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.