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

Friday, February 27, 2015

Civilians have an incorrect opinion of our Military personnel

I have interacted with many, many civilians.  Many of them, have a very inaccurate view of what our personnel go through to defend their prim and proper asses!

Here, where I live, I have talked with older Americans that believe those of us in the Military, Enlisted or Officer, are gentile people, who sit around drinking tea, reading "The Classics", dressed in dress uniforms, and discussing world events in quiet tones using large words.   They believe we live in the lap of luxury, and are home from the front, EVERY night!

True!  Just ask some 70 year old Church woman!  Ask your Mom.  My own sister, who is in her 80's, does not believe Men in was use foul language, as depicted in the movies.  A lady we ate dinner with this week, actually believed those serving on Navy ships were on pleasure cruises, with no loss of the comforts of home.  She did not believe sailors drank beer, chased women, or used coarse language.

The fact is, at least when I wore a uniform, and the men who preceded me, lived in an atmosphere that was anything BUT gentile!  Due to the slack of rest water, we lived without showers and even brushing our teeth for many days, even weeks, at a time.   We worked days on end without sleep, in conditions that would cause the toughest man to faint.  Like the fire rooms that were in excess of 130 degrees!  Or working in a space with toxic gasses, lifting ammunition that weighted more that a engine block, repeatedly, for hours.  Not to mention what our brothers on the beach endured.  The Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, and especially or SPECWAR brothers.  They lived, and still live daily, in discomfort and misery a civilian would never recognize.

These same prim and proper civilians are the folks that want to reduce our pay, our retirement, our VA coverage, and our military budgets.  The live in a fantasy world of fine linen, silk pajamas. and french cooking.   They are the reason America is no longer a world power and that America is on the verge of collapsing.

Wars are won by coarse, strong, closed minded, MEN who give their all to defend our Nation, our way of life, and, yes, those prim and proper morons.  We got drunk, chased women, got in fights, and used language that would peel the pint off of a bulkhead!  So what, we won!

But now, our military has been hamstrung by the prim and proper crowd.  We have are sacrificing our military budge for welfare funding and birth control pills for college girls.  All that will change when the Muslims march in and invoke Sharia law!

Don't say I didn't tell you it was coming!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The NEW Enlisted Community

In the past decades, the Enlisted Community was populated by men who had marginal educations, were brought up on a farm, listened to Country and Blue Grass music, and were mostly mechanics.   The systems were built like the farm equipment they were used to working on.  Chain drives, gear boxes, pumps, electric motors, and diesel engines.

Today's Enlisted Personnel are highly educated, many with Master's Degrees.  They were raised in the city, exposed to cultural events, are very adept with computers and other electronic devices, and have never worked hard in their lives.  The systems they work on and operate mimic the computer games they grew up playing.

Today's Enlisted personnel are more akin to the Officers than they are to their Enlisted predecessors.  The Senior Enlisted personnel, (E-7-9) are highly educated, experienced in leadership, management, asset management, and human relations.

So, why is the old practice of the Government and companies to hire Senior Officers only,  into their board room?  A good example is the present Secretary of the Veteran's Administration.  When they fired the last fool, I recommended in this forum, that the President seek out a Senior Enlisted Military member to hear the VA.  No, he selected a West Point grad who promptly lied his way into the Stolen Valor folks net!   I recommended the past MCPON that was a Master Chief Corpsman and did the majority of his career with the Fleet Marine Force.  Now that would have been a great VA Secretary selection!

You may know that I live in a retirement community owned by the ACTS Corporation.  They have three retired Admirals on their board of directors.  I can understand that as an old practice.  Enlisted personnel normal did not live long enough after retirement to make the age requirement to live where.  At least 34 years ago when Azalea Trace opened.   And 34 years ago, an enlisted person most likely would never amass the financial portfolio required to live here.  But that has all changed!

We have a number of retired Enlisted personnel living here now.  Yet, no Enlisted representation on the ACTS board.  If we use the Navy Federal Credit Union as an example, the inclusion of Enlisted personnel makes sense.

Let me refresh your memories.  NFCU was an Officer's Credit Union. Just as USAA was an Officer's Insurance Company.  Yes, Enlisted personnel could join NFCU, but only when stationed permanently overseas!  If you were on a ship, or in the States, and you were Enlisted, membership was denied to you!

Why did NFCU and USAA change their membership rules?  A shrinking population of Officers!!  They could no longer make enough money catering to Officers only.  So, they slowly opened their membership roles to Enlisted personnel.  And, much to the dismay of some, we have not caused the companies to fold, caused drunken riots, impregnated their wives, or puked in their pools!

It is time for the Government and the private sector to open the board room does to Enlisted personnel.  One reason is too expand the number of retired military personnel they appeal too.  The second, and more important issues is, to broaden the experience base of those management organizations with the vast experience and knowledge that today's Enlisted personnel have amassed.

So, I again recommend MCPON Joe Campa for the position of Veterans Affairs Secretary.  Since it is apparent the present individual is ready to resign from embarrassment.   But, I bet no one listens, again.  How about you folks in the board room at ACTS?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Detailer's Story about an exceptional Enlisted Community Manager

Before I start this post, let me say, as the Father in the "Walton's" used to say; "It's not bragging if you can do it."

My best friend, Jerry Hart, and I talk every week for at least an hour. It is therapy for me and I believe for him.  We talk Navy much of the time, since the news is just too upsetting for either of us.  In any case, Jerry reminded me of a very pleasant series of events that occurred while he and I were Detailers at BUPERS, or NMPC as it was called then.

In August of 1980, when I took over as the GMG Detailer, the community was in sad shape.   We were severely undermanned, with no SRB at all.  So, I got my statistics in order and made an appointment to meet with the Enlisted Community Manager.  The ECM was a Post Command Commander billet.  The ECM for the GMG Rating was a Destroyer CO who had a terrible accident while pulling into port.  The accident lead to a line handling accident that is the subject of the Training Movie the Navy still uses.  You may have seen it and you WILL remember, because the Commander, who was injured in the accident, that ship's XO,  takes his prosthetic legs off at the end of the movie.  In any case, the Lee Helmsman was a GMG and the CO BLAMED him for the accident!  So, I was met with just a few comments from the ECM.  "Get out of my office.  I hate Gunner's Mates, I hope your Community goes out of existence!!

A few months later, a new ECM came in.  A Commander named Gilbert.  He was a breath of fresh air.  He was engaged in his job, was willing to think out of the box, and was willing to take a risk, to solve a valid problem.   He and I, along with Jerry Hart and our FC/GM Rating Assignment Master Chief, Dave Armstrong, came up with the idea of giving the critical NEC's more reenlistment money that the non-coded Gunner's Mates.  The idea was to encourage Gunner's Mates to go to school!!

Now, this was a complete 180 from the way Detailing was done and how it was outlined in the Detailer's Manual.  Prior to this, the "Part Line" was; "We DO NOT detail by NEC!"  Now, that policy always seemed dumb to me.  Why spend $100,000 or more to educate a sailor on a stem, and not send him to work on that system?!  Or worse, educate and grow up a Chief and not send him to lead on that system!!

Well, the Navy bought our plan and it is now widely see in the Navy.

Commander Gilbert helped us rebuild the GMG community.  But that was just the beginning.  Dave Armstrong designed the Fire Controlman rating to break surface Fire Controlmen to break away from the Submarine Fire Controlmen therefore improving promotion to E-8 and E-9 and also permitting us to fill our surface E7,8,9 billets!!

Then, we were able to restructure the Gunner's Mate community.  GMG and GMM was always an awkward division.  At the time, the biggest class of ships we had was the FFG's.  The Main Battery was the MK 13 Mod 4 GMLS.  But, the Leading Gunners's Mate was a GMGC on the MK 76 Otto Melaro Gun.  That made no sense.  We wanted to make it so someone could "Platform" Train.  And now, as a total GM community, we can educate Gunner's Mates throughout their career to make them the System's Chief on a CG, DDG, or what ever class comes along.

Commander Gilbert was the catalyst for all of these good ideas to come to fruition.  He was an exceptional Officer, professional, and human being.  I respected him and appreciated his open mind.   The Navy is better today because of what he did.  Thanks Commander Gilbert!!  And thanks Jerry for bringing such a precious, positive memory back into my mind!!

Monday, February 16, 2015

When it comes to our Military, our population is IGNORANT!!

I was watching "Jeopardy" tonight and the three contestants were all college educated individuals, accomplished in various Liberal Arts.   The knew the answers to the questions about abstract, unknown authors, television shows about abnormal behavior, and other trivia topics.  But, when shown the photo of a P 51 Mustang Fighter, and asked to give the alpha-numeric designation of the aircraft, the only person to try to answer the question, answered; B52!

I have seen other circumstances like this.  I have also witnessed the ignorance of our elected officials when it comes to our Military.  And of course, I rankle every time I hear a news reader call a Surface Combatant a BATTLESHIP!!

The question I have is;  What do our schools teach these days?  And;  Why aren't Americans more interested in the capabilities of the Military that protests their freedom?

When I was a little boy, we played with toy soldiers.  GI Joe WAS an action figure.  We had model ships, submarines that used baking soda to power it as it dove and surfaced!  We new about our Military and we were proud of it!  We looked in awe of the Military Aircraft and Cannons in front of VFW halls.  We drooled in the American History Museum sections of Military history.  We wanted to talk to our older brothers when they came home from Boot Camp.  We asked our Dads and Uncles: What did you do in the War?

Now, I can't get my Grandsons to be interested in the USS Alabama when I offer to give them a guided tour.

It seems Americans do not WANT to know about those of us who served and what we did.  As a matter of fact, they don't respect or like us.  I see Ivy League Colleges trying to do away with their ROTC programs.  One recently called us MURDERERS!

Well, America, let me educate your sorry asses!  Those rag head fanatics in the Sand Box are determined to kill you!!  But before they do that, they will rape your wives, daughters, girlfriends, and Mothers.  They will sodomize the males, just like they did to the American Ambassador in Benghazi.  By the way, they used a BROOM HANDLE to sodomize him!!  Then they paraded him around for all to see!!

So, if you don't like us, and don't want to fund what we do, and don't respect us, then, fight the rag head hoard on your own.  Maybe you can talk them into liking you and leaving you alone!  Fat Chance!!

I don't give a rats ass what some limp wrested Liberal Progressive, College Professor tells you, we did not pick this fight!  And, in case you don't realize it, we are LOOSING BIG!!

This Muslim Empty Suit that sits in the White House is aiding and abetting the Muslim hoards!!  They are coming for Americans, and soon.  They are now 500 miles away from Italy.  They mad all that progress in two years!!  The Muslim hoard OWNS the Middle East, Turkey, Lybia, And now they are headed to Europe.  That assault has already begun.

The sad fact is, they are kicking our ass with little or no resistance.  It seems you same sex, pot smoking, redistribution of wealth, faggots are easy to scare into surrendering!  Hell, Texas has just permitted their first SHARIA Law court to be established!!  Wake up America!!

We have a greatly diminished Navy, Air Force, and Army.  Our Nuclear defense is falling apart because of dimwits in charge and in other positions.  The Military quit inspecting the Nuclear Weapons world years ago, and now, the adage;  "You can EXPECT what you INSPECT!!" is coming home to roost!!

Am I the only person in America that sees things as they are?  Sadly, I think I am!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Rode hard and put away WET!

The Military is a young person's game.  But you know that.  But the wear and tear on our bodies comes back to haunt us later in life.  Just like a past post about the negative and positive "G's" we experienced on a daily basis at sea.  The truth is, I never thought I would live this long!

Remember, I was a head steaming, romping/stomping Navy Fleet Gunner's Mate.   I worked hard and played hard.  When I was 18, I saw a billboard that said: "DRINK CANADA DRY" and I tried too!!

The job of a Gunner's Mate Guns was hard labor.  Constantly moving heavy ammunition, working in a cramped, toxic, environment in the Gun Mount.  Working long, unending hours.  Constantly enduring injuries including concussions, cuts, bruises, inhaling toxic fumes, handling toxic chemicals, and having you body beat up on a daily basis.

Like I said, I never thought I would live to be 63.  But, because of God's perfect plan, I have.  But, I am truly rode hard and put away wet!

I have had my right rotator cuff rebuilt and my left shoulder need rebuilt.  Three hernias, Lewy Body Dementis related to the hydraulic fluid used in the gun mounts, the ascending side half of my colon removed because of a tumor, and now, it seems I have a torn abdominal inner muscle.

This new, old, injury just showed up.  It is particularly painful when I transition from standing to laying or the reverse.  It really does hurt and I have a fairly high pain threshold.

So, I will see my GP in the next few days and we can start the test and evaluate process.  I am sure this will lead to hospital food.  But, maybe I can get them to do my shoulder and abdominal muscle in the same surgery!   That will save Tricare money.  They should like that.  right?  

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Ridiculas things I was asked on the sound powered phones

I was shooting pool with some of the other residents here at the retirement community we live in.  We were telling some "Sea Stories" and I remembered on of the most ridiculous things I was ever asked on the sound powered phones.

We were shooting Naval Gun Fire Support (NGFS) for score and after firing a number of rounds from my MK 42 5"/54 gun mount, Gun Plot asked me; "What was the lot number of the last round you fired?!  REALLY?!

This gun shot 34 rounds a minute,  The ammo was loaded into the automatic gun loading system three decks below where I was.  It randomly comes up through the gun loading system, firing at 34 rounds a minute and I am supposed to know what the lot number of the last round was?!!

So, I answered;  Just a moment, I will walk over to the beach and check!!

Another of my remembrances is the questions I got when the gun broke during a firing mission.  The first thing they boys in Plot ask was;  "What is the Estimated Time of Repair (ETR)?!  Really, it just broke.  I don't even know what is wrong, well enough how long it will take to repair it IF we have the parts!!

Another favorite of mine happened just after we loaded the entire gun loading stem with one type of ammunition. Then, Gun Plot would send down the order to Change the type of ammunition in the gun loading system.  Followed by; How long will that take?!

I often wondered just how stupid the originator of some of those questions actually was.

I also remember the first time we shot the gun on the USS Stein (DE/FF 1065).  The Weapons Officer drilled us on standard sound powered procedures for weeks.   Then the day of our first shoot came.  The Weapons Officer was stationed in CIC.  He talked to the Director Officer, who intern fired the gun.   SO, when the Captain said, "Put the gun in remote", the Weapons Officer told the Gunnery Officer, in the Director; "Swing her out and let her rip!!"

The Gunnery Officer ordered the gun mount to remote and ordered us to commence fire!  We shifted to remote and put the Gun Loading System in Auto Load.  Not long after that, we heard the "Cease Fire" alarm!!  Followed by the Captain screaming on the 1JV circuit!  Needless to say, he was not happy.  Not my fault!  But I was the first one to be accused of firing without "Batteries Released".  But, the truth finally came out.  Sound powered phone procedures be damned.

Now I know where this stupid questions came from.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The DECK moved!!

Recently, my wife had a serious fall.  We were walking the dogs, and her right leg gave way.  She fell like a tree that was chopped down.  She had a serious contusion t her right eye, but no permanent damage. Thank God.

That brought to mind my experiences riding various Destroyer Type ships in Uniform and as a Civil Servant.  To say the DECK moved on those ships is an understatement.

My first ship was a Forrest Sherman Class Destroyer.  They were beautiful ships.  The one I was on, the USS Mullinnix (DD 944) was a three gun ship.  Three 5"/54 MK 42 Gun Mounts and one twin mount 3"/50.  I have written about riding the "Mighty Mux" in rough weather before.  But the motion the deck had, in good weather or rough was unique.  The ship rose and fell as it cut through the water.  So, you were always experiencing positive and negative "G's".   That became a particular problem when you were transiting a vertical ladder.  One minute you weighed half your body weight, the next moment, you weighted three or four times your body weight!!  I bet you never thought of rough seas that way!

Then, the deck rolled from port to starboard.  As the weather increased, the intensity and speed of the rolls increased.  We once rolled 49 degrees!!  So, the ship is bouncing up and down., you are gaining and loosing weight, and the ship is rapidly rolling port to starboard to port!

Then there were the sudden stops!  Yes, when the ship ran into a large wave, for an intense moment the ship would fell like it STOPPED.  BOOM!  Then the ship would move again.  So, you were stooped, dropped, rolled and rose up, all at once!

Them, if you were out on the weather deck, you had to add salt water, salt spray, and sometimes, ice.  Oh, and a constant wind that sometime reached gale force.

But the amazing thing is very few of us ever fell and even fewer were injured.  I am amazed we could retain our balance in those changing deck conditions.

There is plenty of talk about the forces our Fighter Pilots endure in Air Combat.  But that lasts a maximum of 90 minutes.  Then they return to the safe, secure, un-moving decks of the Airplane Tender, or the CVN as they call it in the Brown Shoe Navy.

But, on a Destroyer, you get beat by rapidly changing "G" forces at various, changing, angles with unplanned, applied starts and stops, every minute of everyday underway!!  That takes it's toll on the body of the Destroyerman.

I have often said that a Navy ship is always one General Quarters Alarm away from Combat.   Well, I now maintain, we who ride Tin Cans, operate in a constant combat environment every day we are underway.

Thank about that the next time you back or knew hurt shipmates.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Russian Navy is now larger than the United States Navy!

I just read an article that the Russian Navy, thanks to their substantial ship building program, is bigger in numbers and capabilities than our Navy.  Of course, I have been telling you this for a while.

They have Cruisers that make our AEGIS Cruisers look like an FFG.  They have twice as many Attack and Ballistic Missile Submarines than we do and are now deploying them into the Gulf of Mexico and off of the United States East Coast.   Recently, the Russian Navy started adding Aircraft Carriers to their fleet.

It would seem to me that our Naval building program is anemic compared to what Russia is doing.  But the question is;  Why IS Russia building such a powerful blue water Navy?

That answer is found in the mission statement of the United States Navy;  To control the worlds oceans and intern control world trade.  You see, the mission statement of the United States Navy is just the opposite of the Russian goal.  So, our world goal and their world goal are in conflict!!!  That fact alone should cause you serious concern.  But it won't.

The vast majority of the American populace is asleep.  They are more concerned with their comfort, pot smoking, sexual perversions, and electronic devices, than the defense of the Homeland.  And Russia knows that!!

I will say one more thing I have been telling you for a long time.  That is, we are getting very close to being defeated without firing a shot!  As a matter of fact, without the use of Nuclear weapons, we are already defeated.   And that is why Russia acts without any impunity.  They know they have us beat.

If we have any chance of preserving our Country and our way of life, we must start building a first rate Military NOW!!   Not only ships, but young men that don't look like the Pillsbury Dough boy!  But, I fear we will just stay on our own, self-serving course to destruction.

But hell, what do I know.  You all are probably right!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Does CHANGE make a more combat ready Navy?

I saw some information that Command Advancements were being severely limited, so is the Sailor of the Quarter and Year Programs.  I have also seen that drinking is all but illegal, initiations are gone, and everyone we arts the same work uniform.  The question is: Has all this change made our Navy better in any way?!

We have far fewer ships and many of our new ships have far less capability that the ships they supposedly replaced.   And they have less "On Station " time that their World War One counterparts!  So tell me where are we better?

Another issue I believe requires addressing is immediate contact through email, chat, Skype, and who knows what else.  During a deployment, keeping your head in the game is paramount.  The most minute problem at home can take your mind away from doing your job.  And on a ship that has weapons that require micro second decision making, that distraction could, and I predict WILL spell  disaster.

All of these changes coupled with the fact that we have less than half the Navy we had in 1989 and a third of the Navy we had when I joined in 1969, leave us unable to fulfill the stated mission of the United States Navy.

Is any one of these issues more important than the other?  Truthful, ship population and capability should be the top concerns.  But, demoralized, distracted, poorly trained, poorly lead, sailors can sink the biggest, most capable Navy.

And, just to focus your mind.  The Russians just declared NATO, and in turn, The United States of America, their ENEMY!!

Maybe we need to rethink how we operate our Navy, soon!!