Sunday, October 28, 2012

At no cost to Taxpayers

This summer, the USS George H.W. Bush underwent maintenance for, among other things, repairs to the faulty Vacuum flush toilet "heads" that had sailors standing in line for hours, doing what some reporters called "the pee pee dance." At no cost to taxpayers, the repairs have been made. Washington Post reporter Al Kamen wrote:
The Navy is working to finally fix a chronic problem that has been bedeviling sailors aboard its newest aircraft carrier — clogged toilets.
Kamen linked to an earlier article by Michael Welles Shapiro of the Daily Press, a Virginia newspaper. Shapiro reported that special anti-snag devices had been installed in the toilet drainage lines that would prevent future clogs. He also reported:
EVAC has not charged the Navy for the work.
EVAC of North America Inc. headquartered in Cherry Valley, Ill. is the company that built the waste management system on the Bush and executed the repairs, which included reconfiguring the system to increase its capacity.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

If I had become a sailor

If I had become a sailor, I might not have been retained by the ERB and I might be facing early dismissal. But, I'm not a sailor. If I had become a sailor, I might have been assigned to the USS George HW Bush's maiden voyage and I would have had to deal with the ship's malfunctioning heads. But, I'm not a sailor. If I had become a sailor, I know I would not have had the freedom to become a HANC for my mother. If you want to know more about what a HANC is, visit 37 Not-necessarily-easy-steps to become a Master HANC

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thoughts from others on the Navy

I thought I'd share the thoughts of some other people who had something to say about sailors and the Navy.
No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company.
Samuel Johnson
The Ancient Mariner would not have taken so well if it had been called The Old Sailor.
Samuel Butler
The Marine Corps is the Navy's police force and as long as I am President that is what it will remain. They have a propaganda machine that is almost equal to Stalin's.
Harry S. Truman

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sailors Against ERB

Sailors Against ERB is a group on Facebook that is trying to help make sense of the early release from contracts for almost 3,000 sailors. Recently, it posed the question:
Is anyone being required by their command to get their Warfare Device? The pin will only help the command numbers, not a sailor being ERB'd out. I know a sailor that has been told if they don't they will receive a bad separation eval. Is this happening to you or someone else you know? I'm sure Captain (Steve) Holmes (director, Military Community Management at Navy Personnel Command) would like to know the commands names....
A Warfare Device is an official insignia that is added to a uniform.

One responder said: Surely you aren't implying that ERB'd sailors should stop meeting requirements of their current job... That only stands to HURT any chances they have to a reversal of the decision to separate them.

Others responded with:

why should anyone getting seperated out really care. the navy is a cooperation not a branch of the military anymore of which is ran by a bunch of idiots. Who really wants to stay at a place that doesn't care about them anymore. We are being punished for be to close to retirement so officers and E-9 can get their full retirement. I will be glad not to be apart of all this crap anymore.
and
In my command if you don't have it after 18 months of being on Sea Duty then you should get a counseling chit every month there after until you get it, because it's required to challenge other people in the same rank for evals. They haven't said anything about getting a bad eval upon separation. But honestly it didn't help me in my situation when I got ERB'D so I don't see the use of it anymore.
One responder said:
Im Dual qualed and the only E-5 in my division dual qualed and I am getting ERB'd. So I dont see how it helps anyone compete with anyone else. I would still get the pins though because its one of the only things the navy cant take away from you and it looks good on the uniforms.


Another countered with:
Your warfare pins can get taken away. They don't do it much anymore but that is a real kick in the face. COs used to do it at mast instead of busting you down. I don't think anyone getting out this summer should be forced to do anything but prepare to look for other opportunities.

Sailors deployed on the USS George HW Bush have been informed they can be taken to Captain's Mast for relieving themselves in places other than the ship's heads. In Novem1, the heads were locked in an ownership experiment of the few working heads on the aircraft carrier. As soon as the media ran the truth of the story, the cipher locks were reset and sailors were free to use whatever facilities they could find that worked. The world's most modern and most expensive aircraft carrier isn't scheduled to be upgraded until May 2012.

One sailor said:
It is mandatory in the Navy. However, who cares about a bad separation eval? Honestly, most employers have no idea what the stuff on an eval means. This is just poor leadership trying to beef up their numbers. Its all about the FITREPs. Its all about "Equal Opportunity" (ie picking less qualified officer candidates because of gender/race). This is what Big Navy is coming to. The ball can't be stopped from rolling down the hill. I'd tell the Sailor not to get the pin.
The devices cost from $2.55 to $15 apiece.

A sailor who was was told the Enlistment Retention Board had decided to release him or her from the Navy's contract early has placed a positive spin on this.
I'm gonna use my warfare qualifications on my resumes and bring it up during Job interviews. "I have my information dominance and surface pins before i was ERB'd out, so I'm exactly what this company needs"


What the Navy has done to thousands of sailors, many of whom did not deserve it, is similar to what has been done to millions of civilians for many years - the only difference is these sailors are active-duty military. Tax-payers fund the military.

What's next?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ninety-nine percent times three

They don't understand When I was a child, my grandmother said, "Everybody has an opinion. Everybody has an _ _ _ hole, too. Ninety-nine percent of the time, they are only good for the one who has them and usually, they both stink." Many years later, a woman I worked with told me, "A person's perception is ninety-nine percent of reality." A few months ago, I posted another reference to ninety-nine percent, when I quoted someone who stated that ninety-nine percent of our nation's population is protected by the one percent who comprise the military. I have an opinion about some members of the military who have a skewed sense of reality, based on their perception. You see, in November 2011, I started a blog called It's not a Sailor's Life for Me because I wanted to bring attention to conditions aboard the USS George HW Bush on its maiden deployment. As a taxpayer, I was appalled to learn that my son and almost 6,000 other sailors on the United States' most modern aircraft carrier had been enduring more than five months with malfunctioning toilets, or, in military lingo - heads. Like most sailors who had been deployed, he said nothing; he manned-up and dealt with what was much more than a minor inconvenience. For almost half a year, they all dealt with the VCHT that did not vacuum, contain, hold or transfer as the system had been intended. Sadly, the ship had these problems upon delivery. Five months at sea, thousands of man hours attempting to repairjavascript:void(0); and maintain the system and yet, the ordeal continued. As unfortunate as it was that the heads weren't functioning, the sailors received orders that they were only allowed to relieve themselves in the heads - the ones they could find that did work - and if they opted to do otherwise, they could be subject to being called to Captain's Mast. That was when locks were allowed to be placed on the doors to heads that did work. Locks. On the doors to working toilets. On a ship that is larger than many small towns. Locks on doors to heads that only some could access and orders to use only the working heads. Not long after I started my blog, two Virginia newspapers picked up the story and not long thereafter, media outlets worldwide linked to those stories. It's a fact: in the Navy are "boat people" and "squadron people." It's also a fact that my son is one of the squadron people. I get it. They are rivals on the same team, if you can believe it. The boat's company spend much more time on the ship than do the squadron's company. It's almost like having a cousin who comes to visit from time to time, but doesn't live in your home. I get it. I really do. What I don't get, however, is why those who "live" on the ship didn't rejoice when the combinations to the locks were reset to a common default. Would you have your cousin, even the one you don't like much, visit and then lock him out of the one room with working toilets? Instead, they create cartoons meant to insult, leave them on car windshields of squadron members and then say, "You're not going to tell him, are you?" My son sent me the photo, linked above, and said he found it amusing that they are still focused on him, rather than on fixing the toilets. Of course, the ones with the cartoons probably have working toilets. The VHCT system on the ship isn't scheduled to undergo repairs until May. In my opinion, that is far too long for tax payers to support our active military to wait for properly working toilets. My reality, based on my perceptions, is that my blog made a difference - good or bad - it made a difference to at least 1% of 1% of the sailors on board the Bush. The locks were opened and the captain said he will recommend an upgrade. That's all I wanted.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Stars in the Navy


On Feb. 2, 2012, NavyTimes.com reported a change in federal law to provide higher retention rates for “top brass” with the purpose of keeping military leaders active longer.

Prior to the law change, an officer’s retirement pay was based on 26 years of service. Today, a four-star officer with 43 years of service can retire with more than double the $134,400 four-star officers received a year ago. Active-duty officers’ lifestyles are boosted further with housing allowances and other compensation.
Perhaps most officers deserve these remunerations; however if their rewards are at the expense of the morale of the enlisted personnel they lead, something is tragically wrong with the system.  Some believe the increased pension payment may not entice senior officers to remain in the military, but younger officers might choose to remain active longer, hoping to reap the payoff when they retire after more than 26 years.

The Project on Government Oversight, which looks at waste in government, suggests these pensions are extreme. Nearly 150 three-star officers and 44 four-star officers currently receive the higher pensions.
“At a time when the Pentagon is struggling to pay for the men and women who actually fight wars, and is shrinking the size of its fighting force and civilian employees, it doesn’t make sense to nearly double the size of a retired four-star’s pension,” said Nick Schwellenbach, director of investigations for the group.
The Facebook group, Sailors Against ERB  asks, “Did our sailors get fired so we could pay these guys more than double what their pension used to be?”
In November 2011, the Enlisted Retention Board informed nearly 3,000 sailors their active contracts will terminate on September 1, 2012. One tenth of those “ERB sailors” will take advantage of the early 15-year retirement option recently approved by Congress. Many of the remaining sailors are concerned with the quota game being played by “Big Navy.”

They want to know why they were selected to be involuntarily separated from their military careers, despite what their superiors called excellent work performance, especially when they know other sailors who had openly expressed regret at being retained.
They feel betrayed.
According to another NavyTimes article, “Some sailors who volunteered for early outs were turned down; others with less-than-stellar records were able to escape because their ratings and year groups were safe. Some of those losing their jobs will be eligible by a matter of days (to retire at 15 years) and miss out on as much as $950,000 over the course of their lifetimes.”
Meanwhile, high-ranking officers receive raises and incentives to remain on active duty. Our military requires strong leadership, but not at the expense of our enlisted personnel, the backbone of the military.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

1,000 Veterans to March on the White House


Adam Kokesh is a controversial figure - probably because he isn't a sheep, bleeting and following along behind those who would try to make him fit into a role that does not fit.  He challenges authority and reveals the reality of a government based not on protecting the freedoms of the American people. He believes his experience as a former Republican Congressional candidate and member of the USMC qualifies him to encourage everyone to live as free, dignified humans and he urges everyone to live as if government does not exist. He is Adam of Adam VS the Man.

Adam versus the Man is more than a cable or Internet show, it's his way of life. His Facebook page states:
Who is “the man?” The man is anyone who thinks they can tell you how to live your life and impose their will on others by force of government. But maybe the man behind the curtain is the would-be man in all of us. Because really, the message of freedom that this show is based on, is about conquering that desire to rule over others and that willingness to accept rule by force. They are temptations all are subject too, but in order to establish true liberty for humanity, we must condemn all forms of freedom-violating initiation of force against others and embrace the love and respect for our shared humanity of which we are all capable.
His current press release follows:
1,000 Veterans to March on the White House for Ron Paul, Organizers Overwhelmed
Thousands expected to turn their backs on Obama for "RON PAUL IS THE CHOICE OF THE TROOPS"

    It's only been up for a couple weeks, but according to the Facebook event page, which just passed 1,250 "going" this past Friday, Veterans for Ron Paul 2012 are going to be an undeniable presence in Washington, DC on President's Day. The organizers have been overwhelmed by the positive response, much of which is from veterans and active duty troops who are hearing Ron Paul's message for the first time because of this event. Many passionate veterans are even coming from as far away as the west coast, and almost every other post on the wall for the event page is a request or offer for long-distance transportation. Emails to organizers have also indicated that there will be a large contingent of active duty troops in the formation who have declined to RSVP publicly on Facebook. However, organizers are realistic about the numbers, as former US Marine and Fallujah combat veteran Adam Kokesh said, "We know 1,250 on Facebook includes some supporters who won't be there, but we think it's a reasonable goal now to have 1,000 veterans in the formation."

    On President's Day, February 20th, 2012, the founders of Veterans for Ron Paul 2012, Nathan Cox and Adam Kokesh, will lead a formation of veterans and active duty troops who support Ron Paul's candidacy for President of the United States from the Washington Monument to the White House. Upon arrival at the White House, they will do an about face and render a hand salute to a folded American flag. They will hold the salute for as many seconds as troops have died under the Presidency of Barrack Obama, including suicides.

    The purpose of this event is to make it clear to the American people that Ron Paul is the choice of the troops and the candidate who will have the greatest support from those he would lead as commander-in-chief. This is already evidence(d) by the fact that Ron Paul has received more campaign contributions from active duty service members than all other presidential candidates combined, INCLUDING Barrack Obama. The troops want a President who is going to be decisive, put America's security first, and only send them into harm's way with a clear moral imperative. Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate who even comes close to meeting those criteria.

    Any active duty service members who join will be invited to march at the front of the formation. Proof of service will be required to march in the formation for all current or former military personnel. Family members are invite(d) to march behind the formation and supporters are encouraged to line the route of the march and be present for the ceremony at the White House.

For more information about this event, please contact Veterans for Ron Paul 2012 at VFRP2012@gmail.com or see the facebook event at:

http://www.facebook.com/events/create/?eid=192677970828185

To see the first official announcement of this event:
http://youtu.be/v0LxI7_v9vA
I don't typically involve myself in politics because I believe our system if flawed and based on an antiquated electoral college. There comes a time, however, when everyone must ask the question:" if not me, then who; if not now, then when?"

I have to do my part or my freedoms mean nothing.