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

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!!    

1 comment:

  1. Manning and BUPERS was never an issue. We learned to do without personnel. The only ship I served on that had 100% manning was a Spruance class that had 100 % manning in Weps even though we didn't have half of the actual weapon systems. I had 4 FTGs to maintain and operate 2 CIWS THAT DIDNT SHOW UP ONBOARD until 5 years later.

    The other ships and me reached one point where OPNAV finally welded the ship to the pier when it got down to 11% manned. LaSalle returned to Diego Garcia in 1984 to pick up over 100 sailors that PERS finally bothered to send.

    Captain Franklin D Julian was a privege to work for. He had a simple rule for that forward deployed flagship. As agreed, you served your one year unaccompanied tour and then you went home even if the folks at PERS hadn't even gotten around to generating orders for your relief.

    It was my first ship and forever soured me on detailed. I'd have nuked the Navy Annex if my folks didn't live two miles away in Arlington