Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Benefits Of Serving

I've been touched by all the good wishes from Facebook friends and family members this Veteran's Day -- it seems like people are more aware of the holiday this year than in years past. While serving in the Armed Forces is undoubtedly a sacrifice, many of us enjoyed benefits other than the good feelings of our fellow citizens. I'm thinking, of course, of boondoggles.

"Getting the good deal" has two contradictory meanings in military culture. It can mean that one is getting a bad deal, but it can also mean that someone has lucked into some TAD job that is rewarding from either a financial or life experience perspective. Generally, more junior military personnel don't see that as much; about all they can hope for is some sort of "stash" duty while waiting to class up for a school where they "work" 20 hours/week while getting lots of time off in a nice city. The more senior you get, though, the better opportunity you have for a real good deal.

I got my "good deal" right before I retired, when I volunteered for IA duty with CENTCOM in August 2003. I wrote about the background here; here's an applicable excerpt for those who don't want to click on the link:
They set me up in a two BR apartment in St. Petersburg and had me take over the "Coalition Financial Ops" desk in the Iraq Coalition Coordination Center from a Navy CDR who was leaving in three days. As I was turning over, I found out that I was basically in charge of figuring out how to set up a system for handling over $500M of funds to help support the 30-odd countries getting set to provide troops in Iraq in August '03. I had a memo from Condoleezza Rice saying we could use the money, a four page memorandum of understanding between us and Poland that was mostly generalities, a slightly longer MOU between Poland and the other countries that had even more generalities, and an E-mail cache -- and that was about it. Needless to say, it concerned me a little that there weren't any procedures set up ahead of time, and I was even more concerned that a Navy O-4 with no real financial training was supposed to come up with these procedures.
The whole time I was in Tampa, I got regular food per diem plus a car, along with the 2BR apartment (that cost the Navy more than what I was paying for rent for my 4BR house in San Diego -- the contracting people out there weren't very good negotiators.) I also got three 5 day trips to Warsaw as part of my duties. While I worked hard during those trips for several hours a day (and I got stuff done that I wouldn't have been able to do from Tampa), I really enjoyed having them put us up in a really nice hotel and have enough per diem money to enjoy the folk dancing and other cultural activities.

One interesting story of serendipity from one of my visits. I was there for a manning conference for the 2nd rotation for MND-CS, and got stuck going to the Administrative Support breakout session because my job didn't really fit in with any other group. It turns out that, unbeknownst to anyone in my group, they were expecting us to say whether or not a contingent of the Illinois National Guard that was providing admin support to the division would be staying for that rotation. Having no clue, I said I'd look into it; unfortunately, I didn't have a secure way of communicating with Tampa. As we were hanging out in the hotel bar that night, we noticed another table of Americans, and started talking to them. It turns out that one of them was the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, in town on a boondoggle completely unrelated to ours. I got my answer, and looked like a hero the next day.

Did you ever get the good deal?


Blogger Travis said...

Stash duty at Tulane University as a recently commissioned ENS. Made going to power school directly after that much harder.

11/11/2010 4:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made mention to the detailer that I would be willing to be an Admiral's Aide. After I didn't get selected for CSG-9, I am pretty sure because I was not a Boomer F*g, I had to find another job or another Admiral to work for. Eventually, he let me know that I could go to Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. The only catch was that I would be the Aide for only a year and then go on to get a Master's Degree. It worked out that we spent over 3 years in Monterey on shore duty, learned a lot about how the Navy worked and got a Master's Degree.

11/11/2010 4:42 PM

Anonymous Wasting Money said...

I am not sure if the taxpayer (or my wife) is ready to hear about my good deals while in the Navy or now as a civil servant.

They usually invlove mucho sex, beer and a total waste of tax money!

11/11/2010 5:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Got augmented for a school on second half of West Pac. Flew out of Japan to Pearl only to realize that my command had botched my order dates - I ended up in Pearl with 10 free days before I had to report anywhere.

2) At squadron awaiting school while boat was at sea - my job each week was to ensure the duty van had been run through car wash.

11/11/2010 5:56 PM

Blogger I'm Bill Howell. said...

Three years working as CDO in the CINCUSNAVEUR FCC in downtown London. Navy paid for my 2BR flat just off Baker St. (about $3400/month, depending on what the pound was doing) so I could walk to work. 12 or 13 twelve hour watches a month, mostly spent watching baseball on AFN and reading message traffic, waiting for something to happen. Rest of the time, no responsibilities whatsoever.

The billet was only available when I rolled to shore after my XO tour because no one would take it when it should have filled, three months before. Probably wasn't a great career move, but who cares? Best deal I got in twenty years.

11/11/2010 6:13 PM

Anonymous hamptonplankowner said...

direct deposit canceled 30 days before i got out while i was at sea for orse , bounced 7 checks, and pay dept could have cared less, but i did get out a day early on dec 23 and never looked back

11/11/2010 6:24 PM

Anonymous 3383 said...

I had a similar issue to hamptonplankowner's- Bought my 1st new car (no, not an IROC) in '85,set up an allotment with Chrysler Credit Corp., and most of the rest of my check direct deposited. Three months into a WestPac I started getting letters from CCC... apparently as far as Uncle Sam was concerned, they were not a "financial institution".

My credit was hosed for YEARS.

My stash duty wasn't bad. Post Office assistant at NAS Memphis, fairly close to family. Stood gate guard a few times to make sure the cute ladies had their seat belts on, got dirty looks because I happily render salutes to uniformed officers, not blue stickers. A complaint letter followed me to Orlando because I did not show up to 2 gate guard watches the week after I left.

11/11/2010 7:31 PM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

A two week TAD to Plymouth, UK as a watch officer for an Ocean Safari exercise. I stood an eight hour watch making sure that no subs collided with each other and then had time to tour Plymouth and the surrounding area and do shopping for items to take home to the family. Since I am a history buff it was great to see where the Pilgrims left for the New World and where Drake played crochet when I got the word to attack the Spanish Armada. The OpCenter we used was the same one used for channel defense during WWII. It was a great two weeks away from shipyard routine. Two of the JOs had an even better deal since they stayed in London and worked on the main exercise staff. It was agreat experience for all.

11/11/2010 8:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got almost 4 months off
without even a muster.

I just had to crash test a
submarine. Too bad I didn't have
an operational left leg at the


11/11/2010 10:33 PM

Blogger Ret ANAV said...

My good deal: Getting hired by my present employer shortly after I retired to teach others how to do what I've essentially spent most of my life doing.

Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life.

11/12/2010 3:18 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simple; If you stay past your first stint.. You deserve to have it broken off in your arse.

11/12/2010 5:22 AM

Blogger Alexander said...

EKMS Manager Course in Pearl Harbor. Last class scheduled for 3 weeks, first class working with the 2 week course of instruction. Final week all we had to do was come in and wave. Icing on the cake: lived in housing right across the runway.

11/12/2010 6:34 AM

Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

PNEO/OPWACHEM on Ford Island could be the best job in the Navy. Had a great time, with one 'unlock the door' duty day a month.

The one month where I happened to have to unlock the doors twice, I didn't have another watch for 6 months because the coordinator felt so bad for me.

I can even remember a month or two going by where I never put on a uniform!

11/12/2010 7:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

NAVSUBSCOL had us come in and paint the hallways and offices during Christmas stand-down. Most codes had the students doing it, but we were CISO, so we had no students. However, they gave us latex paint. that stuff cleans up with just water, That was an awesome deal!


11/12/2010 7:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only ever had one TAD boondoggle, and I don't even know if it qualifies as a "good deal".

In '88, I was on the PA during pre-comm. We had to fly out to TTF Bangor to do our Sonar certs, as TTF KB was not up and running yet. I had to account for every single fucking penny of the per diem I was given up front, and had to repay what was left. They threatened to take your birthday and your left nut away if you ran out and asked for more. So, we ate microwave meals We bought at the commis-scary. We were put up in the BOQ on base, not bad, but they put us three to a room. No rental car. We were picked up by the TTF duty van at SEATAC. I went out and got a rental car on my own. I became the designated driver. grrr.

While we were there, we spent 8 hours a day in the TSOT with instructors STS1(SS) 10 Grit, and STS1(SS) 20 Grit, so called for their reputation for being abrasive, arrogant, and rude. And it was on eves.

During the day, we spent in a crash course for BQQ-6 Advanced Maintenance, where the ultimate goal was to challenge the course so the boat would have the required NEC manning of advanced techs.

The kicker was, at the time, I thought I was having fun. At that point in my career, anything new I did was an adventure to me. I was content in my ignorance and naivety.

In December '95, I finished the Advance Sonar Employment/LPO course at TTF KB. I was slated for the USS RI, but her departure date was before my Report NET date. I checked into Group a week after she left, and they weren't due back until the end of the patrol. I was looking forward to three months of skating at Group. My "good deal" set into motion the minute I sat down at the Group manning YNC's desk. I got me a set of TAD orders! To the USS Nebraska! They were down to 75% manning in their shack. Two guys made Chief, and two guys got out unexpectedly. So they picked up me, a nub, and two skimmers from FTC Mayport (that's another story by itself).

All in all, as far as patrols go, it was the best I ever did. The 739 was a great crew, and CDR (now VADM) Mel Williams was a great Skipper.

There were a couple trips to Andros Island for our Approach and Attack Party and Torpedo Room to ride piggy bag for TCP down at AUTEC. That was cool. Lots of drinking and two very long days at sea.

11/12/2010 7:56 AM

Blogger John said...

A thirty day TAD at COMSUBGRU 6 in Charleston while waiting for my boat. I was a DCPO in five section duty. We had 24 hr duty on duty day and four days off.

Also, while not a 'good time' in the sense of this thread, my first shore duty was as an instructor at Dam Neck, VA (1981-1984). I was a new first class petty officer and selected for the Officer Training Branch. I got to teach my stuff (strategic weapons system navigation) to PCO/PXO/PNO's. Quite heady for a first class petty officer. Though I worked my ass off on that tour, it was thoroughly rewarding.

Oh, and I felt more Veterans Day loving this year as well.

11/12/2010 8:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't believe no one has brought up the SOBC-on-per-diem-living-in-a-Groton-Long-Point-mansion-rental great deal. Guess there are too many others who had to endure the Swiss Chalet. I remember Wes Hines bought a boat with his extra per diem money, spent most of SOBC overhauling the motor, and then got stranded out by Fishers Island when it died. Lots of booze while waiting for the tow back in. Good times.

11/12/2010 9:06 AM

Blogger tennvol said...

Per diem at SOBC? I don't remember that. Maybe because I was coming from just up the road at S1C? Of course, I have killed a great many brain cells since the spring/summer of 19990.

11/12/2010 9:35 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

I hated the SOBC per diem deal, because that only applied if your follow-on orders weren't to Groton, which mine were. Most of the guys in the class living high on the hog, and I had to fight and claw to hang onto my BOQ room (as my family hadn't moved out there yet; my wife was finishing up the semester at Idaho State from when I was at prototype).

11/12/2010 10:28 AM

Anonymous YNC(SS), USN, Retired said...

Good deal; USN 1959 - 1987. Second good deal; 1970 - 1972 Spec Weps Logistics Officer for CINCPACFLT at COMWESTSEAFRON; five days a week 0800 - 1600 keep track of pieces of things being moved around in western USA and Pacific, Spec Weps Duty Officer during major exercises. Boss was Captain ACoS Logistics. Third good deal; 1977-1978, stashed at Naval & Marine Corps Reserve Center, Alameda, CA for ten months. Worked 0800 - 1500 Wed, Thu, Fri. Drill weekends worked Sat and Sun 0800 - 1700. Non-drill weekends (usually two per month) we had off.

Fourth good deal; retired after 28 years, and get paid for breathing.

11/12/2010 11:22 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a QM2(SS) re-enlisted for 20K and shore duty, Military Policeman, in Subic Bay 1986-1989.

Sex on duty, sex off duty. And as a bonus got to bust skimmer heads. Nothing better than being the law in a relatively lawless place.

I had completed my package for conversion to MA2 but unfortunately I made QM1 and had to go back to a boat.

11/12/2010 11:38 AM

Anonymous submarines once... said...

Good deal-single and summers in La Madd...great deal-living through it!
Great deal #2-year in OZ as a student at their Defense College. Tough assignment but someone had to do it!

11/12/2010 11:55 AM

Blogger Atomic Dad said...


That opwaterchem job is still a good deal... just not near the deal it used to be.

Just FYI... I've heard about the old days at nastypac. It seems any instructor who was around then was on one awesome shore duty.

That being said, I love it here even though those days are gone. Going home every night to my family is a huge benefit. (no..I'm not the opwaterchem instructor)


11/12/2010 1:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only was I able to take a 9 day excursion to Europe for an exercise and associated meetings in 2 different countries, since my fare and lodging were covered in some nice digs, I bought my wife a ticket based on my work related frequent flier miles and made a second honeymoon out of it. Sure I did work during the days but it was definitely a EURO work schedule. With the per diem, I figured it was a break even deal.

11/12/2010 4:32 PM

Anonymous STSC said...

As a Reservist in Pennsylvania in the middle of winter I volunteered to go underway on a Counter Drug operation on a tin can.

The week before leaving I received an ordmod changing the port I was meeting the ship from Panama (meh) to Aruba (yes!). When I arrived they put our whole group on liberty for 4 days.

Transited to Cozumel and then it was more liberty until midnight before the day we pulled out.

Transited to Pascagoula & hopped on a flight home (a day early) about an hour after the Maneuvering Watch was secured. The LPO cut me out early because I helped fix their busted fathometer enroute to Cozumel.

I arrived back home to a blizzard was the only bad part - but I was tan & enjoyed essentially a 1 week Carib paid vacation.

My first shore duty had so much time off I ended up with 2 more kids by the end of the tour! It put my career on hold but the quality of life was so awesome there I'd probably do it again. I was home by lunch almost every day...

11/12/2010 5:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

OHARP for 2 months after OCS

Boat breaks in Yoko, 2 weeks at the Sanctuary


OOD for Summertime Night Surface Transits, Westpac

Alupang Tower

Getting off on a BSP before ORSE

Flying back to CONUS from Guam 1 wk later

Hanging with the criminals and drug addicts at Bangor TPU 1 month before leaving active duty (no work except waiting for med checkout)

The 2-day drive home from Seattle

Everything else was pretty much a kick in the teeth!

11/12/2010 10:07 PM

Blogger Old Salt said...

First good deal- 1 month in San Diego between boats. TPU LPO was a Second Class. My friend and I had just made First. He handed out assignments to E-5 and below, and told us to come back in the morning. I guess he was smart enough to realize what would happen if he tried to hand out crap jobs to guys senior to him.

11/13/2010 1:15 AM

Blogger MT1(SS)WidgetHead said...

I'm in a training billet here at Bangor. I work 10 to 12 hour duty days and it's not too bad. Plus taking nine hours of school, I still have plenty of time to study, sleep, exercise and screw off in general (time management permitting). Coming from Kings Bay not too ago, I wasn't sure if I'd be happy here in the wetlands.

Sometimes you just have to surface and expand your horizons. Slowing for a moment and looking around in life ain't always a bad thing. I've figured it as a pretty nice concept I've learned out here.

On a personal level, I'm observing who's active and who's retired here in Silverdale and in Seattle when making way across the sound during our days off. For me, it's fun to talk to fellow Boomer Fags, Fast Attack Jack asses and even skimmers for that matter. Fast attack guys (FTs, STSs, MMs) and others have some pretty cool toys to play with nowadays in training and while underway. Should I go for a change in rate? No, I don't really mean that...Lol.

For now, I'm living with a girl who's not sure if she wants to move back to K-Bay with me (She's never been to Georgia) when I PCS sometime late next year. She did her sea time as a CS2(SW) based in Everett and never had a shore tour before getting out. What is it with skimmers?...Why do they not police their own and look out for each other as we do? Never have fully understood it except that they're alot bigger in numbers than we are.

Last thought for this fine rainy evening in the Pacific N.W. is that I just payed off my Ford-150 (2008) at 6% financing and I'm one happy drunk bastard right about now...and no, I'm not going back out tonight. (Yeah, that's probably a good thing right about now) Must say, the Per-Diem here is unbelievably sweet. I wasn't expecting that...But then again, I didn't research it prior to.

Regarding Veteran's Day yesterday, four of us had a nice lunch at Silverdale Applebees. I swear, we must have had a quarter of COMSUBLANT in that bastard yesterday. A few of us might have made an error in judgment time wise, because we got there about 1105 and the place was already on a 20 minute wait. But what are you gonna do when your MTCS and his party are there too about four meters away? I got a look from him indicating for us to get back to work when possible that afternoon.

As indicated from other guys here, I too felt the appreciation from yesterday abit stronger than in the past. I'm accustomed to receiving a free coffee at Burger King on Vets day and being happy with it. But what was really cool at Applebees yesterday noon time was that it was a fully packed madhouse with all of us being Vets and all of us in a happy mood...because we're all accustomed to waiting in line without much complaint in life.

I say that because when you walk into a restaurant who's busy, you'll generally overhear some idiot who's gonna bitch about the time they have to wait before getting a table.

But not yesterday when we had guys and their wives and/or girlfriends
(from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, DesertStorm and along with today's overseas goatfuck operations.) Unless you were wearing SUs or blues, most guys were wearing a shirt or headgear from their era. I thought that was pretty cool. It was like going to a gun show or a truck show back home. We all have our pride and there's no bitching.

Gotta say in a simple way that yesterday was alotta fun for everyone...and this will be all for my drunken and easy minded rant for one night.

The Widget

11/13/2010 2:56 AM

Blogger MT1(SS)WidgetHead said...

EmmK...Just had a phone call regarding the fact that I'm in COMSUBPAC and not SUBLANT. Might be nice if I remember that very basic concept of life from time to time, especially when sober.

11/13/2010 3:23 AM

Anonymous 5of9 said...

Grew up I Silverdale. Graduated from Central Kitsap. Joined the Boomer fleet, stationed in Bangor. Full hitch in my hometown. While crewmates yearning to go home, where ever that was – I was home. Can’t get any sweeter than that.

11/13/2010 6:57 AM

Blogger Ret ANAV said...

Born and raised in Tacoma, most of my family there...did 3 tours in Bangor. Not entirely by choice, believe it or not, but certainly did not turn it down when offered! Only one (Thank God!) boat tour, other two were shore (CSG-9 and TTF as a returning Fast-Boat Bubba). The totally unexpected good-deals!

11/13/2010 7:22 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) OHARP after OCS for three months
2) Went "NAVHOSP 5th Floor" after divorce, pulled out of Prototype for six months (classed back up later)
3) PNEO at Pearl Harbor when the boat changed homeport to Norfolk

11/13/2010 7:53 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

38 one month tours as a recruiter in Rice Lake, WI. Recruiting was a lousy job but the liberty was outstanding. As a 'crab' working for DHS, 30 days TDY on Maui, first class airfare round trip, $104.00 per diem per day, paid for rental car, my back yard was the Pacific with humpback whales breaching often and hosing a drunk chick that I'm sure don't remember my name. Perfect.

11/13/2010 2:20 PM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

Jeez...and here I thought the occasional "Aloha Friday" (off at noon on payday Fridays after field day, muster at Beeman's) or four-section duty during standdown was the "good deal". Guess all things are relative.

11/14/2010 12:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Late 80's, weaponeer on one of the last old-school boomers - boat homeported in KB, crew homeported in Chaleston. We'd been in the shipyards for 2 1/2 years refueling (dont ask). Our crew had done Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie trials, TRE, ORSE, NWAI+OT+DASO, and a deterrent patrol (69 days). Nearly a year with the ship, we were tired (yes, boomer fag whining). It finally came time for the Other Crew to take the ship for their inspections, so we traveled to Charleston for Offcrew.

I dont know how the other divisions on the ship handled that first Offcrew... didnt see them much in the Offcrw building. In those days, there was never enough room for allt he ships crews.. and we were the "new kids".

My Chief would muster us in the hall outside the ship's office at 0800, then send us over to one of our guy's rooms at the barracks across the street. To "study". He'd come over to check on us around 11am, when he'd either say something like "Go to lunch, be back tomorrow at 0800", or "Go to lunch, muster at 1300 at the Windjammer on Isle of Palms for GMT."

Subsequent offcrew periods were not nearly as fun.

11/14/2010 9:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anytime being attached to an shore duty ever!

11/14/2010 11:26 AM

Blogger Mark said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11/15/2010 12:29 AM

Blogger Mark said...

My experience was that most boondoggles for nukes went to junior enlisted or officers. I made EM1 in 4 years (SPU then to my first boat as an EM1/SU) so I didn’t get a lot of time in the junior category and never desired to join the officer ranks. I did enjoy my finish. My command did not like my performance as EDMC. Boat was in the IO/Arabian Gulf and they sent me home early to retire. If the command would have gotten their desire I would have arrived in Groton mid-Sep and retired by Oct 1st; I’d lost over 60 days in leave (could only sell back 2 months worth); and I’d lost employment 6 months earlier than expected with all hardship associated with that. As it turned out the civilians at the retirement desk said that was bullshit and set my retirement for Dec 1st. Giving me two months of terminal leave. I was out early enough to begin teaching in the Fall. I also had time to set up my disability, got to see the Red Sox win their first World Series in my lifetime, I was in Yankee Stadium for the famous game 7, after being behind 0-3 in the series. I was outside Fenway chatting with the riot police when they won the World Series. My boat spent 3 more months in the IO doing what boat’s do. They had to return the long way around Africa with no port calls. They had their ORSE and then after a short stand down was back to sea for several months. All of which I missed. I feel bad for the Squadron guys that covered my billet, but I’m sure they got their boondoggle out of it. I know I got one hell of a Boondoggle out of it and I have never looked back at what I missed out on.

“Anonymous said…
Simple; If you stay past your first stint.. You deserve to have it broken off in your arse.
11/12/2010 5:22 AM”
Sorry dude, that is sooo wrong. Do your best and have a plan. I know lots of folks that got out after their first enlistment and did well. I also know many that stayed in and did well. I stayed for 25 years, I saw and did lots of stuff. I am very proud of the time I served. I was a lot better teacher and technician than administrator, but I always did my best and have no hard feeling for the long hours and days missed underway. You’ll get good deals and some “Navy good deals” but the same happens in civilian life. It is typically your attitude that makes life enjoyable or makes it suck.

Math Teacher in Up-State NY

11/15/2010 12:31 AM

Blogger MT1(SS)WidgetHead said...

Mark what do you teach?...calculus, trig, accounting or stats? I gotta say stats is my favorite. It's almost the only math I'm able to reason my way through in an acceptable fashion without much help.

“Anonymous said…
Simple; If you stay past your first stint.. You deserve to have it broken off in your arse.
11/12/2010 5:22 AM”
Sorry dude, that is sooo wrong.

Really have to agree with that. Show up with a negative horse shit attitude and eventually, no-one is going to want to work with you. Ever noticed how most guys with a such an attitude generally don't make rate or get the next choice assignment?

My main emphasis is to find a way or even create a way (if required) to make the best out of a bad situation. If you're issued lemons, then make lemonade and I'll add a considerable amount of Patron Silver to sweeten the deal for everyone about. A bad attitude will eventually get you killed if you really think about it.

11/15/2010 1:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My final duty station- an anonymous NAS. Base 1st LT. The ofice had to be manned until 1600, for those 1559 "We need this done right away." calls. After 2 months there I went to the XO and told him I had a problem. On a REAL busy week, I could stay busy for 24 hours, but most of the time, boats (BM1) and I were staring at each other. XO's reply? "Well Chief, its like this. Your predecessor was working 50, 60, sometimes 70 hpours a week, and I was always calling him to tell him what needed to be done. You're telling me you can't keep busy, but whenever I think I might need to call you to do something, I look outside my window, and somebody is doing it. I don't care if you stay at home and call in to your guys what to do, as long as I don't have to call you."

I went back to the office and said, "Boats, I'm senior I'm leaving at noon MON, WED, and FRI. You're leaving at noon TUE and THU. If you want a MON or FRI off, let me know. No problem." And that's the way it was the rest of my time there.

Why was the job so easy for me? ANS: Boats. He had been there forever, and knew what to do. I guess the previous job holder didn't listen to him.

11/15/2010 9:57 AM

Blogger Mark said...

“Mark what do you teach?...calculus, trig, accounting or stats? I gotta say stats is my favorite. It's almost the only math I'm able to reason my way through in an acceptable fashion without much help.”

I teach Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2/Trig. It is a small country school and I love it. I’m 6’3”, 270 lbs, with a full beard, when they start with me in 8th grade all the girls are terrified of my class (I’ve made at least one girl cry each year. So far, three this year.) The boys love my class. By the end of 9th grade no one is scared of my class and they all enjoy math enough to take the state testing as the joke that it is. If you cannot pass the NYS math regents you should not be getting a high school diploma.

The COB on the Hampton hooked me on a saying many years back, “If you are not having fun, you are not doing it right”. Thank you Bobby Allen (I think that was his name). That has always been my attitude and he gave a saying to go with it. My students quickly see I love Math and love them so it is a fast paced, fun class. Stats and probability is a topic spread all through the curriculum, I have a lot of fun with it using big soft dice that the students throw around the room. Also being in horse racing country, all my students quickly learn the difference between odds and probability.

Attitude is the biggest single thing I always teach. They can hate math or they can love it. It is all the same to me. They are going to do it, along with the homework, the projects, and the tests. They quickly learn that even math can be fun and when it is, Math is really not that hard. I’ll put the parallel in that the Navy/Military is no different. You can be a miserable asshole and hate life and everyone around you will hate life also, Or you can have fun with it and you’ll see it really ain’t that bad. Though, I recommend Bacardi with the lemons.

Teacher Up State NY
EMCS/SS Retired

To amend a previous comment... for nukes, junior enlisted, officers, and screw ups usually get the good deals. Unfortunately the later is how I got my final good deal.

11/15/2010 3:50 PM

Blogger MT1(SS)WidgetHead said...

I received an A in Algebra 2 my sophomore year in High school. It wasn't as bad as Geometry (a B just barely) was for

From your stature and demeanor, you remind me of my Senior year English teacher/Football coach. He would have made the perfect RDC and/or COB. He'd work you hard, but still a helluva' great guy.

In school the best teachers are the ones who've actually lived in the real world along with serving on active duty. It shows who have only lived in the sanctuary of the Ivory tower v.s. the ones who've actually gone out and suffered and experienced actual life before moving on to instruct others. Those are the teachers we fondly remember the most later in life.

11/15/2010 11:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

MT1(SS)WidgetHead said...

Dude, are you still drunk??

11/16/2010 11:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know about the MT1.
But dude it certainly sounds like you're still drunk. Are you stoned too dude? Stop being a bad dude and be a good dude. Okay dude?

11/16/2010 3:13 PM

Blogger MT1(SS)WidgetHead said...

Umm...Nope I'm not Dude. I'd like to be drunk if I didn't have to turn to in about five hours from now with a clear head. How's about you Pard? You still good and pissed? Not a good idea to challenge me on said subject...Trust me, you won't win.

11/16/2010 11:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Dude, was not challenging you so no need to get defensive. And am not now nor was I ever pissed off at you. Was just askin cuz you seemed so happy, albiet a bit fuzzy in your earlier posts. Maybe I was just going to offer to be your designated driver, at least until you got sober.

11/17/2010 11:43 AM

Blogger Alexei said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11/18/2010 6:23 AM

Blogger Alexei said...

Three good deals come to mind:

1) Stash ENS job onboard USS Constitution over the summer of 1997. It was the summer of Operation Sail 200: in honor of her 200th birthday, and thanks to the extensive overhaul she got in the mid 90s, we took her sailing under wind power alone for the first time in over 100 years. To facilitate that, we got 19 midshipmen, who I was in charge of, as well as a lot of other support. We went up to Gloucester where we were paraded through the streets and treated like kings. After spending the night there, we sailed back to Boston for a huge reception with a band and the Secretary of the Navy. Shoot, I even got to meet Neil Armstrong when he came to a reception on the ship. And we got a MUC. Now THAT was a good stash job!

2) In the fall of 2000, the boat decided to fly me back to Pearl from Korea to start PNEO, vice making me do the transit back home onboard. So I got a couple weeks of stress-free "studying" out on Ford Island instead of Vulcan death watches. :) It was almost a disaster, though, because I spent the last night in Pusan partying (ah, Texas Street). At around 3 am, I realised that I really ought to not go to bed because I'd sleep through my alarm and miss my plane. But sure enough, I fell asleep....and slept through my alarm and missed my plane. Crap! I got to the airport as quick as I could and got the next flight to Seoul. That flight landed 10 minutes before my connection to Narita was scheduled to take off, but I couldn't get on. For a few moments, I began to panic. There I was in Seoul, the boat got underway at 0800, I didn't know the phone number to the base in Chinhae, and the only person I knew in Korea was my roommate from College who was an artillery officer somewhere on the DMZ. Bad juju! The ticketing people were helpful, though, and got me on the next flight to Narita, where a closer look at my itinerary showed I was scheduled for a 6 or 7 hour layover anyway. So I calmed down and got on the flight. At Narita, I went over to the Northwest ticketing people to make sure all was well, and they informed me there was a JAL flight leaving an hour and a half earlier than theirs, and they'd be happy to put me on that one instead. I took the offer. Upon boarding the JAL 747, I went to my little seat in coach. As I was putting my bags into the overhead, one of the flight attendants came over, looked at me, my ticket, and my assigned seat, then shook his head and gestured for me to follow him. "We have a different seat for you" he said, and lead me forward to the nose and the business class seats. I guess NW upgraded me when they switched me, because I got to enjoy that flight to Hawaii in the comfort of free booze and my own private theater/entertainment system. Sweet! Good end to a potentially disasterous start to the day. :)

3) After my DH tour, I asked for and received permission to participate in the PG School's EMBA distance learning program. Every Wednesday, I got offer of work to go over to the video teleconference classroom at Naval Reactors Headquarters for 6 hours of classes. Not a bad deal. It got even better, though, because the kickoff for the program involved a week in Monterey for orientation and a team building class. The timing for that worked out great, because it was the week after the annual Tomahawk Missile conference, that year in San Diego. Since I was the Tomahawk guy in the office, I had to go to that, too. So it turned into a low-stress week in San Diego, followed by a nice two-day drive up the Pacific Coast Highway and a low-stress week in Monterey. Good deal! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish the EMBA, because about 7 months later I was tapped for an emergent fill job in Charleston. But it was fun while it lasted, and I got transfer credit. Finishing up the MBA next month. :)

11/18/2010 6:24 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm...the miracle of the Google machine. Nothing like running across a bunch of vets on the internet swapping all of their "remember that one time when I totally didn't have to do anything" stories.

Doing that in a normal, peacetime era? Okay, I get it.

But regaling each other with your wonderful tales of slack-assery is just criminal when there's a war on. A war, which as you are all aware by the lack of a CAR in your ribbon rotation, has little or nothing to do with the navy, except for corpsmen, SEALs, a few aviators dropping CAS, Seabees and the occasional IA that we get to answer our radios in the TOC.

So I hope Applebee's tasted good on Veteran's Day while the Corps and the Army kept you safe. Feel free to go back and watch the Colonel Jessup lecture from A Few Good Men, because yes, he was talking to you.

I will preempt your inevitable defensive responses, 'You could've joined the navy and been on subs, too, no one made you be a groundpounder'.

Yes, that's true. And I don't have a problem with sub guys. God knows that having people on Boomers ready to pull the trigger has kept us safe from armagaeddon for fifty years. I respect anyone who wears the uniform.

What I DON'T respect is a bunch of guys slapping each other on the back and swapping all of their weak ass "good deal" stories while a bunch of us have found out first hand that the free boneless buffalo wings at Applebee's come at a pretty high price for some.


An OEF (one tour) and OIF (two tour) vet

12/13/2010 5:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in Aruba when Holloway was killed.

12/15/2010 12:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best good deal: first half augment, got to wave goodbye to the boat as it left on deployment.

"Good" deal: reenlisting at the last possible minute and then not receiving a direct deposit for almost 3 months. Career counselor, and the CO tried to intervene to no avail. COMSUBLANT was embarked and heard about my problem. He sent a message to his flag secretary to ask the personnel people wtf was the problem ? Still didn't get paid until a month later. I was "this close" to missing ship's movement in protest. But I knew the retribution would be hellacious, so I sucked it up. I did have SRB to live on, but what a cluster fuck.
- ET2(SS)

1/04/2011 4:44 AM

Blogger GameforYou said...

All the buildings, paintings, and basically culture of the time look incredible in pictures, and probably even more amazing when you're actually there. The light post in the center of the street looks magnificent and probably even better when it is hand lit at night time. It's also good to know all these buildings that hold so much history are still up, and the style still seems impeccable despite it being built during the 14th century.

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2/02/2012 4:39 AM

Blogger simson11 said...

For a guy who doesn't smoke many cigars you have a great collection. As you know I like collecting these boxes too. Great idea for a still life when the weather is crap. I also like the sense of light and strong composition.
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5/05/2012 10:25 AM

Blogger simson11 said...

Hi Stefan,
thanks for your comment on my blog. I really appreciate it. Love your paintings! We seem to be all following the same blogs LOL. It's nice to have this community of painters. I am finally getting more into plein air.
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5/05/2012 10:56 AM

Blogger simson11 said...

1. Got augmented for a school on second half of West Pac. Flew out of Japan to Pearl only to realize that my command had botched my order dates - I ended up in Pearl with 10 free days before I had to report anywhere.
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5/11/2012 9:54 AM


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