August 22nd, 2006



Been underway again.

It struck me one day that the Hangar is never the same place two days running, especially when we're operating with aircraft. One moment, the place will be an empty steel cave, and the next, I'll open a door and have my entire field of vision filled with helicopter. The Harriers actually look kind of dinky.

Then there are people everywhere--green-shirted maintenance techs maintaining aircraft, yellow-shirted aircraft handlers, red-shirted ammo handlers (aka beebee stackers) and firefighters, cami-clad Marines, and all of the rest of the coveralled sailors that handle the run-the-ship business. (Heh--one day, one of the maintenance guys and one of the handlers were sitting side by side in the Mess at dinner. They looked like a pair of M&Ms.)

More later, perhaps.

A bit more....

Spent a lot of time underway helping to train the new selectees. When I made Chief, a lot of our 'training' was different, although not as radically different as the real old Chiefs.

Still, since the guy responsible for coordinating the training sessions ended up staying behind, guess who took care of it? Yep. No worries, though. We're all Chiefs. Nearly everyone was ready to go when it was their turn, and to flex with the schedule. We really wanted to take advantage of opportunites like DARB* or Career Development Boards**.

Of course, the selectees had plenty of other tasking that shouldn't take much time if they were efficently using their resources and working together. All part of preparing them to be like us.

I like transition. It refreshes me, restores my committment to be a good Chief. I suck at some things, but this is the time where I look critically at how I've taken care of my folks over the last year and determine what I need to do to improve.

Of course, this has been an odd year. I've had two sailors thrown out that the two fine Chiefs in my division, myself, and the rest of the chain of command just couldn't reach. I remember making both of them promises if they didn't set themselves straight, and unfortunately had to keep them both. But some folks just aren't suited to military life.

I really don't talk much about my folks here. It's not the right thing to do. I respect their privacy. And how could I ever expect their confidence?

But let me say that I have at least four of the finest ET2s*** in the Navy, hands down, comparable with any in the Fleet. And a darned good crew of junior guys right behind them.

And something neat: I ordered myself some books from that are on the MCPON's Heritage Reading List because I like to read a bit of history in my rack before sleeping lately. Recently read Rocks and Shoals, and reading about flogging right before sleep yields some rather strange dreams. Some of them came in today. Squee!

Maybe more tomorrow. Sleepy now. Must get up and go running with the Selectees in the morning.


*DARB That's where discipline cases come before the CPO Mess, where we decide if we can fix the problem or if we need to send them on to the XO. Generally, anyone we send to the XO goes on to the CO for NJP [Non-judicial punishment], which could mean anything from loss of pay, restriction to the ship, confinement, or extra duties. Generally, people are supposed to be afraid of being in front of the Mess, but sometimes we get a cocky turd who thinks he can successfully lie to us. They seldom can.

**Career Development Boards are where we try to help set sailors on the path to a satisfying career. Those who come in undesignated (Seaman, Airman, Fireman) get assistance in choosing a rating (job, like electronics technician) that they are qualified for and that is open for strikers (undesignated sailors testing for a rating). CDBs also discuss personal and professional development, like taking college courses, completing qualifications, and the like. Every sailor gets one within 60 days of reporting aboard, and periodically thereafter ... in theory. My division is actually pretty good at it right now. Others aren't.

***ET2 - Electronics Technician Second Class. Navy ratings are part of our 'rank', thus, an Electronics Technician who has been promoted to Petty Officer Second Class is an Electronics Technician Second Class. Paygrade E-5, equivalent to an Army/Marine Sergeant or an Air Force Staff Sergeant.