Navy Cyberspace Blog

Condition ZEBRA is Set

It dawned on me a couple of weeks ago that I may be putting people’s privacy at risk.

Everyday, a good chunk of those seeking information about joining the military post questions to this blog. Their questions normally include personal information such as medical information, financial status, and even moral and conduct indiscretions. I redact any name information — a lot of visitors tend to put their full name, and each time I replace the last name with [Last name redacted for privacy]; it is time consuming, but necessary. They also use their email address (even though it is not displayed, the information is transmitted from their CPU to the server). Up until the last week, I thought that would be enough.

I do not want any of my site’s visitors to share information without having a sense that their identity is protected, so, I took a major step and added a dedicated IP and an SSL certificate with 256 bit encryption that uses a 2048-bit key; it’s better than Facebook and Twitter currently uses :)

Now, a note to other Webmasters. This transition is not as simple (Read the rest of the article…)

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Navy’s DAT Policy Revisited

Ever since Navy Recruiting Command has implemented its policy of zero tolerance for when an applicant fails the Military Entrance Processing Station’s initial drug portion of the Drug and Alcohol Test (DAT), it never sat right with me. It is a policy that was originally implemented in an effort to help reduce boot-camp attrition for drugs by sending a strong message that the Navy meant business. Admirable motives, but there are flaws, and I voiced my concerns while on active duty, and well, I am bringing it up again. It still bothers me.

I am 100% for drug testing. I think the Navy, and the military as a whole, has a much better and safer work environment as compared to the time before testing and zero tolerance. But, I am also for a consistency in policy.

From Commander, Navy Recruiting Command Instruction (COMNAVCRUITCOMINST) 1130.8J – VOLUME II, Chapter 1, Section 1, pg. 3-4;

a. Automatic Rejections. Application for enlistment or affiliation shall be rejected from any individual who:

(17) Has ever tested positive for drugs on a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) drug and alcohol test (DAT).

It is clear, if an applicant fails the drug portion of the DAT at MEPS — it doesn’t matter how long ago, or from what service the applicant may have been originally processing — that applicant is barred from enlistment, and no waivers are authorized. Period.

Now, here is where it gets confusing. (Read the rest of the article…)

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Navy Jobs for the Fouth Quarter FY 2014

Navy Recruiting Command’s Admiral’s Accelerator Award (AAA) is a quarterly award that provides, in part, an incentive for recruiters and job classifiers to fill ratings and programs that could use a boost in qualified personnel. The current guidance runs from July 1 through September 30, 2014 (the fourth quarter of the fiscal year). Of course, any rating could be available on any day, but due to the emphasis, the following ratings and programs listed should have a higher visibility from the first processing day, tomorrow, in July and through September 30, 2014 (a Tuesday).

Many of the programs and ratings on the list remain the same as the last AAA, and they are:
(Read the rest of the article…)

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Operation Live Well

Recently, I had the opportunity to discuss an important health initiative with Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. William Mahoney, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, and Navy Command Master Chief Terry Prince, Senior Enlisted Advisor for the Defense Health Agency, going on within the Department of Defense (DoD). The initiative, “Operation Live Well”, now celebrating its one year anniversary, helps focus members of DoD on healthy living and beating tobacco use.

The topic is of major importance to those of you seeking enlistment. Many of you do not currently have a routine of fitness, some of you are battling weight issues, and a few of you use tobacco products which impedes your progress toward success. Remember, while at boot-camp, (Read the rest of the article…)

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Hurry Up and Wait

Lately, well, actually, over the past few months, I have been getting a growing number of applicants, and even some recruiters, telling me via comments in the blog, social media, or via email that they are waiting on their local commands and MEPS to inform them to whether their police involvement and/or medical condition will allow them to move forward with their processing. This is actually a normal part of the processing.

The medical prescreening issue:

When an applicant has a “yes” answer on their medical prescreening form, DD Form 2807-2, Medical Prescreen of Medical History Report, the corresponding medical records must be submitted to the MEPS for review. MEPS personnel will respond with one of a few options, either, eligible to process, permanently disqualified, temporarily disqualified (usually a timeframe will be given as to how long the disqualification will be in place), or that more medical documentation is required.

What isn’t normal is having to (Read the rest of the article…)

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One Week Left

The last week of my final semester in college. April 30th will be my official last day. All told, I will finish with two degrees; one in Information Technology, and the other, Graphic Arts — I would not have done it without the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Thank you, America!

I still have much to learn in both disciplines, but I feel as though I have a pretty good grasp on the concepts. The Information Technology path has helped tremendously with the Navy Cyberspace Web site is a much different place than it was before I started this journey into higher learning — from the color scheme to the responsive layout (recognizes your screens resolution — desktop, cell phone, etc. screens), I think it looks better. Visitors are staying longer and navigating deeper.

For the Graphic Arts, I remember my first day of class — I didn’t feel as I belonged there because after all, I could not draw — I have/had zero skill. I can not even draw a stick figure that doesn’t look as if it should be drawing disability, but I quickly found I didn’t need to.

Where there is a place for those with talents of Vincent Willem van Gogh and Leonardo da Vinci, there is also a place in the graphic art world for geeks like me. This will be a fun ride.

I will close out this post and leave you with this — it is my last Project, my final exam, for my Video Editing II class. I hope you enjoy it!
(Read the rest of the article…)

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Navy Distinguished Visitor Program

Over the years, Navy Recruiting Command has sponsored Educator Orientation Visits (EOV) to give educators around the country an opportunity to visit our Navy. The visits can include various training commands and even ship visits. Below is a description of one such trip written by a High School Principal in San Francisco — it is worth the read!
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Navy SRB Guidance as of 10APR2014

Below is the latest Selective Re-enlistment Bonus (SRB) guidance update. Released April 10, 2014 via NAVADMIN 081/14. This is the first such update in more than a year.
(Read the rest of the article…)

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Navy Jobs for the Third Quarter FY 2014

As a reminder, any rating and program for which you qualify may be available when you go to MEPS to enlist, but those ratings and programs I will be listing below are reflected in the incentive program for recruiting personnel message that was released today, specifically, the Admiral’s Accelerator Award. The ratings and programs listed should be available from the first processing day in April (even though the notice was signed yesterday and released today) through the last processing day of June 2014.

Many of the programs and ratings on the list remain the same, and they are:
(Read the rest of the article…)

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Funeral Honors

The funeral honors for those who served in our military is guaranteed by Section 1491 of Title 10, United States Code. For those eligible, the Department of Defense shall provide the following:

“(c) CEREMONY.—A funeral honors detail shall, at a minimum, perform at the funeral a ceremony that includes the folding of a United States flag and presentation of the flag to the veteran’s family and the playing of Taps. Unless a bugler is a member of the detail, the funeral honors detail shall play a recorded version of Taps using audio equipment which the detail shall provide if adequate audio equipment is not otherwise available for use at the funeral.”

Although not specifically provided for by law, (Read the rest of the article…)

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