25 November 2007


Do you remember how it felt when you found out that Santa Claus didn’t exist? I do. I was four years old, and my Aunt was tired of hearing me talk about how excited I was for Christmas; and the question of how Santa gets into my house since we didn’t have a chimney. Imagine being four years old… innocent and excited about everything, only to find that you have been lied to by your parents and elders. There’s no more motivation to be good year round… there’s no more mystery… just a “Thanks mom and dad for the Red-Rider BB Gun…”

Welcome to my world now. I came to my command as an innocent and content sailor, willing to do whatever it took to earn the trust and respect of those above me. In hopes that one day, I would climb the cooperate ladder of success and one day be an Independent Duty Corpsman. In 7 months when I leave, I will be the empty shell of a human being, miserable and discontent. Completely disenchanted with everything I once held dear. At least I will be leaving… unfortunately, I won’t be as motivated to press on. Thank you United States Ship… never mind…

When I was a boot camp sailor, struggling through Hospital Corpsman A School, I was told by one of my Chiefs that I would never amount to anything… at my first command, my first LPO and Chief told me the same thing, they also predicted that I would never make it past E-3. I started in the Navy as an E-1. Four Years later, I would be an E-5. For a Hospital Corpsman, this is way ahead of the advancement power curve. Not only did I advance (on my own accord) but I also achieved my Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist Insignia as well as some advanced watch qualifications prior to achieving E-5. Oh yeah… and I forgot to mention that I was also selected as my command’s Junior Sailor of the Year for 2006 (and in doing so, I beat the person that had beaten me for Command Advancement; so while I wasn’t meritoriously advanced to E-5, it turns out that I was a better sailor and role model than the guy who beat me for the rank.) .

The above, plus a few other factors that I can’t get into have led us into the present. I am taking a hiatus, and will not be blogging much anymore. Apparently, my words have struck a chord with the Powers that Be, and in the best interest of those who around me, I will temporarily cease and desist. Or, maybe not… I haven’t fully decided. I think that I will play this one by ear. It could have been worse though… I could have written the Inspector General rather than publish a blog… But blogs are more fun, and less of a burden on the Powers that be. So, for now… so long. Thanks for reading my blog thus far… maybe I will be able to provide you with more cyber entertainment… or maybe this is just goodbye.

23 November 2007

The Path to Digression II

“Big Brother” is watching me. Literally… but that’s fine… if I didn’t want my thought’s words, gripes, and negativity read, then I wouldn’t publish them. Recently a question was posed as to why I am so unhappy. I think I am honestly more burnt out than I am unhappy.

As far as my job is concerned, I am still content. You have to understand my job from my view point… My job is vital on my ship. My Chief, my Third classes and I are responsible for the health and well-being of over 370 sailors at any given time. This is a tremendous responsibility. It’s easy to have compassion burn-out as well… especially when you only see some people when they are feeling crappy. I get to see people at their worst on a daily basis…

In addition to normal patient care, there is a metric f-ton of administrative duties that I am responsible for. These duties are extremely difficult to take care of while struggling to stay afloat, especially when my shipmates decide that 2300 (11 PM for you civilian types) is more convenient for them to ask for sick call or medicine than the two hours a day that we allot for sick call. A common question I ask them is: “How long have you been feeling crappy?” When it’s 11PM and they tell me that they have felt crappy ALL DAY LONG, I follow with: “Where were you at sick call?” They usually reply with some sort of mundane excuse as to why they couldn’t come in at 0800 or 1500 (8AM or 3PM) usually it’s something like “I work nights” or “I was on watch.” Mind you, there are no watches onboard that press on through both of my sickcalls, and even the few who work nights can come in at 0800 (which is more like 8PM for the night shift)

Some would consider me insensitive or mean, because a majority of the time, I tell them to come back for sickcall, even if it’s something as simple as them asking for medicine for a sore throat. I’m especially hard on the new crew members… One would argue that since they are new, I should cut them slack… the problem with being too nice to new people is that they start to get into the comfort zone and end up being habitual violators of my office hours… so from the start, I gently remind them that there are sickcall hours available for their use.

Don’t get me wrong; I still like my job. I am more than content with my co-workers and my supervisor; I just desperately need to get as far away from this place as humanly possible. I’ve already lost every ounce of motivation that I once had, and realistically, the only thing that gets me through the day is the knowledge that one day I will get to leave this place and never have to look back. But that day is still so very far away.

22 November 2007


Every year, the Fleet that I am in takes a trip to Hong Kong at the same time to do a nice liberty port and International Relation thing. This year was a little different. Hong Kong has been a port that we were scheduled to visit forever. Each year that I have been in this fleet, we have gone at least once or twice a year. For whatever reason, the Chinese Government denied U.S. Naval Forces entry into Hong Kong for our annual visit.

Normally, this would be only mildly disappointing; but take into account that we as a fleet have been out to sea now over a month, and that a vast majority of the crew onboard (as well as the other ships in our battle group) have their families visiting ashore in Hong Kong, and you have a lot of disappointed families and sailors.

Take me for instance, I sent for my fiancé to visit. Her ticket was bought and paid for back in September. We were both so very excited to see each other, for we have been apart now for 4 months. I was even going to meet her mother, who happens to live in Hong Kong. The morning we were scheduled to pull in, we get word that we still haven’t been approved for Diplomatic Clearance to enter. Anxiously, we wait off the coast thinking that maybe the Chinese Government will allow us to pull in. No such luck.

So my fiancé is waiting patiently, excited as ever, only to get a call from me trying desperately to explain to her that we won’t be together again until I take leave in December. Factor in that she only has about $100 USD to her name and that her stay is scheduled for 5 days, and you can see the financial dilemma. Not to mention, that she has no credit cards, or way of getting money really, and now you have a very stressed out sailor who is sincerely concerned about the well being of the love of his life.

Thankfully, I was able to get an emergency phone line to one, tell her I wouldn’t make it, and two try and wire money from my bank to Western Union. See, my bank Check Cards aren’t accepted by Western Union, so the only way for me to send money via Western Union is by calling my bank and having them do the transfer. I still don’t know if my fiancé was able to get the money I sent her… and the phone lines aren’t working right now… so I am even more stressed out than I was before.

Right about now, you are probably thing “well, you said her mom is there right? Can’t her mom take care of her?” The answer is complicated at best… her mom is working a lot an unable to be with her all the time, as for the financial situation, I’m not really sure. All I know is that this is my future wife and that I am ultimately responsible for her basic needs (as a good husband should.)

So until I can secure a line, call my bank, and verify that things are right, I will continue to lose sleep and worry that my fiancé is not doing so well. All I know, is that I have found yet another reason why I don’t enjoy the Navy as much as I once did.

18 November 2007

I hate the Air Det!

Screw the air detachment on this freaking boat! Sundays are “Relaxed Foot ware” day onboard my ship at sea. Which means that we are authorized to wear tennis shoes instead of our working boots as long as it doesn’t interfere with our job. This month, I am the flight deck corpsman, which means that I go to the Helo Hanger whenever they call away flight quarters and I sit in a corner waiting for people to get hurt. I don’t man a fire hose, I don’t really go out on the flight deck. I just sit inside the skin of the ship waiting.

One of the Jerk-off Khakis on the air det decided to single me out for wearing tennis shoes as opposed to wearing boots. Mind you, half the air detachment was wearing tennis shoes, as well as the Officer In Charge of the Air Detachment and a few of the pilots. This Asshole addresses one of the E-6’s in the helo hanger in front of my face, instead of relaying his concerns directly to me. Mind you, I DO NOT work for that E-6, but since the E-6 is spineless (like the majority of the E-6’s on the boat.) he told me that for the next flight quarters I need to wear my boots. Normally, I would just oblige and be a good little sailor and follow orders… however, since this air detachment chief… errr… khaki chose to single me out (instead of the other 15 people that had tennis shoes on) I find this a little one-sided and unjustified.

This isn’t the first Air Detachment Chief…. Errr… khaki to single me out either… months ago my ship was in Guam and I was out with some of my friends at a Gentlemen’s Club (one of these friends was an E-6 too) when it was about 45 minutes to curfew. We had a car, and the base was only about a 15 minute drive away… the last bus back was leaving and this guy decides to talk to me (the only minority in the group) and tell me that since we are missing the last bus, he will be waiting on the quarterdeck for me, and if I am so much as a second late, he will have me standing before the captain.

I don’t know what it is with the air det chiefs khakis… they like to try and catch me slipping like I am some kind of trouble maker. I swear to Christ that this fucking place sucks. I apologize for the inappropriate language… but I am a sailor and an angry one at that… This is one of the few times that I am pissed about something that inadvertently affects me. I really need outta here… before I lose what’s left of my mind.

15 November 2007

The Power of Words

It’s funny just how powerful words can truly be. When you put them on paper, or publish them online, they can become as powerful as any tangible weapon. Take blogging for instance… there are at least two other bloggers from my ship that post pretty regularly, and between the three of us, we get quite a bit of read time from a portion of the chain of command onboard our ship. Our voices, while small, are starting to be heard. One of the bloggers struck a nerve just the other day, which resulted in some of the leadership having to call a meeting to address some of the issues that were brought up in his blog.

Inadvertently, we are starting to have a miniscule effect (at least, I like to think that we are having a little effect) I am slowly seeing some change (although not enough for others to notice.) For the record, I have to annotate, that the injustices I tend to rant about don’t always affect me. I am in the unique position of having a supportive chain of command (at least, the immediate chain is relatively strong.) The things I tend to rant about primarily affect the junior personnel onboard. But once upon a time, I was that junior guy. While things for me were no where as bad, I can totally empathize and see exactly why they act out the way that they do.

As far as my job is concerned; I love it still to this day. Granted, I am extremely burnt out… but I still wake up and get to do a job that (while often thankless) has tangible results and leaves me fulfilled at the end of the long day. While being aboard this ship in excess of 40+ months has been anything but good for my psychological or mental health, I still enjoy what I do. In the end, I think that’s what really matters too. I get paid to do a job that I thoroughly enjoy, although I have to endure a bit of morale abuse.

I also have the knowledge that this evil place is NOT the US Navy, but a hellish faction of it that doesn’t exist outside of it’s own crappy universe. I just feel bad for the first term sailors who get out of the navy after only seeing this command. The constant demands and under appreciation tend to wear on those new sailors and they pretty much become disillusioned with the Navy and end up going back to whatever hole they crawled out of in civilian life… for some, even being poor and homeless is better than subjecting yourself to the harsh lifestyle of the FDNF (or more importantly my ship.) “STAY NAVY” has become a joke as opposed to a realistic option for most. Hell, I’m only staying because I still enjoy what I do and have a soon to be family to support. I was once an unconditional lifer, but this place has beat that motivation out of a once Gung-ho sailor. I just count the days until I leave this place, and pray that I never have to step foot on this god-forsaken ship ever again.

12 November 2007

The Contradiction that is my Ship

If I hadn’t said it before, I will say it now… If there is a rule or regulation in place that was created by the Department of Defense or US Navy, my ship will contradict it. If someone is a shining example of what a sailor should be or strive to be, they WILL NOT SUCCEED at my God-forsaken command. I really hate being so negative, but it is the god-honest truth.

There is a sailor onboard who is a complete “Yes Man.” When he is tasked he does what is required and does it efficiently… you would think that this is a good thing… but it’s not. He does what he is told at the detriment of those who work for him. He is all about pleasing the bosses and has no regard for his subordinates.

This dirt bag of a human being was also reduced in rank back in late 2005 for Drunk Driving (he flipped his vehicle and almost killed himself and a shipmate.) This past summer, he was meritoriously advanced to E-6… mind you, this guy has been an E-5 three times. (He was busted once before for something.) Oh, I forgot to mention that he wasn’t legally eligible for advancement yet (even meritorious.) But, because he is a “Yes Man” his bosses pushed it and got it.

Recently, he also got the opportunity to compete for Senior Sailor of the Year, a title which can in many instances help someone achieve the rank of E-7 (Chief Petty Officer). There is a good chance that he was selected too… because his competition wasn’t that stiff, and the person that probably originally won it isn’t a “Yes man” or totally in the good graces of their boss (both guys work for the same person onboard.) This guy is anything but the example of what a Senior Sailor should be. He’s worthless as a leader, and if the message that my ship is trying to send is that it’s ok to drink, drive, and almost kill your co-workers… then they are succeeding.

Some would argue that he is an example that you can get into trouble and still succeed in this organization… I beg to differ… if you get into trouble and you kiss enough butt, then you can succeed in this organization… but you really have to kiss butt and cut the throats of your peers, while stabbing your subordinates in the back. All in all… you need to be a Blue Falcon (Buddy #$cker) in order to truly make it after screwing up.

I have become extremely disillusioned with this ship and it’s upper chain of command. I just hope that when I make Chief, that I can rectify the injustices that I have witnessed at this evil and soul-sucking place. I really need out of here… July can’t come soon enough.

06 November 2007


I have a policy when it comes to qualifying personnel onboard for anything. I always ensure that they have had adequate training and that they retain the information that I present to them. Once my signature is on the line item, I am ultimately responsible for that person’s response when quizzed on said item.

The other day I was at flight quarters, which is where I sit around and wait for the Helo to have an issue or someone to get hurt so that I can earn my pay. For those of you who don’t know me… I am partially deaf as a result of spending 40+ months on a Navy Warship. The Helo Hanger is as loud as a Metal Concert, and I can barely hear what people have to say when hanging out there. So while some of the Damage Controlmen may give training and signatures, as a rule of thumb, my policy is that if someone wants training, they will schedule it with me after Flight Quarters.

There is an E-6 A-hole on the crew that pretty much called me an A-hole for not giving training someone when asked and proceeded to inform me that I am worthless. Mind you… this guy is anything but a stellar Sailor… in fact, he’s actually quite the douche-bag. He’s such a douche-bag in fact; that his own Chief punched him in the face because he was disrespecting him. The only valid point that he had was that I wasn’t doing anything at the time; however, as I have stated before, I don’t like to give training in the Helo Hanger due to noise issues. This douche-bag proceeds to tell the guy asking for medical training that he will sign the qualifications for him but will not give the training. For those of you who don’t know what that is called, click on

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, that I do have a qualifiers list for Medical Training on the ship. There are about 10 other people onboard who are qualified to give the training and sign for Medical Qualifications. This is primarily attributed to the fact that I am the Leading Petty Officer of the Medical Department, and that I actually have more important things to do with the rest of my day than to stop what I am doing for the convenience of a new crew member in order to qualify them. I am also the sole qualifier for the Navigation and Administration portions of the Enlisted Surface Warfare specialist Program onboard my ship, and one of two qualified American Heart Association CPR Instructors. That’s not even factoring in my underway working hours. I am usually in the office from 0700 until after Taps (2200). Flight Quarters is really the ONLY time that I have to relax, so I do. Call it selfish… or laziness… but everyone is entitled to some down time, and since I never get any, I think that flight quarters is the best and most appropriate time.

I wish there were a better way to control the quality of the “leaders” or higher ranking sailors… but if that were the case, we would have few leaders, an entirely too many followers.

30 October 2007

Segregation in 2007

In the US Navy there are basically two kinds of personnel. We gauge these personnel by the uniform they wear. E-6 and below are historically referred to as “Blue Shirts” and E-7 to O-10 are referred to as “Khakis.” That segregation is reasonable. An E-7 or above (Chief Petty Officer) has earned the right to wear a different uniform. They have been selected to their positions, and as such deserve privileges associated. Officers (O-1 to O-10) have also earned their uniforms. Chiefs an Officers have their own Eating Space on a ship. The Chiefs have the Chief’s Mess, and the Officers, the Wardroom. They eat together, and relax together in these said places.

Blue Shirts (E-1 to E-6) share the Enlisted Mess Decks. My ship currently has a 21 Table configuration (which can comfortably seat about 84 personnel at any given time.) Once upon a time, we sat wherever there was room and enjoyed our meal, or in our off time, could use a television to play video games or watch a movie. There were no seating restrictions in place, and all was fine. As of this morning, the President of the First Class Petty Officer Association took 3 of the 21 tables specifically for E-6’s only. Mind you, at any given time, the Mess Decks are supposed to accommodate 340 Sailors (with the 84 seats available.)

Whenever Seaman Schmucketellie would try and sit down at said tables he would be turned away, even though there were only 2 E-6’s sitting down at the time. Dubbed “The First Class Mess” these tables are now exclusively for the 30 or so E-6’s that we have onboard our ship. The sad thing is that besides pay and maybe time in service (and that is a STRONG Maybe as there are some E-5’s who are in ratings that advancement is difficult and have more time in service than the E-6’s) there truly is no difference between E-1 through E-6. But the Jerk-off President of the FCPOA has decided that since he is currently incapable of making Chief, that he and his fellow E-6’s are entitled to their own Special Seating Area. It also happens to be the largest table on the Mess Decks and can fit 10 -12 personnel if seated correctly.)

The segregation created by the FCPOA is already causing animosity amongst the ranks on an already Morale Compromised Crew. The FCPOA has effectively cause a rift between those who once would work with them, and made it clear that they are superior, and now E-5 and below work FOR them. It’s condescending and just plain stupid. On a large ship, First Class Messes exist; and on larger ships there is room for such said Segregations. On a ship with about 370 Sailors, such segregation is harmful to the overall productivity of the crew. It’s bad enough that the majority of the crew are treated as children, but now they have to be reminded by people that should set examples and be leaders, that they are in fact measly peons, and not worthy to sit down and eat with their supervisors.

A good example is the San Diego Crew that once inhabited my ship. Before the hull swap, I got to see first hand the camaraderie (or rather, extreme lack of camaraderie) that they had. These A-holes had a First Class Mess, and also head of the line privileges for E-6’s in the Mess Line. As such, the E-5 and below had no respect for their E-6’s and even if and when those E-6’s made Chief, they would still not have the respect of their subordinates. I watched an E-6 an E-4 fight over a locker in the berthing during the berthing swaps. I mean, these two were physically fighting over a locker, punching, kicking, and verbal assaults on one another. Prior to this whole First Class Mess Crap, you would never see anything like that amongst my crew. Now that such segregation exists, I am standing by to see just how bad things amongst the ranks are going to get. I saw it just with the one meal that the First Class Mess was open, with snide remarks from the E-3 and below that were the direct result of hurt feelings and other such negative connotations. I hope that someone will put a stop to this senseless way of segregating and discriminating; because when you stop and look at it, that is all this is. A “legalized” form of discrimination.

28 October 2007

High School BS

You would think that as a grown adult serving in the United States Military that one would be an adult and leave the trivial drams of high school-like issues behind them. This might be the case with some branches of service… the United States Navy is not one of them.

On USS Last-Ship, we had Last-Ship High… an organization consisting of the many 20-something year olds an below who have nothing better to do than to have your daytime soap opera drama. (i.e. Who is sleeping with Who, who said what about who, what so-and-so did the other night) On USS This Ship the High School Drama continues…

I have a strict policy that whatever is said in my office stays in my office and does not leave for anything. It is a confidentiality clause that allows people the opportunity to get out frustrations or whatever issues they may have so that they can be psychologically free of stress. You see, I’m not just the medical and dental department… I am also the Psych Department.

Unfortunately, someone who I thought was a mature adult was unable to abide by the Confidentiality Clause and went and told someone onboard about a conversation that was had in the office of a particular sensitive nature. This person that was told (being the mature adult that they are) sent a threatening e-mail to me complete with profanity and horrible grammar. I replied with an invitation to come down to medical so that we can discuss whatever issues that this person might have… to no avail. Apparently it is easier to be big and tough through e-mail, but the reality of going down and physically confronting someone isn’t as convenient.

I do my best to steer free of the shipboard high school nonsense. I don’t really associate with many people onboard outside of work, and I pretty much keep to myself underway… granted, the topic that I discussed with the person that was in medical was more gossip-like in nature… but it was mindless chatter in the confines of medical. I’m not sure if I am upset about the violation of the confidentiality clause, or if I am upset because the person that violated said trust is supposedly a friend who is in a job that requires the ability to seal one’s lips… maybe it’s a combination of both…

26 October 2007

Going back to school

Every once and a while you become complacent with your job. What was once your passion and purpose for waking up and rushing into each day, slowly becomes the reason you find it hard to get out of bed. That changed for me today. You see… I got an e-mail strand from my Command Career Councilor today that pretty much set my career into overdrive. I found out today that I have been accepted to Surface Force Independent Duty Hospital Corpsman School. I detach from this god-forsaken command in July of 2008 and start my class on August 20, 2008.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking: “Your command can’t be that bad… can it?” Let me tell you… it really isn’t... However, it is significantly worse than the command I checked in to. I am a firm believer that any situation, no matter how mundane or painful, is only as bad as you make it. And believe me… I struggle to make this one tolerable… If I didn’t have a supportive Chain of Command, or a great boss, I would have lost my mind years ago… The people you work with can also greatly influence your attitude towards your work environment. Luckily, I have had great co-workers too. So for the most part, I have been pretty fortunate…

Anyway… so I am on cloud nine and getting more anxious by the minute… I can’t wait to get on with my career. I should have about 3 opportunities between now and graduation to pick up First Class… hopefully I do… that way I can get choice orders out of School. In the likely event that I don’t make E-6 prior to or while in school; I will graduate as one, so I really have nothing else to worry about except to start grooming myself for Chief… (If I can score good Evaluations as an E-6 I can take the Chief Test a year or so early and possibly put on anchors at my 10 ½ or 11 year mark!)

The only down side to everything is that I will be leaving the healthy paycheck and sea pay that I acquire here in Japan… (which is about a $1600 pay cut a month…) Plus, the school is in San Diego, which is crazy expensive, and I will need a car to get around… which means a car payment with insurance and gas to deal with… on the plus side… if things go right with immigration, I should be able to have my fiancé with me (who will be my wife come December…) as well as her son… so I don’t have to worry about partying much anymore… but the extra expenses and pay cut are definetly going to hurt a bit.

For the most part though…all that I have hoped for since reporting to my first ship is finally coming true. I’m thankful for the Navy… it has been good to me… I had a rocky beginning… but the middle and end should be sweeter than Cold Stone.

25 October 2007

A Breath of Fresh Air

I have been in the Navy now almost Six Years… in my time serving, I have had the best and worse when it comes to leadership and Chain of Commands. The other day I met a Master Chief that renewed my belief in the Chain of Command and in the rating of Chief Petty Officer. Don’t take what I am saying the wrong way… I have ALWAYS held the rating of CPO in the highest regards… I come from a family of Navy Chiefs and First Classes; so I understand the importance of the rank. Unfortunately in my job specialty, I tend to see a side of the coveted Anchors that has left me slightly disillusioned and bitter towards the ranking.

The rank of CPO is 114 years old. In the US Navy, and only the US Navy is the rank of CPO (or E-7) held with the highest regard and standard. Once obtained, it places the recipient into a whole new FELLOWSHIP (in the less-politically correct days this fellowship was referred to as a Fraternity) The phrase “Ask the Chief” is a common expression that refers to the fact that a person in the rating or rank of CPO is the subject matter expert in US Navy rules, regulations, organization, as well as their specific job specialty. So it would be assumed that all CPO’s are the best of the best or the cream of the crop… unfortunately this is not always the case…

The US Navy is as much a corporation as it is a branch of the armed forces. In corporations, you will sometimes have those who some how manage to sneak through the cracks and make their way up to the executive level positions. CPO’s are no exception. I happen to know Chiefs who were great leaders as First Class Petty Officers (E-6) but who fall short of anything resembling competent as Chiefs. Now, what I am saying is both sacrilegious and on the edge of treason; but in the few cases that I am referring to, this is definitely the case.

CPO’s are also hand selected by their peers (well, more like Master Chiefs or E-9’s). The selection is a result of certain criteria that changes from year to year (criteria such as: Duty Stations, time in the Sand Box during war efforts, awards received, distinctions, performance averages and so on…) The boards also have a maximum amount of people that they are allowed to choose depending on the particular rating being evaluated (but interestingly enough, they do not have to promote the maximum.) And there are times when a rating is so undermanned that a large majority of potential CPO’s are able to advance.

I was brought up to believe the following:

*A Chief always takes care of their people and will protect them at all costs.

*A Chief is revered and respected by Junior Officers (O-1 through 0-3) as a result of their knowledge and or expertise.

*A Chief should always be revered, respected, and feared.

*A Chief always had a coffee cup in hand, and if you ever made the mistake of trying to wash that cup, certain torture and death would fall upon you.

*If a Chief were tucking in or removing their anchors and trying to drag you to the tree line or a fan room, it was time for some “counseling” you should run or jump over the side in order to evade said counseling on pain of death…

*A Chief is never wrong.

*And lastly, a Chief’s place is in the Chief’s Mess; if you have to get the Chief for something, it should be to put a foot in someone’s butt because they are screwing up beyond First or Second Class repair.

But, like my belief in many things, I have come to find that almost all of the above stated are no longer applicable in today’s “kinder, more gentler Navy.” Factor in the Chiefs that fail to stand up for or protect their people, or the ones who are known as “Blue Falcons” (Buddy F-ers) and the whole mythology behind what was supposed to be sacred and revered, is destroyed like a child’s dreams when they discover that there is no Santa Claus.

Some of my best friends in the world are Chiefs and above, and they are the ones that help keep my old beliefs alive. In fact, I had become completely disenchanted with Chiefs before arriving on my first ship and serving with my former Senior Chief. He showed me that there were Chiefs that would go to hell and back for their people and put themselves out there to protect their personnel even if their personnel might not have been completely right in whatever the situation was. My current Chief is the same way… How I lucked out and got back to back Chiefs that were human beings and excellent leaders, I will never know or truly understand, but I did.

Back to my original subject though… there is a Master Chief that I will keep nameless for the time being, that is genuinely concerned about the sailors that he serves with. He WANTS them to succeed and is willing to go the extra mile to help them FURTHER their careers. He wants sailors to have the opportunity to grow as LEADERS, and doesn’t believe in micro-managing or treating the men and women who defend our country like children (which is common here in the FDNF) He’s not sitting on his excessively high pedestal crapping down on his subordinates. He is out and about, mingling with the crew, getting a pulse for what the overall consensus is amongst the deck plates. And he is quick to verbalize his desire to help, and even hands his business card out to junior personnel with the promise of helping them out in the future should they ever need it. And I firmly believe him to be sincere and genuine.

It’s funny what a little effort can do to someone’s moral… his existence onboard (although temporary) has been enough to fuel the fire of my motivation that was originally on the brink of decimation. He was a breath of fresh air to me, as well as a lot more of my fellow crew members. He makes me want to be a better sailor and a better leader, and it is because of men like him that I will have the opportunity one day. And when that day comes, I hope, and pray to god above that I will remember his philosophies as well as the leadership styles of the two previously mentioned Chiefs that I have thoroughly enjoyed working with and for. I only wish that certain Chiefs in the Navy would take a page from his book on Sailor’s and how they should be treated. If they did, then a little of the “Old School Navy” that most joined up for can be felt even in today’s Politically Correct, Kinder and more gentler Armed Forces.

23 October 2007

A Sailor's Life is the Life For Me

I am a firm believer that you have never truly seen the sun set until you have seen it out at sea. The most serene and picturesque sunset that I have experienced was the first one that I witnessed onboard my first ship at sea. The Sky was orange and silver as the stars made their way out to shine. The water was smooth as glass and calm as my ship gently glided through. Silver in color, yet somehow still deep and blue, you could hear the ship’s bow as it cut ever so tenderly through the water as we pressed on forward. The sun was a radiant orange and red and as it touched on the horizon it almost looked as if it had been extinguished as the sky changed from the orangey-silver to the deep black of night.

This, among many other reasons is why I love being a sailor. I love being at sea. There is a serenity that can only be found on the water in the middle of nowhere where you have no where to go and nothing to see but clouds, stars, and water. If you haven’t guessed by now, I am once again out to sea for the ump-teenth time. And while most complain and gripe about it, I actually enjoy it. I look forward to it. I live for it. I can’t imagine life if I couldn’t have time underway. In all reality, I find myself working a billion times harder when I’m out to sea, but that is part of what makes an underway fly by, the constant working into the wee hours of the night, since in all reality, you have nothing better to do anyhow.

I know that this will all change once I am married and my wife and step-son are waiting for me on the shore. But I still think that I will enjoy my time on the open water. And when you stop to really evaluate things, being a sailor can keep a relationship fresh and new… (The time away will usually make the heart grow fonder, and returning after weeks or months at sea is like returning to a new relationship.) Being a sailor grants you, no, affords you the necessary space that every relationship needs every now and again. And even though I love my future wife more than anything, I wouldn’t trade my life as a Sailor for anything. Sure there are a whole slew of negatives with being a sailor… but when I stop and truly analyze things, I would have never found my fiancé if it weren’t for the navy. (We met through mutual friends acquired thorough the navy, and she lives in a part of the Philippines that I may have never gone to if it weren’t for our mutual friends.)

Factor in the new and exotic places that are possibilities… if it weren’t for the US Navy, I would have never seen the many places that I’ve been in the world. Mini-Vacations if you will (when you get time off that is…) compliments of the United States Government. So while others may complain, you will hear nothing of the sort from me. For a Sailor’s Life is the Life for me, and I love to be on the open sea…

21 October 2007

Rules and Regulations

This is more of a pointless rant rather than an insightful blog concerning Civilian Attire while serving on active duty…

The US Navy has a dress code, both while in uniform, and while wearing civilian attire. This dress code or Uniform Regulation is a lawful order and should be adhered to at all times. However, there are areas that are often overlooked and disregarded all together.

One of these said regulations is regarding jewelry for males. The article states that earrings are not authorized while in a duty status, on a military installation, or any other area under the jurisdiction of a military entity. Here in Japan, guys seem to think that it is okay to wear earrings while on base, or even out in town. Some seem to think that out in town is okay because it is off base… but the US Navy has jurisdiction over it’s members under the Status of Forces Agreement with out host nation.

One of my biggest pet peeves is that we, as US Military Personnel are representatives of the United States Armed Forces, so I feel that we should be held to a very specific standard. We should dress, and conduct ourselves in a professional manner on and off duty at all times.

In fact, a good majority of the members in service join to escape the crap back home. So they go to basic training and specialty school, and they learn respect and gain some military bearing. However, you take that same sailor from South Central Los Angeles, get him out of his Specialty School and into civilian attire again, and before you know it he is dressing, walking, and talking the same way he did as a civilian. Why would you revert to your old ways, especially if you were trying to make a positive change in the first place? His clothes will be two or three sizes too big, he will wear a hat or beanie on his head while his pants fall off his butt, all while wearing his grill and eight earrings with bling bling. (Mind you, dental ornamentation is also against uniform standards.)

I know that this rant is superficial, and when it comes down to it, who really cares what you wear in your off time, especially if you are constantly putting yourself in harms way? But hell, this is my blog and my rant, and I will keep complaining as long as I can. But is it too difficult to at least be presentable when you are off duty an in a foreign country? And why is it, that when I try to correct someone’s lack of understanding concerning earrings on base in male’s ears, they look at me like I just killed their family? I feel it to be my duty as Naval Leadership to enforce the standards that I took an oath to obey. I think that is also another underlying problem… people forget that they took an oath to obey and that they did so of their own free will and without reservation. Apparently, I haven’t forgotten, and god willing; I never will.

19 October 2007

Favoritism, Preferential Treatment and Double Standards

This blog is going to probably get me into a lot of trouble… and I am going to probably come off as a sexist pig… but, free speech and all…

Pre-World War II Era, women were not allowed to serve in the US Navy. Things change, and today, almost half of the US Navy strength is complimented with females serving the land of the free. With women serving come a whole lot of issues that can be construed as mostly headache. Since the Women’s Rights Movement, women have fought for equality amongst their male counterparts. Don’t get me wrong… I am all about equality. But to truly be equal, there should be no exceptions or what I like to call the “Because I’m a woman” clause.

I am a firm believer that if a woman wants to be treated as an equal, that she should be entitled to that right. However… in the same breath, she shouldn’t be exempt from things that may be a little more physically demanding for her just because she’s a woman. For instance… if the job requires you to lift 100 pound objects and move them from point A to point B, then the woman should have to move that said object. The excuse of “It’s too heavy” should not apply… how can you expect to be treated as an equal if you are not able to perform a tasking as an equal? It’s a double standard and it needs to stop.

The Navy has a Semi-Annual Physical Fitness Assessment, where there are skewed numbers to better accommodate a female. Take for instance a Male age 17-19. He is required to perform a minimum of 46 push-ups and run 1.5 miles in 12 minutes and 15 seconds. Take a female from the same age group and she has to do a minimum of 20 Push-ups and gets 14 minutes and 45 seconds to run that same 1.5 miles. Why is it that a woman is required to do 26 less push-ups and receive a 2 and a half minute grace period on her 1.5 mile run? How can they honestly ask for and complain about not being treated as an equal when they have such allowances? Personally, I think it’s ridiculous.

Women also tend to get preferential treatment as well. If the job is dirty and difficult, usually a guy will get stuck doing it while the female does an easy administrative type job. (This is NOT always the case as there are some women in the Navy that work just as hard, if not harder than some of the men.)

They also get preferential treatment when it comes to qualifications… a man is usually quick to sign off on a female qualification or to give training than he is to a guy… I know, because I am guilty of doing just that.

Another example is qualifying as an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist. There is a person who is leaving my ship for school who has been onboard for about a year now who procrastinated to get their ESWS Pin, and now, one of their mentors is pushing for them to get a qualification board today before they detach from the command. This board will end up being easier than a normal board, and they will probably be handed their pin without much effort. This undermines the efforts of people who actually went through the song and dance to EARN their qualification. I was quizzing them today and realized that this person didn’t know very much. As an ESWS Board member I already know that their knowledge isn’t sufficient to qualify, but they will; one because of reasons I won't get into, and two because their mentor happens to have a lot of pull within the command; yet another prime example of favoritism and preferential treatment. If tghe situation were different, the person would have left for school without the qualification since the person obviously didn’t put forth the effort to obtain it.

I wish something could be done to remedy the whole double standard thing. But a man will still find himself in a pickle if he tells a female in service to do physical labor, or to do a task that might get her dirty. And the guys that do try and treat females as equals end up looking like uncompassionate a-holes because they aren’t looking out for a females best interest. I like to go with the phrase: “Chivalry is dead, you are in the US Navy a branch of the Armed Forces of the United States. You ask for equal opportunity, so I will treat you as an equal.” I look uncompassionate and heartless, but at least I am allowing females in service the courtesy of Equal Opportunity. I look even worse when a female questions me about my heartlessness. It’s even worse when a female wants to get froggy with me and tries to intimidate me or talk down to me. Since I am all for equal opportunity, I interact with them the same way that I do with men… if a man were to act inappropriately with me, I will explain to them in the simplest of terms that they should stand down or be decimated. Women will often will say something like: “You wouldn’t do that, I’m a woman.” To which I reply: “You want to be treated as an equal… if you are going to come at me like a man, I will end you the way I would a man.” That conversation never ends on a positive note; but again, at least I am consistent and never coddle people.

Maybe one day there will truly be equality in the Service. But as long as there are double standards, there can not, and will not ever be. I apologize for offending anyone with this blog. I’m sure there are quite a few women out there who this blog may not apply to. But again, this is just my own twisted perspective and opinion, and there are a great deal of men who agree with me (but for the sake of your precious feelings, will never come out and out right agree.) Take it for what you will; but if ever you find yourself on my medical table, know that I will afford you the same respect that I afford everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or rank.

15 October 2007


Anyone who really knows me, knows that I am a pretty laid back guy. I’m not overly aggressive or mean, and I’m not overly-military in nature. I am usually pretty laid back and calm. There are, however, instances when I am forced to go into what I call “Petty Officer Mode.” In those few times, a side of me comes out that I detest and despise… but he comes out for a good reason.

Some background… on the situation

About three and a half days ago I was awoken at about 1 AM for a non-emergent issue… (i.e. they woke me for a heat stress monitor.) I told the 3rd class (E-4) that since he was the one who checked it out, he was to return it to me himself first thing the next morning. Today, he came into my office to take a medical exam, and I asked him calmly about the whereabouts of my monitor. He flat out lied to me and said that the Engineers were still using it. I asked him if they were using it continuously for 72 hours and he just kept saying that they were using it. I reminded him that I had issued him a lawful order when he checked out my rather expensive equipment, and he failed to comply and that his disobeying of the order was unsatisfactory. He didn’t respond just then… he came back about 20 minutes later with a friend to try and chew me out…

Back to the story…

So he arrives at my door, walks into my office uncovered; points his finger at my chest and face and says:

“HM2, don’t you EVER YELL at me again, do you understand me!”

This caught me a little off guard and I had to stop and think about what they hell was going on… I had a lower ranking shipmate, coming into my office (my house) yelling and raising his voice at me, about my conduct in my office! To make matters worse, he was in a threatening stance and had a friend behind him for backup. He kept raising his voice, and I countered back with:

“GSM3, you are out of line, and you need to lower your voice in my office…” He continued to yell and repeat his order… I continued… “You also need to check your tone with me, because the last time I checked, this is MY office and I am a Second Class Petty Officer in the United states Navy!”


I was losing my patience… so in true military style I countered with:

“POP TALL! Stand at the position of attention!” to which he did without realizing it. “GSM3, when you enlisted, you took an oath to obey the orders of those appointed over you, I gave you a lawful order 3 days ago to which you failed to comply; not only did you fail to comply, but when I asked you about it, you blatantly lied to me…” he interrupted me yet again:

“HM2, just don’t yell at me…”

“GSM3, I am not yelling at you, but I swear that if you interrupt me again before I am done talking I will start to yell at…” he pointed his finger at my face again and interrupted:

“Just DON’T YELL AT ME AGAIN!!!” to which I went into what I like to call “Petty Officer Mode…” my voice became demonic and Drill Instructor like:




His friend put his hand on his shoulder and told him that they should go talk to his chief. I agreed and with that he did an about face and marched off.

When you go through basic training, you are taught military bearing and etiquette.. if someone out ranks you, you do not have to like them, but you do need to respect their rank. The problem is that once the recruits leave the confines of RTC, they forget all that is instilled in them and start acting like they did before they came into the Navy. While I will admit that I am not the greatest at holding my tongue, I do ALWAYS maintain the necessary tact and respect afforded to those who out rank me. I have to. I took an oath to. There is no respect these days with these kids. It’s sad… there isn’t even a common cultural respect for elders anymore… this kid was probably about 19… I’m just upset that I had to go into “Petty Officer Mode.” There have only been about 4 instances when I have had to, and those who were on the opposite end never enjoy the experience… (Everyone else watching though equate it to something out of Full Metal Jacket.) I just hope I don’t have to resort to that alter ego for a long time to come.

14 October 2007

The path to digression (Part 1 of who knows how many)

I found that the longer I was onboard, the harder I worked. This was especially true for underway times. My HMC kept warning me that I would burn myself out if I didn’t slow down and take time for myself… but I was too determined to find my comfort zone in my profession, and I am a workaholic nonetheless. I am actually content just working and not doing anything else… Let me just tell you… my HMC was right… you do need some personal time or you will lose it….

I was happy and content, doing the normal sailor thing until that dreaded day in October, when I had to go Mess Cranking… I mean… when I was assigned as a Food Service Attendant (FSA)… That was probably the first step towards my digression. Being an FSA is a challenge to everyone… well, not everyone… but to those who are in small divisions or departments, it can be difficult to understand. My Chief kept telling me to just see it through… that Cranking build character… which was ironic, because he never did when he was a Junior Corpsman on a Destroyer. Working for the Mess Management Specialists… errr… Culinary Specialists (as they are now referred to) was a humbling experience. It is difficult to feed 360+ crew members 4 times a day. That’s about all that I took from that whole experience… but I did gain an even greater appreciation for my job as a corpsman.

In time I managed to make third class, which didn’t mean much at the time… but would later prove relatively useful… as I would shortly be promoted over my senior HM3 to Leading Petty Officer of Medical. We would also get a ship rider who I would eventually help achieve qualifications as an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist. All in all, my Motivation level was pretty high, and I was still some what compassionate and not quite jaded.

Orders for my HMC and my HM3 came up, and orders for his and her replacements soon followed. Jokingly I had stated that my HMC’s replacement was probably gonna be a Dental Technician and not a real corpsman, and we both had a good laugh. It seems that I am really good at predicting the future… as the orders that appeared were for a DTC (Chief Dental Technician.) The Navy had only recently merged the rating of Dental Technician with Hospital Corpsman. It just so happens that my soon to be Chief was one of the first to make it through Surface Force Independent Duty Corpsman School. (An impressive feat considering it is one the most difficult NEC to obtain.) I could feel my motivation and drive falter as I had always had a bit of disdain for DT’s and I felt that my new Chief would probably be overbearing and dictator-like since he was a converted DT trying to prove himself as a Corpsman. Thankfully, I would be wrong in that instance.

In January of 2006, my current HMC arrived in Japan with his family. My HMC at the time rented a car and we went to pick them up at the airport. (A tradition for the Corpsman Onboard my ship.) I remember watching them walk and talk ahead of me and the feeling that my world was about to drastically change, and not for the better. It felt like the end of an era, and like my time and usefulness was over.

As fate would have it, my new HMC was actually a great guy. I’m not just saying this because he may read it, I honestly mean that. For those who know me, they remember how difficult of a transition it was for me to have the turnover… (especially since my old chief and I were very good friends on and off duty.) But gradually, my new Chief came into his own, and we have been working fluidly and easily since the start.

Sailors are interesting creatures… like sharks; they can smell fresh blood. The fresh blood in this instance is a fresh IDC, and they took full advantage of that. They would try and exploit him every chance they got for SIQ Chits, LLD Chit… the whole nine yards. And in the beginning he was (like me) overly accommodating. I watched as my shipmates used and abused my chief and would tell him about it. All the while, I was building resentment and becoming more complacent in regards to my crew. This was the path to digression, as this is where I began to become slightly jaded. My Chief eventually caught on to the “Sickcall Commandoes”, and things have mellowed out. They no longer try and scam him or really attempt malingering.

Once upon a time, I was the “Nice Corpsman.” Now, I am the corpsman that they come to only when they REALLY need medical attention. (i.e. they don’t wake me at 3AM for Tylenol anymore.) I’m still a go-to guy, but they usually make sure that it is important before disturbing me at inopportune times (like in the restroom or during a meal.) So there you have it… my story of digression… if you read my first few posts until now, you can see just a glimpse of why I may come off as jaded sometimes (and I promise you that I will in posts to come.) While I have left quite a few more details out, I’m sure one day I may just give them via rant or what have you… but for the time, at least you can kind of see a little about the life of a senior corpsman out to sea.

Questions from my wonderful crew...

So my Commanding Officer did an impromptu Captain’s Call on the 1MC today, where the ship could “anonymously” call in and ask any question that was on their mind… below are my favorite:

“What does our ship do with

“Can the HMC over-ride a Medical Officer’s Order?”

“Why don’t the Corpsman have to run the Physical Fitness Assessment?”

Allow me to give you a little history on what’s has been going on…

The Medical Department onboard used to run the whole Physical Fitness Assessment Program onboard the ship. My HMC gave it up, because it is a immensely time consuming collateral, and frankly, we are too busy keeping up Operational Readiness Numbers to deal with it. Indirectly, the Medical Department still has a toe in the program, as we attend each Assessment as medical support and monitor support. Usually we assist the Command Fitness Leader (CFL) with weigh-ins and miscellaneous tasks concerning.

The Physical Fitness Assessment is held every 6 months and requires a set amount of Push-ups, sit-ups and a timed 1.5 mile run. The values differ depending on your age and gender. This isn’t the problem… the problem is that with our operational schedule and working hours, it is difficult to have the time or energy to work out when you only have 6 or 7 hours to be at home and do home-like things (especially for those who are married and have children.) Take into account the few who are just pure lazy and don’t want to work out… those are the ones who mysteriously have horrible disabilities about a week or two prior to the Assessment.

Any corpsman will tell you that PFA Season is the busiest for those magical ailments like backaches and knee pain… it’s very difficult to take our crew seriously when they never come in for these issues and they just appear shortly before their required test. And they all get angry when they can’t get a medical waiver to be excused from the Assessment… but in all reality, only legitimate medical issues can receive that medical waiver.

On the same note; we do occasionally send people to the Naval Hospital for follow ups with Physicians who will send back RECOMMENDATIONS (not ORDERS) that they be waived from certain events. And sometimes we send those knee pains to X-ray and when the film comes back with a Radiologists Note saying “Normal knee, no abnormalities or tares visualized.” The service member is pretty upset to learn that they get to try and run that 1.5 miles like the rest of the crew.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I do not actually like the PFA myself. I think it’s silly that we have to run 1.5 miles twice a year, and do push-ups and sit-ups… but it is a condition of our employment and it must be done. Realistically though… most naval ships are between 300 – 1000 feet long… there will probably never come a time when you will have to run 1.5 miles on a ship under 13 minutes to get to a station… (for the record, I can get anywhere on my ship from my office between 30 and 45 seconds.) In all reality, it’s a small price to pay to stay employed by Uncle Sam.

On the topic of
malingering… You know… I am really weary on touching this one… So I will tread lightly… It can be perceived by some, that certain people are or may be malingering and getting away with it. While this may be true occasionally… it usually isn’t the case. There are other reasons for a person to not be standing watch or working… But there are some serious issues if medical were to diagnose someone with malingering and there really was something wrong with that patient… especially if they ended up kicking the can or getting hurt. I can’t get too into this without possibily violating patient confidentiality, so I will leave it at that… I just wish my crew knew that if someone were faking it, for the most part, they would get caught.

And last, but definitely not least… “Why don’t the Corpsman run the PFA?” Answer: We do… this isn’t complex math… it’s the honest truth… for every PFA, the monitors are forced to run it earlier than the crew so that there are maximum safety monitors when you have 60 or so sailors at each PFA. And the Corpsmen are no exception… we have to be there in order to help those who may possibly have an issue during the test. (i.e. pass out, twist and ankle, or even have a heart attack.) So painfully… we run it. Unfortunately to the average sailor… if they don’t see someone doing it, it never happened… It’s funny how some people are more preoccupied with what other people may or may not have done instead of what they are doing… I swear, sometimes it’s like being in high school again with all the trivial nonsense that goes on around here.

The Early, more happier years aboard a Ship.

I arrived at Tokyo Narita Japan Airport the late afternoon of 14 July 2004. Bright eyed and bushy tailed… well… more like, jet lagged and anxious… I found my way through customs and got to the arrival area to meet my new Chief and HM3. They greeted me at the gate and helped me get my baggage into the rental car and so began my wondrous journey in the Land of the Rising Sun.

I remember a feeling of wonder and awe the first time I saw my first ship. It looked almost majestic as it sat on Harbor Master Pier West at Fleet Activities Yokosuka. The Hull Number was 62 and the bridge wing had many unit awards and letters painted on it. A huge gold E stood out more than the rest. It was explained to me that my ships was one of the best in the Fleet… 5 time
Battle Efficiency Award Recipient and most senior on the water front. We pulled up next to the ship, and they helped me with my bags as I made my way aboard for the very first time.

I had never stepped foot on a Naval Ship before. Everything was new and exciting… it was a whole new world. We stepped into my office and I was introduced to what would be my world for the next three plus years. I was excited and amazed at my little Medical Department. It wasn’t much looking back at it… it was actually quite small and out of the ordinary. A medical table was in the middle; the kind you see in a doctors office. There was a small 2 bed inpatient ward off to the side, two small computer desks and a countertop. But I was so motivated and just happy to be somewhere new that it didn’t matter.

I was extremely compassionate and accommodating my first few months onboard. I would stop what I was doing to help someone if they asked… it didn’t matter what time of day or night it was… I was Corpsman on the Spot. Since I had to live onboard at the time, I was the most accessible. I would be woken up at 3:00AM for Tylenol because someone ha a little headache and I was fine with that. When my Chief and HM3’s found out, they were a little concerned. They warned me that if I kept being too accommodating, that I would be taken advantage of. And for the most part, they were right. My crew was using and abusing me because I was new and eager.

My motivation was actually pretty long-lived. I lived to work. I would come in an hour before the other corpsman would come onboard just to learn about my job, and to play with the Medical Database that we used to keep track of patients. And I would leave mid evening two or three hours after everyone else had left. I was determined to learn my job and excel at it. My determination would end up paying off later on in my tour… but with positives come negatives….

I watched as the HM3’s interacted with the crew. And I saw a lack of compassion and blasé attitude towards the job. I struggled to understand how any Hospital Corpsman could be so jaded and so uncompassionate. When confronted, they told me that after a while, every corpsman gets burned out with this job, and that one day, I too would be the way they were. I found it hard to believe; but I took there words for what they were.

I loved my new life and job. It was a refreshing change from the bureaucracy of a hospital; and I have never been more at peace than when I am out to sea. I would go topside every night to watch the sunset on the horizon. The water, which was always a deep shade of blue would be silver, calm, and smooth like glass as my ship silently cut through the waves, and the sky would look as if it were on fire. You have never really seen a sunset until you have seen one at sea. A lyric from a song that I would always hear came to mind… “A sailor’s life is a life for me…”

12 October 2007

More About me...

More about me…

I officially enlisted into the United States Navy (Meaning I finally swore in and shipped out) on 28 November 2001. Upon arriving to Recruit Training Command Great Lakes(RTC), I was greeted in the usual fashion by the screaming Recruit Division Commander (RDC) standing outside of the bus and yelling at everyone to hustle and get into the building. As fate would have it, that screaming RDC just happened to be my Eldest Uncle, CTRC(SW) John Salas (ret.) I was enrolled into a 900 division, which for those who don’t know where the elite and “special” divisions for exceptional future sailors or those with special talents. I ended up being on the honor guard and graduating a division that originally won an Honor Division Award (meaning we had excellent academic scores and behavior while in basic training.)

After graduation from RTC, I attended Naval Hospital Corps School across the street at Naval Training Command Great Lakes. 4 months later I was on my way to my first Duty Station: Naval Hospital Bremerton / Fleet Hospital Bremerton Detachment. I worked Labor and Delivery from June of 2002 until June of 2003 when I transferred to Branch Medical Clinic Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (BMC PSNS). Shortly before transferring to BMC PSNS, I was deployed in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom with Fleet Hospital Eight. I worked in both the original 116 bed and later the 250 Bed Medical Expeditionary Facilities (Think M*A*S*H, only with Navy Medicine) in the Medical/Surgical and Psychology Suites.

After Fleet Hospital Eight, I got to BMC PSNS and worked as Supply Petty Officer for almost a year. I also worked Military Sick Call, as I had received orders to Yokosuka, Japan to the USS CHANCELLORSVILLE (CG-62). I arrived in Japan on the 14th of July 2004 and reported aboard my first Navy Warship, the Might Chancellorsville, or as some would affectionately refer to it later… Cell Block 62. I spent a year and a half aboard until I did a hull swap with the USS SHILOH (CG-67). I am due to transfer in July of 2008 when I will hopefully be attending Surface Force Independent Duty Hospital Corpsman School at the Naval School of Health Sciences in San Diego, California.

Welcome... I think...

Although I have a few other blog sites, I've decided to focus my attention on this one. I have recently been inspired by my friend Jim and a number of other Military Blog sites to vent my frustrations and get out my point of view on things. So here I am… allow me to introduce myself…

My name is Vince, I’m 25 and a Second Class
Hospital Corpsman in the United States Navy. I have been serving now for close to six years (next month marks my 6th year of service.) I am engaged to marry in December of this year. My lovely fiancé has a two year old son from a previous relationship, and they are currently both in the Philippines awaiting visa approval to come over to be with me.

By “come over here” I mean Japan… as I am currently serving aboard a Guided Missile Cruiser in the
Forward Deployed Naval Forces based out of the city of Yokosuka. Let me tell you… trying to marry a foreign national is anything but a walk in the park… but I love my Genevie and am confident that all of the headache, heartache and money involved in making her my wife is worth it.

I have been serving aboard a ship now as the Leading Petty Officer for a little over three years. I am on my second extension and am awaiting approval to attend Independent Duty Hospital Corpsman School next summer. I didn’t originally want to be an IDC. originally I wanted to become a Nurse Corps Officer. But when I was due for sea duty, I found my way to my first ship and got to see exactly what an IDC is capable of and responsible for, and I developed a thirst for the job.

I’ll get more into who I am in the next post… duty calls… I have sick call patients at my door. Until next time…