Showing 372 posts tagged US Navy
Curator’s Choice, NOV 2012.
Please tip your parking attendant.
Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class (SW/AW) Marvin Tapper observes a Landing Craft Air Cushion as it approaches the well deck of amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20). Green Bay is part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group, with the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
(Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Elizabeth Merriam, 23 NOV 2012.)
My, what shitty weather we’re having!
A Sailor’s Dying Wish
After signing my Pop, EM2 Bud Cloud (circa Pearl Harbor) up for hospice care, the consolation prize I’d given him (for agreeing it was OK to die) was a trip to “visit the Navy in San Diego.”
I emailed my friend and former Marine sergeant, Mrs. Mandy McCammon, who’s currently serving as a Navy Public Affairs Officer, at midnight on 28 May. I asked Mandy if she had enough pull on any of the bases in San Diego to get me access for the day so I could give Bud, who served on USS Dewey (DD-349), a windshield tour.
We linked up with Mandy outside Naval Base San Diego and carpooled to the pier where we were greeted by CMDCM Joe Grgetich and a squad-sized group of Sailors. Bud started to cry before the doors of the van opened. He’d been oohing and pointing at the cyclic rate as we approached the pier, but when we slowed down and Mandy said, “They’re all here for you, Bud,” he was overwhelmed.
After we were all out of the van directly in front of the Dewey, shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries, Petty Officer Simon introduced himself and said as the ship’s Sailor of the Year he had the honor of pushing Bud’s wheelchair for the day. Unbeknownst to us, they’d decided to host Budaboard the Dewey, not at the Dewey. And so they carried him aboard. None of us expected him to go aboard the ship. I’d told him we were going down to the base and would have the chance to meet and greet a few of the Sailors from the new Dewey. He was ecstatic. The day before, he asked every few hours if we were “still going down to visit the boys from the Dewey,” and “do they know I was on the Dewey, too?”
Once aboard, we were greeted by the CO, CDR Jake Douglas, the XO and a reinforced platoon-sized group of Sailors. To say it was overwhelming is an understatement. These men and women waited in line to introduce themselves to Bud. They shook his hand, asked for photos with him, and swapped stories. It was simply amazing.
They didn’t just talk to him, they listened.
Bud’s voice was little more than a weak whisper at this point and he’d tell a story and then GMC Eisman or GSCS Whynot would repeat it so all of the Sailors on deck could hear. In the midst of the conversations, Petty Officer Flores broke contact with the group. Bud was telling a story and CMDCM Grgetich was repeating the details when Flores walked back into view holding a huge photo of the original USS Dewey. That moment was priceless. Bud stopped mid-sentence and yelled, “There she is!” They patiently stood there holding the photo while he told them about her armament, described the way it listed after it was hit, and shared other details about the attacks on Pearl Harbor.
Bud finally admitted how tired he was after more than an hour on deck. While they were finishing up goodbyes and taking last minute photographs, GMC Eisman asked if it’d be OK to bring Sailors up to visit Bud in a few months after a Chief’s board. I hadn’t said it yet because I didn’t want it to dampen the spirit of the day, but I quietly explained to GMC Eisman the reason we’d asked for the visit was simple: Bud was dying.
I told him they were welcome to come up any time they wanted, but I suspected Bud had about a month left to live. Almost without hesitation, he asked if the crew could provide the burial honors when the time came. I assured him that’d be an honor we’d welcome.
Leaving the ship was possibly more emotional than boarding.
They piped him ashore. CMDCM Grgetich leaned in and quietly told me how significant that honor was and who it’s usually reserved for as we headed towards the gangplank. Hearing “Electrician’s Mate Second Class William Bud Cloud, Pearl Harbor Survivor, departing” announced over the 1MC was surreal.
Later that night Bud sat in his recliner, hands full of ship’s coins and declared, “I don’t care what you do with my power tools; you better promise you’ll bury me with these.”
He died 13 days later. For 12 of those 13 days he talked about the Dewey, her Sailors and his visit to San Diego. Everyone who came to the house had to hear the story, see the photos, hold the coins, read the plaques.
True to his word, GMC Eisman arranged the details for a full honors burial. The ceremony was simple yet magnificent. And a perfect sendoff for an ornery old guy who never, ever stopped being proud to be a Sailor. After the funeral, the Sailors came back to the house for the reception and spent an hour with the family. This may seem like a small detail, but it’s another example of them going above and beyond the call of duty, and it meant more to the family than I can explain.
There are more photos, and I’m sure I missed a detail, or a name. What I didn’t miss and will never forget, is how unbelievable the men and women of the USS Dewey were. They opened their ship and their hearts and quite literally made a dream come true for a dying Sailor.
They provided the backdrop for “This is the best day of my life, daughter. I never in my whole life dreamed I’d step foot on the Dewey again or shake the hand of a real life Sailor.”
Without question, it’s the best example of Semper Fidelis I’ve ever seen.
Evening Quickie #soldierporn: Freedom salute.
Evening Quickie #soldierporn: Royalty in red.
F/A-18E Super Hornets from the Royal Maces of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27, left, and the Dambusters of VFA-195 prepare to launch from the flight deck of the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) during night flight operations. George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
(Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Peter Burghart, 3 NOV 2013.)
Evening Quickie #soldierporn: Hornet’s halo.
An F/A-18E Super Hornet prepares to land on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Mediterranean Sea, Oct. 26, 2013. The Nimitz is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.
DOD: New job-specific physical standards being drafted.
U.S. Army Pvt. 1st Class Jo Marie Rivera, left, a human resource specialist, and Sgt. 1st Class Rebecca Hamby, a military policeman, both serving as Guardian Angels with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, maintain security for the Female Engagement Team-Chief during a consultation conducted at a female clinic in the Tarnek Wa Jaldek District, Zabul Province, Afghanistan. Guardian Angels helped provide security for key leaders. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kandi Huggins, 18 SEP 2013.)
(Article by Andrew Tilgman, Army Times staff writer, 29 OCT 2013.)
Opening up the combat arms career fields for women will result in a new array of job-specific physical standards that will apply to both men and women, the Pentagon’s top personnel and readiness official said Tuesday.
“You, as the man or woman, need to carry your load. So when we develop the standard, the standard is not just going to be for the females. The standard is going to be the standard,” said Jessica Wright, acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.
Wright is overseeing the process of opening up all military jobs to women by 2016, including more than 200,000 billets that make up the core of the ground-level combat forces in the Army and Marine Corps. The four services are developing a new set of job-specific physical standards.
She said military officials are consulting with fitness experts, occupational therapists and other medical and health professionals to ensure that the emerging physical standard will be based on “science” rather than “opinion.”
Wright, a retired Army National Guard major general, used the example of a Marine infantry officer who must be able to carry a heavy pack on a long trek to develop the stamina needed for grueling infantry missions.
“If he can’t accomplish that mission, he is a failure as an infantry officer. If a female can’t accomplish the exact same standard, she is a failure at being an infantry officer and they both — should they not be able to accomplish the mission — put the mission at risk and put their teammates at risk,” Wright said.
Any exemptions to the rule opening all jobs to qualified women will have to be approved by the secretary of defense. Some officials from special operations commands have expressed concern about the impact of women on unit cohesion of the small teams that make up the bulk of the spec ops force.
The Marine Corps has moved swiftly to integrate women into the infantry. While no women have successfully completed the infantry training courses, 12 are now enrolled in the enlisted course in North Carolina. Earlier this year, 10 women enrolled in the infantry officers training course in Virginia, but for a variety of reasons, none completed it.
The Navy also recently set in motion plans to open up jobs with riverine units, which have traditionally been limited to men.
Wright spoke on Oct. 29 at a conference in Washington about diversity. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., who was also at the conference, said Congress will closely oversee the integration of women into combat jobs to ensure that overall standards are not lowered.
“For the history of the military, those standards have been determined by males,” Cardin said at the conference. “There will be changes — maybe men should feel more threatened than women.”
Ultimately, Wright said, expanding the role of women in the military will improve readiness.
“We talk about diversity in the terms of race and gender and ethnicity, but it is much more than that in my mind,” she said. “It is diversity of thought, of ability, of background, of culture and of skills. Not just who you are or what religion you come from or the color of your skin but your thought process, how you grew up, what you can add to the greater good because of your background.”
[Nobody should care where your gonads are geographically located -if you can get the job done- right? -R]
Evening Quickie #soldierporn: Danger Zone Traffic Cop.
Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Austin Moore directs an AV-8B Harrier II with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) before it takes off from the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). Boxer is the flagship for the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian Jeffries, 23 OCT 2013.)
Appreciation ceremony highlights Pacific deployment.
[Left] Australian Defence Force 1st Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. John Frewen receives a traditional tais, or scarf, from Timor-Leste Defense Force (F-FDTL) Capt. Vitorino Soares during an appreciation ceremony for Sapper 13 participants.
[Right] Australian Defence Force 1st Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. John Frewen exchanges command coins with Timor-Leste Defense Force (F-FDTL) 2nd Lt. Alfares Gil following an appreciation ceremony for Sapper 13 participants.
Royal Australian Engineers, U.S. Navy Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3, and engineers from the U.S. Marine Corps’ 9th Engineering Support Battalion and F-FDTL teamed up to build a new school, outside bathroom facility, kitchenette and playground for the local Duyung suko, or neighborhood, in the Metinaro district of Dili.
Sapper 13 is the first exercise of its kind ever executed in Timor-Leste. During the 28-day exercise, the joint team shared construction techniques and increased interoperability between the three countries. Seabees from NCMB 3 are also deployed to Timor-Leste to execute engineering civic assistance projects, conduct formal training with the host nation and perform community relations events to help enhance shared capabilities and improve the country’s social welfare.
One of the first battalions commissioned during World War II, NMCB 3’s legacy stands strong in its ability to build and fight anywhere in the world as either a full battalion or as a group of autonomous detachments, simultaneously completing critical engineering and construction missions. For this deployment, NMCB 3 has split into nine details to perform critical construction projects in remote island areas such as Timor-Leste, Tonga, Cambodia and the Philippines. The teams will also conduct operations in Atsugi, Yokosuka and Okinawa, Japan; Chinhae, Republic of Korea and China Lake, Calif. The Naval Construction Force is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy. They provide deployable battalions capable of providing disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance and combat operations support.