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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

OK, I'm fed up!

I keep up with current events, especially political events.  This is a Presidential election year so there is an dramatic increase in political stories.  Many of them are very intense and very one sided and I am upset over the discourse.  Two years ago, the state of Virginia had an election for Govenor.   The Democrat candidate conducted a terribly negative campaign filled with personal attacks on the Republican candidate.  To his credit, now Govenor McDonald conducted a TOTALLY positive campaign filled with position statements of what HE would do.  He NEVER said anything negative about his opponent nor did he run any adds that did anything but tell the citizens of Virginia what HE would do if he was elected.  The Republican candidate won in a landslide.

Also, today, the very liberal three term Senator from Maine is retiring from the Senate because she is tired of the rancor and partisan bickering.  I agree with her!  I remember when Congressmen and Senators, the President and the Vice President all worked together for the good of our country.  No more!  Now they work to get their party the most power so they can be the most powerful in their party and teh richest in their state!  It is all about personal power not about what is good for our nation.  Because of that, our nation is collapsing from within!  Nikita Krustev said the Soviet Union would destroy America from the inside out.  He said that in 1961!  Looks like he was right.  The Progressive Democrats are leftist, socialists, who only desire power.  They use that power to give the masses a little of what they need and then promise them more if they get reelected.  America has become a nation on the dole!

So, I have come to the point, with 40 years of service to our Nation, the Nation that I love, that I am ashamed of the politicians, on both sides of the isle, that run our country.   They are interested in themselves, not the people of our nation.  That is not how it was when I was younger.  Politicians were statesmen.  They did selfless acts of good for our nation and we flourished. Today we are in decay.  Schools are combat zones and teachers don't teach.  Our kids don't dream of a great future, and half of our population is out of work because the politicians shipped our manufacturing jobs overseas!  Remember NAFTA?!  They did that to make American's MORE dependent on the government!  Starting to see the picture?

So, in my frustration I hope that we can again find our moral fiber, quit defaming each other, quit trying to get our group ahead of the other group, and just be Americans.  People of a melting pot, with a common goal, working together to make America better for our kids and our grand kids.  Otherwise, I quit.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Administration wants the military to PAY MORE for our healthcare!

It is an election year.  Normally we hear all sorts of promises to give us more benefits, higher pay, less taxes.  Those promises are rarely kept.  But this year is different.  The President's wife has been flouncing around with military wives, telling us how much she respects us and wants to help us in every way!  But the guy she supposedly sleeps with has different ideas.  His administration has announced that the are going to increase the amount Active Duty and Retired Military personnel and dependents pay for health care!!!  The goal is to get us into the Obamacare insurance scheme.

I joined the Navy in 1969.  I was promised total health care for as long as I was on active duty and for life if I retired!  That promise was also extended to my Wife and children under 18.  A few years ago, under another Draft Dogger President of the democrat party, they tried to charge retirees for medical care.  The Supreme Court struck that down.  The result was Tricare for Life.  Yes, we have to pay some money a year, and that was not my original deal, and retirees have to pay the Medicare Part B payment, but it is still a good deal.

Welfare people don't pay anything and they get free health care, child care, food, and even free Cell Phones!  I served 20+ years, deployed 7 times to combat zones from Viet Nam to Lebanon, and I HAVE TO PAY MORE FOR MY HEALTH CARE!!!!  Who the Fxxx is running this circus?!?
We earned our health care by meeting the terms of the contract that both parties, the Government and the enlistee, signed the contract for!   Think about that for a second,,, You signed your enlistment or reenlistment contract and so dd an Commissioned Officer.  That Officer represented the President of the United States.  If you violated that contract, the government will court martial you and can put you in jail. What happens if the government violates their end of the contract?  NOTHING!! Except we get screwed!!

I have said this before and I will say it now;  No one should be permitted to run for any public office, especially the Presidency, unless they have at least 4 years of HONORABLE ACTIVE Military service!  That leaves everyone out who is running this year except Ron Paul.   We are acceptable when they need us to fight THEIR wars.  But we are the scum of the earth and they loath to be around us, when the wars are over.

So, what do we do?  Write you Congressman a letter in your own had writing!  Not an email, not a typed letter, an hand written letter.  That carries much more weight.  Second, vote against anyone who advocates reducing Military benefits.   Furthermore, if you vote to reelect President Obama, doom on you!  He is the most anti American politician I have ever seen or read about.  So, our fate is in your hands.  Do the right thing!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Stupid new uniforms!

I am watching the inane pre-race coverage for the Daytona 500.  There was video of some military men and women holding American Flags.  No one in America, except possibly active duty Navy personnel.  They had black garrison caps on (Piss Cutters) khaki shirts with seaman, third class, and second class emblems on the collar, and black pants.   Are they sea cadets?  Junior NROTC?  Merchant Marine Academy Midshipmen?  Actually, I do know they are active duty Navy personnel.  But that uniform makes them indistinct!  The Marine Corps does not see a need to change their dress uniform ever  Why do we change uniforms.  Neither does the Army.  But the Navy changes uniforms like I change socks.  I believe someone gets a kick back on the uniform changes, but I may be somewhat radical in that.  However, it hurts our service's recognition in the heart land to change uniforms.  The "Cracker Jack: blues and whites are the uniform Americans associate with the United States Navy.  And the Dungaree Work Uniform is the traditional working uniform.  Before the 1950's even Chief's wore the Dungaree Working Uniform!  Bet most of you did not know that?  But, this new dress uniform is as bad as the "Salt and Pepper" uniform of the 1980's!   Maybe the makers of the khaki shirt complained that they were not getting enough business!  Another draw back is, who pays for all these changes?  I'll tell you, the sailors.  Second question, where do you store all these uniforms on ship?   The Traditional "Cracker Jack" uniform was designed to fold into a compact size that easily fit in a locker and did not require hanging space.  I believe this is another example, much like the extreme flammable polyester material, of decisions being made that impact fleet personnel by shore duty personnel that don't have to fit a sea bag into a small locker.

Let's reduce the sea bag to a uniform that is easily stored,  is easily washed by the ship's laundry, wears well, is fire resistant, and looks like a sailor!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Replies to the DU post.

I have received a number of replies on my recent post about CIWS guns using Depleted Uranium!  I really appreciate your inputs and help.  Some of you don't remember the DU rounds for CIWS and I understand that.  Some of you never saw them.  Remember, I was involved in this system from the beginning on commissioned ships.  I also remember the testing on a decommissioned ship.  But that is a different story.  One of the replies did tickle my somewhat foggy memory.  There were sabot rounds and I do remember those now.  But I also remember, at least I think my memory is correct, that there were straight DU rounds also.  If I m wrong, I apologize.  And I do defer to the professionals.  So, if you remember DU rounds in your CIWS system and you believe you have an issue with the VA, file.  If not, so be it.

One of the research sites I found had the story of an Army Specialist that had colon cancer at the age of 31.  It was traced to the DU round.   I had the ascending half of my colon removed at age 50.  Something caused that tumor!  It may not have been the CIWS ammo, it could have been the ASROC weapon.  Anything is possible.  But my advice stands; If you think you were exposed, apply to the VA and let your record and the doctors figure it out.

Those serving now get a much more thorough look by the VA than we did 20 or so years ago.  That is a good thing!  But those "Grey Beards" deserve compensation also.  Many of you will not apply because of s sense of pride or duty.  You DID your duty and if in doing that duty, you were harmed, you should be compensated.  There, I got that off my chest.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Depleted Uranium (DU) ammunition

Many of us in the Navy and the Army were exposed to Depleted Uranium (EU) ammunition.  In the Navy, the Close In Weapons System (CIWS), an automatic 20 MM Gatling gun designed to shoot down cruise missiles used this ammunition.  To load the gun, we had to handle the ammo extensively.  When the gun fires, at 3000 rounds per minute, the friction of the ammunition progressing through the gun loading system left a haze of DU powder in the air!  Now I have heard that the VA intends to handle DU claims the same as they NOW handle Agent Orange claims.  Otherwise, if you were exposed, you are covered.  I do not have total confirmation on this, but I did file my own claim.  I recommend if you were exposed, you do the same thing.  Much like Agent Orange and Mil-F-17111 hydraulic fluid exposure, the problems may turn up long after you have been retired or discharged.  Also, the VA is notoriously slow in handling claims, especially from those of us already discharged!  

I recommend you do a Internet search and compile your own information.  Good luck!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Iran, a problem that won't go away!

Iran used to be our friend.  That's right!  When the Shah of Iran, Shah Pahlavi was the leader of Iran they were a country on the move up.   He was using oil money to educate his people, build housing, roads, infrastructure.  Many of his young people went to western universities, on the governments money.  We were helping him build a Navy, and Air Force. The Kidd Class DDG's were actually built for Iran!  They were better ships than our Aegis CG's!  Then Khomeini over through the Shah, Americans were taken hostage, and everything changed in the Persian Gulf!  That was really the beginning of the "Arab Spring"!  And that was 1979!!!  The Iranian hostage crisis lasted until President Reagan was inaugurated.  He told Iran, if they were not released by the time he took the oath of office, he would send the U.S. Military and free them at any cost. The Iranians and their handlers believed him and on Inauguration day, they were freed!  I had the duty in BUPERS that night.   But that is only the beginning of the Iranian problem.

During the Iran/Iraq war, they mined the Straights of Hormuz, blowing up oil tankers, and a few U.S. war ships!  That war ended and eventually we took care of Iran's problem with Iran, we over through Saddam Hussein.  That will be judged by history as a bad idea.  Why, because HE kept Iran in a box.  Iran and Iraq were like the Hatfield's and the McCoys!  Without that natural rivalry, Iran was free to go after the "Great Satan".

Instead of fighting Iraq, Iran has been making friends with North Korea, the Soviet Union, Venezuela, Cuba, and Red China.   Get the picture now.  They have, with their communist friends help, build nuclear reactors, centrifuges in armored bunkers, and most likely an Atom Bomb or two.   They may also have an impulse weapon ready to use to seal the Straights of Hormuz, again.  This is truly a big problem.

Iran has some weak points, but we won't exploit them under this President.  For instance, they have few oil refineries and depend on gas and fuel oil imports!  Also, they need food imports to feed their families.  Cut both of those off and they will be hurt.  

This Iranian problem will not go away until someone exterminates it and everyone infected with the germ.  I know some of you may think that is drastic.  But the people of Iran could overthrow the leadership of their country, they did it once before, remember 1979.  So, the populace is complicit in the sins of the leaders.  Iran must be punished, or they will win.  It is that simple.   If we do not, the economies of the world will suffer greatly and many good people will die.  They must be stopped before they move any further.  That is the truth.  That is the history of the problem that won't go away.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The toughest guy on the block

I have written about some rough, tough, Gunner's Mates that I knew in my past.  They could FIGHT!  They were strong, and they looked it!  Not only did they look like someone you really did not want to mess with, but they had a reputation of being mean, when necessary.  I have seen these guys stop a fight that was imminent by just saying a few choice words!  You may have had the same experiences in your neighborhood as a child.  That neighborhood bully that everyone was afraid of, and the guy who brought him down. We have seen the toughest guy on the block in movies and on television.  So we all understand the concept.

The United States of America has been the toughest guy on the block since World War One.  We have stood for good, defended peoples who could not defend themselves.  Fed people who could not feed themselves, even those who did not agree with us, and stood up for the rights of free people everywhere.  The major advances in technology and science came from our scientists and industry.  And we have shared those advances freely with the world.

Now, we are lead by people who do not share the American dream, do not want to stand for good, and do not want to be the sentinel of peace  for the world.  Not only that, but they want to destroy our way of life and reduce our country to the status of a third world nation.  They do not share our morals, our standards, nor our goals.  Our military is being decimated and reduced to a state of surrender.  Our main weapon against the bullies of the world, our nuclear arsenal, is going to be reduced below the levels of the other big guys on the block.  And they are not near as nice as we are.

If we, the good, morale, people of America are not the toughest guy on the block, who will be?  And a better question would be; do you feel safe living in a world ruled by that country?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It pains me to know what I know.

This post is an addition to my previous post; The Cold War!  Remember?.  An old shipmate replied to me and brought back an old saying; "You can EXPECT what you INSPECT."  Yet we don't inspect anything anymore.  I have used my memories to bemoan the demise of America through the destruction of the U.S. Military.  Truthfully, we have not had an administration that has helped the freedom of the average American, fronted States Rights, and built the U.S. military while standing up to the Evil Empire since President Ronald Reagan!   The Bushes were Rockefeller, country club, republicans and Clinton and Obama are out right socialists.  All of these men have, piece by piece, dismantled the U.S. Military until it is an empty shell.  During Bush the First, we did away with ALL inspections in the Navy.  I cannot testify for the other services but my inclination is they have suffered also.  We scrapped an entire Navy that any country would kill for.  Now the administration is planning on destroying our nuclear deterrent, scrapping two Army combat brigades, further reducing the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corp.  We are actually giving PINK SLIPS to good, honorably serving military personnel!   It hurts me to see what I am seeing, knowing what I know.  All of my adult years have been spent serving the nation and trying to do good.  I have failed in this endeavor, but it is not from a lack of trying.  But the politicians seem to think dismantling our military, trampling our Constitution, destroying our economy, and dishonoring our country around the world, will set them up as emperors for life.  They are reducing our national morale values to that of a gutter whore.  Things we knew were wrong are now the thing to do and actions and life standards that were considered good and upright are now despised.   Drugs are now acceptable and called "Designer Drugs".  Illicit sex is encouraged by our schools!  Don't think so, who gives our middle school kids condoms?!  If you are a Christian, you are ridiculed, mocked in the media, in movies, but Satan worshipers are considered mainstream!   Do you know that the military now has Wicken, and Devil Worshiper Chaplains?  It's true! If you are heterosexual, as we were designed by our Creator, you are mocked, but the abhorrent behavior of homosexuality is held up as a positive life style!  Again, it makes me physically sick and demoralizes me, to see this great nation going down the drain.  But, we, the good, upstanding, moral citizens of America had stood by and LET THIS HAPPEN!!  It is our fault because we have done nothing about it.  One of our nations forefathers said, all that we need to do to have evil succeed is for good people to do NOTHING.  It seems we have done exactly that.  Now, I am going to the bathroom to vomit. And by the way, if what I have written upsets you.. TOUGH.  I have been upset by the freaks that are destroying our nation.  But the difference between me and them is I have earned my right to be upset.  They have only taken the free ride.  So, I really don't care about the feeling of the deviants anymore.  It is time for GOOD, MORAL people t take a stand, no matter what it costs you.  The founders of our nation did, and it cost them their fortunes and their lives.  Where do you stand?

The COLD war! Remember?

I know many of you are just too young to remember the Cold War.  But, let me inform you that for over 40 years, the Soviet Union, Red China, and the rest of the Soviet block nations were our mortal enemies!  They had thousands of nuclear armed war heads on top of ballistic missiles, in submarine silos, and nuclear bombs in long range bombers, all destined for the United States!  The ONLY thing that kept us from being completely and utterly destroyed was our own nuclear weapons.  The idea was called "Mutually Assured Destruction".  Otherwise, if they shot at us, we shot at them and if we shot first, they returned the volley!  This kept all nations safe.  It may sound crazy, but it worked.  Then, the Soviet Union put on their Sheep clothes, like the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood!  But, be assured, the Communist Nations of the world STILL want to DESTROY the United States of America.   They have changed their tactics, the way they talk, and their outward appearance, but the are STILL the Russia Bear!!   And world domination is still their goal.  They will use any means necessary to accomplish that goal, even an alliance with Iran!  Just where do you think Iran got their nuclear technology?!

Why do I offer this history lesson?  Because the President announced that he is looking at destroying 80% of our nuclear weapons!!!  You may say, we still have enough weapons to deter an attack with the remaining 20%.  And I will tell you, in a fight; SIZE MATTERS!!!  If we are not the biggest, baddest, dude on the street, we will no longer BE on the street.  And this administration is making every effort to make sure, America is destroyed!  This announcement should be the loudest explanation of their desire to destroy our way of life.  But, you decide on your own.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20

I was sitting here this morning, drinking a cup of coffee and thinking about my Navy years.  That seems to be my favorite endeavor.  I was thinking about the men who I served with and our relationships.  I was a Gunner's Mate and by nature we are a proud, verbose, tough, group of individuals.  We like to be in charge.   You may know that Gunner's Mate was a "Right Arm" rate.  One of the original ratings in the Navy.  As I look back, that "I'm in charge" attitude exhibited itself in Gunner's Mates and Boatswain's Mates the most.  It may be the very nature of the rates that makes us that way.  Both rates deal with dangerous equipment as the very nature of their business.   If you don't think a Boatswain"s Mates job is dangerous, just watch the Navy's line handling training video and see the Executive Officer of the USS Forrest Sherman take off his Prosthetic legs!!  He lost BOTH legs in a line handling accident.

In any case,  I was thinking about the guys I competed against.  Yes, I said against.  It seems to me now that Gunner's Mates were very competitive.  In many cases it lead to hurt feelings and even fist fights!  In one case, it lead to a Chief Gunner's Mates life.  On an early Spruance class destroyer, the ship had two Chief Gunner's Mates.  The Captain of the ship told the two Chiefs there was going to be a competition for the best annual evaluation.  That contest was who could fire 40 rounds the fastest out of a MK 45 Mod 0!  The Chief in mount 51 had a problem with an empty case not making the empty case tray loaded switch.  He knew what the problem was, and jumped up in the gun loading equipment, while the gun was running and in "Auto Load" to clear the problem.  As he pushed the empty case back into the empty case tray, the gun loading system went back to doing it's job and the cradle raised and crushed him!  He died in a young Gunner's Mates arms as he caught him when he fell out of the gun.

So, now that I look back, I believe all that competition was not such a good thing.  Many great Gunner's Mates got put down, demoralized, ran over, and even insulted, in the quest to promote.  We stepped on friends as ladder steps in our career.   Yes, we had friends, shipmates, but all that would go out the window if we felt threatened by their professionalism.  I regret that competition and now realize that I did not take the time to cherish the moments of life as they happened.   The quote about "Taking time to smell the roses" is true.  Why, because all to quickly, the roses loose their aroma, die, and fall to the ground.

So, my advice to you is simple, enjoy today.  None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.  And I also believe we should bank friendships like we bank money for retirement.  Slowly, with great care, and with little or no risk.  Because when you are in the Autumn of your years, you will need both your money and your friends.  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I AM jaded, because I know the truth.

I receive many comments from my blogisphere friends.  Most, I do not reply to but this one I will.  My comments about the Navy's Engineering Duty Officer community evidently hit a nerve.  Someone wrote me and said I sounded "Jaded".  Well, I guess I am, but for all the right reasons.  During my civil service career, I saw first hand how this self-serving community worked.  My experiences during a two year period where we tried to get the Navy to join the Twentieth Century by using remote monitoring was painful!  Now, the Marine Corps jumped right in the remote monitoring pool, so did the Army.  And this was NOT untested technology.  It had been used and proven in the oil and gas industry, the airline industry, even cross country trucking industry all use remote monitoring.  But the Navy ED's always  resisted and reverted to; "We have to invent our own system!"  Even the industry that builds the combat systems for the Navy jumped on the band wagon.  Why, because it makes their systems more dependable.  Not to mention, data from a system actually operating at sea, over a long period of time, is more valuable than ANY OPEVAL data.

Another area that has suffered terribly from the ED intervention is the ship building industry.  We have not designed and delivered a ship class on time and on budget since the Spruance class destroyers.  The design yard was actually delivering ships FASTER than the contract required and under cost.  And, DD 997, the USS Hayler was actually build from spare parts at the end of the run.  That's right, there was no plan for DD 997, it was a "Lucky Strike" extra.

Now look at the new generation cruiser and destroyer project.  We have been planning DDGX and CGX for 15 years!  Millions, maybe Billions of dollars have been spent and no ship has been built, not even a prototype!  But contractors have made millions!  And, if you look at the employment roles of the contractors, you will find a whole lot of retired Navy ED's!  As the grandfather in the old western show "The Sons of Will Sonnet" used to say; "no brag, just fact".  I have observed and fought against this ED Mafia for 20 years and I am still seeing the negative impact they have on the Navy today.  Over a billion dollars for ONE destroyer type ship is criminal.

So, I will continue to write and expose my experiences and my observations.  Maybe someone, who really can fix this problem will see what I write and act on it.  I certainly failed at changing the status quo!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Let's dream logistic support at sea, for a second!

I mean it, let's dream.  Technology is exploding and since the Geeks want to use it to design "Pretend" ships, I decided to apply technology to the "At Sea" combat Navy.  Let's pretend we are on a ship, deployed in the Persian Gulf.  As we steam, the fuel oil is depleted, as we test fire the guns, the ammo is depleted,  as we eat the chow is depleted, as we go to the bathroom, the toilet paper is depleted.  Today, as we have for 50 years, we send out a daily message listing furl on board, ammo on board, crew that is sick, and any other important data.  Why do we spend man hours compiling that data and building that message.  And what happens if, 23 hours after the last message sent.  This problem task could be done in virtual time with UPC codes, UPC readers, remote fuel monitoring, all connected to a secure feed going to the satellite whenever a change happens.  The reverse would be true too.  We go along side for bullets, beans and fuel, and as the commodities come aboard, the satellite gets the update and the planners in that dark room know our exact status.   We could also apply the same technology to the spare parts utilized, medical condition of crew members, and the shortages in skill sets caused by those illnesses and deaths.  If we could automate this process securely, we could reduce the time spent on this mundane process.  Also, think of this as it would apply in the heat of a battle.  As ammo, missiles, fuel, gets depleted, QUICKLY, in the heat of combat, the planners would be up to date!!

What I am trying to address is that we have a small Navy and the bean counters in Washington are going to reduce the manning of the Navy even more.  It is time to use our people in the most efficient way and our assets in the most efficient way.  The Engineering Duty Officer community (ED) has embraced technology from the idea of; "If we invent it, it is good, if someone else invents it, it is bad!"  This train of thought has lead us to multi-billion dollar ships that we can't build because of the cost.  For instance the Zumwalt Class DDG 1000.  So, we spend as much on the development of a class of ships that we NEVER build than we would spend on 5 new ships built with existing technology.

I believe we can improve on how we utilize our people, reduce manning levels, and improve combat readiness and ship's maintenance.  Again, let's dream, but dream realistically.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Religious freedom in America is in danger!

OK, I will admit that I am an ordained Pastor within the Grace Brethren Church.  I will also admit that I have been and will continue to speak my mind, through this blog, on topics that relate to the country and the Navy.  That being said, I want to address the trend of the politicians to limit practice of Christianity.

There are a number of stories in the news today about the President's Administration limiting the exercise of free speech by Military Chaplains.  Today, Catholic Chaplains have been bared from reading a letter from their Cardinal addressing the requirement of hospitals to provide abortions and birth control.  This requirement of "Obama Care" is applied regardless of religious affiliation of the hospital or clinic.  Naturally, the Catholic Church and other denominations that operate hospitals are repulsed by this direction.  I too stand against abortion.  And I stand for free speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment of our Constitution.  Preventing the free discussion of any issue will only breed contempt and anger.

Another disturbing move happened a few months ago when the Military forbid Christian Chaplains from praying in the name of Jesus Christ.  If you are a Christian, you should know that Jesus told his disciples that anything they pray for, "in his name"  would be granted to them.  This move had very little main stream media coverage and has mostly been swept under the carpet.  You may remember that I wrote about this topic on this blog several months ago.

It seems that any religion can be held up as a positive example, a good model for living, and something to ascribe too, EXCEPT Christianity!  The government refuses to label the attack on Army troops at Fort Hood Texas as terrorism.  If that was a white soldier killing Muslim soldiers, the government would have surely  labeled it as a "Hate Crime"! But, it seems, Muslims can do no wrong.   Then, a retired Special forces General was scheduled to speak to the Cadets at West Point on the topic of Christian Faith in the Military.  The militant front in the U.S. for the Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR, protested against the General's speech and under pressure from top Army brass, he with drew from the speech!  There are other cases, in the news, that illustrate this alarming assault against Christianity.  For instance, there is a growing movement in America to include Sharia Law in our court system!  Honor killings, female genital mutilation, depriving girls from going to school;  Is this what America is about?!  Not the America I fought for!

So, what do we do?  Speak out for Christian religious freedom.  Research your candidates and vote for those who support the Constitution, in it's entirety!  And., most of all, pray for our nation.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Respect, reward, and resolve.

The Navy was one of the BEST things that ever happened in my life.  If you read my earlier posts, you know why I joined the Navy.  But why is only part of the story.  I learned really early in my Navy experience that I really found a place and an organization, that I liked and that liked me.  And, if you can work in a career that you enjoy and that likes you too, your life is going to be much happier!  I tell young people this all the time.  I like to tell my Navy experiences, good, bad, and humorous, to anyone who will listen.  I hope they enjoy my stories too.

Yes, the positive influences of my parents and family were the strong under pinning.  But I have seen many young people with wonderful nurturing make terrible messes of their lives as adults.  No, to succeed as an adult you must continue in the teachings of your family and find friends and co-workers that support those moral imperatives.  In other words, we must make life choices that help us succeed, not help us fail.

The Navy is all about respect.  That is respect for the rules, for each other, and for yourself!  Of course, any team requires mutual respect to even begin to succeed.  When the team succeeds, there is reward.  That reward can be intrinsic or extrinsic.  Otherwise, a hearty "Well Done" or a promotion!  Both are important.  Of course, if you do not respect yourself, you cannot respect others.  People who purposely damage their bodies will not respect the rules of the organization.  I'm not talking about minor infractions.  I am talking about thing that leave a scar!  And I will tell you, it is easier to cause scaring today than when I was 18!  Then there is the resolve component.  Life is made up of "Life Decisions".  We as individuals must resolve to accomplish our goals. We have the opportunity to "Choose" our path.  If you don't decide to succeed, you won't!  It's that simple.

The Navy taught me these three important factors and that stuck with me, forever.  I still live by these factors.  They help me fight the effects of Lewy Body Dementia.  That's right, I apply what the Navy taught me to my life, all of my life.

So, while I joined the Navy under some less than normal conditions, the Navy took someone who was beginning a negative life decisions chain and turned me into someone who could and did make positive life decisions.  The Navy built upon what my parents taught me!   Did I make some mistakes, read yesterday's blog and you will understand that I have.  But if we learn from our mistakes, they are not negative but positive life lessons.  It's like sticking a hair pin in a light socket.  If you survive that mistake, your bound NOT to repeat it!

So, in closing, there were three positive events that changed my life into a positive, wonderful, experience.  They are, enlisting in the United States Navy, marrying my wonderful wife, and accepting Jesus Christ as my personal savior.  Without any of these three defining moments, I would not be the person I am today.  Yes, there were individual experiences within each of these major events, but they contribute to the adult influences in my life.  And now, you know the rest of the story.

P.S.  What lesson did I learn in New York?  Don't drink vodka and seven while eating dry roasted peanuts!  Later in life I learned that guacamole dip cause me gastrointestinal problems too.  But that's another story.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Civilians do not understand the Navy!

I know I have written about this topic recently, but three stories came to mind tonight that illustrate my point.  Now everyone recognizes the traditional Navy, enlisted, bell bottom uniform.  But most, like in a minority, recognize the Navy Chief's uniform.  So, you may now understand these stories.

The first one happened to me.  I was flying back from the USS Caron in the Med.  I flew into JFK in New York.  After our baggage cleared customs, I was waiting for my baggage to come off the conveyor into the area where you get cabs, and book other flights, outside of the secure customs area.  A tour group of Ascetic Jews also arrived when we did and some of these very distinctly clothed Rabbis were also waiting for their luggage.  I had flown in Dress Blues, I was a Command Master Chief with all the appropriate uniform markings.  One of the Rabbi's walked up to me and said. handing me a five dollar bill;  "Here porter, carry my bags to the cab."  I spent a few minutes explaining to him that I was a Master Chief in the United States Navy.  He did not care.  His loss.

Another time involves the third MCPON, Master Chief Bob Walker.  There used to be numerous formal events during the year that were almost required attendance for the Fleet and Force Master Chiefs.  The retired MCPONs almost always attended.  The attire for these events was dinner dress blues of whites.  This uniform consists of a short dinner jacket, bow tie, miniature medals, and a cumber bun.  One time, Bob was getting ready to leave the venue with his beautiful bride.  He was in front of the downtown Norfolk hotel and a woman in a mink coat hailed Bob and told him to bring her car around!  He was beside himself and gave her an education.

The third story is a typical sailor story and shamefully, it features a young me.  I met my brother in New York for a weekend of liberty.  At that time, the drinking age in New York was 18!  That's 18 for everything!!  So, Saturday night, we tried to drink Canada Dry.  The next morning, he had a breakfast meeting, so we caught the elevator to the basement where the meeting was.  Now, I was in uniform, the typical sailor, bell bottom, dress blue uniform.   As the express elevator sped from the 23rd floor to the basement, my stomach got confused and slowed down.  Then as the elevator stopped and the doors opened, my stomach's contents tried, no succeeded in escaping from my mouth in one projectile movement.  The recipient of that blast was a matronly lady, well dressed, in a mink coat!  I bet she never got the smell out of that coat.  But, now that I connect the stories, I wonder if she was the same lady that treated Bob Walker so badly.  Maybe!  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Broke ships!

I read an article, sent by a friend, that talks about the USS Essex being broke!  Broke like in can't get underway, twice in one year!  That's broke.  The Navy's uniform leadership is trying to cover it up.  Not a surprise, politicians are politicians, in uniform or in a Brooks Brothers suit!  They act surprised, but if they read what I have written over the last few years, they would know what their problem is.  Let me restate the obvious.  Sailors are not properly trained,  Navy leadership is afraid to state that they have a problem.  Systems are so technical and unproven that they are unmaintainable.  Repair parts are not available.  There is a bow wave of maintenance.  If you can think of anything else let me know.

The problems of the Navy cannot be fixed quickly or cheaply. The person who first recommends the solutions will be castigated and probably punished.   And, the beginning of the fix will require the deaths of some American Blue Jackets!   I know that sounds dramatic, but look at history and you will have to agree.  For instance, in the beginning of World War II in the Pacific, torpedo fuzes were malfunctioning at an alarming rate.  This lead to our submarines being depth charged by the enemy.  Get the picture, a defenceless submarine getting the daylights knocked out of it and the crew because the torpedo would not go off when it hit the enemy ship.  The Navy found the problem and fixed it.  Money did not matter, time was of the essence, and they fixed the problem.  The result, we won the war.  There are other examples but you get the idea.

Well, we are in the same place, almost.  So, when American Blue Jackets get killed, the problems will be fixed.  It is as simple as that.   So, for now, we just wait!

Rode hard and put away wet!

I know I have commented on this topic before, but it bears repeat.  Most men and women who serve in the military, for one tour or a career, are rode hard and put away wet.  If you know anything about horses, you know this is a terrible way to treat a horse, or a person.  Most jobs in the military demand that you perform at your maximum capability for long periods of time in terrible conditions.  Not just the Special Forces folks, but most people.  For instance, on steam powered ships, the Fire Room was manned and the ambient temperatures were 120 degrees or higher.  Or the flight deck personnel who breathe jet exhaust, fuel fumes, hit their heads on airplanes, duck moving planes, and try not to get sucked into an intake, blown over the side by jet exhaust, or try not to get their heads cut off by an E-2  propeller!  Naturally, Marines push their bodies way past normal limits. What is my point?  All of this abuse, the numerous days without sleep, getting your "Bell Rung", breathing hazardous vapors, causes damage to the body that turns up later in life.

I was reading today, about the law suit the NFL players have against the NFL and it's teams about the injuries they encountered that are NOW resulting in dementia issues.  The NFL, since it's inception, used the players as a commodity, much like toilet paper!  They used them until the broke and then threw them away.  The players were encouraged, even demanded, to play HURT!  The team doctors would inject them with pin med and tell them they could go out and get their heads knocked in again.  The military did the same to us, but we cannot sue for compensation.  Yes, there is the VA and they are doing better.  But, if you have something turn p, that was not diagnosed during your active duty days, you will have to move heaven and earth to get help.

I don't have a solution.  I just have a complaint.      

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The drooling moron!

It is purported in the movie; "Tora, Tora, Tora" that the Japanese Admiral that lead the attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Yamamoto, said; I a afraid we have awakened a sleeping giant.  He based that on the reports that they had not sunk any U.S aircraft carriers.  Why, because they were all at sea and with our carrier fleet and the majority of the rest of the fleet intact we would be able to carry the fight to the Japanese home land.  

Today, we are not a sleeping giant but a drooling moron!  We have a pitifully small, ineffective, aging, Navy, capable of very little.  And,  the administration is cutting back on ship construction and decommissioning ships faster, if that is possible.  I have reported before that not only have we decommissioned capable war ships but we have scrapped them!  We have NO moth ball fleet.  Nothing of value in reserve.  The puny 290 ship Navy is all we have.  Additionally, the administration plans to strike two Army brigades, shrink the Air Force, and reduce the number of men in uniform to below a reported 500,000.  When I was the SURFLANT Force Master Chief, 23 years ago, we had more men than that in the Navy!

These reductions in the strength of the Navy come at a time when having the ability to project power world wide is mandatory.  Additionally, the world trade is conducted on the oceans.  One primary mission of the Navy is to keep these sea lanes open.  We do not have a Navy big enough, or powerful enough, to meet this mission now.  This inability to keep the sea lanes open is not lost on our enemies!  China is building a large, "Blue Water" Navy.  The Soviet Union is also building ships and submarines at an alarming rate.  Iran is close to possessing nuclear weapons!  What are we doing, standing in the corner, picking our nose, and drooling all over our shirt!  We are truly lead by morons.