Shaving Hell=Boot Camp

Thoughts and input on anything related to wet shaving or men's grooming.
LostInCincy
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Shaving Hell=Boot Camp

Post by LostInCincy » Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:34 pm

Hello everyone,

It's nice to be back. I just spent 9 weeks in Navy boot camp in Great Lakes, IL going through what I would consider to be shaving hell. I'd like everyone to read this, just to appreciate how nice we do have it:

After 1.5 years of wetshaving, I was thrown into an environment where you were meant to shave fast and like everyone else. They specifically forbid DE blades in all the information we got beforehand, and once at boot camp they made me send back a tube of Proraso in favor of Edge Shaving Gel and a Mach 3. This was no surprise to me, and I was fully prepared to use that stuff as long as I'd have to. Nobody told me, though, that we'd have almost no time to buy new cartridges, meaning that the two that came with the Mach 3 handle would be used for about 4 weeks in total.

That would be bad enough if we shaved once a day. Instead, since we were "on duty" 24/7, some of us older men and those with thicker/darker beards (I am both older and have a thick beard) had to shave twice a day just to skate by and not get chewed out for not shaving. If you stood watch at night, that became 3 times a day, since you were required to shave immediately before assuming your watch. Inspections could include a person visually assessing your shave or even running a card under your chin against the grain. It was ridiculous. Needless to say, the shaves were both ineffective and uncomfortable for the most part.

My face thanked me this morning as I broke out the Nancy Boy. Tommorow, since I don't have work so early, I will finally use a DE razor as well. We all know that shaving is important to us, but you really feel it when you're forced away from it. I appeciate it much more now than I did prior to boot camp. I hope none of you ever have to go through anything similar.

-Dan

bleedingface
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Post by bleedingface » Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:18 pm

That brings back some memories. I remember the Gillette products. For me it was a Sensor Excel. Nice time of year, at least, to go through there. I was there in January. Bleh. Man, I was glad to be out. My only regret was not volunteering for the 900 division. Those guys got the hook-up.

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desmoface
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Post by desmoface » Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:26 pm

I feel your pain, I was there (well, NTC Orlando) in 1984 at the ripe old age of 18..Congrat's on graduating.

Steve

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Racso_MS
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Post by Racso_MS » Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:58 am

Parris Island, South Carolina (1970). One (1) each issue Gillette DE razor and a pack of blades. Shall I continue... :wink:
Best Regards From the Deep South...
Remember; It's Not A Race, It's Your Face...
And As Always, Enjoy Your Shave...
(Racso) Oscar...

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desmoface
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Post by desmoface » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:25 am

Push up postion, hut! BAHAAAHH!! The good ole days.

Steve

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Straight Arrow
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Post by Straight Arrow » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:59 am

I never served but I have immense appreciation for those who have. As far as military shaving goes I only have this to say: DON'T LET THEM KNOW YOU USE NANCY BOY!!!!
Rich

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desmoface
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Post by desmoface » Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:08 am

LOL..probably not something you want to have someone find in your seabag.

Steve
Straight Arrow wrote:I never served but I have immense appreciation for those who have. As far as military shaving goes I only have this to say: DON'T LET THEM KNOW YOU USE NANCY BOY!!!!

Bond
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Post by Bond » Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:48 am

i remember in my short spell in the royal marines they turned off the hot water as punishment, showering in cold water is one thing shaving really is punishment and to make it worst when your a raw recruit for every meal you have to wear a shirt and tie
-Dave-

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ScottB
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Post by ScottB » Thu Oct 18, 2007 3:28 pm

I entered basic training at 17 and did not have any facial hair whatsover. Nonetheless the drill instructor made me shave.

Unfortunately nobody had shown me how to shave and I took a chunk out of my chin. I had seen in movies and on television that men would put a small piece of tissue on the wound.

So I put a small piece of tissue on the cut and left it there all day. When I got up the next morning at reveille my neck was huge and swollen and I was sent to the base hospital. Blood poisoning.

Evidently it is best to remove the tissue after a short time. :roll:

Scott

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MOSES
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Post by MOSES » Thu Oct 18, 2007 3:51 pm

Dan,

Welcome back. Congrats on getting through boot camp.

And yes, that sounds like a special shaving experience. Although, from what I've heard, you wouldn't have time for DE shaving even if you brought one. I really do not get the not allowing the proraso and requiring the Edge. Any idea why?

-Mo
Alrighty, stickim up and hand over the Coates real nice and slow like....

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sysiphus
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Post by sysiphus » Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:11 pm

MOSES wrote: I really do not get the not allowing the proraso and requiring the Edge. Any idea why?

-Mo
If the USN is anything like the Army, the two words "ignorance" and "conformity" come to mind.

Ignorance as in "shaving cream doesn't come in a tube, it comes in a can. I can prove it by going to the PX/BX/NEX (exchange) and looking at the shaving cream. Right there under the Mach3 blades is shaving cream. In cans, not tubes. Toothpaste and neosporin come in tubes, cheese and shaving cream come in cans."

Conformity as in "everyone else uses shaving cream in a can. You will use shaving cream in a can." You have to remember that the "basic training" experience is geared toward the 17/18 year old HS graduate. Enforcing conformity is an amazing way to manage large groups of people.
David
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notthesharpest
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Post by notthesharpest » Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:35 pm

There is canned Proraso. It's not bad. But I can see that conformity is their point, and the canned kind probably wouldn't have made the cut either.

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desmoface
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Post by desmoface » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:06 pm

I should wear the clothing of Mr. Walter Mitty.

Ian Dury Rocks :D

Steve
ScottB wrote:"See my tailor, his names Simon. I know its going to fit."
Steve

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Eastree
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Post by Eastree » Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:14 pm

Welcome back! I remember my first basic training shave when i was in the Air Force. Everyone bled. Unfortunately, I followed the advice of a prior military friend who suggested buying a pack of disposable razors so I'd be able to just use one and throw it away in stead of having to "clean" a cartridge razor very well.
ScottB wrote:I entered basic training at 17 and did not have any facial hair whatsover. Nonetheless the drill instructor made me shave.
This reminds me of the first trip to the "barber." That is, three old men with the most painful clippers man has ever known. Any way, a couple people in my Flight (the AF has some odd names ...) was not only bald on top, but also shaved everything else. He had two days' growth, and still had to sit under the clippers.

And poor guy who didn't know his head was as wrinkled as a raisin until hair cut day ...

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DrRoboto
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Post by DrRoboto » Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:51 pm

I enjoyed reading your post Dan. Four weeks on two cartridges man, ouch.
I've been getting myself accustomed/able to shave everyday as I start my basic training in Jan for the Air Force (Had to be the middle of winter, I'm not a fan of the cold). I'm not looking forward to those months as I too will have to trade in my gear for a mach 3. After your story I'm arriving prepared with a box full of cartridges. I'm going to try to get by with a cream and brush though.... I'll see what happens.
Robert

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sysiphus
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Post by sysiphus » Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:58 pm

DrRoboto wrote:I'm going to try to get by with a cream and brush though.... I'll see what happens.
FWIW, I would not suggest it. In basic training, you will want to draw as little undue attention to yourself as possible.

Wanna be unique? Drill Sergeants/Drill Instructors/MTIs LOOOOOOOOVE unique! it breaks up their monotonous lives, gives them something to key in on for the next few weeks.
David
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Mottern Man
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Post by Mottern Man » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:58 pm

You can call me HM2 if you want. :D

BTW I had it worse.


Gillette foam and plastic sensor throw aways.
Will - "Doc"

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Mottern Man
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Post by Mottern Man » Fri Oct 19, 2007 8:09 pm

sysiphus wrote:
DrRoboto wrote:I'm going to try to get by with a cream and brush though.... I'll see what happens.
FWIW, I would not suggest it. In basic training, you will want to draw as little undue attention to yourself as possible.

Wanna be unique? Drill Sergeants/Drill Instructors/MTIs LOOOOOOOOVE unique! it breaks up their monotonous lives, gives them something to key in on for the next few weeks.
8 count body builders, BEGIN!

1 - 2 - 3 :lol:
Will - "Doc"

bleedingface
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Post by bleedingface » Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:42 am

MOSES wrote:Dan,

Welcome back. Congrats on getting through boot camp.

And yes, that sounds like a special shaving experience. Although, from what I've heard, you wouldn't have time for DE shaving even if you brought one. I really do not get the not allowing the proraso and requiring the Edge. Any idea why?

-Mo
Part of basic training is making sure people don't break down under stress. People who have signed up for the military have been recruited to be put into harm's way. Under extreme conditions, these people have to be able to perform, which means doing without some of the luxuries to which one has become accustomed.

Small example: To this day, if some ROTC-graduate dickwad thinks he can yell in my face to intimidate me (happened the other day actually), he's got another thing coming. I see others, who haven't been through something like basic, yield under this kind of pressure. Well, I know it at least taught me something. YMMV :)

So part of boot camp is being put through a difficult situation and seeing how you hold up, and training you to remain functional under duress. No time for shave geekery. Luckily, at least in the Navy, once you get out of boot camp, things go back to pretty much normal, as long as you can handle not getting too much sleep and walking around in firefighting gear a lot.

LostInCincy
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Post by LostInCincy » Sat Oct 20, 2007 10:53 am

Will, you kind of freaked me out there because we had an HM2 as one of our RDCs. She was a real badass and very professional, but easily the most intimidating of the bunch.

Robert, don't even bother with the cream and brush. Seriously, it's not worth your time to try, you don't have enough time for it anyway, and you risk being mercilessly picked on if you even manage to get it past the first night there without sending it home.

As for bleedingface, there's a constant misperception in divisions outside of the 900s that the people in 900s are treated specially and have it easier. The opposite is actually true, since they have to take time from their training schedule to rehearse and perform graduations while other divisions get more time. It was nice to have a break and play in the band, since I am a musician, but that always meant we'd have less time to study for tests or practice drill. In the end, our RDCs always said it was easier in non-900s because there wasn't such a time-contraint. We still did all the requirements and were held to an even higher standard because of our bulls-eye status as 900s.

-Dan

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