Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Submarine Coloring for the Kids

[Cross-posted from "Unconsidered Trifles"] Hmm, let's does that Christmas carol go?
A pair of hopalong boots and a pistol that shoots
Is the wish of Barney and Ben;
Dolls that will talk and will go for a walk
Is the hope of Janice and Jen;
And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...
Well, shipmates, I'm here to help you keep your sanity until the kids are back in school. I found this link to a fun page where you can print-out sketches of your ol' boat for the young'ins to color.

Enjoy--and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sailors blast wear rules for blue cammies

Below is my submission for a Navy Times op-ed ("BackTalk"), I have done a number of these in the past few years (both before and after I left active duty). It's a bit strongly worded, but the rules regarding the NWU prompted my "can't suffer idiots" gene to become dominant.

As a civilian now, I can officially (and legally) say this and not get into hot water with my Chief of the Boat…so here goes.

The Navy leadership is certifiably Stupid. Yes, that was a capital “S”. It was intentional.

I refer to the recent rules laid out for the new Navy Working Uniform. I remember the restrictions placed on dungarees way back when, and how we looked forward to the (current) utilities when they were new in the late 1990’s. The idea then was the utilities were supposed to be acceptable for off-base wear, at least for routine things like stopping at the bank, the DMV, the grocery, or to pick up one’s kids at school. And it worked…somewhat. The restrictions loosened to a fairly reasonable degree (though not near the degree other services had). Don’t get me wrong, the restrictions were still a bit silly given that we are all adults, but they weren’t overboard.

Now the Navy is returning to the realm of sheer idiocy with the rules for the NWU. For a uniform that is in cut/design nearly identical to uniforms worn by the Air Force and Army, the rules on where they are worn will herald a return to the situations that I found myself in back in Hawaii in the 1990’s.

I had a problem with the local DMV in Hawaii…they never sent the renewal for my car in the mail, forcing me into an in-person visit to register my car with the military exemption. Not a huge deal, I would just swing by the DMV satellite office after I went on liberty one day, on my way home. If I were lucky, the Chief would actually cut me loose early that day by a half hour or so, too. However, since the DMV satellite office was in the local mall, I had to stop by crews berthing first to change into civilian clothes. Again, not a real problem, though I caught flack for obviously going on liberty early (in civvies) as I left the boat (yes, boat…I’m a submariner). But imagine the irony as I stood in the DMV line, ahead of me an Airman in cammies from Hickam, behind me a Soldier in cammies from Tripler AMC, and in the next line a Chief in khaki. Of the four of us, the only one not in uniform…me, the Navy “blueshirt”. Once in the long line I got into a conversation with an Air Force buddy (in cammies), a neighbor who wondered just why it was I had to change. I think my overheard reply annoyed the Chief near us, as I explained, “the Navy is embarrassed at our working uniforms, and doesn’t trust it’s enlisted personnel to wear them right”. Oddly, he didn’t dispute my take on the situation…I don’t think he could.

The newest rules further that attitude…enlisted personnel are children, and cannot be treated as adults by letting them (GASP) wear a working uniform off base. Good grief, imagine if they wore something DIRTY? Or in POOR REPAIR?

I won’t get into the pros and cons of the new uniforms…that’s another discussion entirely. But to the leadership of the Navy, I’d say this…start treating enlisted personnel like adults, and stop making stupid rules that even your Chiefs admit are nearly impossible to enforce. As a service we should be proud of our uniforms…aside from being a uniform, they are a symbol of our service and sacrifice, and something that in one form or another have been worn by honorable, courageous, and committed Sailors for over two centuries. When they are worn properly, they do us credit. When worn improperly, well, that’s part of the job of the Chiefs, officers, and senior enlisted to correct, and if they do their job right they do us all credit, too.

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Crossposted at The Online Magazine Formerly Known As Rob's Blog

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Quotes from one of my favorite American President and greatest patriot.

I Stole these from Right mind, But given the times and situation, We all need to reflect on those who came before us and made this nation what it is....

* Thomas Jefferson: When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.
Thomas Jefferson: The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
Thomas Jefferson: It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.
Thomas Jefferson: I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
Thomas Jefferson: My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
Thomas Jefferson: No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
Thomas Jefferson: The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Thomas Jefferson: The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
Thomas Jefferson: To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
Thomas Jefferson: I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New SECNAV a Lawyer?

Caruso cartoon was lifted from article at Molten Eagle site.


Sunday, December 07, 2008

"A date which will live in infamy..."

Sixty-seven years ago, the devastating surprise attack on the Pearl Harbor Naval Station drew the United States into the largest war in world history, World War II. Nearly 2,500 soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and civilians were killed, several ships and hundreds of aircraft were destroyed, and the "sleeping giant" that was the United States was aroused to war.

It's an attack that we should never forget, and a war that we should always remember and always hope we never have to repeat.

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