Christmas lights and decorations.

Operation Decorama challenges ship crews to see who can come up with the most colorful and creative holiday decorations for their ships. Here are some of our favorites. Let us know yours in the comments.

Yeah, I hated that shit when they made us decorate our cubicles when I worked in a federal office, but I’m sure sailors like this shit./s

Category: Navy

Comments (56)

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  1. Dave Hardin says:

    You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch

    • Perry Gaskill says:

      Here’s a question, Dave. As TAH’s most expert party animal, would you say the lampshade on the head or the goofy reindeer antlers are most appropriate for an office gathering at Yuletide?

      • Dave Hardin says:

        What I would do and what I recommend other do are most often two different things.

        You should probably go dressed in whatever will ensure you still have a job after the new year.

        I had a job once, didn’t much care for it.

  2. 2banana says:

    Where is the Kawanza ship?

  3. FM2176 says:

    WWIII needs to kick off this time of year, so the Navy can kick ass in the most festive way imaginable.

  4. Atkron says:

    I’m sure Ship’s Company ‘loves’ doing that stuff. As part of the Airwing…didn’t care one way or the other. Because if we weren’t deployed we weren’t on the boat.

  5. The Other Whitey says:


    I, for one, really enjoy decorating anything and everything for Christmas. But that’s just me.

  6. 26Limabeans says:

    Where’s Mikey Whiner?

  7. sj says:

    Wonder if the folks in the nearby jails can see the lights?

    • thebesig says:

      Nope, they won’t be able to see any of the ships from the prisons in this area.

    • OWB says:

      Now that there is funny, sj, don’t care who ya are. Unless you don’t get it. Then it’s not quite so funny.

      Think about it for a few, besig. It’ll come to ya.

      • thebesig says:

        Originally posted by OWB:

        Now that there is funny, sj, don’t care who ya are. Unless you don’t get it. Then it’s not quite so funny.

        Think about it for a few, besig. It’ll come to ya.

        I knew what he meant, my response was based on what he meant. I live in the same metropolitan area talked about above, which also includes where a certain disbarred lawyer is at. That disbarred lawyer is in a jail in my metropolitan area. Re-read what I said, in context of other posts that I’ve made, and you’ll get it… Hopefully.

        Hint, I made a crack about him, and another, about prison turkey, before Thanksgiving. I would’ve attended his court appearance had it not been for military and educational commitments.

        • Tallywhagger says:

          That certain disbarred vexatious inmate will see the light of day in the morning. There will be a status hearing tomorrow morning at 09:00.

          • Sj says:

            Is it certain he gets out?

            • Tallywhagger says:

              No! Probably unlikely. However, it is a status hearing so something could happen. However, if the court became aware of a vexatious defendant’s clandestine activity, the court might consider safeguarding the defendant from himself.

              Besides, who knows, after three months of sobriety and titrating some medications, he might be ready to “turn his life around”!

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      You could send them a nice Christmas card with a photo of the Navy ships all lit up and purty, addressed to them where they are now.

      And let’s do remember that one of those solid citizens has a hearing on Friday regarding something or other that might be important to him.

      I do like to spread holiday cheer, myself.

    • NHSparky says:

      And don’t forget, today’s supposed to be the magical day that special someone gets to try to convince someone he’s as crazy as a shit house rat.

      Or not.

  8. Graybeard says:

    OK, I want to see a carrier with a humongo menorah with real flames.

    Honestly – being told that you have to decorate (or participate in some activity in honor of/ support of) just so your superiors can participate in some d1ck-measuring contest is not a way to build morale.

    At my place of employment there is a contest between the departments for the best-decorated area. Those area populated solely by males have very few decorations.
    We have one very competitive young lady on our crew and the area looks like there was an explosion in Santa Claus’ factory.

    Buck up, Sailors. As long as they keep paying you it’ll all be bearable.

    • The Other Whitey says:

      I see your point regarding compulsory participation, but if done right, it can be a good thing. A few years ago, I worked for a battalion chief who did a battalion pumpkin contest every year. The winning station got a stack of pizza from a really-good local Mom&Pop shop, on the chief’s dime. Participation was voluntary, but everyone jumped in and was pretty enthusiastic, and morale was positively affected. It helped that the chief in question was popular and respected. She was a great chief to work for.

      • Graybeard says:

        100% with you TOW.
        The key is “Participation was[is] voluntary”

        A good leader can get people to join in an activity.
        A poor leader has to voluntell them to join in.

        Both military and industry has too many of the latter and not near enough of the former.

        Saw a good write-up in the last National Guard magazine on a Sgt who, from the sound of it, is one of those rare excellent leaders. An Indian (I forget the tribe(s)) raise dirt poor but hard working, who developed his men to be able to handle any job that might come their way.

        We need another 20Million of those, please.

    • thebesig says:

      When I was a fleet sailor (East Coast), this time of the year, with ship light decorations, was awesome. Back then, the entire crew wasn’t involved, Deck Department set the lights up. It didn’t take them long to do so either. This was also the time when the workday shortened gradually until the leave stand down period, when it was maximum liberty (time off). Folks were less “high strung”, more laid back and flexible.

      I remember one Carrier, U.S.S. America (CV-66), had their lights set up to match the Christmas instrumental music that they played.

      The time when the ships were decorated like this were times when you could feel Christams coming, and the mood also matched the feeling. They also do this to match the rest of the metropolitan area, specifically Downtown Norfolk’s waterside area. :mrgreen:

      • TF-BA says:

        I was considerably less ok with this thing until you explained your experience with it besig. Makes sense in your context, prolly pretty fun to do when your other option is dental appts. or staring at each other because reasons. I was stationed in the tidewater area for years and never even knew this happened.

      • Aysel says:

        Now I want to see the big ships synchronized to music, that would be glorious.

    • SFC D says:

      Not just flames, like a flickering candle flame. I wanna see flames like a KISS concert, 50 ft tall minimum!

  9. W2 says:

    The only people who hate this are the electricians ecause they’re the ones who have to pull the up and overs. Also, if your day consisted of picking rust and slapping paint on the foc’sle you enjoy wrapping some Christmas lights around stanchions and lifelines.

  10. AW1Ed says:

    Here’s USS Michael Murphy all lighted up.

    USS Michael Murphy

  11. OPLAN 8010 says:

    One of our deterrent patrols was out during the holidays, so missile division took it upon ourselves to decorate MCC with Christmas lights and hanging paper snowflakes. Over a series of slow watches, we even built a cardboard fireplace to hang at the data recording console in the back, complete with personalized mini-stockings.

    It was the most festive place on the boat.

    • NHSparky says:

      On the rare occasions we were in port for Christmas (I think one in seven years), the surface pukes did some decorating, but they were welded to the pier anyway.

      Some of us had to go to sea, dammit.

  12. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Is it something the crews enjoy or is it Command-mandated mandatory fun?

  13. Atkron says:

    We would have similar lights set up at each Liberty Port…it really helps a drunk find his way back home.

    • Tallywhagger says:

      Show me the way to go home
      I’m tired and I want to go to bed
      I had a little drink about an hour ago
      And it’s gone right to my head
      Everywhere I roam
      Over land or sea or foam
      You can always hear me singing this song
      Said show me the way to go home.

      Show me the way to go home
      I’m tired and I want to go to bed
      I had a little drink about an hour ago
      And it’s gone right to my head
      Everywhere that I roam
      Over land or sea or foam
      You can always hear me singing this song
      Show me the way to go home.

      Show me, show me
      Show me the road I leach home
      Show me, show me
      Show me the way to go home.
      Everywhere that I roam
      Over land or sea or foam
      You can always hear me singing this song
      Said show me, show me the way, to go home.

    • AW1Ed says:

      Any resemblance to actual drunken sailors is purely coincidental.

    • thebesig says:

      Still relevant as of the late 20th Century, Banks of Newfoundland, almost 2 Centuries old: :mrgreen:

      • Tallywhagger says:

        Nice. If you ever try to tour around up there or even in Nova Scotia, never pass on an opportunity to fill the fuel tanks. I don’t know where those folks get their groceries, see doctors and dentists, buy shoes and all the rest of it. It can be a long way from anywhere to somewhere. Definitely what I’d call rural living.

  14. Ex-PH2 says:

    Well, that’s a pleasant sight to see, in my view. I think I have Christmas lights around here somewhere. I had to hide them because i had a cat that chewed on the cords. I might just dig them out.

  15. FatCircles0311 says:

    Better Christmas lights than ramandan starving and beatings.

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