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The Navy's traditions live on in the hearts of those who serve

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

UA for 90 days!!

Back in 1978, when I was on the USS Stein (FF 1065) for the second time, I was on the Master At Arms Force.  Back then, Petty Officers did the Leadership jobs like Master At Arms and Career Counselor.  We did not have specialty ratings to do what every Petty Officer and Chief Petty Officer was supposed to do as part of their normal job of leadership!!

That being said, a young fellow in Deck Force had been on Unauthorized Absence for 90 days or so.  The local police in Orange County California picked the young fellow up and he was returned to us.  The Captain awarded him a Court Martial.  I was assigned as the Bailiff for the Court Martial which was being held at the Naval Legal Services Office in San Diego.  I was a GMG1 at the time.  So, I put on my Tropical White Long uniform and went to the proceedings.  My job was to bring the individual in, make sure he did not escape, keep the Court Martial board's water glasses filled, and handle any evidence.

This young Seaman Apprentice was UA off of Emergency Leave because if Father had died.  Did I mention we were in San Diego and the young fellow was on leave in Orange County, California, about 150 miles away from us?  Keep that in mind.

This young fellow hired a civilian lawyer to represent him, as is his right.  The attorney had a big stack of papers to present to the court.  The young fellow's sole defense was that it took all the money he had to bury his dearly departed Father.  And that the Funeral Home Director, an unscrupulous cad, would not even embalm his Father until the bill was paid in full!

The defense attorney placed this young fellow on the stand and asked him to tell his sad tale of woe and deception.  The young fellow was crying and sniffling.  He had to stop to compose himself and wipe his nose a couple of times.  The JAG Captain, that was the presiding official of the Court Martial had just about enough when the Attorney asked;  What the young fellow had been doing for 90 days.  The young fellow tearfully replied that he had been looking for a job to make enough money to get back to San Diego!!

The JAG Captain jumped up in his judges stand, threw his hands in the air, and screamed!  "You little lying sack of shit, you could have walked back in 90 days!!"

The paid Attorney threw his defense papers in the air, the young fellow returned to his seat for a few minutes before I escorted him to the Brig!!

That was a fun day I will never forget!!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Shipboard Security

Back in 1982, I got in a rather heated argument with a Marine Corps O-6.  It was at a meeting discussing the weapons used on Navy ships for security.  I was there because I was the senior Gunner's Mate in Washington DC at the time.   This O-6 had it n his mind that every Sailor must be Marksman qualified.  I told him it was all I could do to get half of the crew familiarized with weapons and that we did not have enough ammunition to train that many sailors in Marksmanship.  Of course, he was a Marine!  And ALL Marines are Marksmen.


At this point, let me interject that the best Military Service in the USA is the Marine Corps!!  Their people are trained one way, the Marine way!  It works, for them.  Every Marine is a Rifleman!  Let me repeat that; Every Marine is a rifleman!  They do not have career ratings that only do that job.  At least in the Enlisted ranks.  Everyone shoots!!

 During our discussion, I told the panel and this very determined O-6 that having M14's and M16's on Navy ships for security was dumb!  Below deck, in a steel ship, a miss will result in ricochets that will kill us a d damage equipment more than the intruder!  The same goes for whatever pistol we are using.  The best shipboard security weapon is a 12 gage shotgun filled with OO Buck!   I think you can understand my view.

The Marine asked me how I would take a sniper out of a tower that was shooting at the ship.  I calmly told him, with my 5"/54 Gun Mount.  The panel agreed with me and the requirement to train all sailors to the Marksman level was abandoned.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

DO you ever WONDER what the procurement Admirals are thinking?

For instance, the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB).   We replaced the Motor Whale Boats and Captain's Gigs on Destroyers, Cruisers, and other Naval Ships with one, RHIB.  We use these boats to ferry the crew on liberty, Boarding Parties, Rescuing downed pilots, and other survivors in the sea.  For decades, since before World War I, we used the Motor Whale Boat (MWB).  It is tough, resilient, seaworthy, easy to maintain, and it has a tradition.  We had competitions within Squadrons, Divisions, and Type Commanders between ships dressing up our MWB.  How can you make a blow up boat pretty?

Not to mention the RHIB is easy to sink!   Trust me, running into a submerged object will rip the side bladder open and down you go!

I can't help but think someone go a "Kick Back" over purchasing enough RHIB's to equip our Navy.  Not to mention every MWB and Captain's Gig was either scrapped or sold as salvage!

I habe discussed other high tech volleys foisted on us by the Navy's Engineering Duty Officer Community, like the SPS-73 Surface Search Radar, the MK 92 Fire Control System, and the LCS.  All colossal wastes of money, useless to a blue water navy, and more expensive to maintain than anything they replaced.  In the case of the SPS-73, we spent 15 years, many modifications, and millions of dollars of funding to scrap this radar that never met any spec required by the Surface Navy.

In a time of budget constraints we need to be honest about our procurement process.  It bends to be driven by the "War Fighters", not the "Desk Jockeys".  If a system, ship, or small boat does not meet the "War Fighter's" specifications, it should not be purchased.  And while I am at it;  The Navy needs to KILL the "Not Invented Here" attitude of the ED Community!  Many times, existing technology meets or exceeds our needs and is much less expensive to deploy and maintain.

But, what the Hell do I know, I am just a Master Chief Gunner's Mate, Surface Warfare qualified, Bridge Watch qualified, and nearly EOW qualified on a DD 963 class. I was on a Major Staff twice, was a Branch Head in Civil Service for Programs and Radar and Electronic Navigation Systems.   But,  I am not an Officer, especially not a Engineering Duty Officer.  So, my opinion is worthless.  Right!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

"Whose gonna fill their shoes?"

The late, great, George Jones had a hit song titled; "Whose gonna fill their shoes?".  It was a great song remembering some of the greats of Country Music that had passed away.  Today, during my weekly telephone call with my best friend Jerry, we got on the topic of Gunner's Mates we knew who had died, some way to early.  Great Gunner's Mates who were my mentors and my contemporaries.  Men like Bill Mowery, Vern VanMatre, James Andrew Smith, Charlie Kamler, Tim Melody, Bones Clark, Harold "Suitcase" Simpson,Lou Breeding, Del Black, and some that my failing memory cannot name right now.

Then, I got to thinking, who IS filling their shoes?   While I do not count my self in the company of these great Gunner's Mates, I wonder who is leading our GM community!   Each one of these men and the many more I can't remember due to my disease, were leaders that lead from the front!  They were technically superior to most and they were leaders that men wanted to follow because of the example they set.  They had decades of Sea Duty, not months or years!   They were the FIRST in an emergency and never ordered or asked anyone to do something they were not doing or did not do before!  Many of these men had Service in country on the rivers of Vietnam.  Others had Korean War and even World War Two Service!  Think about it.  A Gunner's Mate who served in World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam!  How much sea duty was that?  How many foul bores, dropped projectiles,  fires at sea, flooded magazines, and General Quarters in the middle of the night did they endure?

Yet, they still lead from the front, set the example, did not let anything but professionalism drive them, and taught their men how to be Great Gunner's Mates and Leaders!

Indeed, George Jones had it right, Who IS going to fill their shoes?  I have reflected so much on my past Navy career.  My successes and my failures.  Now, I know I am at the end of my life as well as of no use to the Navy of today.  But I hear the drums of war pounding from China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran, and I worry, who is there to lead!  Who is there to fight!  Whose gonna fill their shoes?


Friday, April 8, 2016

Enlisted Navy Female Uniforms

I read an article that stated that the Navy is going to direct Female Enlisted Members to wear the "Dixie Cup" cover!  Just shoot me now!!  I blame MCPON Bill Placket for putting Female Sailors in the White Jumper Uniform.  And now, some moron decided to top that stupid act off by topping it off with a Dixie Cup!

Look, Men's clothing on Females does not look good or serve the purpose of Military Appearance.   I have see Females in the White Jumper and for the most part, it is NOT becoming to them.  And if a Female is buxom, the jumper serves to give men a great view of their cleavage.  Again, neither professional or Military.

Why can't we get a group of Enlisted Females together to design a Dress Uniform that is sharp, Military, and becoming to all Females.  It cannot be that hard.  The Marine Corps seems to have the right idea!   But dressing our Enlisted Females as Males is not conducive to Good Order and Discipline.  Not to mention, we are in a continuous cycle of uniform changes!  In fact, for the last 45 years, the make up of the Male and Female Sea Bag has been changed every two years!!

I challenge the next MCPON to decide what our Sailors are going to look like, based on what they actually do, and then set the decisions in concrete!!   And one more thing.  Get rid of those ridicules powder blue came bags!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

40 years of wasted time...

I am about to be 65.  I am in the late third quarter of my journey with Lewy Body Dementia, a disease caused by my Naval Service.  My hindsight is perfect.  And looking at our Country, the political leadership, and the Secret Society that really controls our Country and the World's finances, I know that I was a fool to dedicate every waking  hour of the best 40 years of my life, to preserving something that never really existed!

I spent my time on Navy ships instead of being with my family.  Even when my ship was in home port, I would stay aboard and fix broken Gun Mounts, Sprinkler Systems, Elevators, or what ever was broke.  I worked Saturdays and Sundays, to make equipment Combat Ready.  I worked when the Navy budget was bad and we had to make our own parts, or even steel them from systems removed from other ships.  I worked when I let my other Sailors off to be with their families, just to be the leader.  I always lead from the FRONT!  I never asked any one to do what I would not do.

When there were dangerous situations in the Gun Mount, I was the one who stayed in the gun to solve the situation or be killed because I failed.  I always put others first.

Then, I did not fully understand that we were being sold a lie.  America the free is really America the free for the Elite and America the slaves for the rest of us.  Since World War Two, no sons of the Elite have dies in the many wars our Politicians have sent us to.  And when we are named, crippled, or mentally incapacitated by the impact of the killing machine, the Elite turn their back on us.  The citizens of America are not free.  We are insulated to the Company Store!

We are promised many things, but none of these promises are ever fulfilled.   We had a saying in the Navy;  "don't piss down my neck and tell me it's raining!"  Well, they have been pissing down our collective necks since the end of World War One!!

The wealth Barons of Industry and Banking get rich, have security, and live a luxurious life, protected by the lives of the one who's deaths will mean nothing, to them.  The Politicians have they photographs taken with us, they shake our hands, hug our Wives, and they they go wash their hands and burn their clothes!!  We mean nothing to them.

So, the months and years deployed, working on broke equipment, and training took away from my Son and my Wife.  I am now sad and depressed about my failures as a Father and Husband.  I am angry that I fell for the lies of the Secret Society that owns and runs our Country.

I should have listened to my Dad.  He told me about the Illuminati when I was 14.  I did not hear him.  I do now.  But I wasted my life serving those who did not care about me.

Friday, April 1, 2016

What I learned about wages in the Navy!

I started as a Seaman Recruit (E-1) in the United States Navy, in 1969.  I was making $49 every pay day which was every 15 days.  Haircuts at the Navy Exchange were 25 cents!!  When I made E-3, I was making $63 every pay day.  Then, I made E-4 and President Nixon gave the Military a large pay raise.  My pay went to $168 a pay day!  And haircuts went to $1.50!!   The price of uniforms went up too!  So, my big pay raise was eaten up by the rising cost of what I needed to buy!

People say they cannot make a living on the minimum wage.  Duh!!  If you are trying to support a family on the minimum wage, you have mush between your ears!  When I was first in the Navy, you had to be an E-5 to get married.  Yes, we had some Enlisted personnel junior to E-5 that got married, with a special request chit!  You had to be an E-5 to bring your car on the base!!!

If you want to make more money, make your self more valuable!  If you are in the Navy, study for advancement tests.  Do your best and get better than average evaluations.  Take the hard assignments!!  That is how you advance and make more money!!

In the civilian world, the same rules apply.  College was NEVER designed to make you more employable!  College was to Finnish you off and was for the upper class.  Trade schools will make you more money.  Welding, plumbing, electrical, AC&R, computer skills , auto repair, diesel repair, cement workers, brick masons, are all professions that will make you a respectable wage.  Then, do the best you can at your trade and work your way up in that profession!!

It takes hard work, increased skills, and good performance, to make more money that the average guy!

I am not bragging, but I advanced from E-1 to E-9 in 14 ½ years!!   And I was a Gunner's Mate, not an ET, Corpsman, or Data Systems Tech.  It can be done in the military and in the civilian world.  But it takes dedication and hard work.

Raising the minimum wage to $15 will only make everything else more important!!  Wake up America.