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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The demise of the USS Guardian

Where do I start on this list of many acts of dumb ass?!  First of all, the MCM class of mine hunters has the most precise Global Positioning System, in the world!  It can accurately locate the ship within one square yard anywhere on the globe!  But, electronic and mechanical things malfunction and the electronic charts have to be accurate, which they were not in this case.  But, the Navy has decided to solely rely on digital charts and GPS machines, to navigate our ships.  No sexton,  no charting a course on a paper chart, and what about depth soundings from the fathometer?   No, instead, we drive a multi- million dollar mine hunter onto a "Protected" coral reef.  Dumb Ass!

And what is the recourse of this act of incompetence?  The Navy has decided to scrap the much needed Mine Hunter ship!  Instead of pulling it off the "Protected" coral reef and repairing the ship.  The Navy management, in an act to protect the poor, defenseless, coral reef.  What utter stupidity!!! People may die on ships that will be blown up by mines placed in the Straight of Hormuz, by someone from the peace loving religion of Islam because we do not have enough Mine Hunter ships as it is and we have now scrapped on to save a defenseless coral reef!  Dumb Ass!!!

So, our dependence on automation, and the fools who place a coral reef over a war ship, have cost the American taxpayers and the Navy a valuable asset that is desperately needed in the war on terror.  Who ever made this decision should be Court Martialed and fired!  Then, the Navigator of the Navy should make the use of manual navigation practices mandatory, immediately!  I am just sick of the stupidity that totally encompasses the management of the Navy.  If a ship or a group of ships is attacked, I hope at least one sailor survives to tell the story of blatant incompetence and cowardice!

But, I should rest assured that females have an equal opportunity to participate in the incompetence and the uniform they wore was stylish, but unsafe.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The lack of a Federal budget negatively impacts readiness.

Today, the CNO put all ship maintenance on hold!  No overhauls, no availabilities, no repairs!  Why, there has not been a Federal budget for four years!!  Try that at home!   And now, as the President's Pastor said;  The chickens have come home to roost!

But what is the real impact of the Senate's failure to do their Constitutional duties?   Ships and aircraft are incredibly complicated machines that wear out and break.  When major systems on a ship fail, it cannot get underway or perform a critical mission area.  But what about the less important systems.  Let's look at the non-skid coating on the deck of a DDG.  It wears out because of sailors walking on it and the sea water washing over it, and things being being drug over it.  When the non-skid looses it's grit, it can be slippery, especially when it gets wet.  Now, put that slick deck at sea, in sea state three, at nigh, during a replenishment!  Someone slips, falls over the side, and is lost!

There is another impact also.  Ships and Aircraft require planned, periodic, depot level maintenance to permit those intricate systems to function through their planned service life.  On aircraft, made of special metals like aluminum and magnesium, corrosion, caused by salt water, is a big, life cycle issue.  No corrosion control equals aircraft failing much before their planned service life.

Now you can see how the failure of a minor system can be tragic.  But, doing decks is on hold!!  Why, because the Senate did not do their Constitutional duty.  If that was an enlisted person who failed to do a maintenance requirement that ended up injuring another sailor, that enlisted person would be in deep trouble.  Is the Leader of the Senate?  No.

The same issues apply to aircraft.  If a minor system fails on an aircraft, it may not return!  But the real problem is not the Navy's ability to plan maintenance.   It is our legislator's failure to do their jobs.  But, the Fleet Sailors are the ones who will feel the punishment for the Senate and President's incompetence.   I just hope it will not result in the death of a sailor!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Females on the front line!

Well, it finally happened today, Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, ordered that women be permitted in"Front Line" combat units!  OK, if that's the way you want it!   But, women must now be treated as complete equals and must be registered for the draft.  Females CANNOT have it both ways.

As you may know, I am against Females in combat.   As a matter of fact, I am against women in the military in any but the most mundane support jobs!   I like women safe, cared for, soft, cuddly, nurturing, and in a marriage that is good for both partners.  I know some of you will disagree with me, and that's OK.  I respect your right to disagree with me and will publish, without editing, any comment for or against my position.

But the basis of my present argument since I have lost on all my other moral positions is that Females must be equal to men.  That means in opportunity and responsibility.  They cannot have the right to select a front line job this time and not the next.  And they cannot have the ability to not join in a war when a draft is mandated.  If you are equal, you are equal all the time!

Now, let's address the inequality of physical fitness requirements.  Remember a male or female soldier carries the same equipment, ammunition, and personal health items into the field.  So why is she permitted  a lower PRT requirement than her now equal man?   When I was Force Master Chief of SURFLANT, I used to argue with the Surgeon General of the Navy over WHY an 18 year old female had two minutes MORE to run the 1.5 mile run that I did as a 37 year old male!!!  He tried to  convince me that females were built different than men!  I knew that!!  But their sexual equipment has nothing to do with run times!!

So, a blow to womanhood was struck today.  Not FOR womanhood but TO womanhood.  If you disagree with me, do your homework.  The Israel Military used to have their women in the front lines until they were captured and brutalized in ways men cannot.  Now Israel keeps their females in the safe areas!  Let history be your teacher.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Why should Chief's and Officers have a different uniforms?

I received a comment from a reader about my comments on the enlisted working uniforms.  Specifically, my point that the Chiefs and Officers should be back in Work Khakis and the Enlisted members in a different, preferably Dungarees, uniform.  The question was why?

In other services, where they operate in a ground, combat, arena, being identified as the Leader is deadly!!  You become the target of the sniper!  That's why Corpsmen ditch the Red Cross emblems, and all rating and rank insignias are blacked out!  Everyone looks the same, so who do I shoot!  Now, an observant sniper can tell who is in charge just by watching WHO is giving the orders.

But on a Navy ship, the appearance of the individual with the experience and authority is important. For instance, if the Commanding Officer enters the Bridge or CIC, someone calls out; "The Captain is in Combat or The Captain is on the Bridge!"  At that point, the Officer of the Deck or the CIC Watch Officer gives the Captain a status report!  Same thing happens if the Admiral is embarked and he enters the Bridge or CIC.   By uniform and insignia, you can immediately know who the Commanding Officer is!

Until after World War Two, Chiefs did not wear Khakis as a work uniform.  The wore Dungarees with a "Chiefs" Combination Cap!   That "Chief's Cap" was their emblem of experience and authority and it made them distinctive.  The "Old" Chief's Initiation made a big deal about "Putting on the HAT!"   I very seldom wore a Command baseball cap and I never wore a Garrison Cap.  Why, the "Hat" meant a lot to me and it carried tradition and respect that I honored.  I did not want to look like an Officer or an E-6.  I was CHIEF!

Today, I see Chiefs, Officer, and E-1 through E-6 being "Buddies", playing the same video games, and calling each other by their first names.   I believe this is detrimental to good order and discipline. My job was not to be your friend, my job was tho make sure you came home, safe!  If yelling at you and making your life a living hell made that happen, so be it.  I was "The Chief", not your buddy.  And even when we did not wear "Covers" during Flight Quarters, Replenishment, Handling Ammo, or inside the ship, my Khakis and my Collar Devices identified me as the Experience and Authority figure.  Even if you did not know who I was, you knew WHAT I was!  In charge!

SO, I know that to reestablish the backbone of the Navy, a distinctive uniform for the Chiefs and Officers is paramount.  It worked before and it will work now!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Navy Readiness

There are a number of articles on the Internet today addressing the woeful lack of readiness of our ships.  These issues are NOT related to the present budget issues or the pending sequestration.  They are in fact, a product of poor management of maintenance funding and inadequate maintenance training.

First of all, Navy ships are very complex machines that require complex, planned, maintenance.  That maintenance must be based on comprehensive assessment by experienced professionals.  It also requires advanced planning for funding and procurement.  Every time we delay or cancel a maintenance period, we negatively impact the ship's operational readiness.  In short, we cannot continue to operate ships continuously without understanding that this operation without maintenance will exponentially increase the cost of future maintenance.  In other words, you can't fulfill the requirements of a 600 ship Navy with 100 ships!!!  Duh!

Second, maintenance training for our Sailors is nonexistent!! Prior to 1990, we had "Hands on" maintenance training for our shipboard technicians from the apprentice level to the master technician level.  Now, the first time a prospective fleet sailor sees the equipment is when he or she reports on board the ship!  Not a recipe for success!

There are ways to deal with this experience short fall, like "Remote Monitoring" that I have written about before.  But, the Navy's Officer corps does not like this approach.  My theory is that they don't like the shore establishment know that their ship can't perform!  Other wise, hid you deficiencies until they cannot be hid!  A this point you may want to research what happened during the Mayaquez incident!

We have the smallest Navy since before World War I.  We have more Admirals than we had during the height of World War II!  Think about that for just a minute.  Let me put it another way.  We have one and a half Admirals for every ship, submarine, and aircraft carrier in commission!!!  That should cause you concern.

If we are to have a new technical Navy, we must use new maintenance philosophies  to manage it.  We cannot use yesterday's solutions for today's problems.   How we access ships, plan repair periods, and monitor performance must be updated.

One last point.  The President of the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) used to be independent and worked directly for the CNO and reported, without filter, to Congress.  A couple of years ago, the rules changed and the President of the Board of Inspection and Survey reports to and works for the Four Star Admiral who sits and Commander, Fleet Forces, Command!  An Echelon Two Command!!  So now, if INSURV makes a bad report on Fleet material condition and readiness, he is putting his BOSS on report!!!  I remember when Admiral Bulkley, the retired Admiral, holder of the Medal of Honor, was President of the Board of Inspection and Survey.  He told the truth regardless of consequences, without political pressure.  Now, I don't think we have the same level of honesty and frankness.  And that may be the big issue!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

The new Navy working uniform is flammable!!

OK, who is surprised over this.  The new, soon to be old,  Powder Blue Camo Utilities were poorly researched from the beginning.  But again, that's no surprise.  Double Knits, CNT, Corfam shoes, oh, and don't forget the blue suede boots that match the Powder Blue Camo Utility's.  We have made a habit of foisting unsafe uniforms on our Sailors and at THEIR expense!!

The old dungaree uniform, was all cotton and fell away from the body when it caught on fire instead of melting into the skin like the poly-nylon uniforms of the last 20 years!  The same applies to the working Khaki uniform.  Also, the Enlisted Blue Utility uniform that made a brief appearance in the 1970's was fire retardant!

Look, shipboard living, even in this new Navy, is a harsh environment.  The ship's laundry, even with today's new washing technologies, is rough on our clothing.  But the old dungaree uniform lasted for decades and had no safety complaints.  It was made for the shipboard environment and it worked well!

So, what do we do now?  I believe we need to design an Enlisted working uniform that is functional, not stylish.  It must be fire safe, hypo-allergenic, long wearing, repel common stains, and stand up to normal shipboard laundry machines.   It should not be a Liberty uniform and in fact, I am against the working uniform of Officers, Chiefs, or Enlisted being worn off the ship or base.  I don't care what the other services do!  I also want the working uniforms to be different for the Chiefs and above and the Enlisted personnel, E-6 and below.  Lastly, No shore duty uniforms!  The Navy uniform should be the same, everywhere!  Yes, SEALS, SEABEES, EOD, will have organizational clothing that meets their specific missions.  But the Navy Sea Bag should be consistent through out the Navy.

We have changed uniforms so many times over the last 43 years that using the term "Uniform" to describe what we wear is an oxymoron!   I commended the MCPON on his bold move over CPO Inductions.  I would like to see him take the lead on this topic too.  It fits with what I said about the CPO community and it would send a positive message to our Sailors that the Chief's Community is in the lead!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Chief's Indoctrination is gone. Good!

OK, pick yourself up off the floor and read on.  A few years ago, maybe longer, the Chief's Community GAVE AWAY CPO Initiation.  In case you don't remember why, let me review.  We were including Officers in the Initiation as defense councils, sponsors, and observers.  Then, mostly under the influence of alcohol, we tried to initiate Senior Officers by feeding them "Truth Serum" or finding other ways to denigrate and embarrass them.  For the most part, the Officers took the bad treatment in the humor of the moment.  Some did not.  When I was at BUPERS in the early 1980's, an Admiral was abused at the Washington D.C. Navy Yard CPO initiation.  He left there and went directly to the CNO!  The rest is history.

So don't tell me CPO initiation was taken away, we gave it away and with it the single most important step in bringing a new Chief into the community.  Now, it appears to me there is NO community.  Just three senior Enlisted Pay Grades, living and eating separately, cutting each other's throats and stabbing each other in the back for the best eval!

CPO Indoctrination was meant to be a team building experience that educated the New Chief on the history, purpose and importance of the Chief's community.  It turned into a pseudo Initiation with very little team building or education and plenty of yelling and  denigration.  It was ran by a bunch of never initiated Chiefs trying to do an Initiation!  It sucked.

So, I am glad CPO Indoctrination is gone.  The question is, what do we do now?   I recommend we establish an educational program that focused on the History and Traditions of the Chief's Community.  It's accomplishments and failures!   Why do we berth and mess separately?  Where did we come from.  Who are our heroes?  What does the future hold for us?

I am proud of our new MCPON.  What he did this week took balls, brass balls!  If you want to rebuild the prestige and usefulness of the CPO community, get off your ass and help the MCPON rebuild our community.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The death of another friend.

I just received a telephone call from an old shipmate, Clay Heiser.  He told me, our Chief from our USS Stein (DE 1065) days had passed away.


On December 20, 2012, Master Chief Gunner's Mate William Oakley Mowery, died in his home, alone.

I first met Bill Mowery at Gun School at Great Lakes, in 1970.  We were students in the MK 42 Mod 9 &10 "C" School.   I have written about what Bill did for me and how he and Carl Morris went to bat for me when the Navy Exam Center made a grading mistake on my GMG2 test!  But the Master Chief meant much, much more to the United States Navy than my little promotion.

He was a mountain of a man, very outspoken, and someone who always took responsibility of what he did and what those who worked or him did.  He was widely respected through out the Gunner's Mate community and was the author and force behind a new and revolutionary combat systems alignment procedure called STAV alignment.  That process is still used today.

Bill always knew more about what was going on than anyone else.  One day, back in our USS Stein days, Bill told the Captain that the Navy had plans to install emergency diesel propulsion units on either side of the Variable Depth Sonar room.  The Captain had not heard of this and all but called Bill a liar.  The next day, some NAVSEA engineers came aboard to do a sight survey for the installation!  The Captain was shocked and embarrassed!  That was the last time he ever questioned the Chief.

Master Chief Mowery was a leader.  He NEVER had us do anything he would not do himself.  When we commissioned the USS Stein, we were touring our new MK 42 Mod 9 gun mount and the Chief was telling us, if you break something, YOU fix it.  Just then, he leaned back against a copper air line going to a gage.  It broke at the coupling.  I told the Chief; "I will fix that."   He said;  "NO, I broke it, I will fix it!" and he did.  I also remember a number of ammunition casualty's in the gun loading system that were extremely dangerous and  potentially deadly.  Bill was always leading from the front.  You never had to wonder where he was!

Master Chief Bill Mowery taught me how to be a leader, a technician, and a Chief.  He was my mentor and my friend.  I was planning on going up to see him, but I never did.  Now, I am sorry. I should have been there for him.  If you knew Bill Mowery count yourself fortunate.  He was a great man and a fine example.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Is their a foreign liquid in my breakfast cereal?

I have received a couple of comments from readers asking me, in a couple of creative ways, why I am angry?  That requires an answer.

First;  I apologize for displaying my anger.  Maybe it is my disease, and maybe it is age.  But I find it difficult to mask my anger and disappointment lately.

Second;  I am very angry!  Whenever something I hold near and dear is damaged or taken away from me, I react in the same way!

Third;  What made me angry?  That is a longer answer.  I believe that America is being taken over by a group of people who do not want America to be the "Free" country that she always has been.  Every time I turn around our freedoms, as outlined in the Constitution, are being limited or completely doe away with.  For instance, the Constitutional RIGHT to move freely around the country without presenting "Your Papers" to every crack pot who asks!  The TSA is completely un-constitutional and they are trampling and in sometime denying our Constitutional RIGHTS without due process of law!

The government monitoring our telephone and cell phone calls, emails, social media, and movement, without sworn warrant or probable cause!

The governments stated desire to limit weapons purchases based on on person doing something wrong!  And if you don't think that has already happened, have you seen the price of ammo lately?  And answer me this;  Why does the Social Security Administration, the Postal Service, and HHA need to purchase hundreds of millions of rounds of ammo?

And how about the Presidential election?   Why was Congressman (Col) West defeated?  Or should I say how?  There was a enough documented discrepancies to cause any reasonable person to question that turn out.  And what about the counties in Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, and other States where Obama got over 100% of the registered vote?

What about your religious freedoms.  If your are a Christian, you are being denied your Constitutional RIGHT to practice your religion.  How, we cannot pray "In Jesus Name" even though our religious book, "The Bible" has a quote from that same "Jesus" that says;  "If you ask these things in MY Name, they will be granted to you."  And you definitely cannot mention Christ in a public ceremony, public building, or public school!  But public schools ARE teaching Islam!

I am angry because my country is being taken away from me.  I love America and dedicated 40 years of my life supporting her.  The people who are systematically taking over our nation only want to destroy our individual freedoms and make you and I their slaves!

So, if my anger over the shape of things upset you, I am sorry.  But, I believe, if you are a real American, you should be angry too!  Maybe that's where I am wrong.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Where were all these "Stars" for the Viet Nam vets?!

OK, Wounded Warrior can take their Wounded Warrior blanket and stick it!  Why, because they are phonies and fakes!!  Fred "The Hammer" Williamson of football and movie fame was against the war in Viet Nam and wanted those of us who did the Nations bidding tried as war criminals!  They spit on us as we arrived in airports, threw things at us, would not employ us and blamed us for every social wrong in our Nation.  There are thousands of Viet Nam vets that are homeless, living on the streets, hungry, cold, abandoned, but these new, shiny warriors are worthy of our help??

I am bitter!  I don't wish to denigrate what our Military men and women have done in the past ten years.  But I am tired of being hated, forgotten, and spit upon by the same system that says they want to help today's vets.  No, I have had my fill of the political correctness of this war.  I guess since females were injured, what the men did is not noble and worthwhile.  The U.S. Government used up my generation, then spit on our graves and were very happy when we died or gave up!  The politicians wanted us to go away, and we did.  Now, they have a politically correct, gay, straight, female, male, group of warriors to faun over.  A group that truly represents what the Liberal Progressives want America to be. Pink and prissy!