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Navy Cyberspace Blog (2)

Coming Soon, A New Navy dot Com

Published: October 25th, 2014
Updated: October 25, 2014
By: Thomas Goering

To reduce the cost associated with hosting and updating two Websites, Navy Recruiting Command will be shutting down navyreserve.com according to its Fiscal Year 2015 Business Plan published Thursday. The content from navyreserve.com will be incorporated into navy.com. When released, the new navy.com site is expected to allow for a better overall user experience by providing a single resource for learning about the Active Duty and Reserve Components of the United States Navy. The newly upgraded navy.com Website is expected to be live between November 14, 2014 and February 15, 2015. According to the plan, the delay in deployment hinges on the Navy’s general upgrade to Internet (Read the rest of the article…)


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One More Nail in the Coffin?

Published: October 17th, 2014
Updated: October 20, 2014
By: Thomas Goering

When determining what issues can be a medical, dependency, drug, or conduct waiver for the military, the data for those who received an untimely discharged is gathered by the service’s and the Department of Defense where a continual analysis is preformed. The data collected will include such information as prior service issues, type of waivers conducted, etc. Based on the trends indicated by the data, modifications are made as to whether it is cost effective to allow waivers for certain issues and behaviors to become more restrictive or whether they should be allowed consideration at all.

For example, when it was found that a significant number of people joined the military who had a history of shoulder dislocations later had a high recurrence rate of injury that led to limited duty or even a medical discharge, it became less likely that people who had a history of shoulder dislocations would be allowed to serve. Restricting them from joining helps maintain the general readiness of the fleet, and it saves the taxpayer dollars. This is generally how medical disqualifications are established. The same can be said for other types of waivers.

Having a history of even one time cocaine usage requires a drug use waiver for enlistment and commissioning. The reason a waiver is required is for the same reason as for the shoulder example; Servicemembers who had a prior history of that type of behavior showed a greater risk of repeat behavior, downtime, or discharge than those who did not. As a matter of fact, for drug usage and abuse and the problems it caused in the fleet, that is what initiated the military’s in-service drug policy of zero tolerance in the early 1980s.

As long as we continue to mitigate the costs through analysis, I (Read the rest of the article…)


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Navy Jobs for the First Quarter FY 2015

Published: September 30th, 2014
Updated: September 30, 2014
By: Thomas Goering

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 October 1 through December 31, 2014 (the first 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 October. Yes, tomorrow.

Some of the programs and ratings on the list remain the same as the last AAA, but there are some new arrivals!

Expect the ship date to be with in FY-2015 (ship to boot-camp by September 30, 2015)
(Read the rest of the article…)


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These Feet Don’t Back Up

Published: September 11th, 2014
Updated: November 9, 2014
By: Thomas Goering

EO1 Fred Gill, United States NavyThe sun comes up pretty early down in Southern Louisiana, but not before the hardworking souls that toil away over the lands to produce the nourishment required to live. You get used to the heat, the humidity, and even the insects, but you never get used to pains of hunger, especially when it is pain felt by those of your own family.

Fred Gill Jr. was born on October 19, 1923, just outside of Kentwood, Louisiana. Even before the Great Depression, life in the rural South was tough. Fred recalls, “If you didn’t have a farm and work, you didn’t eat.” As a kid growing up, there wasn’t much time to contemplate the problems outside his own. His entire world was his family and friends of that small country town.

Patriotism in rural America has always been strong. When the radio announced the attack on Pearl Harbor, Fred, just like every other red-blooded American was ready to answer the call, but leaving at that time would have put unbearable strain on the family. His father needed his help to feed his younger siblings. His mother was very ill. Fred’s war was much closer to home.

The urge to serve our country was strong. After his mother’s passing, and life started to stabilize at home, he was ready.

In late 1942, Fred made his way about 90 miles south to New Orleans where he ended up at the door (Read the rest of the article…)


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Condition ZEBRA is Set

Published: August 17th, 2014
Updated: December 15, 2014
By: Thomas Goering

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 what 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

Published: July 3rd, 2014
Updated: August 17, 2014
By: Thomas Goering

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;

MANDATORY REJECTIONS/WAIVERS NOT AUTHORIZED:
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 Fourth Quarter FY 2014

Published: June 30th, 2014
Updated: September 30, 2014
By: Thomas Goering

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

Published: May 29th, 2014
Updated: October 20, 2014
By: Thomas Goering

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

Published: April 24th, 2014
Updated: February 18, 2015
By: Thomas Goering

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

Published: April 22nd, 2014
Updated: August 16, 2014
By: Thomas Goering

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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