Jim Duke


As interviewed by Charlie Weatherby, March 14, 2018

Jim Duke: In His Own Words

I joined the navy in September of 1964, right out of high school. I was an enlisted man when I first joined, and when I had made chief petty officer I was selected for a bootstrap program called limited duty officer and I was commissioned as a restricted line officer in the navy as an inson. My mother told me they had the best schools in the department of defense and when I went to a recruiter I went to the marine recruiter and told him I wanted to work on jets, and he said he didnít need jet mechanics so I stepped to the right to the navy recruiter and he told me we would give me a class A school and promise we will teach you how to work on jet engines and thatís why I joined the navy. The navy had a series of technical schools for all of their ratings, all of their jobs if you will, and they ranged from a class A school which is where you went in a classroom and sat in a classroom and instructors would teach you about the different systems on whatever it was, like if you wanted to be a radio operator it taught you communications equipment and how to use the radios and the communications equipment. As I wanted to be an aviation machinist mate working on jet engines we sat in classes about the theory of for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, which is how a jet engine works because it sucks air in, and as itís exhaust is burned with fuel causes the engine with the plane around it to move forward and then they also had another degree of schools where once you finished that and spent some time in the fleet, you would go back in for a masters degree level training on those systems and then they had some specialty training called class C schools where if you were going to a helicopter squadron you would learn about that specific helicopter, very specific training, as well as I wanted to get my points sufficient enough to get my college paid for through the VA.