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Home > Author > Jeff Zahratka
Jeff Zahratka

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Salty Old Navy Master Chief spins a humorous yarn

Background Information

Jeff Zahratka is a retired command master chief petty officer who entered the Navy in 1972.  He remained on active duty until his retirement in January of 1999.  The story is essentially an autobiography of his adventures and his personal slant on the social issues of the era. The author was initially a technical type known as an interior communications electrician, normally assigned as part of the engineering or combat systems departments on most navy ships. 

He readily communicates in the language that Sailors understand and educates the curious about ships and Sailors having been a member of five different crews. The author earned the title of Command Master Chief and spent his final tour aboard the USS KAUFFMAN (FFG-59).  One of his primary duties was counseling the ship’s crew on all matters of personal and professional issues.

Once retired with experience as a counselor the author pursued and obtained a degree in psychology from St Leo University graduating Magna Cum Laude as a forty eight year old in 2002.  From there he went on to an inner city assignment as a group home counselor.

Since 2003 the author has instructed young Sailors and their family members at a computer learning facilitator at the Navy’s Master Jet Base in Oceana, Virginia.  There he is able to keep his pulse on how the force is progressing and as the cliché goes, “once a master chief, always a master chief.” 


Birth Place
Jeannette, PA USA

Navy Command Master Chief

Author of Sweepers Sweepers Man Your Brooms; Dogear Publishing

Additional Information

AHOY FELLOW OLD SALTS I am Master Chief Jeff (Zack) Zahratka, U S Navy (retired) and I am doing my best to contact all you brine encrusted old pirates who are still alive and kicking around out there sucking in salt air, swilling grog, and telling big whoppin sea yarns of glory days passed. I took the liberty of mailing ya’ll so you could take a look at my new book (Arrrgggh, I had a few sea stories left in this quickly deteriorating old Tin Can Sailor brain). I had to get it all on paper before I reach that point where I’m eating blended chili through a straw. At any rate after 26.4 years of telling lies and drinkin warm Peronis I’m still not in half bad shape if ya don’t notice the lack of a crown and half me teeth missin. Oh Yeah, before my old brain loses track of its current thought pattern, the website for my book is and the title is Sweepers Sweepers Man Your Brooms. Please check out the site to read an excerpt or to order. It’s not a book about bombs or spectacular explosions; I’ll leave that to the great Tom Clancey. No this is a book about the odd occurrences that take place between the lifelines on Navy ships. Above all it was written to bring back your personal memories of similar events, and to hopefully generate a never ending supply of salty yarns that will forever educate America about who we are. Sweepers Sweepers is salty manuscript that washed ashore at Dam Neck beach, but trust me there’s nothing in there to get any wayward Casanovas in trouble. They own those secrets themselves. With that said I wouldn’t read it out loud to young grandchildren, lest they spew out some of that salty jargon in their school teacher’s class room. For all officers who may contemplate a purchase of this salty piece of work I apologize for all the colorful language I found necessary; even though I did mention that for the most part those gentlemen of the wardroom Eggs Benedict and prune juice crowd did in fact maintain a clean and polite diction in keeping with that classic movie that once debuted on USS SCOTT CCTV in 1981; An Officer and a Gentleman.” Sweepers Sweepers Man Your Brooms is a self published work financed by me the author. Big publishers were not interested in the testosterone filled saga of a non famous master chief. They were seeking manuscripts from higher profile authors. That put our story out of their wheelhouse and thus my attempt to contact you directly. With that being said I apologize for having to sell the book. I’d really like to just give it to each and every one of you. I have had the book previewed by two old salts of America’s Greatest Generation and they have blessed it with their worthy seal of approval. And let me please say to those of you who were a part of that group who saved the planet from the Mustached Maniac, Schicklegrüber and his Pacific counterpart, Tojo, that I am truly honored if you take the time to read this story. I say this ahead of time knowing that your personal sacrifices and hardships far outweighed any stresses I endured in my far less illustrious career. If you know the whereabouts of any Old Salts please let them know about the book. I was told by knowledgeable people in the publishing business that a book like mine, a book about folks who weren’t necessarily famous would have no following and was doomed for failure. Now being the hard headed master chief that I am, I find the challenge rather invigorating. I would be extremely grateful if you could pass the word about Sweepers Sweepers Man Your Brooms to our shipmates. So to you all, Fair Winds and all that. As for me, I personally think this permanent shore duty thing is rather over rated. Warm regards, EMCM(SW) JA (Zack) Zahratka or TOGETHERWESERVED.COM

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