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

Friday, April 27, 2012

What I believe in.

I have written over 200 posts on this blog, rambling about my Navy career, my life, and my views of the politicians and their decisions.  But, I have never really told you what I believe.

As you may have been able to tell, I am an unabashed patriot!  The United States of America has given me the opportunity to succeed, to make a very good living, and to pursue; Life, "Liberty and the pursuit of happiness".  I was not guaranteed those things, just an opportunity to pursue them, and for that I am grateful.

I am an unapologetic Christian.  I thank GOD for His perfect plan for my salvation through the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.  Jesus taught us during his short ministry on earth that; "No man comes unto the Father except through me."  GOD chose me to accept that free gift before I was formed in my Mothers womb as Psalm 139 teaches us.  I thank GOD for His provisions for my salvation and His guidance in my life.

I love the Navy.  I loved all 40 years I served in Uniform and as a Civil Servant.  I met many gallant professionals that unselfishly served their Country regardless of the sacrifice and regardless of the danger.  It was a great honor to serve with these individuals and I cherish the friendships forged in that crucible.  The Navy taught me a profession I loved, gave me the opportunity to succeed, to learn, to grow into a Man.  I love the Navy, I am dedicated to the Navy's prosperity and I will always be ready to serve in uniform or as an advisor, until my last breath is drawn.

I am a staunch supporter of the Constitution and the Second Amendment.  I believe the only thing that keep us from being subjects of the King instead of citizens of the Country is our right to Keep and Bear Arms.  If we loose that, we will be subjugated to the whims of the government regardless of what the Constitution says.

And I believe that all that needs to happen for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing!   We must Stand for Something or we will Fall for Anything.  Standing UP for what you believe in seems to be out of style.  I see more metro sexual men wearing make up with limp wrists than I see Real MEN taking care of business and fighting against the slavery of political correctness and wrong.  Everything is NOT good and the idea that you can do what you want as long as you don't bother me, will be the demise of America and the death of our moral fiber.  Homosexuality is an abomination to GOD.  Drugs poison the Temple of GOD, divorce destroys families and leaves scars on children that follow them long into adulthood.  We must stand up, TODAY and say, No more immorality, No more drugs, No more degradation of women.  We must set a good example and build a future for our children and the follow on generations. We must stop being selfish and start being LEADERS.

That is who I am and what I stand for.  If you agree with me, great. I am proud of you.  If you disagree with me, I suggest you reexamine your positions on moral issues.

In any case, that's me!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Political correctiveness is destroying our society!

I just heard on the local news that a Navy Rear Admiral, (they did not say if he was a Rear Admiral from the waste up or down) has required the EOD school to remove their motto; "Mission accomplishment or total failure" from the school.  I guess the Admiral thought this motto would offend someone who did not totally accomplish their mission!  Of course, as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician, if you don't accomplish your mission, you are DEAD!!  Now I would think that would be demoralizing.

But the idea of "Everyone does as good as they can and no one is the best" is killing us as a people and a country.  There are people that are the best at what they do.  That is not a reflection on the people who are not the best but a reflection on the individual that IS the best!  If that causes someone to feel bad, they should try to get better, not denigrate the individual tat is doing better.  I am sick of this political correctness and Dr. Feelgood Demning's Total Quality Management dribble.  Demning foisted on industry and the military the idea that everyone needs to perform to the same level and if someone is better than the rest they must be brought down to the group's level!

We should be pushing everyone to their ultimate best performance through competition and training.  Second place is the FIRST LOSER!  And in explosive ordnance disposal, second place means dead.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The disappearing fleet

I have written about this problem before.  The U.S. Navy is shrinking and is little more than a big coast guard now.  We are even building brown water ships that cannot replenish underway nor fight in deep water.   The Navy is planning the further reduction of the Blue Water Fleet with the decommissioning of some AEGIS class cruisers and other combatants.

Let me illuminate the shrinking of the Navy.  When I joined the Navy in 1969, there was 1069 ships, submarines, and aircraft carriers in commission in the U.S. Navy.  When I was the Force Master Chief of the Surface Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (1986-89) there were 300 ships in SURFLANT.  Today, there are less than 230 ships, submarines, and aircraft carriers in the U.S. Navy!!  Of the ships that we have decommissioned, NONE have been placed in the reserve fleet for use in a war.  Instead, we have sold them to foreign navies, scrapped them, and sunk them!  These were front line, advanced technology, missile shooting ships, more capable than most of the ships in other Navies and in ours!  We have scrapped nuclear submarines that were less than 20 years old, nuclear cruisers that were JUST refueled, an aircraft that gave us long range heavy bombing capabilities on aircraft carriers and long range anti-submarine warfare capabilities from aircraft carriers.  Our Navy is a paper tiger!

Who is responsible for this?  Both political parties!  Furthermore, we cannot easily recover from this weakness and the cost to recover will be monumental!  The bottom line is, manning and material are suffering in the Navy and no one wants to do that which is required to start the repair!  That would take character, bravery, and courage.  

Knowing what we know

I have come to the conclusion that the majority of Americans know little to nothing about how their government works, the Constitution, where the parties stand, where the politicians stand, and what the job of the government is.  Furthermore, what they do know comes from the three network television news machines which lean to the left about 90 degrees!  This comfortable ignorance has led us to a national debt that will cripple us, wars that uses our human and financial capitol with no winning plan, energy policies that ensure $10/gallon gasoline, and in the end, the demise of the United States of America.

It has been said that Americans get the government we deserve.  Well, our comfortable ignorance is producing this destructive government.  As long as we are "Comfortable", as long as we can watch our soap operas and reality shows, as long as our sport of choice is covered on the television, as long as the beer prices stay relatively low, as long as we can have the type of sexual recreation we want, everything is OK!

I have written before about the oath of officer that all military members take, and that the President takes.  That oath in part states; "that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."  It also states that; "I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same."  Those qualities no longer exist as a matter of character in America.  Instead, we are for ourselves, our own interests, and our own desires.  There is no sacrifice, not planning for the future, and no future vision.  Now someone will write me and say they have these qualities, and I may agree.  But the qualities of patriotism, self-sacrifice, and dedication to freedom are missing in the masses of Americans.

Another thing that is apparent is the lack of knowledge about how we became a nation, our victories in war and in peace, and the good Americans have done through out the world for over 200 years.  Instead, our President constantly apologizes for what we have done, blames our citizens for the problems of the world, and holds the other countries of the world "Up" as the model for others to follow.  Even Justice Ginsberg said our Constitution was a bad form of government and that other nations should NOT follow it!

The bottom line is, Americans are dumb, uneducated, and will stay that way as long as the schools and colleges are controlled by the left wing intelligentsia.  But, most of you don't care as long as "Dancing with the Stars" and "American Idol" are on!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"SILENCE" on the line!!

"SILENCE on the line" is the most important and frightening statement in the Naval Ordnance community.  It means some emergency exists.  For instance, a piece of crushed ammunition in the gun loading system, a fire, someone seriously injured, or a major violation of the safety rules.

My friend, Master Chief James Smith, was the senior Gunner's Mate on the USS Missouri.  The Captain of the ship was a past commanding officer of mine and one who I did not have glowing reviews for.  In any case, the first time they shot the 16"/50 turrets with Jim aboard, they chain of command got to hear "Silence on the line".

It seems, as the story was related to me by Jim, that a number of written, required, safety regulations were not being adhered to for the firing of the turrets.  What safety regulations?  No fire hoses charged on deck adjacent to the turrets for gun cooling, the intra-turret sprinkler system not charged and ready, and a few others.  Just one of these violations of safety would be enough to stop the loading of ammunition.  In any case, Jim pronounces "Silence on the line" and everything stopped, as it should.  The next thing that Jim heard on the sound powered phones was the Captain yelling; "Who called Silence on the Line?!"  Jim replied, I did!  The Captain summoned him to the bridge.  On the bridge, Jim explained to the Captain the safety requirements for shooting any Naval gun.  The Captain informed Jim that they did not adhere to those safety rules on HIS ship because the fire hoses stained HIS teak decks!!  Jim told the Captain; "As long as I am on this ship we WILL follow safety!"  The Captain then ordered "Flight Quarters" and instructed the helo detachment OIC to fly Jim to Long Beach, and that was that. Jim was transfered off the USS Missouri and a week later, the USS Iowa incident occurred.

The moral of this story is, If you are right, if you can document that you are right, and if the ship is NOT under attack, follow the written rules, enforce the rules, regardless of the consequences!  Someone may live because of your vigilance!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

It's the bureaucracy that bugs me!

I realize that some of my opinions, some of my postings, are absolutely maddening to some of you.  I also realize that sometimes, I attack groups of individuals, taring them with the same brush regardless of guilt.  While my intentions are pure, my emotions sometimes overwhelm my common sense.  For instance, my apparent disdain for the Engineering Duty Officer community.

I know in my heart that ED's are, for the most part, extremely intelligent, patriotic, dedicated, individuals that want to make a difference in the Navy.  Most come to the ED community after a Department Head tour at sea.  They have their SWO pin and have experienced the stress of life on a Navy ship.  They have been Division Officers and experienced the pride and exasperation of leadership.  Most of them have advanced degrees in engineering sciences that I can't even spell!  They transfer into the ED community with a sincere desire to improve the way we design, build, and repair ships. But, in my humble opinion, this is where the program fails.

Once in the ED community, the young Officers are subjected to the culture of; "This is how WE do it"   AN individual who truly wants to change something is squelched.  I knew a young JG on a ship I was on.  He was the son of an Admiral and a grandson of an Admiral.  His Grandfather has a ship named after him.  He graduated near the top of his Naval Academy class and was not only brilliant but was a gifted leader.  During an OPPE, the senior inspector told this JG to do a process on the Gas Turbine plant that NAVSEA had determined was unattainable and they sent a message out to all gas turbine ships.  When the JG brought this up to the senior inspector,  the ED Captain said in a very loud voice;  "Son, I don't care what you Daddy says, do the test!'  Of course, the senior inspector knew that the JG's dad was at NAVSEA.  He also knew we could not meet that spec and he would then fail us on OPPE.  I always wondered why the senior inspector did this, now I know.  It was NOT to punish or embarrass the ship, our Captain, or even the JG.  It was to embarrass the Admiral in NAVSEA, the JG's father!  Why, because that Admiral was shaking the trees, making waves, trying new technologies that were "not invented here"!

So, while I respect and admire individual Engineering Duty Officers, I dislike the concept of the ED community.  In the Marine Corps, al officers go in the field and deploy as Marines.  They may do research and developement on shore duty as a secondary professional designation.  But they are ALWAYS Marines!  The ED community has fostered the environment that they are ED's first and foremost who are loyal to the ED Admiral.  The close ranks to support and protect each other and the once pure intentions of that young JG or LT are quickly brought into subjection of the ED bureaucracy.  Or to paraphrase an OPPE senior inspector; I don't care what is best for the Navy, we do things the ED way here,"  And that is my issue!      

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Playing hurt!

I was thinking today about my years in the Navy.  One of the things that came to mind is we very, very seldom ever sought medical help for an injury or sickness.  From the Seaman Recruit in Boot Camp t the salty old Master Chief with over 30 years of service, thy all have one thing in common.  Unless a bone is sticking out or they can't stop the bleeding after an hour, or they can no longer stand up when they cough, they never went to sickbay.  I had a friend, a Senior Chief at the time, who had a heart attack and a triple bypass.  The Navy Doctor told him he was going to make him retire.  My friend did not want to retire, and argued with the Doctor.  The Doctor made a critical mistake at this junction.  He said, if the Senior Chief could find a ship willing to take him, he would release him to full duty.  My friend found an old friend, who was the Executive Officer on an Adams Class DDG who was more than happy to have him!  Eight weeks after his triple bypass he deployed to WESTPAC!!

The reason we don't go to Sick Bay is we don't want to be separated from our unit!  In Boot Camp, we don't want to miss graduating with our original company.  We strive to graduate with our class in "A" school or "C" school or we want to make the deployment with our shipmates.  The unit and our Shipmates is our driving force and we will suffer through just about anything to stay with them.  I saw men with broken legs on crutches, on Tin Cans, struggling up steep ladders, never complaining.  I saw and experienced concussions that were never reported to the Corpsman.  As long as we could get along, we stayed as far away from Sick Bay as we could be!

The problem with this is after we leave the Navy, those injuries show up again as closed brain injuries that lead to dementia, fractured bones that lead to arthritis, and high cholesterol that leads to heart attacks.  But, as long as we can stay with our shipmates, we endure, ignore, and self medicate.  Very much to our detriment later in life.  Do I have an answer?  NO!  All I am saying is I understand why we do what we do.