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

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.