1. Tracey Hays says:

    This phrase has been around since I was active duty (1985-1989).  As a mineman during that time period, we were called “Dirt Sailors” because we did not go to sea.

  2. Thanks! Very useful. Do you have any written examples of the term from that period?

  3. Nice to find myself cited! Yup, “Dirt Navy” was the phrase we always used for the ratings that did not serve on ships. Blue water, brown water, dirt or sand, I think I got to try all of them at one time or another.

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