All Hands on Deck

By | March 17, 2020

[March 17, 2020]  Looking through the “free new movies” section of Netflix last night, I ran upon the movie All Hands on Deck (1961) starring Pat Boone, Buddy Hackett, et al.  Decades ago, when it first came out, my dad gathered up our entire family to see it at a drive-in on a hot and humid evening in Louisiana.  Watching the recent political and social gyrations about the Coronavirus outbreak made me think more about the serious meaning of the phrase, all hands on deck.

Certainly, a phrase from the navy, it means to ready everyone for an emergency.  Everyone participates; everyone is part of the solution.  There are no observers, just actors in a big event.  Good!  With the Coronavirus, we see this to a degree.  I recently had surgery to remove one big-ass kidney stone, and the doctors and nurses were pulling out all the stops to prevent the spread of this virus from infecting their hospital.  Now is not a good time to be in a hospital, and I hear they are postponing elective surgery, restricting visitors, ramping up additional bed space, and increasing staffing.

All hands on deck, while a navy phrase, is not that different from the foot soldier phrase ride to the sound of the guns.  The latter has a long history and is a catchphrase of militaries around the world.  It is an appeal to aggressive action at the point of the battle and is a central idea in great leadership.  All hands on deck is also part of the leadership standard; we leaders are the trumpet to call everyone for duty.

Good leadership is also what will be bringing out all the resources to both fight the spread of the Coronavirus and help keep everyone’s head in the game.  It’s no time for panic (although I did see some of this at the grocery store today) since panicking will serve no worthwhile purpose.  U.S. Vice President Pence has stepped into the U.S. lead in charge of the virus Task Force.  He has performed well so far, and his credibility is essential.  He does that by being straight forward, talks to the heart, keeps his facts straight, doesn’t misled, and is honest in his assessments.

In the movie, All Hands on Deck, we see the story of a U.S. Navy ship with a Captain obsessed with catching a fish, a singing executive officer wanting to get married, and an Indian with a turkey as a pet.  I laughed at the comedy as a kid.  Seeing it again last night, I just thought it a bit ridiculous.  Maybe my tastes have changed, but perhaps the movie could have been better, and it certainly did not entertain me in any way.  The movie is not recommended.

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

23 thoughts on “All Hands on Deck

    1. Sally

      So true but so not seen by the ordinary young person who is caught up in their own narrow world.

  1. Eva Easterbrook

    With this CORONAVIRUS outbreak, I do think it is time for an ‘all hands on deck’ response. This means coming together (unlike many US Democrats who blame our president for the disease). Cluelessness will not get us anywhere.

    1. Darryl Sitterly

      The president for the first time acknowledged that the pandemic may send the economy into a recession and suggested that the nation may be dealing with the virus until “July or August.”

      1. José Luis Rodriguez

        Interesting but also very scary. I for one will not panic but I do believe in being prepared. Here is what I did:
        1. Went to the store to buy more food with emphasis on long-shelf life foods.
        2. Ordered more ammo on-line (10 day delivery but that’s okay).
        3. Told my boss that I would not be into work (he said that was now mandatory anyway).
        4. Setup a neighborhood watch group.
        5. Walk more with my family.
        6. Located my thermometer, flashlights, medicines, etc.
        7. Keeping my clothes washed, mended socks, and so forth.
        Watch yourself and your family for high temps. Hold onto the faith.

  2. Yusaf from Texas

    Yes, more on the Coronavirus in the news today. I’m sure interested in what will become of the final study of this event sometime in the future and the part that China played in it.

    1. Jane Fillmore

      Interesting how China recovered so quickly from the virus. Maybe they did manufacture it and released it to see what the impact would be. Their own people became a petri dish of study. Shows the Communist Party is the end to end all and not their peoples.

  3. Max Foster

    Best line in the article, ” There are no observers, just actors in a big event.” That will set some of the political leftists on edge. They love to whine and complain from their parent’s basement, in their underwear, while sipping on a soda that someone else bought for them. If you want to live, then act. Think and act appropriately. Do something worthwhile. If you are just trying to change the world while sitting around as your life goes to hell then you are a waste as a human being and will never really change the world.

    1. Tom Bushmaster

      Good comment. My cousin is a hyper liberal college student. She is fat but smart, anti-social, has no commonsense, and has a grating personality. This is typical leftist student behavior and they are all in a tight semi-intellectual bubble. They also believe they are morally and intellectually superior to us all.

    2. Doug Smith

      American communists and socialists all believe they are better than the rest of us. They fall into your category of having terrible lives but they have the “final solution” (which is communism or socialism) and we should pay attention to them. They are simply bugs to be squashed.

      1. Dennis Mathes

        Yes, Doug and Tom. And the ‘smart’ people like professors only encourage this form of behavior.

  4. Walter H.

    Saw the movie, not great but good, old-fashion humor that basic people can enjoy. Laugh, it makes you feel better. Don’t complain or argue.

  5. Nancy B

    Enjoyed today’s article. Now that me and my family are hunkering down, I need more reading material.

    1. Gladys Bates

      Yes, looks like now is the time to get more reading done! I’ll be catching up on my big long list of books.

    2. Shawn C. Stolarz

      Hey guys, you are right here. Now is the time to do things that we would not do otherwise — those things that are not a higher priority. Get on it now. Don’t waste time watching tv or listening to the radio unnecessarily. Get out and take care of your house (or apt), talk to your relatives and family, and do something good for your community.

      1. Roger Yellowmule

        … and call your mom and dad to say hello.

  6. Harry Donner

    Any leader who can convince people to achieve something that they would not ordinarily do, is indeed a real leader. That is what leadership is about….let’s not forget that.

  7. Army Captain

    All Hands on Deck may be a Navy term but we use it too in the Army. It gives us the idea that everyone is needed for a quick action when trouble nears us.

    1. Randy Goodman

      Thanks Army Captain for what you do and for your service to our nation. It is always beneficial to read what you write because it confirms what Gen.Satterfield and others are saying. Keep up the great works. I know that now is a trying time to be in the US Military because of the coronavirus but hand in there. We have your back!

  8. Wilson Cox

    Good article and more than I can say about the movie “All Hands on Deck” from 1961. I love Barbara Eden, she was great in I Dream of Jeanie. But it was a slapstick comedy that is old hat now.

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