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.
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.