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

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Good Bye!

The time has come for me to stop writing posts for "The Master Chief's Lair".  I began writing this blog.  Why?  First of all because I have progressed further down the road on my journey with Lewy Body Dementia.  And that disease is not seriously impacting my judgement and my short and long memory.  Truthfully, I am out of "Sea Stories" and personal experiences to write about.  And, the loss of my social filters leaves me vulnerable to write thongs about people and events that I should not write.  Finally, I simply do not have the mental energy to write both blogs and I want to continue to record everything I can about my LBD journey, until I am unable to write anymore.

I have had fun writing this blog and I appreciate each of you reading and commenting on my posts.  We did not always disagree and I respect the views and positions of those who did diskette with me.  I will admit I may have been wrong a few times.   But, I hope I was always accurate to my own memory of my life.

This was my way of telling my Navy story and telling you about some of the wonderful professionals I had the honor and pleasure to serve with.  Everyone I served with taught me something valuable.  Everyone I worked with after I retired from Active Service did the same.

Many of my shipmates have gone on to their reward.  James Smith, Vern Van Matre, Harold Wheeler, Bill Mowery, Dave Kelly, Larry Boyette, Tim Melody, John McGinn, Kevin Flynn, Kenny Colden, Hank Sahut, Silas Marshall, George Russell, Jerry Hudson, and many more that now escape recollection.  Others still are there for me and keep in contact and for that I am appreciative.

Again, I will continue to write the LBD Blog (Sharing my Life with Lewy Body Dementia) as long as I can.  But even that has become difficult and sensitive for me.  

Take care of yourselves.  Please try to keep in touch.  Never give up!!

Your friend and Shipmate to the end;
Don Dolence

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Veteran Suicide Epidemic!! Do you care?

The Head of the VA said after Desert Storm, that the NEVER expected so many of us to survive!!  They were shocked that we did and probably unhappy that we did!  And after we come home, the lack of care we receive, or better said, do not receive, is making us, the Veteran Community, to realize that no one really care about us and in fact, those in power in our Government, actually wish we would just shut up and die!!  And that is what we are doing, committing suicide!  That is what the Government wants isn't it?!

I have my Wife and my best friends Jerry and Marcia who care deeply for me.  SO I am better off than most.   But still, I know no one in the VA or any other Governmental agency gives a darn about me.  My Congressman, Jeff Miller, who is the Chair of the House Veteran's Affairs Sub-Committee has done NOTHING FOR ME!!

When you see a Vet committee suicide it is because He or She has finally given in t the fact that no on in our Country cares about them.  If you did, you would hold Congress, the VA, and the President accountable.  But, you don't!  As long as you are comfortable, the Vets are someone else problem.    Maybe we should start committing suicide on your front porch!!  Or in your living room!! Or, in your Church Club that you attend every Sunday!   But sadly, even that would not shake you from your comfort zone.  So here is the plan:

You comfortable, well off, never did anything to defend America, landed Gentry morons defend America from the Islamists.  We quit!!  

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

We learned a lot in the Navy!

I was on a trip to visit relatives in the Midwest.  Nice visit, but I had a past lesson renewed.   We learned a lot in the Navy!!   But it stands to reason since we had to do everything on our ship!  There was no one else!   And, with the exception of Warrant Officers and Line Officers that stayed in the Engine Rooms, I never knew an Officer that could fix a damn thing!!!

But I knew plenty of Enlisted Men who could troubleshoot complicated electronic, hydraulic, mechanical, and pneumatic systems, while under extreme pressure, like; "This thing is going to BLOW UP any minute", type of stress!

For instance, I commissioned the USS Leftwich and worked day and night, in port and at sea, to keep two MK 45 gun mounts, made by GE, running.  Both of these Gun Mounts were NOT manufactured with the latest changes because FMC had not provided that info to GE when they won the contract to compete with FMC!   The result was, I worked 20 hours a day, to figure out the hidden issues in these sub-par gun mounts.  Did my Divo or Department Head help.  Help?!  They never understood what the issues were.  And the Captain of the ship did not even know we did not have manually controlled gun mounts!! TRUE!!  Not to mention he ordered me to violate publishes Ordnance Safety Precautions!!

Then there is Damage Control!  I knew DC like the back of my hand.   Most good Chiefs did.  I knew all the deck rigging, including refueling rigs.  I could splice like, wire rope, drive boats, lower and recover boats, and do all of this safely.  Try that Sir!

But, being up in the Midwest reinforced to me that the majority of Americans are with uninformed or totally stupid.  People who do not know we are almost $20 billion in National Debt sold not be allowed to vote!!  People that do not know out Nation's Military is a mere shell of itself, not to mention we have the smallest Navy since before World War I, should have their Citizenship revoked.  People that do not know the difference between a person who migrates to our country legally, using the laws of America to gain legal access and employment and the person who snuck into our Country and hides in the shadows, not paying taxes but getting all the benefits of America, should be deported themselves!!  When did Americans get so stupid?!

The man who raised me quit school in the Sixth Grade to work the family farm.  Yet, he was very intelligent and very informed!!  He read the news like his life depended on it!  And it did.  But now, Americans watch "Naked and Afraid" or "America has Talent".  And they get their news from the American Communist Party, commonly called the Democratic Party.  No one knows American History.  They only know what the NBC, CBS, ABC, and NPR talking heads tell them.

I know how to do things on Navy ships that today's engineers don't understand.  And I know when someone is pissing down my neck and telling me it is raining!!  How about you? Is your color wet?  From what?!  Are you sure?!  I doubt it!!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Miss handling of Classified data

If I lost one classified Tech Manual or Message, if the CMS Custodian lost one classified change, if we lost a burn bag during the burn run, or if one "For Official Use Only" document turned up in the trash the MAA had to search before it was dumped over the stream, someone's career was done!

I know a Gunner's Mate Missiles, that used to be a Cryptologist.  He went to China with President Nixon as a CT.  He married a foreign National and "BOOM" he was no longer a CT!!

Look folks, the rules do not apply equally in our Country any more!!  And if you vote for Hillary Clinton, if there even is an election, you are voting to Communism in America!!

I don't care if you agree or like what I am saying, I speak the truth!!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Transgenders in the Military

You know I do not agree with Homosexuals in the Military.  I do not agree with people having sexual changes.  I do not agree with Sexual Orientation being you choice of which head you use.

But, this Transgender thing may be good.  How?  Well, in my case, I lie women.  I like to look at naked women, see them shower, see them in their skivvies, watch them bend over to put their pants on!  So, since I am a smart Heterosexual man, I would start to grow my hair long, put on a little make up, wear ping frilly skivvies, and maybe even get a bra with some padding.  Then, they will let me live in the Female birthing and use the Female Head and Showers!!  I will be in Heterosexual Male heaven!!

Sounds like a great idea to me!!  Oops!  I am married.  Then I am against this Transgender thing!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The reality of the Navy's Personnel Management

Before I was the Gunner's Mate Detailer, I had no idea how BUPERS did anything.  I thought the Detailer was in total control of every manning decision.  I thought he decided who got personnel and who didn't.  Boy was I surprised when I got the BUPERS.

Let me explain this with a story.  One day, Captain Paul Sovey, NAVSEA 62Y1, Head of Naval Gunnery, called me and told me to be at a meeting at an office building close to my offices.  I forget the name of the building, but I go there and went to the assigned floor and room.  He never told me the reason for the meeting.

In that room was three Admirals, more Captains than I could count, and Commanders serving coffee!  There were some vert senior Civilians in the Ordnance world that I recognized.  I thought that was the wrong room for me since I was the ONLY Enlisted Person within ten floors!! So, I walked past the door and headed out to find where I really belonged.  Captain Sovey came out and caught me and told me to get a cup of coffee and find a seat.

I sat in the back of the room, next to Big John Morris.  I found out eh meeting was being chaired by the Head of the Naval Supply System, and the two other Flags were Cruiser Destroyer Group Commanders.  The topics of the meeting was the dependability of the MK 42 and MK 45 Gun Mounts.  The presenter was a Supply Commander from SPCC Mechanicsburg.  He had a very slick presentation that was full of bullshit!  And when the Supply Admiral asked him why he did not delineate between the MK 42 and MK 45 Gun Mounts, he replied; "They are the same Gun Mount.  One is just newer!"  Well, me being a hard headed Senior Chief, who had all the tact God originally issues me, I raised my hand to be heard.  The Supply Admiral looked and me and said; "Who are you!?"  I introduced myself and politely, for me, told the Admiral; "The only thing the same between the MK 42 and the MK 45 is the projectile!"  The Admiral turned to Captain Sovey and asked: "Is this true?'  Captain Sovey said it was and the Admiral told the Supply Commander;  "You finished, Sit Down!"

Later, the discussion turned to manning and Captain Sovey said; "That os why I brought Senior Chief Dolence."  I explained that EPMAC had just deleted all of the GMGC billets on all of the MK 42 and MK 45 ships!  The two Group Admirals jumped out of their skin!!  They said, almost in unison; "You mean we will have 20 of these ships and no Chief's?"  I replied Yes.  Then they asked me how I let this happen?

My real explains how little people know about the Navy's personnel management.  Over the Admiral's Desk in BUPERS used to be a sign that said: "Anyone who likes Hot Dogs and the Navy's Personnel Policies should NOT see any of them made!"   This is the total truth.

The N1, Personnel Head, of CINCLANT and CINCPAC Fleet make all of the manning decisions.  They set manning levels based on deployments, and other magic formulas only they know.  Then, they tell EPMAC the build the requisitions that the detailers fill.

I told those Admirals they needed to contact their Fleet Commanders about this topic and that was it.  A month later, in the new requisition cycle, there were GMGC billets for all of the MK 42 and MK 45 ships on both coasts!!!  Evidently those two Admirals talked to their Fleet Commanders.  And evidently the wisdom and planning of Captain Paul Sovey worked like a charm!!  Sometime being devious is better than being powerful!

Monday, June 20, 2016


I was the GMG Detailer from 1980 to 1983.  That was truly the best job I had in the Navy because I got to help other Gunner's Mates promote!  I sent more young and not so young Gunner's Mates to "C" School and then sent them to billets that helped them promote.  The rest was up to them!  And, many of them took advantage of the opportunities and performed above and beyond and that got them promoted.

But, funny things happened there also.  One day, GMGC Gene Veldhouse answered the telephone and got into a heated discussion with the Commanding Officer of a ship.  The conversation got to a point that Gene needed to pass the call to our Branch Master Chief.  So, Gene said:  "Captain, we have reached the point where i cannot help you.  Would you like to talk to our Two Star?"  The Captain, replied;  "Yes, I would like to talk to the Admiral."  Gene put the Captain on hold and said loudly;  "Master Chief, Line two!"  Without any warning, Master Chief Tisdale picked up Line two and ran smack into a pissed off Captain, who thought he was going to talk to an Admiral!  Master Chief Tisdale was not happy after that call, but Veldhouse was laughing!

When I first got to NMPC I was having difficulty navigating around D.C.  Many of us lived on the Base at Dahlgren, 63 miles from work!  It was a great place to live and we carpooled so it relieved the strain.  But, sometimes things happened.  Like, one morning, GMGC Jerry Hart was driving and the rest of us were sleeping,  I was in the front seat and I woke up, thinking we were close to work.  I saw a freeway sign go over hear that said; Gaither'sburg, next five exits!  I said to Jerry, where are we?  He said, I don't know, but it's pretty!

We got to work a little late!  Like...10:30!!  Master Chief Armstrong was upset, to say the least.    We all went to work and things calmed down.  But, at 11:30, I got up and started to walk out.  Master Chief Armstrong asked, BRUSQUELY;  Where are you going?   Lunch I replied.  I am hungry!!  He steamed!!!  But, I ate lunch.

Another funny thing happened to the Electronics's Technician Dertailer.  I don't remember his entire name, but his first name was Dick and he got angry because some shore command wanted to OP HOLD a sailor that had orders to an Aircraft Carrier.  Dick wrote an message telling the Command requesting the OPHOLD flame spraying them for asking to OPHOLD a sailor on Shore Duty, when that is not permitted in the BUPER's Manual, and referring to the fact that that request would short change a deploying Aircraft Carrier!  He intended to send the message to CINCLANT Fleet and everyone else!  He took that message to our Commander for release.  The Commander told Dick to rewrite the message and say: In response to ref A, ref B remains in effect.  In other words, transfer the sailor as we told you!!  Dick said Aye Aye!  Re wrote the message and the Commander released it.   

But, somehow, the original message was sent!!  Well, when our Commander figured that out, he was furious!!  He summoned Dick to his cubicle and was just about to rip his head off, when he received a telephone call from the N1 (Personnel) from CINCLANT Fleet.  The Captain personally commended our Commander for supporting the Fleet!!  The ass chewing was deferred!!

I enjoyed my time as the Gunner's Mate Detailer.  I believed I served the community and my fellow Gunner's Mates well and faithfully.  When I left NMPC, I went to sea on a Destroyer, deployed!!  So, I held myself to the same standard I held everyone else to.  No one can ask for anything more than that.  

I love the Navy and I loved being a Gunner's Mate.  I miss those days!!    

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Please tell me they are not gambling for money!

When I was the new Command Master Chief on the USS Caron (DD 970) the Captain and I were walking past the Crews Lounge one night when we were underway.  There were a group of men playing cards in the Crews Lounge.  They had a blanket over the table and cards and chips were in use.  The Captain saw this and in his concern for their financial well being, he told me; "Please tell me they are not playing cards for money!"  So, I said; "OK, they are not playing cards for money!"  I got a very stern look!!  Then I told him, I will go back and shut that down in a few minutes!

He explained his concerns to me and I apologized for my glib reply.  But, at that time in the Navy, playing cards for money was common.  Just the same, many Sailors overextended themselves in gambling debt!  Those debts caused bad feelings for everyone.  So, the Captain's concern was warranted.

This came back to my memory because of the many O-6's that live in our community.  Many of them never had a relationship with a senior Enlisted Member.  Especially, those of us from the "Old Navy".  I am forever saying something sarcastic or pointed that they have never experienced before.

I am glad to be the individual that broadens their experience level, even at their advanced ages!!  See, I do have a mission here.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

More Navy Characters I remember

I was on the USS Mullinnix (DD 944) as a young Seaman Apprentice.  I was blessed enough to get to strike for Gunner's Mate and one of the First Class Gunner's Mates, who was the Work Center Supervisor of Mount 52, was GMG1 Sam Johnson.   Sam was a character!

He was a single, career sailor that lived onboard the ship, did not have a car, and was fun to be with.  He had many "Lady Friends" in Norfolk, our home port, and they always showed up on payday!  The Quarter Deck Watch would pass the word; "GMG1 Johnson, Lay to the Quarter Deck!"  Sam would tell me;  "Go up and see who it is, if it is not my sister, tell them I am not onboard!"  Now, I am not talking about one or two women coming to the shop on payday.  It was more like 6 or 7 women, insisting Sam was aboard and needed to see them!

Sam also refused to wash White Hats!  He would purchase White Hats by the dozen. When they were dirty, he threw them away!  Now, in 1969, a White Hat cost about a Quarter.  But, even an E-6 who lived on the ship and did not have a car, was not rich! But, Sam insisted it made sense.  At lowest it did to him.

Sam's relief came aboard the ship about six months before we deployed to the Med.  Sam was ecstatic since he had been on the ship for over SEVEN YEARS!!  But, about a month before we deployed, GMG1 Phillips, Sam's relief, was shot and killed in Washington D.C.!!  Sam deployed with us, complaining and cackling all the way!

As I remember it, the Navy was fun back then.  Most of us lived on the ship.  We formed strong social and professional bonds.  We played cars, told sea stories, and read paperback books.  It was a simpler time, less hectic, with more fellowship.  We watched out for each other on liberty and on the ship!  The First Class Petty Officers actively mentored us, 24/7!  Everything was a teaching moment.

I feel sorry for the Sailors of today.  I do not believe they have the same "Shipmate" experience I had.

Friday, June 3, 2016

No Congressional Support for the Navy

 I read an article written by retired rear Admiral Hall, whom I have no contact with, that made the case that Congress is not allocating money to upgrade the Arleigh Burke DDG's while spending BIG MONEY on the anemic now named FF's!

I have written before about the little, close to the coast, underarmed, no armor, no station keeping capability, coastal targets that the Navy bought.   Then, when we do spend money on a "Real" combatant, we use untested, untried, technology.  Look at the Zumwalt Class DDG.  Electric pod propulsion?  It is great for merchant ships that are never expected to g to war.  But I just cant wait to see how the Zumwalt does in Shock Trials.

Then there is the USS Gerald Ford, a nuclear powered CVN that cannot launch planes, find planes join the air, or get underway, even though every penny the Pentagon could sweep up has been spent on this electronic folly.  Tell me;  What was wrong with the existing CVN design?  And by the way, the Navy is removing the Ford from Newport News Ship Building and giving it to some "Down the River" yards to try to make it work, cheaper.  I just can't wait to see how this turns out!    This has waste, fraud, and abuse, followed by failure, written all over it!

In another article, published by USNI, the real threats from Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea were openly discussed.  We are way behind our collective enemies, just as I have said many times.  But, we have transgenders, gays, Satan Worshipers, and lesbians, serving openly!  Hey, that should make us Combat Ready!!  Oh, and remember, our Navy has outlawed the urinal!!

I would take on our Navy with a group of 2200 ton Destroyers from World War Two, and a crew of drunk sailors that actually knew their jobs; AND WIN!!!

Yes, I am angry and disappointed in the so called leadership of our Navy and our Military.  Is there any Flag Officer that has the BALLS to wave the Bull Shit Flag!!   Probably not.  Obama had them all fired.

I challenge you to look for these articles and others that are truly representing where we are as a Navy.  You will be as depressed as I am.  Sorry.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The "Class" System is alive and well!

I have written before about not really fitting in here at Azalea Trace.  Today, I was told why!   Let me tell you about it.

Every month we have a "Floor Party" where all of us on the first floor of the building we live in, get together, bring snacks, and socialize.  It is a good time and we tell sea stories, discuss daily events and tell jokes.  Everyone has been very nice and hospitable to us, until today.  I was talking to the daughter of a very dear woman who lives on our floor.  This woman is in Hospice and is seeing her final days.  I was trying to engage the daughter in conversation.  She was a Librarian, so I had much to discuss.  She lives in Upstate New York, close to where our Son and Daughter in Law lived, so I had things to discuss there.  She asked me what I did for a living and I told her about my Navy career.  That is when she showed her upper class, "My Daddy is an Officer" attitude!  When I told her I went t work for the Navy as a Civil Servant after I retired she said; "That's how you amassed enough money to live here!"  She said that looking down her nose as if to say, "how bad it is to have Enlisted Trash living here."  I did not let it show, but I was hurt.

Now I know why we have not fit in.  There are three other Enlisted Men living here and all of them hide the fact.  Me, I am either too proud or too stupid to hid the fact that I was a Master Chief Gunner's Mate.  Not to mention the Force Master Chief of the Surface Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.  But, none of these Airedale Officers know what a Force Master Chief is!  No, I am just enlisted trash!!

I really am getting tired of this stuff and since my social filters are about gone, some day I AM going to explode!   But, today, I kept my cool.  And yes, I did tell my wife.  And then  asked her to be cool also.I may have made a mistake believing I could be accepted in "Polite Society".  How could I ever think, the upper crust would accept me, an illegitimate child, raise by people that he was not related too, who grew up in a Blue Collar family, and Enlisted Man, who they only see value as a Head Cleaner, who married well, and had to go to Civil Service to make enough money to scrape up the money to live here!!

I have been hurt by people who thought they were better than me, my entire life!   It will never end because I will not hide who I am or how I grew up.  I am a success story!  I could have decided to be a "Victim" like so many people do.  But I did not.  We are debt free, never late on a bill.  Owned 8 homes in out life together.  We support my Wife's parents in their old age.  I graduated from College with a BA in Human Relations Management, Cum Laude, at 41.  I made Master Chief in 14 ½ years!  I was the Honor Graduated of Class 9 of the Senior Enlisted Academy.  I was promoted to GS 13 and was a Branch  Manager of three different branches.  Not to mention I was the Branch Head they sent on all the tough assignments like the Persian Gulf.  I was the only individual that insisted we send Combat Systems technicians on the USS Cole recovery team, saving $10 million in repairs because we preserved the SPY 1 radar arrays!!

For the most part, I don't like Officers.  Most of them have their heads up their asses.  They think they know everything, but the truth is, if you give them a screw driver or a Meter Lead, they would put their eye out!   Yes, they can fly airplanes, but they can't fix them.   Surface Warfare Officer can drive a ship, but the don't know how the systems work.  I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked on the sound powered phones when the Gun Mount broke; "Can you give ma a ERT?  The Captain wants the know."   Give me break, I just told you it was broke.  I haven't had 5 seconds to troubleshoot the damn thing!  It is a complicated, Electro Hydraulic monster controlled by a Logic Computer.  There are thousands of moving parts that move ammo that weighs hundreds of pounds there decks, to a moving gun mount and a moving gun barrel at 20 rounds a minute!!  Dumb Ass!

So, I have had my "Class System" immersion for the day!   I think I will go shoot myself!  I hate Officers and their kids!!  Snooty brat!!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Once upon a time, I knew something, and had value...

There was a time, I was the one the Captains and the Admirals came to for honest answers to hard problems.  In a manner of speaking, I was important to the mission.   I knew what I was doing and I knew my Rating and almost everything on the Ship I was serving on.  I knew, in depth, Damage Control, Deck Seamanship, how the Engineering Plant operated, Navigation, Radars, and of course, all of the Weapons Systems.   I have written before about "Hot Gun, Foul Bore" Emergencies that I was the only individual in charge.

Those were good days.  They unfortunately are gone.  Now, I live with a bunch of self-centered retired Military Officers, Professors of Letters, who spent their lives in College, and more Doctors than a good Hospital would have.  All of them think they are the only ones who know anything and that I could  never know anything because I am an Enlisted Man!  They have absolutely NO EARTHLY IDEA what I did in the Navy.  How there served in any Military and have such a low esteem for Enlisted personnel, especially Senior Enlisted Personnel, is beyond me.

But, our Country is being ran, from the halls of the Pentagon, by these little men!!  They make decisions based on their vast experience that is limited to what the read in some class in a College.  These little men still believe America is the sole, strongest, Military in the world.  Boy are we in trouble.  Oh, and the vast majority of these little men vote democrat, lockstep!  They did not even like President Reagan.

I am not foolish enough to think we cane dig ourselves out of the abyss the Progressives have put us in.  And the sitting or should I say, the golfing President has ran every American Officer out of the Military and turned the entire military into a social experiment with LGBT leaders, and little men in pink silk skivvies doing nothing.   And the only real men are trying to screw every straight female left!  What a mess!

When I lived in the Tidewater area and was in constant contact with other Senior Enlisted Personnel, I never realized, or maybe I forgot, how arrogant Officers were.  When I was on the ship, I saw some arrogance,  but most of the command level Officers were team players and respectful of anyone who knew what they were doing.

Now, I am just venting some steam because of a conversation I had with a retired Marine Intel Officer.  He told me he used to work for Secretary Lehman.  So did I!  I briefed him twice a year when I was in my Force Master Chief job.  Hell, I probably had more access to the Secretary of the Navy that that Marine O-6 did!!

Oh well.  Being retired, out of the loop, and important to no one hurts the ego.  It is what it is!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Today I tried to contact the VA!

My Congressman's Offices is useless as tits on a Boar Hog.  So, I tried to contact the VA, using their supposed helpful Internet process.  That mess alone is enough to drive me to extraction.  They expect me to remember pass words, log in names, Hey!  I have dementia!  I can hardly remember my Wife's name!!

The VA has no telephone number to call and ask about pending claims that I can find.  Why is that?  Because they do not care!!  They just want me to die.  They do have a Suicide line to call.  But I am not sure if they give you instructions as to how TO COMMIT SUICIDE of if they try to talk you out of it.  I suspect, if they are denying your claim, they try to talk you pout of suicide and if they approved your claim, they tell you the best way to kill yourself, quickly!!  Budget restraints you know.

They only need us when they want us to go to war for them!  I quit.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Do you want to know why so many Veterans commit Suicide?   It is because no one cares about us!  Veterans are the inconvenient truth that everyone ignores!!  If we call the "Suicide Help Line", we get put on "HOLD"!  That is a true fact that has been proven recently.

My Congressman, Jeff Miller, is the Chairman of the Veteran Affairs Sub-Committee!  And he and his staff have done NOTHING for me in my appeal with the Veterans Administration (VA).

Even what I was in Boot Camp, I was cared for.  My Company Commander cared about me and for me.  He watched out for me and made sure me, and the 74 other men in my Company were fed, given medical attention and were where we were supposed to be.  Now, that I am retired, there is no one who cares!!

I have never felt so worthless, unwanted, and bothersome to the people of the Nation I dedicated 40 years too, in some very dangerous conditions.  But, the VA does not process my claims or appeals in a professional manner.  No instead, my appeal has bee on ignore got 6 years.  Te DAV has helped and they even paid for an attorney to help with the appeal.  Buttons, everything is on ignore.

Veterans are nice to have photographs taken wit if you are running for office.  Then, the Politician washes his hands as to not get contaminated by the plague us Vets carry!!   I actually saw the Mayor of Virginia Beach shake the hands of the Sailor of the Year  and then go DIRECTLY to the Head and wash her hands.  She never even stood close to an Enlisted person all evening.

We commit suicide because we are ignored and treated like we are unwanted and despised.  Everyone in the Government wish we would all just die!!  And some of us do.

Friday, May 6, 2016

I never thought I would get this old!

This is my Birthday Season, as my best friend, Jerry, says.  I never thought I would ever get this old.  Many of my counterparts in age and Military seniority have already passed away.  Some of them, right after their Retirement from the Navy.  Some from accidents, like Master Chief Bobby Scott, and some from disease most likely directly or indirectly caused by their Military service, like Master Chief Harold Wheeler, Master Chief Tim Melody, Master Chief William Vern Van Matre, Master Chief James Andrew Smith, Master Chief Charlie Kamler, and Senior Chief Gene Veldhouse.  There are others that my memory fails on.  But, I remember when they died, and it was way too early.

Some have lived long, productive lives after their Military careers, like Master Chief Tom McKenna, MCPON Del Black,  Chief James Upton,  Senior Chief Morris Lewis, Chief Silas Marshall, and others.  But, with the exception of Tom McKenna, the rest of these men died well before the average age of death for males in the US!  And even Tom died before he was 80!

Death of our friends and family members brings our own mortality very close.   Many of us have friends with serious diseases that will lead to death.   And we watch as they deal with their diseases, knowing we could be next to walk that plank!

The life expectancy of Career Navy Gunner's Mates is much shorter than the life expectancy of others, Enlisted and Officer.  Now, maybe I just do not see the life expectancy of Career Enlisted Men in other ratings like Machinist Mates, Boiler Technicians, or Yeomen.  But, somehow, I think I am right.

Why is this?  It could be the constant sea duty we used to ensure.  It could be the long hours we worked, everyday, week in and week out.  It could be the neurotoxic, carcinogenic fluids we breathed, swallowed, were bathed in, and had forced in cuts.scrapes, and wounds.  Or, it could be the nuclear contamination we were exposed too in the 1960-1990 period.  Whatever it is, we are dying from IT at an increasing rate.

I feel empty because of the loss of these shipmates.  I see my life passing before my eyes when I have dreams and daytime hallucinations involving my experiences with these men.  Unless Jesus returns soon, we will all experience physical death.   I know this, but as I turn another date on the calendar, I realize I have lived about as much as I am going to live.  Most of those who I served with have already passed on.  I miss them and realize we were our own support group.  I miss that camaraderie.  Nothing can replace that.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

250,000 views that keep me going!

Today, this blog went over a quarter million views!   When my wife and neurologist encouraged me to start these two blogs, I never thought so many people would want to read what I thought and wrote. But, here we are at 250k views on the Master Chief's Lair and over 200k views of my Lewy Body Dementia blog.  I am humbled indeed.

Each comment I receive from you, the readers, helps me feel better, decreases my depression, and encourages me to continue.  I especially enjoy remembering my time in the Navy.  Those were the best days of my life.  One thing I have learned living at Azalea Trace.   Those of you who served in any branch of the Military, except the Navy, had a boring time!  And it seems ALL Officers did also.  No one has any Sea Stories, except the Airdales who want to talk about flying airplanes with their hands!  But, no stories about wild nights on liberty, no stories about fixing equipment that went FUBAR in the worst possible timing, and no Sea Stories about the quiet times at sea.  No, I am convinced only Enlisted Men in the U.S. Navy had any fun at all!  And boy did I have fun!

So, as I have said on both blogs before, I will keep writing as long as I can and as long as it helps me.  Please keep those card and letters coming.  And most important, Thank you for being there when I most need you!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Well, here we are!

The Chinese refused a port call to Hong Kong for an American Aircraft Carrier.  The Russians have aggressively harassed U.S. Navy ships in the Med.  The North Koreans have launched long range ballistic missiles from land and now from submarines.  China has built islands in the Sea of Japan and them militarized them.  And now, the Militant Islamic hoards, backed and controlled by the Muslim Clerics in Iran, have broached the Green Zone and trashed the standing, elected, government in Iraq.  It seems America has been reduced to a sniveling wimp!!

This is the results of a weak to non-existent U.S. Navy and poor, even weaker leadership from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and Congress.

The aggressor nations know when America is weak.  Hell, a blind man on a galloping horse could see we are the weakest we have been since before World War One!!   But, the fact that makes this even more frightening is the fact that we have lost our manufacturing base!

During World War Two, we built a second to none military machine.  Today, we buy our steel from overseas, our cars, even American names, are made in foreign countries, and we import food, and our medicines are made overseas!  Without a strong Navy to keep the trade routes open, America will not be able to produce anything!

But, the leftists want to have $15 minimum wages, free collage, free health care, and welfare for those who do not want to work!  All of this at the expense of the military budget and especially the capitol costs of shipbuilding.  It truly is a sad state of affairs.

Americans, do not see the truth.  They are blinded by their IPhones, iPads, Virtual Reality Games, Movies, Twitter, electronics sex, and their constant cry for protection zones from bad words.  We have become a Country of pansies.

I have told you before that I do not believe America can or will turn around.  What I have seen in the last weeks verify my statements.  No matter who is supposedly elected, America is finished!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

UA for 90 days!!

Back in 1978, when I was on the USS Stein (FF 1065) for the second time, I was on the Master At Arms Force.  Back then, Petty Officers did the Leadership jobs like Master At Arms and Career Counselor.  We did not have specialty ratings to do what every Petty Officer and Chief Petty Officer was supposed to do as part of their normal job of leadership!!

That being said, a young fellow in Deck Force had been on Unauthorized Absence for 90 days or so.  The local police in Orange County California picked the young fellow up and he was returned to us.  The Captain awarded him a Court Martial.  I was assigned as the Bailiff for the Court Martial which was being held at the Naval Legal Services Office in San Diego.  I was a GMG1 at the time.  So, I put on my Tropical White Long uniform and went to the proceedings.  My job was to bring the individual in, make sure he did not escape, keep the Court Martial board's water glasses filled, and handle any evidence.

This young Seaman Apprentice was UA off of Emergency Leave because if Father had died.  Did I mention we were in San Diego and the young fellow was on leave in Orange County, California, about 150 miles away from us?  Keep that in mind.

This young fellow hired a civilian lawyer to represent him, as is his right.  The attorney had a big stack of papers to present to the court.  The young fellow's sole defense was that it took all the money he had to bury his dearly departed Father.  And that the Funeral Home Director, an unscrupulous cad, would not even embalm his Father until the bill was paid in full!

The defense attorney placed this young fellow on the stand and asked him to tell his sad tale of woe and deception.  The young fellow was crying and sniffling.  He had to stop to compose himself and wipe his nose a couple of times.  The JAG Captain, that was the presiding official of the Court Martial had just about enough when the Attorney asked;  What the young fellow had been doing for 90 days.  The young fellow tearfully replied that he had been looking for a job to make enough money to get back to San Diego!!

The JAG Captain jumped up in his judges stand, threw his hands in the air, and screamed!  "You little lying sack of shit, you could have walked back in 90 days!!"

The paid Attorney threw his defense papers in the air, the young fellow returned to his seat for a few minutes before I escorted him to the Brig!!

That was a fun day I will never forget!!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Shipboard Security

Back in 1982, I got in a rather heated argument with a Marine Corps O-6.  It was at a meeting discussing the weapons used on Navy ships for security.  I was there because I was the senior Gunner's Mate in Washington DC at the time.   This O-6 had it n his mind that every Sailor must be Marksman qualified.  I told him it was all I could do to get half of the crew familiarized with weapons and that we did not have enough ammunition to train that many sailors in Marksmanship.  Of course, he was a Marine!  And ALL Marines are Marksmen.

At this point, let me interject that the best Military Service in the USA is the Marine Corps!!  Their people are trained one way, the Marine way!  It works, for them.  Every Marine is a Rifleman!  Let me repeat that; Every Marine is a rifleman!  They do not have career ratings that only do that job.  At least in the Enlisted ranks.  Everyone shoots!!

 During our discussion, I told the panel and this very determined O-6 that having M14's and M16's on Navy ships for security was dumb!  Below deck, in a steel ship, a miss will result in ricochets that will kill us a d damage equipment more than the intruder!  The same goes for whatever pistol we are using.  The best shipboard security weapon is a 12 gage shotgun filled with OO Buck!   I think you can understand my view.

The Marine asked me how I would take a sniper out of a tower that was shooting at the ship.  I calmly told him, with my 5"/54 Gun Mount.  The panel agreed with me and the requirement to train all sailors to the Marksman level was abandoned.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

DO you ever WONDER what the procurement Admirals are thinking?

For instance, the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB).   We replaced the Motor Whale Boats and Captain's Gigs on Destroyers, Cruisers, and other Naval Ships with one, RHIB.  We use these boats to ferry the crew on liberty, Boarding Parties, Rescuing downed pilots, and other survivors in the sea.  For decades, since before World War I, we used the Motor Whale Boat (MWB).  It is tough, resilient, seaworthy, easy to maintain, and it has a tradition.  We had competitions within Squadrons, Divisions, and Type Commanders between ships dressing up our MWB.  How can you make a blow up boat pretty?

Not to mention the RHIB is easy to sink!   Trust me, running into a submerged object will rip the side bladder open and down you go!

I can't help but think someone go a "Kick Back" over purchasing enough RHIB's to equip our Navy.  Not to mention every MWB and Captain's Gig was either scrapped or sold as salvage!

I habe discussed other high tech volleys foisted on us by the Navy's Engineering Duty Officer Community, like the SPS-73 Surface Search Radar, the MK 92 Fire Control System, and the LCS.  All colossal wastes of money, useless to a blue water navy, and more expensive to maintain than anything they replaced.  In the case of the SPS-73, we spent 15 years, many modifications, and millions of dollars of funding to scrap this radar that never met any spec required by the Surface Navy.

In a time of budget constraints we need to be honest about our procurement process.  It bends to be driven by the "War Fighters", not the "Desk Jockeys".  If a system, ship, or small boat does not meet the "War Fighter's" specifications, it should not be purchased.  And while I am at it;  The Navy needs to KILL the "Not Invented Here" attitude of the ED Community!  Many times, existing technology meets or exceeds our needs and is much less expensive to deploy and maintain.

But, what the Hell do I know, I am just a Master Chief Gunner's Mate, Surface Warfare qualified, Bridge Watch qualified, and nearly EOW qualified on a DD 963 class. I was on a Major Staff twice, was a Branch Head in Civil Service for Programs and Radar and Electronic Navigation Systems.   But,  I am not an Officer, especially not a Engineering Duty Officer.  So, my opinion is worthless.  Right!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

"Whose gonna fill their shoes?"

The late, great, George Jones had a hit song titled; "Whose gonna fill their shoes?".  It was a great song remembering some of the greats of Country Music that had passed away.  Today, during my weekly telephone call with my best friend Jerry, we got on the topic of Gunner's Mates we knew who had died, some way to early.  Great Gunner's Mates who were my mentors and my contemporaries.  Men like Bill Mowery, Vern VanMatre, James Andrew Smith, Charlie Kamler, Tim Melody, Bones Clark, Harold "Suitcase" Simpson,Lou Breeding, Del Black, and some that my failing memory cannot name right now.

Then, I got to thinking, who IS filling their shoes?   While I do not count my self in the company of these great Gunner's Mates, I wonder who is leading our GM community!   Each one of these men and the many more I can't remember due to my disease, were leaders that lead from the front!  They were technically superior to most and they were leaders that men wanted to follow because of the example they set.  They had decades of Sea Duty, not months or years!   They were the FIRST in an emergency and never ordered or asked anyone to do something they were not doing or did not do before!  Many of these men had Service in country on the rivers of Vietnam.  Others had Korean War and even World War Two Service!  Think about it.  A Gunner's Mate who served in World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam!  How much sea duty was that?  How many foul bores, dropped projectiles,  fires at sea, flooded magazines, and General Quarters in the middle of the night did they endure?

Yet, they still lead from the front, set the example, did not let anything but professionalism drive them, and taught their men how to be Great Gunner's Mates and Leaders!

Indeed, George Jones had it right, Who IS going to fill their shoes?  I have reflected so much on my past Navy career.  My successes and my failures.  Now, I know I am at the end of my life as well as of no use to the Navy of today.  But I hear the drums of war pounding from China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran, and I worry, who is there to lead!  Who is there to fight!  Whose gonna fill their shoes?

Friday, April 8, 2016

Enlisted Navy Female Uniforms

I read an article that stated that the Navy is going to direct Female Enlisted Members to wear the "Dixie Cup" cover!  Just shoot me now!!  I blame MCPON Bill Placket for putting Female Sailors in the White Jumper Uniform.  And now, some moron decided to top that stupid act off by topping it off with a Dixie Cup!

Look, Men's clothing on Females does not look good or serve the purpose of Military Appearance.   I have see Females in the White Jumper and for the most part, it is NOT becoming to them.  And if a Female is buxom, the jumper serves to give men a great view of their cleavage.  Again, neither professional or Military.

Why can't we get a group of Enlisted Females together to design a Dress Uniform that is sharp, Military, and becoming to all Females.  It cannot be that hard.  The Marine Corps seems to have the right idea!   But dressing our Enlisted Females as Males is not conducive to Good Order and Discipline.  Not to mention, we are in a continuous cycle of uniform changes!  In fact, for the last 45 years, the make up of the Male and Female Sea Bag has been changed every two years!!

I challenge the next MCPON to decide what our Sailors are going to look like, based on what they actually do, and then set the decisions in concrete!!   And one more thing.  Get rid of those ridicules powder blue came bags!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

40 years of wasted time...

I am about to be 65.  I am in the late third quarter of my journey with Lewy Body Dementia, a disease caused by my Naval Service.  My hindsight is perfect.  And looking at our Country, the political leadership, and the Secret Society that really controls our Country and the World's finances, I know that I was a fool to dedicate every waking  hour of the best 40 years of my life, to preserving something that never really existed!

I spent my time on Navy ships instead of being with my family.  Even when my ship was in home port, I would stay aboard and fix broken Gun Mounts, Sprinkler Systems, Elevators, or what ever was broke.  I worked Saturdays and Sundays, to make equipment Combat Ready.  I worked when the Navy budget was bad and we had to make our own parts, or even steel them from systems removed from other ships.  I worked when I let my other Sailors off to be with their families, just to be the leader.  I always lead from the FRONT!  I never asked any one to do what I would not do.

When there were dangerous situations in the Gun Mount, I was the one who stayed in the gun to solve the situation or be killed because I failed.  I always put others first.

Then, I did not fully understand that we were being sold a lie.  America the free is really America the free for the Elite and America the slaves for the rest of us.  Since World War Two, no sons of the Elite have dies in the many wars our Politicians have sent us to.  And when we are named, crippled, or mentally incapacitated by the impact of the killing machine, the Elite turn their back on us.  The citizens of America are not free.  We are insulated to the Company Store!

We are promised many things, but none of these promises are ever fulfilled.   We had a saying in the Navy;  "don't piss down my neck and tell me it's raining!"  Well, they have been pissing down our collective necks since the end of World War One!!

The wealth Barons of Industry and Banking get rich, have security, and live a luxurious life, protected by the lives of the one who's deaths will mean nothing, to them.  The Politicians have they photographs taken with us, they shake our hands, hug our Wives, and they they go wash their hands and burn their clothes!!  We mean nothing to them.

So, the months and years deployed, working on broke equipment, and training took away from my Son and my Wife.  I am now sad and depressed about my failures as a Father and Husband.  I am angry that I fell for the lies of the Secret Society that owns and runs our Country.

I should have listened to my Dad.  He told me about the Illuminati when I was 14.  I did not hear him.  I do now.  But I wasted my life serving those who did not care about me.

Friday, April 1, 2016

What I learned about wages in the Navy!

I started as a Seaman Recruit (E-1) in the United States Navy, in 1969.  I was making $49 every pay day which was every 15 days.  Haircuts at the Navy Exchange were 25 cents!!  When I made E-3, I was making $63 every pay day.  Then, I made E-4 and President Nixon gave the Military a large pay raise.  My pay went to $168 a pay day!  And haircuts went to $1.50!!   The price of uniforms went up too!  So, my big pay raise was eaten up by the rising cost of what I needed to buy!

People say they cannot make a living on the minimum wage.  Duh!!  If you are trying to support a family on the minimum wage, you have mush between your ears!  When I was first in the Navy, you had to be an E-5 to get married.  Yes, we had some Enlisted personnel junior to E-5 that got married, with a special request chit!  You had to be an E-5 to bring your car on the base!!!

If you want to make more money, make your self more valuable!  If you are in the Navy, study for advancement tests.  Do your best and get better than average evaluations.  Take the hard assignments!!  That is how you advance and make more money!!

In the civilian world, the same rules apply.  College was NEVER designed to make you more employable!  College was to Finnish you off and was for the upper class.  Trade schools will make you more money.  Welding, plumbing, electrical, AC&R, computer skills , auto repair, diesel repair, cement workers, brick masons, are all professions that will make you a respectable wage.  Then, do the best you can at your trade and work your way up in that profession!!

It takes hard work, increased skills, and good performance, to make more money that the average guy!

I am not bragging, but I advanced from E-1 to E-9 in 14 ½ years!!   And I was a Gunner's Mate, not an ET, Corpsman, or Data Systems Tech.  It can be done in the military and in the civilian world.  But it takes dedication and hard work.

Raising the minimum wage to $15 will only make everything else more important!!  Wake up America.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

I heard someone complain about Commander Marcinko!

My Son reads Commander Salamander  I also read Salamander's blog and agree it is great!  But, my Son said someone was bad mouthing Commander Marcinko, the SEAL that founded, built and ran SEAL Team 6 for a long time.  I never met the Commander in person, but I do have some inside information into the beginnings of SEAL Team 6 and the Kangaroo Court that imprisoned Commander Marcinko.

How do I have this unfair nation.  I was the GMG Detailer when President Reagan ordered the establishment of a SEAL unit that worked for the President, only!  They were to be able to operate, clandestinely, anywhere in the world, at a minute's notice.  Commander Marcinko was selected to build this capability and he did a magnificent job.  I know operations they did that only SEAL Team 6 know about to this day.

I was also the Force Master Chief, Surface Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and in that job, I represented SEAL Team 6.  I toured their early facility and saw demonstrations in hostage rescue and shooting acuity, that made my jaw drop.

Commander Marcinko was promoted to Captain.  He deserved that promotion.  He was then tasked to form a group that would task our security apparatus in a manner than would duplicate what the Terrorists would use.  From the stories I read, that Commander Marcinko wrote in his book, he may have gone a little too far.  But, he did prove our Security of Special Weapons was lacking.  That embarrassed many senior officers and their Mafia went after the Commander.

The Enlisted SEALS of SEAL Team 6 were being questioned and accused of wrong doings, related to what Commander Marcinko did.  NIS wanted to hang him and they were threatening the Enlisted SEALS.  These Enlisted SEALS trusted me to be their agent and an agreement was made that I would be at the questioning of some of these Enlisted SEALS.   It was apparent to me that the investigation was a witch Hunt!!

As I read in Commander Marcinko's book, he was told that is he did not try to mount a defense in his Court Martial, he would keep his Retirement pay but be reduced to Commander and imprisoned for 18 months.  He said nothing to defend himself and he went to prison.

Was Commander Marcinko verbose, unorthodox, and maybe even just a bit over the line?  I think so.  Did he accomplish what the President wanted in the establishment of SEAL Team Six?  Hell YES!!  Did he prove our security of Special Weapons lacking?  Hell YES!!  And for that, because he embarrassed some senior officers, he was Court Martialed, like a lamb before it's shearer!

So, I take personal exception at any feather merchant, putting out ay false information on Commander Marcinko, or the job he did at SEAL Team 6.  Sometimes, you have to break the rules to accomplish the mission!!  Saving American lives is worth the whole sale breaking of any rule.  PERIOD!!

I know much more, but I will hold that information for now.  And remember, I am not, nor have I ever been, a SEAL!  Truly, I am not qualified to even make it to BUDS.  But, I know these Men and I respect them and look up to them and the tough, almost impossible jobs our Country asks them to do.   Thanks Commander for all you did!  I salute you!

Monday, March 21, 2016

The state of our once great Navy.

I realize I am just a retired, stupid, uneducated, never been in command Navy Enlisted man.  But, I will tell you that 40 years working for the Navy, in Uniform and as a Civil Servant, that I have learned in depth, about the United States Navy and the Navies of the World.

As the NAVSEACENLANT Representative to SURFLANT, after I was the SURFLANT Force Master Chief, I saw numerous newly overhauled and updated surface combatants decommissioned and SCRAPED!

I recently had a discussion with a retired Marine Intel Officer.  He told me we had the Largest, most capable Navy in the world.  I took a few moments and presented him with the facts, as they stand today.

But, let me update you on the number of ships we currently have in the United States.   We presently have the following combat ships in the United States Navy;

The entire Surface Combatant force is made up of;  10 CVN, 22 CG,  and 62 DDG, class ships!   That's it!!   And a few of the CG 47's are slated for decommissioning in 2017!  And if you bring up the LCS Class ships, I bring your attention to the statement made by CINCLANT Fleet!  The Four Star that is CINCLANTFLT stated that the LCS is incapable of operating in the Pacific theater!!

If you bring up the Amphibious Class this as Surface Combatants, I will remind you they have NO SURFACE OFFENSIVE WEAPONS!!! 

Those 94 ships are the ONLY ships at the United States Navy disposal with a Surface Combatant capability!!

We do have 54 Attack Submarines (SSN) and 58 SSBN Submarines, but some of them are slated for decommissioning in the next two years.

We do not have the largest, most capable Navy in the world.  We do not even have the second or third largest or capable Navy in the World!  The Red Chinese, Russians, and North Korean nations have been building an extremely capable and large blue water for the last 25 years!!  The Red Chinese have operated SSN's in the Gulf of Mexico and off the East Coast of America.  Iran harasses our ships in the Persian Gulf and we can't even keep a Carrier in the AOR!!

Not only have we drastically reduced the number of ships in the U.S. Navy, but we have severely reduced the capability of our Surface Combatants.  When the Navy decommissioned the A-6E Medium Attack bombers, we totally took away the strike capability of the Aircraft Carrier.    And yes, the F/A 18 does have a strike capability, but, it carries half the pay load of an A-6, has no All Weather capability and low level attack in an F/A 18 is 500 feet above the surface.  The A-6 had a low level attack floor of 50 feet, at 600 knots, with 18,000 pounds of ordnance!!  Not to mention the fact that the F/A 1 has far less range than the A-6.

Look, I know more about the Operations, Capabilities, and Readiness of the United States Navy than many Flag Officers, active or retired!!

The next President has a daunting task ahead of him or her.  And the American people have a choice.  Either we rebuild the United States Military, including the Navy, or we stop pretending to be a world power.  It is that simple!

P.S.  You have my permission to send this post to your Congressman or Senator.  Or, any individual running for President.  The truth is the truth.  And I am not afraid of the truth.  But, they are!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Enlisted! Thru and Thru!!

I am an Enlisted Man.  I had opportunities to become a Naval Officer and turned them down.  I was offered the Naval Academy Prep School out of Boot Camp.  I was sought after to apply for NESEP.  And the Chief Warrant Officer Detailer offered to do my CWO Package when I was the GMG Detailer.  I was almost thinking about applying for CWO3 when I was CMC of VA 55.  But, the CWO Board would not give me an extension to get my package in, after they put out an emergency request for E-9's to apply for the CWO3 Program.

I liked being a Navy Chief!   I loved being a Navy Master Chief!  I spent my career mentoring Enlisted men and women.  Helping them to get the most out of their career, be it 4 years of 34 years.  I worked to help Enlisted Sailors promote, even into the Officer community.  I also dedicated myself to mentoring Officers.  Just ask my Division Officer on the USS Caron, LTJG Williams.

That being said, I dislike the "Landed Gentry" that makes up the majority of the Officers and their "Ladies" I meet here in my retirement community.  They are a bunch of snooty, self-centered, pompous, asses that believe war is a civilized endeavor, fought from 9AM to 11AM, 1 PM to 3 PM,  and  4 PM to 5:30 PM.  They believer the uniform of the day is crisp;y pressed and starched Whites, that never get dirty, and even man sepals in perfect Christian, English.  They never swear, or even incorrectly congregate a verb!!

When I try to discuss the Enlisted man's prospective of Service to our Country, I am all but called a liar and miscreant!  Why, civilized humans would NEVER live in those conditions!  Hurumpf!  Water hours? Preposterous!!  You have no idea what our Officer Husbands told us.

And liberty?!  These Prim and Proper Bells think Liberty in a foreign port is made up of guided tours of the cultural venues, with Proper, Formal Tea at 3 PM.  Followed by a Formal Dinner with the dignitaries of the Port, including the top U.S. Diplomats.

What bunk!!  Try that in Subic Bay!!

Look folks, war is dirty, intense, smelly, bloody, and down right frightening.  And training for war is just about the same.  Showers, proper meals, clean laundry, proper medical care, regular hours of work, and cultural events are out of the question.  When we did pull into port, we wanted to blow off steam, not act prim and proper!    We drank copious amounts of booze and beer, chased women, got in fights, and came back broke, bloody, and commode hugging drunk!!  Then we got up at Reveille and did our jobs!!!

I am definitely the Jed Clampet of this place!!  But, I like the role!!  Some of these gentle, but useless people, have never heard a real man talk!  This is going to be a real experience.  Hell, I bet they never heard any George Jones music or drank an San Miguel Beer!!

Stand by for HEAVY role!!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

I am going back to drinking!!

I quit abusing alcohol some years ago.  And, with all the drugs (legal and prescribed) that I take now, drinking anymore than two beers is not advised.  But, with our Country in the turmoil it is and with the effects of Lewy Body Dementia racking my mind and body, I think I would be better off going back to drinking until I pass out!!

Trust me, some of my most entertaining and fun Navy times happened in bars, drinking beer and bourbon!  Back then, I was with friends, we had things in common, and we were all having fun!!  We watched out for each other and no one got permanently hurt!

Yes, we did some crazy things. And yes, before you lecture me, I know God does not want me to drink to excess!  I can give you chapter and verse on that.  But, I spend so much time feeling alone, unwanted, disconnected, and depressed, it seems to me being drunk with friends was much better!!

You say no!  But what do you know.  Have you ever tried drinking with your friends?  Not just New Year's Eve.  But for 5, 10, 20 years!  When your friends know how to make you laugh and them make it their business to cheer you up, it is a beautiful thing.

I remember Jim Smith and I playing Pinochle with our wives, so drunk, we could not see the cards.  Telling sea stories, solving the worlds problems, and having fun.  We seldom won the card game, but we had fun.  I remember one time Jim had a Double run, and he did not see it until halfway through the hand!!

I had the same fun with Jerry Heat and his bride!!  We never started winning Pinochle games until we cut down on the beer.  I would rather loos the card game.

I remember coming back from the Chief' Club in Rodman, Panama.  Half in the bag.  I was looking for Chuck Morton.  He was fishing from the door of the Torpedo Magazine!  I sat down, legs dangling outside of the ship, with a fishing rod in my hand when all of the sudden, I was shocked as a giant fish grabbed the hook.  I asked Chuck; "What do I do?"  He said, reel it in.  I did and it was against grouper!!   We were all laughing and having fun.  He and the Chief Stewburner had been there for two hours and had not had a nibble!!

Alas, it will never be again.  I am destined to be alone, depressed, and sober.   How did I ever get in this condition?   I do not like it, at all!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A counseling sheet!

When I was a Civil Servant, working for the Navy, I worked for a particularly difficult GS 14.  He was never in the Navy, did not understand the Navy, and thought his most important duty was to ruin every one's attitude and be the leader of the Morale Suppression Team!

I was in a particularly GOOD mood one day.  Things were going well and I was singing, whistling, clapping my hands and dancing, all at once.  I was happy, satisfied, fulfilled, and pleased with how things were going, and it showed!  Well, that difficult GS 14 saw me singing and dancing as I got a cup of coffee and he ordered me to his office, where he issue me a Counseling  Sheet for unprofessional appearance!!  Really!!

I was angry for a while, and then I went back to singing and dancing, because I knew it made that GS 14 angry and uncomfortable.

Much later, after I retired, he was asked to retire.  That was another time I danced and sang!

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Stag Bar

Those of you who are younger, probably do not know that Chief's Clubs used to have "Stag Bars".  They were a private area for Chief's only!  No guests.  No family.  No civilians!  Only Chiefs!!  There was no entertainment, juke box, band or Go Go Dancers!

As the Female Chief community grew, they were openly welcomed in the "Stag Bar" because they were CHIEFS!!

I used to live the "Stag Bar".  It was real.  We could talk shop, tell jokes, and be Shipmates!  Yes, there was some coarse language.   It was the Chief's Stag Bar.  If you were offended, leave!

At most "Chief's Stag Bars" Wash Khakis were accepted!  I loved that too.   Actually, I loved everything about the Chief's Club and especially the "Stag Bars".  But, all that is gone and along with it, the camaraderie that once was the Chief's community.

This week, I found our MCPON Bill Plackett passed away.  Last week MCPON Bob Walker passed away.  They were both exceptional Chiefs.  With them, the history and tradition of our Navy is passing away.

Did you know MCPON Bob Walker served on a DDR?  That was a RADAR Picket ship that cruised up and down the east coast of the US, looking for Russian bombers attacking us back in the 1950's.  Long before satellite surveillance.  Endless months underway in the Atlantic.  Going back and forth, standing watches, to keep America safe.    And when they were in port, I bet Chief Walker stopped by the Chief's Club for a beer and some relaxation.

Now, all that is gone and I question what we are doing and how we are relaxing.  Every Sailor looks the same in the same foolish uniform.  No one is in charge and no one is responsible.  We are lost in a sea of camp blue, with no real mission and no where to go and discuss things as Chiefs!

I long for the good old days.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Loss of freedom of speech

I was an accepted member of a group on Facebook.  This was a Navy centric group.  Many topics came up and people made inputs and replied to those inputs.  I was involved in a chain about the Navy Musician Rating.  I had made some comments about my dislike for ratings that do not contribute to the Navy's combat mission.  The other ratings I disagree with are Navy Counselor, Religious Programs Specialist, and Master at Arms.   These ratings were made up from collateral duties that once were done by personnel in ratings that exist and do relate to the Navy's combat mission.

Some of the repartee' centered around one of the responders view that I was against female sailors.  Which is not true.

The head of the Facebook Group then sent me a post that I should be careful expressing my opinion because I could be sued or placed in jail!!  WHAT!!    

Since when did expressing my personal opinion public place me in danger of jail time?  Or even a law suit as long as I do not besmirch a person's character or make false statements.

I quit that group and may quit others.  But, it shows how politically correct speech has everyone running scared!  And I am sick of it.  If I disagree with a decision made by the leadership of the Navy, I can made that disagreement public.  This is not the Soviet Union, Red China, or Nazi Germany!!   And, if I do not have freedom of speech, what the Hell did I spend 40 years of my life defending?!    

This is just another example of how America is being turned into a socialist stronghold.  Or is that going to get me arrested too?!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Direction of our Country

First of all, I have earned the right to have an opinion about the fractured state of our Republic.  I put my life on the line for 40 years in defense of this Republic.   As a matter of fact, my belief is and has been for a long time, that is you did not serve in the Military and own property in The United States of America, you should NOT have the right to vote.  Yes, I know most of you disagree.  But I truly do not care.

That being said, first of all, America IS NOT A DEMOCRACY!!  If we were, everyone would vote on everything.  There would be NO elected officials except for the President.

The United States of America is a Constitutional Republic, where we elect Representatives to effect laws on our behalf.  We have a House of Representatives, or the Common Peoples Representatives.  Then the Senate, which is the House of Lords.  Then the President.  All held in check, supposedly, by the Supreme Court as they rule on the constitutionality of the laws that are passed and signed into law.

When America was a homogeneous Nation, this process worked pretty well.  The major political parties worked together to find common ground, and laws and policies were passed to benefit the vast majority of Americans.  And, we made amends for our sins of the past like Slavery.

But now, we have become a Nation of fractured groups, with no desire to compromise, and an overwhelming desire to destroy anyone that disagrees with their minority agenda.

The major political parties use these differences to divide and conquer.  They pander to small coalitions to build larger coalitions and gain political power.  These larger, knitted together coalitions can defeat any other group because the majority or eligible voters do not participate in the electoral process because they do not care.

The small coalitions get their specific issues address, like Gay Marriage, or increased minimum wage, or Women in the Military, while the real sense of the Nation is ignored.  This ignored majority used to be called the "Silent Majority".

These polarize groups have fractured the fabric of America.  The Christian Right cannot get along with the Gay Rights crowd.  The Confederate Re-enactors cannot stand the Black Lives Matter group.  And the disagreements and fractures continue.  Weakening the voice of the people and strengthening the President who is approaching a Dictatorship.

Since the ruling class has all but erased the Tenth Amendment, "States Rights", the idea of States making their own decisions is gone.  Truthfully, if you are a White, Christian, Heterosexual, male, you have lost the First Amendment also. (Freedom of Speech and Assembly)

So, I hope you see how our Nation is not fractured into small, non-communicative, self-centered, single issue, groups.  Since they cannot see value in any other view and another person who hold a view, other than theirs, there is not national agenda, goal, or direction!

Sadly, I do not see this getting any better, anytime soon, since the major political parties love the idea of turning one group against the other.  Truthfully, we a looking more like Italy and less like the United States.

America is now a loose union of independent, isolated, uncommon, self-centered groups that see not reason to cooperate with any other group and would rather destroy this other groups, politically, violently, and in may cases, take the lives and property of anyone in a group they disagree with.   Think I am wrong, look at the gang violence in all the cities of our nation.  Look at the College protests recently where reporters were attacked.  Look at the Black Panthers blocking white people from voting in Philadelphia.  The evidence is there, but you will not see it.

Now, a Supreme Court Justice, who was a strict Constitutionalists, has met an untimely death.  I believe he was murdered by someone or some group that stands to profit or benefit from his demise.  Perhaps the Unions that do not want to loose they free political funds gained through Union Dues.  Perhaps a group of Gay Marriage advocates, or a group of Socialists that want Single Payer Health Care.  

Who ever disputed the Supreme Court Justice, the President now has the opportunity to change the very direction of the Country and completely gut the Constitution from what the Founding Fathers intended.

And what of our Republic.  I believe we will fail, fracture, and dissolve in the very near future.  The debt is too high for us to prevail and the political fabric of America is too torn for us to pull together as a homogeneous Nation for the common good of our Republic.  I see us becoming a group of small, powerless, single issue nations, with no outside interests or power, destined to be economically enslaved by the stronger Nations of the world.  In other words, a group of third world bank republics.  Just what the present occupant of the Oval Office wanted when he took office and said;  I intend to fundamentally change the fabric of American society.   Well, he did what he said he would do!!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Tough guys!!

I knew a bunch of tough guys in my years with the Navy.  SEALS, EOD Techs, Special Boat teams, SEABEES, Gunner's Mates, Snipes, Boatswain's Mates, and others.  They fought through every issue to meet the goal and complete the mission.  Refueling underway in rough seas, frigid weather, in the dark?  No problem.  130 Degree Engine Rooms and Boiler Rooms, No problem.  Disarming mines in the Straights of Hormuz, in the nude, to keep from setting off the World War II Soviet Magnetic Mines, SEALS doing what SEALS do.  Nothing overstepped them.  I saw men bleed, conclusions, legs in casts, injuries that would stop most men.  Navy guys fought through it!  Without sleep, food, or medical assistance.

But, I know a Master Chief Ship's Serviceman that exhibited true grit! His name is Henry Green.  He was the SH Detailer when I was the GMG Detailer.  When we were on the East Coast Detailer's trip and in Mayport, Henry had a stroke caused by a brain tumor that he did not know he had.

He was stabilized in Mayport, shipped to Bethesda for surgery.  After his surgery, he was told the tumor was cancerous and that they could not get all of it with surgery.  The doctors told him he needed to get his affairs in order because there was nothing they could do for him!

Henry replied:  What would you do if you thought I was going to live?  The doctors said they would do chemo and radiation therapy.    Henry said, then let's pretend you think I am going to live!  Because, I do not have time to die right now!  I have teenage boys to raise!!

Now, that is bravery in the face of terrific odds!  But, what is better is the treatment worked.  AT least, when I left NMPC, he was still alive and being released for full duty.

I lost contact with Henry.  I did see him once after I left NMPC, at his home and he was still dong well.  But that is 32 years ago.  O, I have no recent updates.  But, I consider Master Chief Henry Green one of the bravest, toughest, most resilient men I ever met, bar none!

I sure would like to know where Henry is and if he is still alive.  If you know, please let me know.

Old memories brought back to life.

Every time one of my Shipmates call, old memories of events and people come flooding back into my memory.   Some of those events show that some of the people I sailed with were more than a few bricks short of full load!

For instance, Heading off for a WESTPAC Deployment, as usual we pulled into Pearl Harbor for a weekend of liberty and to refuel and take on fresh food and milk.   When we got underway on Monday morning, a Seaman from first division was UA.  He was of Hawaiian decent, so it was not a big surprise.  Maybe he went hoe and over slept.

But, this Electronics Technician (Communications) Second Class (E-5) went to the Executive Officer of the ship and told him;  "When you search his locker, any money you find is mine!"  The XO asked if he had loaned the Seaman some money.  The ET2 replied; "No, I gave him $500 to buy me some Pot to use until we got to Subic Bay!"  The XO's reply was precious: "You are a lot dumber than I thought you were!

O that cruise, we went to the Indian Ocean.  The Naval Investigative Office (NIS) determined most souvenirs purchased in the Indian Ocean were made of Hash or other drugs!  So, we had to confiscate every thing brought aboard and save it until we pulled back into Hawaii.  There the drug dogs would sniff the items and then we could give them back to their owners.  I was in custody of these precious items. (read the words, cheap junk in the place of precious)   After the dogs sniffed everything and found NOTHING Illegal, everything was returned but me through the use of receipts given to the owners.

Two Precious Camel Saddles were lost and guess who they belonged too!  That Pot purchasing ET2!  He claimed the camel saddles were worth a thousand dollars a piece!  More like, you could purchase EVERY camel saddle in the Indian Ocean for $100!  Needless to say, he did not get paid for the camel saddles and they were never found!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Officer's liberty vs Chief's liberty

I live in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) that is full of Officers, Captains of Industry, and people with more degrees than a thermometer.  You can't swing a "cat" without hitting an O-6 or senior!  And, if you understand what "Swing a "cat" means, you are the person I identify with!  In any case, these snooty people like to talk about their time in the military and how wild they were.  Ha!!   They wouldn't know wild if it bit them on the ass!

Enlisted men knew how to go on Liberty and get the full enjoyment and relaxation out of it!  Why, I brought back men to the ship that were so relaxed, they were dead asleep in the bar!!  I had a Senior Chief fall asleep in "Pacer's"in San Diego!  Now that is relaxed!!

And Enlisted men were very good at improving relations with the people of the country we visited.  Like Subic Bay in the Philippines.  I knew many men that had strong, relations with the citizens of that thriving metropolis.   I never saw an Officer out in town, in Subic, trying to make friends with a local.  I did have Shore Patrol one night when a Chief had a heart attack while having intimate relations with a local.  She came to tell me wearing only a towel!!  She kept saying in her best English;  He's deed, He's deed.  The Chieps, deed!!  I assumed she meant she was angry with him,  But, no.  He was deed!

I went on liberty with an Officer in Subic once.  The BM Detailer and I went with the OIC of the WESTPAD Detailer's trip,  He claimed he had not been in Subic since he was a 19 year old Third Class Midshipman.  We walked into Mom's at the Traffic Circle at the end of Magsaisai Blvd.  The bar was dry, and empty, it was 11 AM, there was this matronly looking Filipino lady behind the bar.  She sees the three of us and she screams; "Pill, Pill, Marko, I no see you long time!"  I told the Commander;  You must have made a hell of an impression on her!

I did know a young O-2 that went on liberty in Naples with his American Express Credit Card.  It took him two years to get that bill straight!!  I never took my wallet on liberty, well enough a credit card!

Look, I am an Enlisted Navy man, through and through.  I never wanted to be an officer.  I had an opportunity to go to the Naval Academy Prep school out of Boot Camp and turned it down.  I turned down NESEP and I never applied for LDO or Warrant.  Would I have more money now if I had?  Yes!!  But, I influenced and saved more good enlisted men as a Navy Chief than I ever would in the cut throat Officers Club.  And I had a hell of a lot more fun!  And a few more hangovers than my Officer brethren.

I was and AM more like CPO Sharkey than Captain Quig!  And I am not likely to change!!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Officer vs Enlisted rules

I am old enough to remember the divisions between Officers and Enlisted.  For instance, there was one difference;  "The Officers and their Ladies.  The Enlisted Men and their wives!  Like Enlisted men would never marry a lady.

Then there were the Enlisted Pools and the Officer Pools and the same for beaches at Dam Neck.  I guess the Officers thought they would catch what ever they think Enlisted men have.   What would that be?  Courage, dedication, loyalty, camaraderie. Just saying.

I also remember Officers being permitted to go on Liberty in Civilian Clothes, while Enlisted personnel, below Chief, were required to wear they dress uniform.  Heck, Enlisted personnel, below Chief, were not permitted to have civilian clothes on the ship at any time.  I knew a young E-4 that made automatic E-3 for having civilian clothes on the USS Mullinnix!!

But the best one is;  When I was a young Enlisted man, many of the Ladies of the Evening carried a Sexually Transmitted Disease.  Enlisted men called it "The Clap".   The Clap, medically called gonorrhea and if you contracted that STD, you were "Restricted" to the ship until you were cured!  Officers, however, never contracted Gonorrhea.  Instead, all Officers were diagnosed with Non Specific Urethritis, and that did NOT require being restricted to the ship.

I am sure there are other sea stories in this thread, but they escape me right now.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Another Officer story

 I know my Lewy Body Dementia is progressing and I have said before there are some stories I wanted to tell, when I go worse.  Well, it seems I better tell these before I am unable too.

When I was on the USS Caron, we had some difficult times.  Times that it seemed, rightly so, that someone senior to us was trying to defeat us.  But, we always rose to the occasion and succeeded, some how.

During this times we also had some exceptional successes!  The time off Beirut, firing Naval Gun Fire Support to keep the U.S. Marines safe from the Druse Militia was one of those times.  And our successes off the coast of Nicaragua that were recorded in the Book; "Electronic Greyhounds" are also some of our best successes.

During those times we were lead by an exceptional Commanding Officer,  Commander James Polk.  I can say, without condition, that Captain Polk was the single, BEST. most influential, motivating, professional. Commanding Officer I ever knew or served with.  In his Ward Room were two Officers that would rise to Flag Status.  One, Then our Operations Department Head,  became a Two Star Admiral and was responsible for setting up the strategy and executing flawlessly the act that brought down the old Russian Space Station.  That operation saved millions of lives because if that piece of space junk had entered the atmosphere, it would have been devastating to the city it hit!  His name is Rear Admiral Brad Hicks.

The second Flag Officer that came from Captain Polk's leadership is now the Four Star Admiral that runs the Nations Intelligence agency.  Admiral Rodgers!!

Admirals are grown up through many levels of leadership.  They are taught, mentored, lead, and trained from Ensign to Admiral by Officers that, in may cases never themselves make Flag, but just the same deserve credit for the contributions to the future leadership of our Navy.  Yes, Admirals Rodgers and Hicks  accomplished much on they own initiative.  But, I know both of them would say they owe much of their success to the men who lead them in their careers.

Then there was our second Executive Officer.  The first XO I served on the USS Caron, during my tour as Command Master Chief was an exceptional Officer, leader, mentor and friend that went on to Command and made O-6.  The second XO could could not spell leadership, honor, courage, or dedication.  But the most telling thing about him was the fact that he did not get along with the Commanding Officer.  Furthermore, he was not loyal to the Commanding Officer.  Instead, he tried to undermine that Commanding Officers leadership.  That XO and I did not get along at all.  But, he got his kust rewards in that he never qualified for command.  A small blessing.

It is interesting that on a ship as successful as the USS Caron, there would be an Executive Officer that failed as miserably as that one.  Many Officers went on to Command on the USS Caron.  At least one of them came back to Caron for Command!  Captain Jim Miller who was Chief Engineer when I was on Caron.  Also, another Commander Miller would be the last Commanding Officer of the USS Iowa!   But that XO, stands out as the worst, most disloyal, Naval Officer I ever knew.

There I said it.  I fell better now.

The VALUE of Enlisted Men.

I have written before, many times, about my disdain for the Officer Community.  Their snooty, high society, "holier than thou" attitude, and their presumption that they are educated and know more than any Enlisted Man could, manner of dealing with people and issues.

But the truth is, very, very few Officers could fix any system on a ship, handle lines, run a replenishment rig, or even get a group of men to function as a cohesive team.  And I have witness this over my 40 years with the Navy.  Now, I am not including the Officers of the Special Warfare Community in this so, please, do no think I am down grading these Professionals in any way.  They do everything their Enlisted Counterparts do!  No exceptions!  And they accomplish the same missions, side by side with their Enlisted Counterparts, everyday.

But, Surface Line and Aviation Officers are a different issue.  You will notice I do not address Submarine Qualified personnel here.  Why, because I do not know enough about their community to comment!  Hey, the truth is the truth!

Back to my argument.  I newer had a Division Officer, Department Head, Executive Officer, or Commanding Officer that even began to understand the functions, workings, or capabilities of any Gun Mount or Missile Launcher I worked on.  Yes, they knew the range when to fire the weapon, and even the interference caused when firing a gun and a missile at the came time.  But, that was it.   When the gun broke, they could only ask stupid questions that required answers immediately!  Of course, this slowed down the repair process.  I can't tell you home many times I have been asked;  What is wrong with the gun mount?  My reply, I am troubleshooting now and I do not know the exact problem.   The Officer reply was;  How long to repair it?!  Heck, I don't even know what is wrong, I just told you that.  So How Can I tell you the time to repair!?!.  Dumb ass!

I used to get a rapid fire myriad of these insane questions when we has a stoppage of fire with a Hot Gun!!  They never realized I was the one in danger!!  They just wanted their stupid questions answered.  Once, I actually turned off the Sound Powered Phone amp and threw the head set in the corner so I could think!  Other Chiefs from other Ratings related similar stories to me.  Officer issuing incorrect and dangerous orders in dangerous situations in Fire rooms, Engine rooms, and in actual fires aboard ship.

I remember on the USS Leftwich, we had a suspected fire in the Number three Waste Heat Boiler Room.  There was lots of smoke coming from that space.  The Chief HT and I were the only two Damage Control Qualified personnel in the Commissioning Crew, so the Executive Officer told us, any thing happens, you two must be there.  The HT Chief and I put on our OBA's and went into the space to investigate.  The CDO, an O-3, mustered the crew on the fan tail, in the vicinity of the supposed fire instead of on the forecastle like I told the Quarterdeck to do.  He was trying to put a 10 for fog applicator on a Fire Nozzle without removing the spud.  Not that a 10 foot applicator would be any use in an Engineering Space!  Then, the CDO, that O-3 chewed me out for passing a "Fire Drill" without his permission!  See what I mean.

I remember again on the Leftwich, a time when we pulled in late in the evening, after a week of training off the San Diego coast.  we were all tired.  The Ship moored "Chinese Style" to another Spruance Destroyer.  "Chinese Style" means side by side, bow to stern.  It is a stupid, unsafe way to moor two ships together, especially with high bows and low fantails.  As the tugs pulled away, the Captain ordered Engineering to shut down the Gas Turbines without locking the shafts first.  Doing this would cause the shafts to continue to turn as the turbines wound down, without control of the pitch on the variable pitch propellers, cause inbox the ship to move, which ever way the pitch drifted!!  The Chief GS politely and professionally told the Captain this on the "Bitch Box"and he got flame sprayed.  So, the shut down the Gas Turbines, and the shafts continued to turn and the pitch drifted off in reverse.  And the ship started to move aft, away from the ship we were moored too.  The mooring likes were doubled up and we were about to PART all six lines.  The Boatswains Mate Chief had the Forecastle and I ran the Fantail,  Without orders, we both had our men remove the doubled up lines to keep from killing people on our ship and the other.  Oh, we had our dependents watching from eh deck of the other ship!  There would have been alone of wives and children cut in half if Ross and I had not been quick.  We ended up with Line one, paired to line two, on the causation forward and me holding Line sides bitter end, up by the Nato Sea Sparrow control room.  Ross slowly used the capstan to pull us forward, and then I got line six to the captain aft and pulled us in to the ship.  We then coordinated our progress on the sound powered phones and got the lines doubled up.  The Bridge was vacant during this mess and no officers were on deck!!  Just BMC Ross and Me.  Hone the dust had cleared, I was looking for someone to chew out.  I noticed the Captain, standing on the 01 Deck above the Fantail.  I yelled at him and he told me we would talk about this in the morning.  I said, very loudly; "Now we will not,  We will discuss this right now!"  And we did.  He admitted his mistake and I informed him he almost killed many people.  He did not care.  He was only worried about his reputation.  I have never forgot that event.  It is as fresh in my mind as it was over 30 years ago.  That self centered captain, almost killed me and many others because he did not understand how the Engineering Plant functioned and would not listen to someone who did because HE was the Captain!  No wonder I have disdain for the Surface Officers community.

No, without Enlisted men, things would be much different in the Navy and I suspect in the Military as a whole.  But I still get angry over the manner we were treated.  Some what like house servants or field hands to be worked to death and given none of the credit for the crop.

Maybe I am just too sensitive.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Keep her steaming, Keep her shooting!!

I remember my years at sea and how each Rating on the ship went to the ends of the earth to keep their systems up and running.  It did not matter if it was a Gun Mount, the Main Engines, a Galley Copper, or a commode.  Our pride was wrapped up in pour equipment operating when needed.  Having your name on the Eight O'clock Report was tantamount to being called incompetent and lazy!!

I saw gaskets for lune oil pumps made out of chart paper, ammo hoist chain links made from scratch out of Cress Steel by the Machinery Repairman (MR), and many more "on the spot" repairs.  Each time, the Chief of that equipment, used his experience to elect a repair without proper repair parts, to keep their systems available for the mission.

As far as I know, a lower hoist chain link, for the MK 45 Gun Mount, Mount 51, on the USS Caron that our MR made, was still in that gun when it was decommissioned and sunk!    Was it the correct part?  No. Did it work?  Yes.  Did we submit a Departure from Spec request from the Type Commander?  No comment.   The Gun Mount HAD to be operational.  We did not have a Chain Link.  We did the best we could with what we had and it worked, perfectly.

On every ship, I always made friends with the MR and the Hull Technicians.   They were the people with the training, knowledge, experience, and ability to make the mechanical parts I needed to keep almost anything working.  The HT's and MR's never let me down.

I know. those of you who read this blog have your own experiences of keeping your equipment up and running.  The VAST Majority of Americans will never know what you did to meet the mission.  The sacrifices of sleep, sweat, blood, time at home with your family, and not to mention the sacrifice of your long term health!!   Working in 150 degree Engine Rooms on pumps, pipes, and Boiler Casings so hot they burned your skin off.  Or breathing toxic fumes.  Or being exposed to fluids that we were told were safe then, but now are killing us.  No one ever said thanks, or even good job.  It was just what was expected from us.

I wish America knew the sacrifices we made and the efforts we offered to keep America safe.  Thanks Shipmates!!