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

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

One warrior suing another!

I have decided to weigh in on the law suit that Jesse Ventura won from Chris Kyle's widow.  It seems Mr. Kyle made some comments, on television, while promoting his book that embarrassed Mr. Ventura.  Mr. Ventura decided to seek retribution through the Civil Court System and won the case, netting $1.8 million dollars.  The decision of the jury was not unanimous.

Now, a person who has lived his life in the public should have thicker skin than this.  Not to mention that Mr. Ventura was a U.S. Navy UDT member.  Mr. Kyle was a U.S. Navy SEAL with combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and probably other classified places and missions that I have no idea of or need to know.   To my knowledge, Mr. Ventura has no combat experience.  He was a Movie Actor and the Governor of Minnesota.  Now, I know as a Governor he was insulted and lies about.  But he never sought legal relief for those events.  So, why did Mr. Ventura seek to sue the widow of Mr. Kyle?

Another point is, Mr. Ventura stated in a television interview that he was the one who lost the most.  He claims he no longer can attend the SEAL reunions because he would constantly have to look over his shoulder to see who was after him.  (Not a direct quote)  My question is, if you were correct in your suit, why would someone be gunning for you?

In my opinion, those of us who served or are serving, should watch after each other, NOT go after each other!!  There are enough people trying to screw us, take our benefits, and rob us of our health care.  There are many individuals in Politics and in the populace that want to reduce our salaries, our retirements, and our benefits.  Why would one former military member sue another one over a comment that probably did nothing negative to their reputation?

Look Shipmates.  We are alone in this world.  Everyone wants what you and I have and they will do anything to take it from us.  Let's look out for each other and not do what Mr. Ventura did.  If we start screwing our Shipmates, we have nothing left!!  Ask Mrs Kyle, Chris Kyle's widow!!    

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Security Alert!!

Watching the news, I got lost in my thoughts of the past, and the topic of "Security Alerts" came to mind.  In the old days of ASROC, we had a ship's defense force that was charged with protecting a prospective special weapon.  We never knew if we had on or not.  RIGHT!!  You could tell when we were loading one of these weapons at the Weapons Station from a satellite!  The "Weapon" was surrounded by armed, alert, Marines.  Other weapons, no security!!  As I say; "A blind man on a galloping horse could see that!"

Anyway, I was on the USS Stein (DE 1065) my first tour.  We were going through our Nuclear Technical Proficiency Inspection (NTPI).  Things were going well.  They should have, seeing the amount of training we did!   The Security Alert portion of the inspection had just begun.  One of my Gunner's Mates was going to his position with a M16A1.  We carried them with a loaded magazine in the gun and the bolt locked back.  Not a good idea if you understand the basic M16 operating system.  One bump will send the bolt forward, loading the gun!    In any case,  GMG3 Arnold saw this unknown Officer heading up the vertical ladder, on the Starboard side, from the 01 to the 02 level.  John scrambled to stop the commander and caught him on the ladder with the M16 pointed at the Commander's rear end.  Just at that moment, John bumped the M16 on the ladder and the bolt went forward with that all knowing sound!!  John yelled "Halt"!  No problem, the Commander was frozen in place.  He asked my GMG3, is that weapon loaded?  John assured him it was now.  The Commander told John to relax, this is a "Security Drill" and HE was the person in charge of the drill.  John told him, in some not so polite terms, that the Commander had to be wrong, because there was no such thing as a Security Drill!!  Again, training pays off.
\John escorted the Commander to the bridge with his hands up!  When the Commander saw our Captain, he immediately asked;  "Do your folks always load their weapons for "Security Drills".  The Captain said; "There are no such things as security drills!"  We secured from that drill and we passed our inspection!!

I miss those wonderful people that I served with.  They were just regular people, who gave extraordinary efforts, with little pay or praise, to defend our country from whatever threat there was.  I will eternally be proud to have been part of that group and I will remember them until my brain stops working all together.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Soviet Navy is rebuilt!

Today, on Drudge, which is the Nation's news, I read a good article announcing the rebuilding pf the Russian Black Sea Fleet.  Since annexing the Crimean Peninsula, the Russians have transferred new, more capable submarines, Anti-Submarine ships, and Anti-Aircraft ships to the Black Sea.  This along with an enhanced Marine presence, shows, without any cover, the aggression planned by the Soviet Union.

While our Nation has been decommissioning and scrapping, almost new, extremely capable ASW, AAW, and Cruise Missile firing surface ships and nuclear powered attack and FBM Missile submarines.  These ships, ALL OF THEM, have been scrapped, disassembled, or sunk!! NONE of them are in a reserve status!!  There is nothing n the bank when it comes to Naval combat vessels.

But, you should ask yourself the question; Why are the Russians (Soviets) and the Red Chinese, and the North Koreans, and the Iranians, building an offensive, blue water navy?  The answer, if you are rational and do not have your head in the sand is, to defeat America and rule the world!!

I know some of you disagree.  That's OK, but look at history.  Nations build offensive navies to rule the waterways of the world in preparation for a war against a common enemy.  America is that enemy.

Also, the old saying; "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." applies to the relationship between the radical Islamists and the World Communist Coalition.  Are they working together?  Let me answer that with a question.  Who supplies the weapons for every Radical Islamic incursion in the world?  The Communist Coalition.

America stands alone.  Yes, the British empire is our ally.  But they are a limp wrested, powerless, group of ancient thinkers with old weapons, attics, and no money!  No, we are alone in the fight against the world and our leaders, military and civilian, have been getting us ready to be defeated since Ronald Reagan left office!!

What do we do?  Hell, I don't know.  I am an old, retired, Master Chief Gunner' Mate.  My first reaction is to lunch someone in the nose!  That maybe the IS answer.  Go find a Communist bully and punch him in the nose to see what happens.  It is better than doing nothing!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

My 500th post!

I am amazed that I have written 500 posts!  I am equally amazed that my mental wanderings have been read over 135,000 times!  For all of this, I thank all of you.

I am a gruff, set in my ways, opinionated, hardheaded, supporter of the Navy and a unabashed patriot.  I fully support and WILL defend the Constitution of the United States against anyone, anytime.  Even at 63!!

I owe the Navy much of my success in life.  If you read my first few posts you know I made many mistakes as a young person.  The Navy accepted me as I was and then molded me into something useful.  Yes, the people that raised me had much to do with that.  But remember being a teenager?  I was the quintessential teenager!!  Boy, am I glad Judge Gagliardo came along.

My love of the Navy and America has been the topics of many of my posts.  I do not apologize for that.  I also write this blog from my prospective.  How I see the topics of the day or the past.  I am not one who agrees that today is better than yesterday.  Progress and change are not always good or profitable.    One example of that is the not so new Navy camp uniform.  That decision was made for anything but, sound, operational, reasons!!

Another thing I have written about, briefly, is the progression of my disease.   If you missed that post, I have Lewy Body Dementia.  It is progressing, getting worse, and it traps me in my memories of my past.  I write extensively and openly, in my other blog.  The point here is, both of these blogs are a therapy for me.  My wife got me started writing these blogs after I was diagnosed.  She and my Neurologist thought it would help me deal with the progression of my disease.  It has!

So, thanks to all of you for helping me, being there of me, and telling me what you think through you comments.   All of you keep me going and I appreciate each of you.


Everybody wants to be mainstream, if mainstream would only change!

That's right, everyone wants to be mainstream, if ONLY those in the mainstream would change their standards!!  Women were first.  We want to do everything the men do!!  OK!  Oh we need the weight PRT standards changed because we are DIFFERENT!!  Then there were the Homosexuals.  But they want to have Gay men berth and shower with straight women!!  Or, they want their own head facilities.  Then there were the Transexuals!  Again, more concessions.  During all this foolishness and debauchery, the Navy did away with urinals in Men's heads.  Why?

Now, as I wrote a day or so ago, some wacko, supposedly representing the Native American community wants the Navy and Coast guard to drop the use of the word "Chief"!!  I made my case against this in my last post.  But, the point of this post is, if a group, out of the mainstream, wants to join the mainstream, isn't it their RESPONSIBILITY to make the grade, meet the standards, and show they are capable of being part of the mainstream?

Other groups that were excluded from the club made the grade.  As a matter of fact, many that were once excluded, exceeded the standards and showed those in the mainstream they were wrong.

Second.  Changing the rules to get you in does not make you part of the team!!  It only makes you an outcast.  Someone that all are suspicious of.

Third.  Making the mainstream the villain only lowers the entire team's abilities.

And last.  We have had Women, Gays, Transexuals, Native Americans, and every other different group serving in the Navy since 1776!  They served with distinction and honor.  But, they made the team on their merits.  Not on a wavier.

So, stop trying to change my Navy and join it.  The Navy as a organization and a fraternity will embrace you if you honestly try to meet our standards.   We will welcome you, help you, teach you, encourage you, and finally, accept you.  YOU need to change your attitude, not us.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Is the title "Chief" racially insensitive?

One of my friends and past shipmates, Chuck Morton, sent me an article that states that the Native Americans considered the Navy and Coast Guard enlisted rating of Chief, Senior Chief, and Master Chief Petty Officer "racially insensitive".

I disagree with this assessment.  I served with numerous Native Americans.  One, a Master Chief Gas Turbines Technician was one of the Master Chiefs that served as the Force Master Chief, Surface Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.  Jerry is the Chairman of the Oneida Tribe.    Jerry has a Master's Degree in Education and upon his retirement from the Navy, he told me he was going back to his Reservation to help his people.  He was a proud Navy Master Chief and a proud Native American.  He educated me and many other Navy members on the traditions of the Native Americans.  Never did Jerry ever say he was ashamed to be a Master Chief.

It seems to me that there is a desire in some quarters, to pick fights, raise anger, and cause distrust, between anyone or any group, that is different, in anyway.  I am not an Native American.  But I respect their tradition and their community.  I do not believe that the Navy and Coast Guard Senior Enlisted Ratings of Chief, Senior Chief, and Master Chief, denigrate the Native American community in any way.  As a matter of fact, I believe it honors their traditions of leadership raised from the family and the community.

In the Navy and Coast Guard, our Enlisted Leaders start at the bottom.  We have to travel through the numerous trials and troubles of each step in the growth of our experience base.  Only the BEST become Chiefs.  I might remind you that by law, only 10% of the Navy enlisted community can serve as Chiefs.  Only 3% can serve as Senior Chiefs, and only 1% can serve as Master Chiefs.  This certainly ensures the quality of our senior enlisted leadership.  A Master Chief has gone through all the trials that the men and women he or she is now leading are going through.  The fact is, I never expected anyone to do something that I did not do before them.

I believe, that is the same process followed in the Native American community.  If I am wrong, I encourage someone from the Native American community to correct me and I will publish that correction immediately.

Some people, that pride themselves on stirring up trouble where there is none, are at it again with this unwarranted attack on the Navy and Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer community.  I hope this post hits them right square in their collective eye!!

Also, I would love to hear Master Chief Jerry Danforth's views on this topic.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Corrections, Mistakes, and memory failurem

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about an shipmate that was on the Forrestal for her big fire, the Belknap when she hit the USS Kennedy and I thought, the USS Frank E. Evans when she was hit by an Australian Carrier.  Well, a member of the Evans crew informed me I was wrong.  Alan Ackley was not on the Evans.  For that memory failure, I am sorry.  But, everyone must remember that I am in the middle stages of Lewy Body Dementia.  So, I can and do make memory mistakes.  I am sorry though.  and, a bit embarrassed.

But, there is a good side to this story.  I also, recently, received a comment from Al Ackley!!  Not, someone, a long time ago, told me Al was no longer with us.  But, that person was wrong.  Al is alive and well!!  The last time I saw Master Chief Ackley was in Bahrain, in 1988!!

It is also great to know he rereads my blog.  Al, great to hear from you and I hope you are doing well.

Again, I openly admit that my memory is not as good as it once was.  And I will always admit my mistakes and apologize when given a correction.  In this case, Coffee from the USS Evans helped me get the right information.

My memories of my Naval Career are precious to me as are the shipmates I served with.  Thanks for being there then and now. - Don;

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

China believes they can defeat America!

 I read an article on "Drudge" today that stated; China believes they can defeat America.  OK.  I guess I have not defense for that statement!  China is a formidable foe with a nuclear threat and the will to use it.  The are building a "Blue Water" Navy including nuclear powered submarines.  They have exponentially more people than we do, so troop losses are not a problem.  And they have an almost endless supply of military men, because they are a Communist country that requires the populace to do what they are told!  Yes, China has all the aces in their hand.  And, they ally, Russia, lead by a retired KGM operative, is a formidable foe also.  Have you checked there Navy lately?  They have built a first rate "Blue Water"navy including nuclear powered cruisers and twice as many attack submarines as we have.

The Progressives, have completely demolished our Navy.  And we are downsizing our entire military!  And, even if we kept manpower levels at the 2014 levels, only 1% of Americans ever serve in the Military!!  We have no mandatory service.  And reports I read state that the vast majority of our young people do not qualify for military service because they are grosly over weight, addicted to drugs, and stupid.   Judging from what I see, they cannot follow orders either!

Again, China has us there too!

Then there is the financial issue.  China holds much of our debt.  If they ever call in their note, we would be bankrupt!!  This may be to our advantage.  China gets some loan repayment from us.  If they attack us, that would stop.  Ah!! I see the plan.  Be in debt to our enemies and pay them the monthly payment.  Tell them if they attack us, we will stop paying!  Sort of a financial defense!!  It may work.  And, it appears it is the only defense we have.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hurricane!!

With a hurricane bearing down on the east coast, I am reminded of a Hurricane that effected those of us on the USS Caron (DD 970) as we were under repair in a local shipyard in Norfolk Virginia.

We were floating, but had numerous holes cut in the hull, above the waterline.  So, getting underway was out of the question.   Just the same, we had to stay aboard to provide damage control protection for the ship.  The entire crew stayed aboard.  We had not been eating aboard, so the first order of business was to get the Galley up and operating.  That required cleaning all the yard dust off the Galley equipment.  I gathered the Chiefs in the CPO Quarters and we made a plan.  The first meal was dinner.  AL Williams, our Chief Stewburner decided scrambled eggs, steak, and waffles was the easiest meal to prepare.  We also decided the Chiefs would prepare the meal with Al's direction, while the cooks and mess cooks cleaned and broke out provisions!

We all "Turned Two" and soon a delicious dinner was being served.  We probably had three hours from notification to serving!!  I remember Dave Kelly, our Chief Hull Technician, cooking scrambled eggs on the big griddle.  He was sweating profusely!!  I told Dave, don't put any salt in the eggs!  He asked me why?  Then I said, your sweat is salty enough!!

We had a great time getting that meal prepared and served!  It was a time of great team work and camaraderie.  I miss those days and things like this hurricane bring those memories back to life.

Dave Kelly is no longer with us.  I lost track of Al Williams, but many of the other Chiefs are still around and we are in contact.  Thanks Shipmates!!

The habits of some supervisors and managers

In Civil Service, I worked over 10 years for a person I believe had the worst people skill set I ever witnessed.  Now, let me say up front, this GS 14 had vision when it came to technical matters. He was very good at seeking out technology to improve the Navy's maintenance capabilities.  He had great ideas that went no where because of his poor people skills.

In any case, one of his rather funny habits was to "Mark" his territory when he came back from a trip or leave.  He "Marked" his territory in  much the same manner as a dog, he would pee on everyone who directly reported to him!!  That's right, he would go to each supervisor that reported to him and his administrative assistant, and verbally piss all over them!  He would tell them all the things they did wrong while HE was gone!  The, her would teeter off, with a smile on his face because he had just destroyed what little self-respect you had.

I had caught on to this annoying habit early in my tenure working for him.  But, one time, I got my revenge.   I was sitting in for this GS 14 and in that position, I had to review and approve all of the government cell phone bills.  This GS 14 strictly, no brutally, enforced the "No Personal Calls" policy.  He would brow beat anyone who called any number HE determined was not official business.  His personal favorite "Catch" were calls to your home.  Now, if we had to work overtime, calling the wife to tell her is a good idea!  A short call  informing the wife of your overtime made sense and cost nothing.  Not to this GS 14.  So, this time when I was sitting in, I had to review and approve the cell phone bills.  The GS 14's bill had numerous calls to his home, his wife's work place, and other personal calls like his car dealer, and his adult daughter.  SO, after I verified they were not official calls, I gave the bill to the Department Head explaining the discrepancy.  The Department Head asked me why I was being so hard assed about the GS 14's cell phone bill?  I explained that I was just executing this task as my GS 14 did!  I never heard a thing about cell phone calls again.

I Another position with the same command, I had a government cell I checked out to my folks for on ship use.  One of the Gun Branch techs died while on a job away from home.  The Command's Executive Officer asked to borrow the government cell phone I had and I gave it to her to expedite her calls to Charleston where the person died and to West Virginia where his wife was visiting.  The bill came in for that period and that GS 14 ripped my face off!  He threatened to fire me over the calls and would NOT give me the chance to explain they were made by the Executive Officer!  I actually had to get her to tell that GS 14 to back off!!!

Yes, we need to follow rules.  But common sense must prevail and a manager or supervisor must always remember that the others in the team are not automatically wrong because you think they are.  And, the manager or supervisor must ALWAYS remember, what goes around, comes around!  You could, can, and do, get hoisted on your own petard!!

Oh, how I loved hoisting that GS 14 on his own, shiny, sharp, petard and holding him over the puddle of piss he always caused.

Old Navy "Nick Names" for ratings

I still use many of the "Old Navy Nick Names" of ratings.  Fr instance, I call Dental Techs "Tooth Fairies" and Corpsmen "Scab Lifters".  Of course there are a couple other Corpsmen "Nick Names" that are not as politically correct!  Like "Shanker Mechanic" or "Penis Machinist".

When I was with VA 55 I learned some Airdale "Nick Names" like "Tin Benders"  "One Wire Electricians" and "Grapes"!!

Of course, Hull Technicians and Ship Fitters were called "Turd Chasers"  because they were constantly working on the toilets and sewage piping.especially on older ships.  When I commissioned the USS Leftwich (DD 984) we gave the Chief HT the Nick Name of "Rodney Toilet"!

Then there were the Personnelmen who we called,  well, you know, "Titless Waves".  Gunner's Mates were given the Nick Names of "Gun Plumber", "Fresh Air Snipe", and of course "Gunner" which was not correct because in the Navy, a Gunner is a Warrant Officer for Weapons Systems.  And we all know that Warrant Officers and Limited Duty Officers are "Quiters"

LDO stands for.....Loud, Dumb, and Obnoxious!  And, as Master Chief James A. Smith used t say;  "This who CAN, make Master Chief.  Those who CAN'T, go Warrant and LDO!!

Signalmen were called "Skivey Waivers"  and SEALS were called "Bug Eaters", but not to their face!!  Electronic Technicians were called "Twidgets" and Data Systems Techs were called Digits!  Made sense to me.     Radarmen and Operational Specialists were called "Scope Jockies"

The Chief Boats' wain's mate on my first ship, the USS Mullinnix (DD 944) called every enlisted man by his rating!  I guess Chief Moses did not have a memory for names!  But, it worked!!  So you can't argue with success.

That's all I can remember right now.  But, I will bet someone will come up with some more "Nick Names"