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

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

And I thought I HAD an interesting career!!

I live in a very nice Continuing Care Retirement Community named Azalea Trace.  This is an exceptional facility with a wide variety of people living here.  The experience base is tremendous.  Since we are in Pensacola, there are a number of retired Naval Aviators living here including three Admirals.   Pretty lofty company for an old dumb Gunner's Mate!!

Today, I attended the Aviation Club monthly meeting.  The presenter was Admiral Skip Furlong.  A Naval Aviator with an exceptionally colorful career.  He regaled us with stories about his career as a Pilot of a number of jet fighter aircraft.  And the mishaps near misses that he experienced in his 35 + year Naval Career!   To say the least, he is quite a character.

But, as I listened intently for 90 minutes, it came to mind just how much a Naval Aviator has to know, risk, and, accomplish in their career.  Of course, when Skip was flying, Naval Jet Aviation was in it's infancy and he was a pioneer.  They did things by the seat of their pants and bravado and bravery were more important than skill and knowledge.  But, they paved the way for us to gain the knowledge.  Their accomplishments and failures serve as the basis for Naval Aviation training today.   To say that Skip and his generation wrote the book on Naval Jet Aviation would be an understatement.   Safety training came from their experiences!

I know I spend a lot of time verbally beating the Engineering Duty Officer Community and some may think I have no respect or use for Commissioned Officers.   Nothing could be further from the truth.  I just reserve my respect for those who actually put their asses on the line!  And, Skip Furlong is one of the best.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The way we used to do Navy training

Until the 1990's, the United States Navy used the experienced Navy personnel to teach the next generation of Blue Jackets.  It worked great.  We trained on the equipment they would work on, once in the Fleet.  We had schools that had the exact equipment that was on the ships.  When technology changed, so did the training sites.

When we built ships with Gas Turbine engineering plants, we built a Gas Turbine training facility.   The same for Vertical Launch, CIWS, and other new systems.

The sailors that were selected for Instructor Duty were the best of their ratings.  Instructor Duty was great for promotion and also made the Instructor a better technician.

Recruit training was handled the same way.  And who better to train a new sailor than an experienced Fleet Sailor?!  It worked from the inception of the Navy.

Then, some brainiac decided to use "civilian contractors" to teach our sailors and to use computer simulations ins tread of the actual equipment to train our new sailors.  Yes, most of the civilian contractors were retired or previous sailors.  But, their knowledge base was stale.  How can a civilian, on shore for 20 years, even if he was a 30 year Navy veteran, teach how the Navy works today?

And how can a computer simulation teach a sailor how to do an adjustment on a intricate piece of equipment without the sailor feeling at the process and touching the equipment?  He can't!!

Now, the Navy is talking about reinstating "Hands On" training.  But, we scrapped and tore down all our old training sites!  Gun School is gone as are other equipment based training sites.  It will cost millions of dollars and years of construction to rebuild what some bean counter tore down!!

Just once, I wish the Officer's who try to pad their resumes' by making major, untried changes to the way the Navy works, would ask a few Master Chiefs or Warrant Officers if their idea had any merit or had any chance of working over the long haul!!  But not, the Officers think since they have stars and bars, and a college education, they are automatically right.  Well, again, they proved they are wrong.

But, as the part of a Navy magazine says; "Nobody asked me.."

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How DO we win the war against whom ever we are fighting?!

During World War Two, we knew exactly who we were fighting.  We had names for them and the newspapers and radio announcers used them frequently.  The names we applied to our enemies in Germany and Japan were not nice and those names today are all but outlawed!!  But everyone in America and in the World knew who the enemy was.

Then, we used all of our military might and all the military might of our allies to defeat the enemies that we called such creative, descriptive, names.  We bombed their factories, their neighborhoods, and anywhere the enemy found comfort, supply, and shelter.

Now, look at how we ARE NOT fighting the Islamic Terrorists.  First of all, our leaders refuse to call the enemy by their name.  Muslim, Islamic, Terrorists.  Second, our leaders say, most of those who practice the Muslim cult are peace loving people and not a threat to us!

Let's look at the history.  No Muslim has ever spoke out against what happened on 9/11.  No Muslim ever has spoke out against ANY terrorist attack on Americans or Jews.  The Terrorists have sought and found comfort and support including resupply from Mosques in America and around the world.  Terrorists have been recruited and trained in Mosques in America and around the world.  The truth is; There are NO peaceful Muslims in America or around the world!

So, how should we fight the Muslims who are attacking America and our allies around the world?  The same way we fought our enemies during World War Two, bomb everywhere they seek comfort, training, supply, recruitment, and military storage.  Use the General Curtis Lemay  method.  Fire bomb them!

Look, the truth is, the enemy is winning!  We are empowering the enemy to beat us by rolling over and letting the Muslims use America as their base of operations.

If a person has cancer, the first move normally is to cut it out!  That is what we need to do to the Muslims in America.  Through force, reeve them from America!

Second, we attack the enemy anywhere in the world, regardless of national borders.   If the counter they are in has not expelled them, then that country is, by default, our enemy also.  Bomb and burn the enemy into extinction or, if they choose, surrender.  I prefer extinction, because if one is left, the cancer will return.

I am tired of trying to placate Muslims!  They started this war, not America.  But, we had better Finnish it, QUICKLY!!

Remember, right now we are loosing the war against the Muslims regardless of what our President says.  It is time to turn that tide or face defeat!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Fleet Reserve Association

Do you belong to The Fleet Reserve Association?  If not, Why not??  It is the only association that represents the interests and well being of our Sailors and Marines and Coast Guard members.  This association lobbies Congress on issues that impact active duty and retired sea going personnel.

I am a great fan of this organization.  And that should NOT influence you one way or the other.  But, I challenge you to look into the Fleet Reserve Association and decide for yourself.  Their web page is www.fra.org.

I seldom encourage folks to join anything.  And I know you are deluged with requests to join many fraternal organizations.  But, the FRA represents US and what WE did.  They know our sacrifices and the hardships of deployments.  They understand many of us were grossly underpaid and neglected.   That is why I am a member and have been for a long time.  Again, I encourage you to look into the FRA.

Thanks.

The things we used to do to keep our systems going!

We used to do ANYTHING to keep our Gun Mounts up and running.  Some of the thing I remember include;

1.  Procuring nitrogen from Long Beach Naval Shipyard to recharge the counter recoil system in my MK 45 gun on the USS Leftwich.  I could not get it nitrogen in the 3000 pound pressure bottles from the Supply System,  But, the shipyard had full 3000 pound bottles laying all over the place, unattended!!

2.  Again, in Long Beach Naval Shipyard, but a different ship and system.  I was on the USS Stein with a MK 42 gun mount.  I needed a valve for the Carrier Control Valve Block, (UVX 27).  Mine was broke due to the fact that the shipyard had improperly installed the pressure reduction and slowdown ORDALT.  They cut one anchor piston shim down to .250 inches but not the other.  There was a Carrier sitting in the Naval Supply Center fenced in yard.   An entire Carrier Assembly!!   I parked a Navy pick up truck next to the fence, climbed over the fence, with my tools.  Climbed up on the carrier and removed the needed valve.  I then installed my broken valve.  My gun shot!!

3.  On the USS Caron, drink the Beirut, Lebanon issues in 1984, we broke a lower hoist chain link.  We did not have one in supply.  So, I took a representative link to the Second Class MR (Machinery Repairman)  on the Caron and he made a chain link for me!  As far as I know, that link is was still in the gun when they sunk the Caron!!

Some other remembrances will come to mind sometime.  Maybe you remember some of the extraordinary things you did to keep your systems up and operating!!  

No more "Boot Camp" buzzes?!

I read a post on Facebook that had an article attached stating that the "Military" was pondering doing away with the traditional "Boot Camp" buzz haircut!  Blaspheme!!

But, ask yourself, what is the purpose of the "Bot Camp" buzz haircut?

The purpose is to strip the individual of all of his individuality and make everyone equal in all aspects.  This is the first step in building the "TEAM".  There is no individual in a TEAM!  In the Military, we all wear the same uniforms, get the same haircuts, and work for the same goal.

It did not matter if you were a rich kid, a poor kid, an educated kid or a learning disabled kid.  You were in Company ??? and you were important to the success of that Company!

But, the new "Politically Correct" military celebrates the individual and therefore, the TEAM is breaking down.  We see that breakdown in equipment failures, Commanding Officers and Command Master Chiefs being relieved for Cause, and the failure of the Air Forces Nuclear Command.  There is no dedication to the success of the team and a lot of dedication to what the individual wants to do.  It us the idea that I am important, what I want to do is primary, and the team is not important.  I will do what the team needs if it is convent to me.

This comes from kids playing on the computer instead of playing on the play ground!  On the computer, you are the most important.  On the play ground, you have to form allegiances with other humans!!  That is a lost skill in today's young people.

So, doing away with the "Boot Camp" buzz is just another nail in the coffin of Military discipline and Military Bearing.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

To initiate Chiefs or not?!

On some of the groups I am a member of on Facebook, I see some debate, not initiated buy me, about Chief's Initiation.  Someone posted that the Chief's community has fallen on hard times because of the loss of Initiations.  Modern sailors hate the idea of being Initiated!  So, I thought I would bring up a couple of points.

First, a disclaimer.  I AM and Initiated Chief Petty Officer.  I have initiated many fellow Chiefs and have been the "Judge" for many initiations.  So, I was part of the Navy when we had unfettered Initiations.  And, I was a Chief when we did not Frock!  That is, we had a Chief's Initiation every month from September to May!!

The first change was frocking.  We advanced all of the selectees on the same day!  That made Chief's Initiation much harder to manage and control!

The second problem was Officers participating in Chief's Initiation.  Not that an LDO or Warrant Officer that has been a Chief and was initiated is a problem or not welcomed.  But, I saw senior Officers, that were NEVER Enlisted Personnel, completely treated with disrespect and embarrassed beyond any level they should have been.  To tell the truth, that is what ended Chief's Initiation.  In 1980, at the Washington D.C. Navy Yard Chief's Club, a Medical Corp Two Star Admiral was treated with so much disrespect by the "Judge" and made to drink Truth Serum, that he immediately went to the CNO's Office and complained!  Rightfully so!

So, the Chief's Community, et all, are responsible for the demise of Chief's Initiation.

But there are other issues too.  Chief's used to network at the Chief's Club, over a few, too many, adult beverages!  That is now gone!  Again, probably a good thing.  Nothing good ever came from being drunk!  But, the camaraderie that came from those outings is now missing.  That bonding, connection, and trust that was built through common experiences, is missing in the Chief's Mess.

Do I think Chief's Initiation should be reinstated?!   Maybe.  Under the right circumstances.  But, what is really needed is mentoring of our Junior Enlisted by Senior Petty Officers!  As for up coming Chiefs.  Long before they are selected for promotion to Chief Petty Officer should have been mentored, given opportunities to exercise more leadership decisions and opportunities.  And be constructively critiqued by the mentor on their performance with the focus on being the best leader possible.  So, when a First Class Petty Officer is selected for promotion to Chief Petty Officer, he or she is fully ready to assume the mantle of leadership that the Chief Petty Officer has fulfilled for over a century.

Making people puke does not make them a Chief.  Making them sweat for the performance they are proud of does.   So, Chiefs, what do we do, fold our collective tents and go home, or, build a better Chief's Community and bring everyone along with us.  Real Leaders set the example, they do not follow the guy in front of them.  Let's start setting the new standard in leadership for our Navy!!