VP-6's ENS Reed (Smith) takes bull by horns
The Barbers Pointer, June 20, 1986
A long standing tradition holds that the senior Ensign of any unit shall be designated the Bull Ensign. This illustrious position is one of extreme responsibility, albeit almost no authority, as the Bull promotes intra-squadron spirit and pride. The World Famous Blue Sharks of VP-6 recently designated ENS Reed Smith. "Sasquatch", as he is commonly referred to on Blue Shark turf, is the epitome of a Bull, standing seven foot and weighing in at 350 pounds. His responsibilities will include attending all squadron functions, parties, etc., and whenever appropriate, he will bring with him the sacred emblem of the squadron - The Drinking Flag. He will take all steps necessary to guard and protect said emblem from kidnapping, defacement, and/or any other modifications. He will try and plan ways to do these things to other flags while protecting the Blue Sharks Flag.
The Bull Shark is also tasked with livening up all squadron All Officer Meetings (AOM's). He opens the weekly AOM with a joke. If he makes it through without being gonged, he then gets to sit down and become the focal point of everyone's jokes for the next hour.
The Bull's job is a demanding one. VP-6 C.O. CDR Leon Tempel and X.O. CDR Gary James will keep "Sasquatch" busy with many spirit-related tasks. But as his job is often taken for granted within the unit, and is little known elsewhere, the Bull Shark, as far as squadron pride goes, is definitely an Unsung Hero.
“Bull” Ensign Reed Smith at the NAS Cubi Point O’ Club in 1986 with the VP-6 drinking flag. First, take note that Reed is so tall that he couldn’t fit in the photo; he is taller than the doorway behind him. Second, note that the flag had been “borrowed” by at least two other squadrons, one being VP-1 (the eagle) and by a Royal “something” Squadron (probably Australian). The flag had been “borrowed” and “tagged” well before Reed ever took responsibility for it.
Squadron drinking flags were fair game for “snatch and grab” attempts by other squadrons at any time. During one “All Officers Meeting (AOM)” at the NAS Barbers Point O’ Club, someone happened to notice that the VP-6 flag was missing and a few members of the VQ-3 “TACAMO” squadron were almost immediately apprehended next to the O’ club pool attempting to run-off with the cherished flag. I was involved in a very violent scuffle with at least one VQ-3 LT (who happened to live several doors down the street from us at Iroquois Point) which resulted in the recovery of our flag.