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

Friday, May 29, 2015

No SHOWERS!!

My first ship was the USS Mullinnix (DD 944).  It was powered by four 1200 psi boilers that consumed fresh water like I used to consume beer!  Like any Navy ship of that era, we made freshwater from Saltwater using evaporators.  Evaporators were notoriously inefficient.  Besides that, they leaked, were temperamental to sea water injection temperature rises, and broke down often.

Freshwater usage has priorities.  First, and foremost, the Boilers!!!  The ship has to move and needs electricity for the control and weapons systems.  Second is the Galley!  The crew has to eat.  Third is drinking water.  The crew must be hydrated.

You will notice that showers and laundry are not in the priority list!  Many times, we went for weeks without showers or clean laundry!!  Why, because we could not make enough freshwater to meet those needs.  So, we were  some smelly Sailors!

I also remember having to go alone side an Oiler two take on freshwater for the boilers!!   Let's face it, water was gas to a steam powered ship!

Today, the ships use reverse osmosis plants to make freshwater from saltwater.  These new plants are efficient, dependable, and make far more water that the ship needs.  All of the Combatants are Gas Turbine propelled.  No boilers and no feed water!!

Ah, the new Navy!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Monday is Memorial Day!

I see many posts on Facebook, talking about those who paid the PRICE for our Freedom.  Some folks mistakenly believe Memorial Day is meant to celebrate the sacrifice of those who served.  If you are a reader go my Blog, YOU KNOW that is wrong.  Memorial Day is for those who paid the Ultimate Price in the Service of our Nation!

I have also seen posts about the men who died in Vietnam.  Since our Nation treated those of us who served during the Vietnam was so badly, this is a welcomed thing for me to see.  But, it falls far short of the recognition, respect, and understanding we deserve.

Many men returned from Vietnam, breathing, walking around, and apparently unharmed, on the outside.  They look "normal" to the most casual observer.  But, they were not "normal".  They were not uninjured, and they were not functioning normally.  

Truthfully, they were "dead, inside".   Their names should be on the Wall at the Vietnam Memorial.  But, sadly, they are not.  When they lived, Americans were treated with disrespect, hatred, and disgust.  Many were drunks, drug users, and unable to function in society, as we do.  So, fellow Americans continued the torture of those who served in Vietnam.

I know a number of men who mentally died in Vietnam.  They were the walking dead of that war.  Unremembered, unrewarded, and now, leaving this World, without the gratitude of the Nation they served.

This Memorial Day, think, deeply about those forgotten warriors of the Vietnam war.  It is not too late to help them heal.  Maybe they can be returned to the living.

Decking a Celebrity

I had the honor and pleasure of meeting a number of Celebrities and famous people while in the Navy.  Most of them I met in the normal way anyone meets a well known person.  Introduction, Greeting, and handshakes, followed by small talk.  I did meet one Television and Movie celebrity in a more unique way.

I was the Command Master USS Caron (DD 970) and we were the open house ship for Parents Weekend at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.   A number of the Chiefs were drinking at a hotel bar, outdoors, on the waterfront.   We were in Summer Whites, so we were pretty conspicuous.  The Bar had a Head located in the parking garage.  I needed to relieve myself of some of the excess beer I had consumed and I was walking back from the Head, looking down, when I ran into a smallish man and knocked him on his back!  This gentleman had just stepped off a large, beautiful, sailboat.

I looked at the man I had "Decked" and said; "Hey, you are Dick Van Dyke!!"  He replied, as I helped him up; "I used to be!"  He was very gracious and I offered hims personal tour of the ship, but he did not accept.

I was sorry for my inattention.  I was sorry I knocked Dick Van Dyke on his back.  But, all in all, it is a funny story of a Sailor on Liberty, being a Sailor.  I am ashamed of most of those times too.  But, I learned from those times.   I always said, the only sin in making a mistake is not learning from it.  I did.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Veteran's Day!

Happy Veteran's Day!  It is a Holiday most don't pay attention too, but I do.   Since I spend a lot of my mental time thinking about my Navy career and talking about it anytime some poor unsuspecting soul even pretends to pay attention, Veteran's Day give me free license to remember.

It amazes me how little Americans know about the way of life of Enlisted personnel.   They seem to think we all walk around in Dress Uniforms, all starched and pressed, stop working at 4 PM for tea, and eat dinner at a proper dinning table at 6:30 sharp.   Either that, or Enlisted folks are the lackeys that server the Proper Meals and keep the engines running.

I have long given up trying to educate these morons.  But I do enjoy telling sea stories that have a certain raunchiness!  I love to see their eyebrows rise and the shock form on their faces!  For instance, no one ever believes we went 30 days underway on the USS Mullinnix without showers, brushing out teeth, cleaning the compartments, or free running drinking water!

The truth is, Veterans have sacrificed much to keep the uninformed upper crust secure in their starched, prim, and proper, life styles.   We have gone without adequate sleep, meals, sanitation, and equipment to keep America free.  We have held complicated, dangerous, systems together and operating with little more than bailing wire and bubble gum.  We have worked around the clock for three, four, even five days, without sleep, while trying to discover why that complicated system is not working.  Then, we sent the next day cleaning, shinning, and painting, to get ready for an inspection, a port visit, or an official visit from some Flag Officer!

Did anyone ever say Thanks?  Probably not, especially if you are a Vietnam vet!  No, we are the forgotten ones of the Nation.  Enlisted personnel, necessary, but not suffered, who are more of an embarrassment to the Genteel, landed gentry!   Yes, when the Nation wants to go to war, rescue some nation from a despot, or wants to flex our muscle, they treat us with apprehension, mistrust, and fake respect.  But, as soon as they are done wit us, they would rather we disappear and stay hidden.

I read an article that the premise was the Veteran's Administration was not ready for so many people to survive the recent events in the Persian Gulf!  They would rather we die than have to deal with us alive, injured, and a reminder that they sent us to war.  My view is just like the sign in the Antique Shop; "You break it, you bought it!"  Well, you broke us, so what is the VA going to do not.  Not much!  They delay, deny, and lie to us, hoping we die before they are forced to admit they broke us!

Veteran's Day.  Do I sound bitter?  Damn right I am bitter!  And you should be too.  But, don't be quiet about your bitterness!  Make a point to tell the Landed Gentry how you feel.  They need to know!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Unisex uniforms?

Since I joined the Navy in 1969, the Navy has changed uniforms more times than Joan Rivers had Face Lifts!!   We have even changed from and back to uniforms which probably was not an option to Ms. Rivers.  But the question should;  DO we need new uniforms?

The Marine Corps seems to keep their uniform changes to a minimum.  They seem to know how they want their personnel to look.  But now, the Navy is going to the stretch of ridicules.   Our Navy is experimenting with Unisex Uniforms!  Well, actually, when we brought out the Female White Jumper, when Bill Plackett was MCPON, was the start of the Unisex movement.

Women are not Men!  I hope that does not surprise anyone over 5 years old.  They are built different by our Creator.  If we want to recruit females that look like men, including close cut haircuts and flat chests, then one style of uniform is OK.  NOT!!!

The truth is, the Navy's leadership, and I use that term very loosely, is lost in the possibilities of gender neutral, social engineering!  You know my position on women in the Military.  I am against it.   Yes, Females have served with distinguished Honor in many capacities in the Military.   But, they were not made by God to be SEALS, Rangers, or in my estimation, in Combat!  And they should not be dressed as men.

This Social Engineering has been taken to the point of doing away with urinals on Navy ships because they give men an advantage!!  Heck, if females are equal in every way, they should have learned to stand up and pee by now!!  The truth is, they are not the same or equal with men in physical capabilities or mental toughness.  Yes, they are equal citizens, should be paid the same as men, and should have the same opportunities as men.  But, men cannot birth babies and females cannot impregnate men.  No, there is God designed order in this world and the Navy should NOT try to change that.

Let's let women design female uniforms and men design men's uniforms.   Or, the next thing you know, men's tee shirts will have those silly little hooks in the back!!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

North Korea fires BALISTIC Missile from a submarine?!

For those of you who regularly read my diatribes, here's one for you.  FoxNews reports that North Korea fired a BALLISTIC MISSILE  from a Submarine!!

That is news to me.  I did not know North Korea had that capability.  But, now, North Korea can park a Submarine off either coast of America and shoot a Ballistic Missile into our heartland.  Or, shoot a Ballistic missile and cause an EMP!!

This is a game changer in my estimation and I just don't hear the Talking Heads talking about this!  

We have more, extremely capable, enemies who are hell bent on our destruction, that we have had since World War Two.  And what are awe doing?  Scrapping our Military!!  GO figure!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Here is THE solution to the Military retirement problem

I see congress is trying to solve the perceived problem with the cost of Military retirements.  Numerous solutions have been presented over the last FORTY YEARS!!   None of them made any sense.  We even enacted one change a decade ago and then deleted it because it did not work.  Well, I will now present the ONLY  idea that will meet the Military needs and mission.

First, early Military retirement is a retention tool.  Skilled, trained individuals are needed to defend America and fight our Nations wars.  Those with the highest skills and experience are sought after by the Military for retention and by industry for employment.  That battle is fought with money and benefits.   And early retirement is one of those tools.  Yes, there are reenlistment bonuses for first and even second term personnel.  But, to keep that senior NCO or Mid Grade Officer, retirement is the carrot on the end of the retention stick

I realize Congress wants to reduce spending.  I also realize, the entitlement crowd wants to reduce Military spending and not entitlement spending to the pigs that suck on the teat of the government hog!  That would cost those politicians votes and in turn, their precious power positions!!  So, they attack the Military personnel that keep them secure,  That being said, here is a way to meet the needs of the Military and satisfy the self centered politicians that sell power.

First;  Reduce the retirement amount to 1% per year of service.  So, if someone retired with 25 years of service, his or her retirement check would be 25% of their base pay.  

Second;  Include the specialty pays in the retirement computation at a rate of 2.5% per year of service.  Presently, specialty pays are not included in the retirement computation.  But, if we added Sea Pay, Proficiency Pay, Flight Pay, Submarine Pay, the Special Pay the SEALS And EOD personnel draw, it would seriously increase the retirement pay for this extremely necessary personnel and there fore increase they retention!

Think about it, and individual drawing $600/month Sea pay at retirement with 25 years of service would increase their retainer/retirement pay check by $375 dollars a month!   The same would apply for the other specialty pays.

Why is this a good idea?  Because ALL of the Services need those who go out in the field or go to sea and do the Combat Mission!!!  

A retirement system like this would reward those who did the mission and not them who stayed in the rear with the beer and the gear!!

If it is time to reduce the compensation we as a Country give those who volunteer to fight the Nations wars, then, let us do thus in a manner that is most equitable.  Reward accomplishment, dedication, bravery, and sacrifice.  Give this who deploy, the benefits and reduce the benefits of those who sit on the side lines.

Then, we will see retention of our best trained, most needed personnel increase and the drop out rate of ethos on the side lines, both increase. This is a great way to save tax dollars and still meet the Military mission!!  In my opinion.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Nero fiddled while Rome burned. We, are playing video games!

You know the historic fairy tale about Emperor Nero playing his violin while Rome burned and fell.  Well, Americans are in the same ignorant, uncaring, self-centered position as Nero was!

If you watch ABC, NBC, or CBS, you would never know our country was in trouble.   And even FOX, only reports part of the real news.  But the truth is, our economy is in terrible shape, our Military has been decimated buy budget cuts and ten years of war, we have been dragged back into race riots by the people that make their fortunes off of such hatred, and our citizenry plays with their IPADS!!

I remember when I was the Force Master Chief for SURFLANT,  at my first CNO Advisory Panel, MCPON 3 commented after a rather heated discussion about a topic;  "You are talking about the exact same issues we talked about 30 years ago!

People who make their fortune off of other problems continue to drag us through the same dirt.  That, added to our inability to identify the enemy determined to irradiate America and Western Civilization is leading America to her death.

How do we fix this?  The real question is;  Do we want to fix this!? 
I believe the answer to that question is; NO!!

How can I say that?  Look at what the Big Three News shows cover?


Saturday, May 2, 2015

From the hall of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripolli

You probably know the words to the Marine Corps Hymn.  It covers the early history of the heroic acts of the United States Marines.   Until now, when ever Americans were in trouble, worldwide, the word was; "Send in the Marines!"   I will not bore you with my reports of past Marine actions.  You can read history on your own computer.

Why am I writing this?  Americans are trapped in Yemen and our Government has decided NOT to rescue them!!   Other nations have rescued their people.  But, our Government says it is too dangerous!!  REALLY!!  TOO DANGEROUS!!!   

I suspect the real treason is, our Muslim President does not want to upset his ISIS/Muslim Brotherhood friends.  He said as much, saying he did not want to have a confrontation with those in power in Yemen.

America has lost the respect of the entire world thanks to this buffoon.  And now, we have over 2000 people in harm's way in Yemen.  But, soon, they will not be a problem, because they will probably be dead!

Sorry to be so blunt.  But, the truth is the truth.  And, what is stopping this Islamic Terrorists from killing those Americans?  Nothing!  Exactly.

We are more pitiful in the opinion of the world than we were when the Iranians over ran the American Embassy in Iran and held the Americans hostage until President Reagan was Inaugurated.   President Reagan said, when he was Inaugurated, if the hostages were not released, he WOULD rescue them.  That promise, from a man they believed would launch Military actions, was enough to gain their release the evening of his Inauguration.  I was in on the telephone conference call, from the White House, when the Hostages were released.  I had the duty at BUPERS that night.

But, the man in the Oval Office is not cut from the same cloth.  Sorry to say.  It would appear, America's position in the world has been diminished to the place of being laughable.  Bt, I told you so...