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Happy Thanksgiving 2013

For my first Thanksgiving in the Navy, I was a recruit in my 4th week at RTC Orlando. Of my 51 years on this planet, it is the one I recall with the most fondness. Not because of the food, we certainly didn’t get to watch any football, and there wasn’t a blood relative in sight the entire day; however, there was something that made it special, my number one. For the first time in my life, I was actually thankful — I truly felt I understood the day’s meaning. It wasn’t due to a speech or event that day that grabbed my attention, no, it was just being there with a bunch other other folks enduring the same adversities, and we absolutely loved it.

You can learn a lot about yourself when you miss a traditional holiday for the first time. For me, I (Read the rest of the article…)

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Navy SRB Guidance as of 26NOV2013

The following NAVADMIN DOES NOT announce changes in rates, SRB award levels, or the process for submitting a request.

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Private Sector W&S at 1.8%, Again

Today, November 19, 2013, the United States Employment Cost Index (ECI) was released; yes, much later than normal — blame that on the recent government shutdown. Today’s release has the data that contains some important stuff for the serving Members of our military.

Up until this current year, it is the quarterly release that presidents have used to make a proposal for the military pay increases for over a decade in order to ensure our military member’s compensation keeps pace with that of the private sector. For 2014, President Obama, at the strong request of (Read the rest of the article…)

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USS Maryland Logalbum 1925

When I first entered recruiting duty, I proudly displayed the cruise book from my 1982 deployment aboard the USS Forrestal. Over the years, hundreds of applicants perused the book; eventually, it was destroyed. It did in fact help a lot of folks make the decision to join the Navy, so its death was not in vane.

It was due to the untimely death of my cruise book that I decided to make an effort to save one such book from the same fate. Not long ago, the distant family member of a Sailor walked into a local recruiting station and left his relative’s cruise book for applicants to see and enjoy. The applicants will get that chance, but not before I make a copy of all the original images and documents — I will then use the copies to make a new book. The other will either be displayed in a case or turned over to the Naval History and Heritage Command (as discussed with the LPO — if they will take it). The History and Heritage Command has a number of cruise books listed in (Read the rest of the article…)

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Eligibility Updates

Yesterday, November 5, 2013, Navy Recruiting Command released a change to the manual used to provide instructional guidance for enlistment and program eligibility. The following is a quick rundown of some of the highlights.

Over the years, I have received numerous inquiries about how to enlist into a Navy Challenge Program (incidentally, that is another change, it is now (Read the rest of the article…)

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Sold for Scrap

The USS Forrestal’s final fate has been decided. On October 22, 2013, the Navy announced it has sold the 80,000 ton piece of history for one cent. It will be towed down to Brownsville, Texas and cut up for scrap.

I served aboard the FID, it is how most of us referred to her (FID = First in Defense), from 1982 through 85. It was during the ’82 deployment that we transited the Suez, crossed Libya’s “Line of Death”, and escorted the US forces into Beirut, Lebanon.

It was thirty years ago today that 241 of our brave Servicemen were killed in a terrorist bombing of the barracks in which they lived. I shall never forget them.

When I realized the FID would not become a museum like I had hoped (first Supercarrier ever built from the ground up), I was hoping she would be towed out to sea and sank. I would have loved to go fishing on her, but that is not to be.

Kind of ironic, in the last picture I have of her, she is moored next to the JFK, and they have a barge named, (Read the rest of the article…)

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40 in 6

Although I didn’t see it this way while I was in, one of the beautiful things about being in the Navy is the regular physical exertion required to stay in shape and the periodic weigh-ins you had to pass in order to stay in. Once I retired, I ceased doing any regular exercise, and I certainly stopped trying to maintain in-service weight standards. The result? Not good.

Six years into retirement and I tipped the scale at more than 40 pounds that of which I left with. I really didn’t notice the weight gain; I mean, you look in the mirror everyday — the change is so gradual that you just don’t see it. Sure, the scale keeps telling you, but what does it know, I still look as good today as I did yesterday! (Read the rest of the article…)

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Difficulty Joining the Service? Here is Why.

In 1968, back when the Vietnam War was escalating and the number of those having to be drafted into service was on the rise, the political powers at the time saw a benefit to relaxing the standard of enlistment in order to increase the number of volunteers. Increasing the number of those enlisting reduces the number of personnel needed for conscription — a politically prudent thing to do at the time.

Enter, Public Law 90-235, signed into law on January 2, 1968, it states,

“The Secretary concerned shall conduct intensive recruiting campaigns to obtain enlistments in the Regular Army, Regular Navy, Regular Air Force, Regular Marine Corps, and Regular Coast Guard.”

The law instituted some guidelines to assist with that endeavor when it goes on to say,

“No person who is insane, intoxicated, or a deserter from an armed force, or who has been convicted of a felony, may be enlisted in any armed force. However, the Secretary concerned may authorize exceptions, in meritorious cases, for the enlistment of deserters and persons convicted of felonies.

That bit of legislation opened a door for enlistment waivers for moral offenses that would not have been considered previously. To this day, the door remains open, but whereas in some years you could drive a semi-truck through it, in others, you can barely see the light escape from the crack underneath.

As we get ready to enter Fiscal Year 2014, (Read the rest of the article…)

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To Dispel a Few Myths

Every day over these past many years, I received questions via comments posted to the blog or via email that ask NavyDoc or myself to render an opinion to one’s eligibility to enlist. I leave all the medical related questions to NavyDoc — he is an expert, after all, he is a Chief Medical Officer of a MEPS. The questions I field have more to do with things like what to bring to boot-camp, using the GI-Bill, and mostly, moral and drug waiver requirements.

When I answer the questions, I use the current instructional guidance coupled with my years of experience. When it comes to moral waivers, I tend to have to frequently deal first with one of three misconceptions; one, the final charge adjudicated by the court is the charge that must receive waiver consideration; two, that when a charged is dismissed, expunged or sealed, then it no longer requires a waiver; and three, that you would have to have been arrested, charged, or cited for a crime for it to matter.

I’ll discuss all three issues.

When it comes to reduced charges; in most cases the reduced charge is (Read the rest of the article…)

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Navy Jobs for the Third Quarter CY 2013

As I state each time I publish this list, 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 July (even though the notice was signed and released today) through the last processing day of the current fiscal year (last workday of September).

It has come to my attention that some applicants are waiting on the release of this notice before they go to MEPS — that is not wise. Keep in mind that the ratings that are listed here are those that have been a challenge to fill, so they would be the same ones that would be there even if you go to MEPS before the notice is released.

Except for NAT-Aircrewman, the programs and ratings on the list remain the same, and they are:
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Navy Recruiting Blog about the enlistment process and benefits of service. This is NOT an official Navy web site. The opinions expressed are my own, and may not be in-line with Big Navy.
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