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

Monday, November 24, 2014

Another Commanding Officer gets fired!!

The Commanding Officer of the USS Boxer was relieved for trying to make sure his sailors were ready to deploy!!  That is not what the report directly said, but it IS what it said between the lines.

The first allegation is he asked female and male sailors alike if they were using birth control.  Someone thought that was sexual harassment!  Let's see, if a female sailor gets pregnant, married or not, she cannot deploy!  Seems to me, BIRTH CONTROL  is a portion of Combat Readiness.  Also, if a female sailor gets pregnant during the deployment, she has to leave the ship in her first three months of pregnancy.  Again, a trained, experienced sailor has to depart the ship, most likely WITHOUT relief!!!!!  Again, a Combat Readiness issue.

Then there is the complaint that he yelled and cussed at sailors when their did wrong!  What?!?!  I am at a loss for words on this one.  Has the Navy and America became so politically correct and so soft, thin skinned, and feminized that a little cussing and yelling is considered a reason to relieve a Captain??!!  God help us of we ever get in a war.

Look, sailing on War Ships and going to war is tough business.  If you cannot do your job correctly, quickly, and efficiently, someone is going to hurt of even die!  In the gun tubs of the 20MM Anti-Aircraft guns on the USS Alabama, is printed in BIG RED LETTERS; "Lead, Damn It, LEAD!"  This was to remind the Gunner's to shoot in front of the enemy aircraft.  Would that be considered a reason to relieve the Commanding Officer?  It seems in today's Navy, it would indeed.

One other issue was the CO was caustic with his Port Engineer.  Almost every CO I have seen has caustic moments with his or her Port Engineer.  I find many of the Port Engineers self-serving, egotistical, assholes!   I have seldom seen a Port Engineer that had the well being of the crew anywhere in his priority list.   So, again, the CO being caustic to the Port Engineer is his job!!  Just my opinion.

This is a travesty if what I read in the report from the San Diego news paper is correct.  This CO was doing his job.  Trying to make and keep his ship ready to deploy.  If you get fired for that, I recommend never going into the Command at Sea world!!  But I already decided the CMC program has become a political place for those who are not professional enough to be a Master Chief in their Rating!  Again, my opinion.

I believe this firing is the quintessential signal that there is no war fighters in the hierarchy of the Navy.  The Admirals are a bunch of politically correct, brown nose, suits who's only desire id to get promoted and make money, at the expense of anyone that has the misfortune to work for them, Officer or Enlisted!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Why I love the Navy

I have not written about some circumstances of my life.  But now, as my disease progresses, I believe it is time, while I still remember all the details, to explain my life and my love for the Navy.

The woman who gave birth to me, was pregnant out of wedlock, to a Marine she met in a bar.  He was a louse and deserted her when he found out she was pregnant.  She was a brave woman and carried me to birth.  Believe me, in 1950 and 1951, that was a brave thing to do.  She could have had a back alley abortion.  Plenty of women did.  But, she did not and I am thankful for that.  I am sorry that I am not thankful for much of anything else she did in my life.  And as far as the man who impregnated my Mother and his family, I only wish they would have given me a chance.   I did talk to him once.  He was aery, 31 years after I was born.  So much for happy endings!!

My Mother could not take care of me and I was taken in by a friend or acquaintance of hers, who had already raised all of her children.  I ended up calling them Mom and Dad and I loved them all of my life.  They were there for me in all that I did.  My bad times and my good times.  They were there when I graduated from Boot Camp, Gunner's Mate "C" School, and when I came back from my first WestPac.  Mom and Dad were there for me and treated me like I was their own.

The man who made my mother pregnant and his parents did not want to have ANYTHING to do with me!  They did pay my mother $10,000 to go away and she did.  To this day, the Dolence family will have nothing to do with me.  You know those TV news articles about children that are reunited with their mother that abandoned them or siblings they never met.  How those stories are all love and happiness.  Well, in my life that is not true.

Another issue is, my Mother did not like her Step Mother, so she had little or nothing to do with her father or her brothers and sisters.  So, I have little or no contact with anyone related to me by blood.

Therefore, I was always trying to fit in with people I was not related too.  We lived in a rented home next to Puritas Springs Park on Puritas Road in Cleveland Ohio.  No plumbing, coal furnace.  I was about 5 when I was told, by the oldest Gooding boy, the family that owned Puritas Springs Park, that I was not Mr. and Mrs. Mills' child and my name was not Mills.  He told me my Mother paid them to take care of me.  I was heart broken!! Devastated!!

I am not sure I ever got over that.  My Mother was in and out of my life.  She gave birth to three other illegitimate children.  Two girls and another boy.  Every time she got pregnant she came back to the Mills' for help.  I really don't remember the pregnancies, I was small then.  All of this was hidden from me until after Mom dies and I pried some information out of they son, then my Foster Sister, and then, finally, my Mother.  She was bitter that I wanted to know the truth.  She lied to me my entire life.  Told me my father was killed in Korea!!   Of course, there was never any survivor benefits, college or help of any kind.  I guess I was gullible.  I was never told the truth until I was 31 years old!!

My Foster Sister has told me about them and brought some memories back to memory, but those are fuzzy at best.

As far as Mom and Dad Mills' children, I was really not welcome.  The oldest girl, had her first child, a boy, 11 days after I was born.  But Mom and Dad were paying attention to me and probably neglected David.  I can understand their bitterness and I hold no grudges there.

The Mills' middle child, a girl, and I made friends and she has stood by me and helped me through out my life.  I was close friends with her husband and her children.  I love her like a sister.  But the other children and me have not been close.  Again I understand.

I looked and looked for acceptance.  I was not the most popular kid in school.  I quit High School in the second half of the twelfth grade.  I joined the Navy, because that seemed like a good idea, and it was!

I took me until my first ship to fully understand how well I fitted in the Navy.  I did well in Boot Camp, but I still felt like an outcast.   The last day in Boot Camp, we were paid, in cash!  We we are all rolling in dough, about $100 a person.  During the day, one of our shipmates stole some one's money.  I went to my Company Commander and told him about my juvenile record and asked him to search my locker and belongings first.  I felt guilty, useless, and like trash!!  I did not take the money and the Company Commander told me so.  He also said, he would NOT search my locker because I was honest with him!!  The light of hope was beginning to show in my eyes!!

Then, because of my color vision deficiency I was sent to Personnelman "A" School.  I was not the typewriter type.  I was a car mechanic.  But, I went, and soon got in trouble over a girl!  I went UA for two days.  Then, because Mom threatened to kill me, I went back and turned myself in.  I was sure I was going to the Brig for twenty years.  But, the Chief actually understood.  The Executive Officer didn't!  He thought the fact that I was saying I was wrong and I expected to be punished was some sort of scam!  The Commanding Officer, the first Four Stripe Captain I had ever seen, actually appreciated my honesty and only gave me two weeks extra duty and two weeks restriction.  Oh, and he charged me two days leave for the days I was gone!  Then he asked me;  Do you want to be a Personnelman?  No Sir!  I want to be a Gunner's Mate.  SO, he sent me to sea.

I reported to the USS Mullinnix (DD 944) in Norfolk Virginia.  Three 5"/54 gun mounts and a twin mount 3"/50.  I was sure it was a Battleship!!  The smell of the steam lines, the gray sky, ships moored everywhere was mesmerizing to me.  I was placed in First Division with the Boatswains Mates and non-designated seaman.  I did whatever I was told!  And I noticed, the harder I worked, the better things were.

One day, I was in the chow line for lunch.  The Chief Gunner's Mate, GMGC Sadowski, came up to me and said;  I hear you want to be a Gunner's Mate?  Yes sir Chief!!  He then asked;  What is you GCT/ARI.  Those were the tests we took that showed our aptitude.  I answered; 122, Chief!   Chief Sadowski said;  You're a Gunner's Mate.  Muster with me in the morning!!

In Gun Division, I did everything as I was told!  Why, the two GMG1's took me on a space tour and in Mount 51'a magazine, the beat the shit out of me.  Then they said;  If you do what you are told, and you don't talk back and you don't get in trouble, you MAY not come down her again with us!!   Good motivation since GMG1 Phillips ad GMG1 Straight were both gorillas!!  I made GMG3 on the Mullinnix.  I also got my GED which also qualified me for a High School Diploma from John Marshall High School in Cleveland, my school, since I had met all the graduation requirements before I quit!

From there, I was sent to Gunner's Mate "A" School and "C" School.  I made GMG 2in school through the Fleet Wide Advancement Test.  I also met Chief Mowery and Chief Morris who became my career mentors!!   Then to the USS Stein (DE 1065).

I met my wife while I was on the USS Stein in the yards in Long Beach.  She was a student at BIOLA College in LaMirada.  That was almost 42 years ago!  She is the first individual, outside of the Navy, that accepted me as I was.  And yes, I did tell her my entire life's story before we were married.

I learned that no matter where you came from, how rich or poor you were, how much education you had, or who you know, you would be judged by your performance, dedication, and ability to follow orders in the Navy!  I had found the one place I really fit in!!

So, in my mind today, I am still IN the Navy!  Why, because I am comfortable there.   My past, before the Navy is not pleasant or comfortable for me.  But even the hardest Navy days are a good memory for me.  Yes, I failed and succeeded in the Navy.  when I failed, the Navy Leadership and my Shipmates picked me up, kicked me in the rear, and told me to do better!  Now that's family!

I wish, very much, that someone named Dolence or Kampf would be glad to see me or hear from me.  But, I know that is a futile wish.  But, every week, a shipmate calls me and we reconnect, like we were never apart.

As my Lewy Body Dementia progresses, I know I will once again be a Navy Master Chief, at least in my mind.  And I will be with friends that accept me for what I am, not where I came from.  Thanks Shipmates!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How we did things in the "Old Days"

I need to think about the Navy I served in.  The happenings of the present just cause me problems of the highest magnitude.  For instance, before the MK 42 5"/54 gun mount, we could fire our guns without any electricity!  We could manually train and elevate the gun into position, load, and fire the gun either using the emergency battery or the food treadle that activated the percussion firing pin!!  Even 16"/50 turrets could be fired with out electrical power.  But, you coned not get ammo into the gun room without electrical power, so, you were limited to maybe one round per barrel if you had ammo in the gun room.  But 5"/38 twin, single, open or enclosed could fire all day with our electricity!  Of course, the 40 MM and 20 MM could also.  The 3"/50 RF could not, because of the loader but the old 3"/50 slow fire could!  Heck, a Gehering Class Destroyer could keep firing until it sunk!!  Not so today.

Then, I got thinking about battery alignment.  My dogs were barking at the Mailman and it reminded me of "Shooting the Moon" for battery alignment!  We used to place bore sight in the gun barrel and align it with the muzzle disc.  The Fire Controlmen would place a scope in the dish of the radar on the director and they would sight on the moon.  The, we would hand crank the gun mount in train and elevation, until we saw the moon in our scope.  The, on the sound power phones, the Gunner's Mate looking through the bore sight in the gun and the Fire Controlman looking through the scope in the radar dish would start saying; "MARK, MARK, MARK" every time the moon was in the reticle they determined they would accept.  When the two of them said; "MARK" at the same time, we would read the position dials on the Receiver Regulators for train and elevation.  If they were nit exactly the same, the gun mount would have to adjust their receiver regulator to match the master element, the Fire Control Director.  That was how we did battery alignment before the Theodolite Alignment system we use now!!

And yes, when the two were saying; "MARK, MARK, MARK" they sounded like a hair lipped dog!  That's why my dogs reminded me of that story.

Maybe, we need a few weapons systems that don't need electricity!  Just in case.

Monday, November 17, 2014

What frightened the USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea?!

I read a story, sent to my by a very god friend, on www.voltairenet.org/article185860.html.  I challenge you to read this article with your eyes WIDE open!!

This article verifies everything I have written in the past about where we stand as a world military power.  The fact that one Russian fighter bomber can and DID completely disable all systems on the most advanced U.S. Navy warship, and then fly 12 attack runs on the ship, should cause you to fall into the fetal position and cry for your Mom!!

Our Navy is too small, to dependent on electronics, poorly maintained, and manned by a social experiment that is not trained to do their job.  If you disagree with me, post your evidence to the contrary.  I will post your reply.  The fact is, I am correct!! What I say is based in over 40 years of Navy, shipboard, combat experience.

And as far as the social experiment goes;  I want to know how many of those who want to quit on the USS Donald Cook are female or Gay!?  There I said it.  If that happened to my ship, I would be pissed, redouble training, and tr yto find our how to prevent it, even if I had to purchase the aluminum foiled to wrap the cables in, myself!!

This technology is not new to the Russians.  And our Navy has know about EMP for a while.  But a single Fighter Bomber that can produce the electronic force the shut down and KEEP a DDG shut down for as long as the Fighter Bomber wanted too, is something new.

I actually wrote a post a while ago, about a similar incident into Persian Gulf where a US Navy warship had all their electrical and electrons time keeping devices STOPPED at the same time when a ship passed them in the middle of the Persian Gulf!!  I was asked my opinion then, and I said, EMP!  The Officers and Senior Civilians at SURFLANT told me I was crazy.  I wonder what they would say now.

The bottom line is, we are loosing our ability to defend America.  We have already lost our ability to control the seas and insure international trade, which used to be a mission of the United States Navy!

One more point that MUST be made.  If the Russians can completely shutdown a DDG, they can completely shutdown an Aircraft Carrier and the entire airing, in flight!!

Thanks Tim!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

I am beginning to feel defenseless!!

Let's see, the Chinese are deploying nuclear submarines in the Persian Gulf, UNDETECTED!  The Russians deployed and operated a nuclear submarine in the waters of a Scandinavian nation without being found.  The Russians have deployed nuclear submarines that are capable of launching Ballistic missiles in the Gulf of Mexico and off the East Coast of the United States.  The Russians are making Nuclear Armed bomber patrols in the Gulf of Mexico, on the East Coast of The United States, and into NATO air space.  Iran has deployed submarines into the Western Hemisphere.  And finally, Russia is invading the Ukraine!

What is the response of the United States?  Nothing!  No comment!  Snoring!  Oh, and we are reducing our Military forces BELOW pre- World War One levels!!!   And the Administration plans to reduce further!!!

We have multiple enemies, with nuclear weapons, with the ability to launch them on targets in the Continental United States.  Russia has declared the United States their ADVERSARY!   And China and Russia have decided to work together against the United States!!   Iran and Russia have signed another agreement to build more nuclear reactors that will produce more fissionable material to build nuclear bombs!   We have not been in this deep a hole since World War Two.  

Since no one seems to know or understand these facts, so I just thought it was my duty to inform you.  Sleep well America!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

American Sailors attacked in Istanbul Turkey!

First, let me give you a disclaimer.  I was in Turkey a number of times and make friends with a couple of Turkish Navy Chiefs.  I met a Turkish Navy Admiral that spoke better English than I do.  I felt respected, safe, and was treated with a level of hospitality that only Israel rivals.  But, that was over 30 years ago.

While Turkey has been an Islamic nation for centuries, they were more moderate and accepting of other cultures back then.  Bow, Turkey has a radical Islamic government and the young men are embracing Radical Islam.

These are the young men that attacked our three sailors.  But the thing I saw was young sailors that had to run away instead of fighting!  Yes, they were obviously young and probably inexperienced.  And yes, the Navy is probably happy our sailors did not fight back.  I expect the Administration is also happy.  But, is this the image of our "Fighting Men" we want.

It brings to mind what sailors like Harold "Suitcase" Simpson, Jim Smith, Harold Wheeler, Horace Benford, or Bill Mowery would have done.  I can tell you, without reservation, that there would have been Muslim blood on the street.  Lots of it!

But, our sailors are not what we were 30 years ago.  Yes, they can run a mile and a half, fast.  Do many sit-ups and touch their toes.  The don't use profanity, tell dirty jokes, chase women, or heaven forbid, drink alcohol!  No, they are pure as the driven snow, 90 pound weaklings who would rather run than fight!

As for me.  I offer this to any Islamic asshole, anywhere.  Jump me, please, JUMP ME!!  You may win since I am older and slower than I was 30 years ago.  But, as I have tried to educate you about, I am the most dangerous man you will ever fight.  Why, because I have nothing to loose!!  I may loose, but I bet those who attack me will loose much more,  Like their male sex organs!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day; 2014

Well, here we are again!  The day others try to make amends for treating us like shit the other 364 days of the year!  

Sorry if that sounds sarcastic or bitter, but I/we have earned it.  If you have a disability related to your service and the VA has repeatedly denied it;  You deserve to be bitter.  If your retirement/retainer check has not kept up with the REAL  cost of living; You deserve to be bitter.  If you cannot get employment;  You deserve to be bitter.  If a draft dodger or a druggie is getting more help from the government than you, who ACTUALLY served;  You deserve to be better.

Yes, I believe we have been used, abuse, mistreated, lied too, cheated, and thrown away like the trash the leaders of our nation think we are!

Just one example.  Agent Orange.  Great, the Veterans that served in country and on the rivers get almost automatic compensation for their diseases and injuries caused by Agent Orange.  It took the death of Admiral Zumwalt's son to get they through.  And consequently, the Admiral died from Agent Orange issues also!

But, what about those of us who served on Navy ships, directly off the coast of Vietnam?!!  The VA says NO to us!  Yes, there is a long standing fight being waged by the Navy Blue Water folks, but we are being shut out.  Why, it would cost too much!  It is ALWAYS money, not people that matters!

So, the politicians make speeches, restaurants give us free meals, new casters make statements, and they show John Wayne war movies on television.  Then, tomorrow, we are ignored and pissed on for the rest of the year!!   Nothing has changed and nothing ever will until we quit going to war for the rich people in the $5000 suits!!

The politicians like to have photos taken with us and then they go wash their hands and burn their clothes!  I guess they think they will catch something from us!  I actually watched the Mayor of Virginia Beach do exactly that after the receiving line for a Sailor of the Year Banquet!

Like I have said before, please do not tell me; "Thanks for your service".  Instead, lobby you congressman and Senator for real pay raised for active and retired military personnel.  Lobby for real VA reform.  Lobby for truth on the chemicals the military Industrial complex exposed us too without our permission!  I don't care if you honor my service!  I do care if my wife is provided for after this disease the Navy caused kills me.

Do I sound sarcastic and bitter?!  I sure hope so, because I deserve to be!  And so do you.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

My life

I have had a wonderful, full, exciting, rewarding life!  It is true.  I have done things most men only dream of.  I exceeded any expectations anyone had about my life, thanks to God!  But, as I look back, I wonder what I will be remembered for.

I was a normal child.  A bit precocious.  I was a difficult teenager.   Got in some trouble, but thanks to my Mom, I survived.  I quit High School and joined the Navy.   That is where I found my niche!  The Navy liked me and I liked the Navy.

My Navy career lead to my Civil Service career.   I spent 40 years working for the Department of the Navy.  Twenty years in uniform and 20 years as a civil servant.  The Navy also introduced me to the love of my life.  Linda.  We have been married for over 41 years and yes, I asked her to marry me the day after I met her on a blind date.  She did say yes.

But, besides being a Gunner's Mate, a Master Chief, a Shipmate, a friend, a teacher, a mentor, a leader, a boss, a team mate, a subordinate, a husband, a Dad, a Grandfather, I am also a Pastor and have a Pastor's heart.  I love my Ministry.  At one time I was in children's ministry but now, I Minister to senior citizens in an Assisted Living Facility.  This is the most precious part of my life.

My wife, has mentored me as a Christian.  She taught me, showed me how much better life is when you follow Jesus.  She suffered with me when I was not such a nice fellow and corrected me, gently, when I stumbled.

It would be good if I was remembered as a good Gunner's Mate, or a good Master Chief.  I would be much happier if I was remembered as a good husband or a good father and grandfather.  And maybe as a fair man in my dealings with those I worked with.

But, I would really like to be remembered as someone who tried his best to follow my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Did I stumble and fail.   Yes, but Jesus pick me up, dusted me off, and shoved me in the right direction.

If, when God calls me home, you think of me at all, remember how Jesus influenced my life.  Especially those of you who have know me from my drinking years until now.  You can truly see the changes in my life.

Just thinking.  My life has truly been interesting.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The cost of training sailors, or not!

Admiral Jon Greenert the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) stated at a Brookings Institute speech that we need to make training faster.  What he really means is, we need to make training cheaper!

He went on to complain about the length of the training pipeline for a Fire Control Technician on the AEGIS Weapons system.  His specific complaint was that it took two years of training to get an AEGIS Tech into the fleet.  In my view, the Admiral shows his lack of understanding and knowledge of Enlisted training with these statements.

The CNO also mdd it sound like we were giving a new sailor a Master's Degree on the AEGIS Weapons System.  Nothing could be further from the truth!

Before I retired from Civil Service, I worked for a Command that provided technical assistance for every system in the Navy, except nuclear reactors and Flight Deck gear.  We had thousands of Master Technicians that seldom stayed in the office!  They traveled to ships, submarines, and Aircraft Carriers, worldwide to repair the sophisticated and complex systems of the Navy.  If we are doing such a great job of training the Fleet Sailors, why are the Master Technicians of the Regional Maintenance Centers racking up frequent flyer miles and overtime?

Another point the CNO missed was that  the AEGIS pipeline IS broken into systems.  A young sailor out of Boot Camp learns ONE subsystem go AEGIS in his or her first training cycle.  Computers, SPY 1 Radar, Fire Control Systems, are all separate training pipelines. Not until the sailor is on his or her third sea tour, about the 12 year mark of a career, does that sailor know, in-depth, the entire AEGIS System.

Another point is, when I went to Gunner's Mate "A" and "C" schools, our training was hands on!  Now, most if not all training across the entire Enlisted spectrum is computer based.  No hands on and no practical maintenance or troubleshooting training!  This fact shows in the simplicity of some of the CASREPS the RMC's respond to.

I actually sent a SPS 49 Air Search Radar Master Technician to Bahrain from Norfolk, at a minutes notice, to replace a fuze!  Now, that trip was after we told the tech onboard to check for blown fuzes and had the tech come back and tell us there were no blown fuzes!  We exhausted all "Distance Support" troubleshooting and finally gave up and sent the tech to Bahrain.  Now if the training pipeline is so good, why can't the leading SPS 49 tech onboard see the red glare of a blown fuze indicator!?!

Still another point.  How many of you understood how a CDX or TDX synchro differential operated until the instructor put that synchro simulator in front of you and allowed you to play with it for a while?  Many of us are not good at computer based training, but give us the real thing and we can figure it out with limited instruction.

The Navy has torn down many of the hands on training facilities, like Gunnery School at Great Lakes, and replaced them with cubicles with computers in them.  No hands on, no real equipment to learn from, and no real experience!  For most Enlisted personnel, the first time they see the real thing is on their first ship!!

So, I believe once more that the politicians, in uniform and in Brooks Brothers suits, are out of touch, full of shit, and pushing an agenda that will further cripple our military!!

We need better training, practical training, for our sailors.  Everything we have tried in Navy Enlisted training since the late 1960's has failed.  Then number of civilian tech assists on Navy ships and submarines proves that beyond ANY reasonable doubt!!  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Friday afternoon, down at the bar!

When I was an instructor at Gun School, Great Lakes, we used to head to a bar on Sheridan Road every Friday.  The bar was in a big house that was converted to a bar.  It had all the required equipment.  A bar, stools, a pool table, and a juke box.

Now this was 1974 or so and it was still 3 plays for a quarter on the juke box.  It seemed that every Friday when we came in, there were a bunch of "Hippie" looking fellows in the bar.  No problem.  GMM1 Edwards would put Five Dollars in quarters in the juke box and play one song over and over and over again.

That song was Little Johnny Russell singing; "Red Necks, White Socks, and Blue Ribbon Beer"!!!

About halfway through that Five Dollars, only Gunner's Mates were in the bar!  Funny how that worked.

I miss those days!