Let’s not Rock the Boat

Navy life has proven to be a wild ride these last few weeks. Many new initiatives have been taken from the formal introduction of women in combat, to deployment cancelations, and new 21 century sailor measures. It’s hard to know where to begin.

English: Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the S...

English: Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor (1936). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I Is NOT A Dirt Bag Sailor

Pop this week had his first run in with one of those new measures. A Sailor that Popeye comes into contact with on a daily basis showed just how enforceable  SecNav’s orders are, and through no fault of his own Pop got dragged into the whole mess.

Pop and this “Dirt Bag” Sailor (DBS) have had issues for a while. Most of these issues revolved around DBS’s inability to hold to Navy standards of conduct and cleanliness. When racks go unmade, lockers are left unlocked, and items of a sensitive nature get left out in public spaces, sailors get into trouble. DBS didn’t really care but Pop did.

Now, let me remind you all a little about Popeye. He is a model student and a model Sailor. He has a 4.0 in his 6th month of A-school. He volunteers to caddy at a local golf course on weekends. He tutors other Sailors during the week. He goes to and completes PT every week when some don’t even show up. He can out run 2/3 of guys on base and he works very hard to shore up his upper body strength and  his core. (And I’m proud to say he rocked those categories in his last PFA). Again Pop is a Model Sailor.

So what happens when Pop and DBS get put into the same arena? Stress. Lots and lots of stress. No matter what Pop tried, DBS wouldn’t budge. Being nice didn’t work. Offering to help didn’t work. Having a man to man chat didn’t work. DBS just wasn’t having it. And of course DBS’s actions had consequences that extended beyond just him to other sailors on the floor.

This last week DBS really screwed up. He did things he wasn’t supposed to do and got caught lying about it. On top of that he got busted by the new initiatives that SecNav Ray Mabus approved  this January. Now, Pop and a few other sailors have the worst task of all- Reporting (by order) the conduct of a brother sailor to COs.

So, what did we learn?

  1. There are rules for a reason- follow them!
  2. Even when we attempt to communicate what the rules are and why they are there some people still don’t get it. They learn the hard way.
  3. We can only do as much as we can do.
  4. Other people’s actions can lead to more stress throughout the division. Try not to let it get the better of you.
  5. Following orders is sometimes a very unpleasant task, especially if it deals with “brothers”

but the biggest lessons to be learned are summed up quite nicely in the following mottos:

“Don’t do stupid shit!” and

“Is you a Dirt Bag Sailor? No! I is not a Dirt Bag Sailor!”

Hurry Up and Wait 

Many people would agree that “Don’t Do Stupid Shit” applies to more than just enlisted sailors. However, I’m not too sure congress or the pentagon are brandishing it as much as our sailors.

We all know what is going on in this category. It’s the looming threat of sequestration. The Navy must cut billions of dollars from the budget to operate. The only questions we all are asking is where are the cuts taking place? When will the deployment schedule resume? and what happens to rotation?

As Naval families we know there is uncertainty in the who, what, where, when and how division. We honestly get that. Some have the words “Hurry up and wait” tattooed on every aspect of their lives. But it doesn’t make it any less aggravating that our lives are on hold because someone is engaging in stupid shit and not figure out the budget. So for now we wait while we wish the others would just hurry up!

A Lady on my ship? 

Sure. Okay. The US Navy doesn’t really have a problem with women being part of the Navy. If you are a woman and you want to join a branch of the military- the Navy welcomes you! We have lots of jobs that women can do. If you want to know what it is like being a female sailor in our Navy, just ask SA Wee-wee.

However, if you are a woman and you want to join the Navy in a combat zone… crickets… scratching of heads… Okay. The Navy has a few combat zone jobs. But there really are not that many. Most of the time deployments happen on ships in support of  missions. The Navy will fully comply with SecDef’s orders, but be forewarned, most of the guys don’t see that kind of action.

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