coast guard

Happy Veterans Day to our real-life superheroes! Today we give thanks to all who put the freedoms and safety, we all take for granted, before their own. We give thanks to those who’s selfless nature and sacrifices too often go unnoticed. So reach out to those veterans in your life give them a big ol’ hug and thank them. To all the veterans out there, THANK YOU!! Today you will be noticed. 🇺🇸

[[Battlefield Cross]]
I took this picture at the Vietnam Traveling Wall which is on display at Gateway Park in El Mirage today. The little girl in the background just happened to walk into my picture, the moment I snapped it and it couldn’t be any better of a moment. The look on her face, tells it all. Soldiers goes off to war and one way or another, they always come home; either to be greeted by their love ones or in a box carried by their love ones. Either way they lost something, their lives, their sanity, their marriage, their home; they’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for us, this country and the flag; it’s reason such as this the reason why I stand during the National Anthem. But this little girl, I don’t know who she is, but does she know what she’s looking at and what it all means, the sacrifice made for her? We can only imagine.

Watch on the-earth-story.com

A couple years ago - a brand new island popped out of the ocean off the coast of Japan. That new island - called Nishinoshima, engulfed a smaller nearby island and is now 12x the size it used to be. The eruptions have stopped and the island now is at least temporarily stable, so life has begun occupying it. This short video documents a group of Japanese Scientists as they visit this nearly unexplored landscape.

A boxed Devil Dog:
Off the shores of Guam, Coast Guardsmen and Marines handle a “Devil Dog” with care as they transfer the war dog from a Coast Guard landing barge to an LVT. He is boxed because he is trained for battle and apt to go after any and all but his own handler. 1944
(USCG Photo)

My brother who is at military training, on a brief phone call, told me that President Trump’s Inauguration Day was a HUGE celebration for everyone on their base!

He told me that his one instructor was so glad to finally say “Nobama” and walked around saying it all day, since if you didn’t know, in the US Military you cannot oppose or speak against the President who is the Commander-In-Chief of the US Military.  On January 20th 2017, the military finally could talk trash and tell the truth about the horrible Obama after 8 miserable years.

Everyone was so happy that Donald Trump won and who will now look after the US Military and respect them, unlike Obama who spit on the US Military on a daily basis.  Last I checked, only 10% of the US Military approved of Obama while the other 90% hated Obama.

God Bless our US Military!  I’ll try to get more details from my brother next time he can call.

Military Relationships

The hardest part of it all is watching him walk away again at the end of the day. Knowing he’s leaving again. Saying “see you later” each and every time, hoping with each one, you’ll never have to say it again. When they leave and you watch them, helplessly, tears streaming down your face, that’s the hard part. The part no one tells you about. The part that tears you to pieces. But there’s always another reunion, sometime down the road, that keeps you going. Another chance of seeing them again which makes you get up in the morning. The knowledge that you’ll once again be in their arms after the wait which eases you to sleep at night. It’s not an easy life but it’s the one I’ve chosen and wouldn’t trade for anything.

Unofficial “Milso” Playlist

I’ve seen multiple “milso” playlist and they are all old & usually only one genre. I’m only sharing one that I made. Its a list of relatable of songs that I listen to when I’m in that funk. This is also probably good for Long Distance Relationships in general! Bolded ones are personal favorites!

  1. Willow Smith : Drowning
  2. Gym Class Heroes : Back Home
  3. Beyonce : At Last
  4. Bryson Tiller : Exchange  
  5. Carina Round : For Everything a Reason 
  6. Ciara : Jackie (for when you need a boost)
  7. Daniela Andrade : Thinkin Bout You
  8. Daughter : Numbers
  9. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros : Home
  10. Florence & The Machines : Over The Love
  11. India Arie : The Truth
  12. Jaden Smith : PCH 
  13. Janine & The Mixtape : Hold Me
  14. Jhene Aiko : W.A.Y.S. & Promises & For My Brother 
  15. Lana Del Rey : The Man I Love 
  16. Lauryn Hill : Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You
  17. Mac Miller : Objects In The Mirror
  18. Miguel : Pussy Is Mine / Coffee / Simple
  19. Moldy Peaches : Anyone Else But You
  20. Paramore : My Hero / The Only Exception
  21. Rihanna : Stay / We Found Love
  22. Roy Orbison : In Dreams
  23. J.Cole : Hello
Enlisted Ranks (Grades) - Navy and Coast Guard

Sorry for the unfinished version of this post that came up earlier - my laptop glitched and posted early!  Here’s the full post.

The Navy and the Coast Guard share a lot of traditions, one of which is having ranks (or, as these two services call them, “grades”) that bear no resemblance to those of our ground-pounding or air-watching brethren.  Much like the Army, however, you can always count on the fact that lower numbers = lower ranks.  Both the Navy and the Coast Guard will confuse things by having ratings as well as ranks, but we’ll stick with ranks here.

Where rank is worn depends on what uniform someone is in.  In a Navy dress uniform, the rank is shown via a rank/rating badge on the sleeve.  In the Coast Guard, enlisted members wear their rank insigna on both sleeves or on the collar, depending on the uniform.  In coveralls (shared by both services), any type of camo (aka, the soon-to-be-defunct “digie blues”, aka NWU or newer NWU type III), it’s worn on the collar.  Same thing with the black and tans.

Navy and Coast Guard uniforms are complicated; look for a post on that later.  (Or you can check Wikipedia; it’s strangely accurate on this!). For now, let’s go back to ranks.

E-1 thru E-3: Seamen (and its many varieties) 

E-1: Seaman Recruit
This is your mark 1, mod 0 guy/gal fresh into the service.  But because the Navy and the Coast Guard like to be complicated, the rank of E-1 has several variations:

Navy and Coast Guard:
Seaman Recruit (SR)
Fireman Recruit (FR)
Airman Recruit (AR)

Navy only:
Constructionman (CR)
Hospitalman (HR)

E-2: Seaman Apprentice
The Coast Guard advances new sailors straight to SA after graduating from boot camp.   The Navy automatically advances sailors after six months.   You can also jump straight to SA with enough time in a JROTC program.   Again, you get the same variants as above, which turn into SA, FA, AA, CA, and HA.

E-3: Seaman
Advancement is automatic, provided the CO approves.  For the Coast Guard, 6 months time in grade is required.  For the Navy, a Sailor must have one year’s time in service and at least 9 month’s time as a SA.  Again, we have the same variants as above, now SN, FN, AN, CN, and HN.

All three Seaman ranks are commonly referred to as “Seaman <insert name here>”, like “Seaman Schmucketelly”.  Someone is generally not referred to as “Seaman Recurit Schmucketelly”.

E-4 through E-6: Petty Officers

After advancing from Seaman, a Sailor must take advancement exams to reach the Petty Officer ranks (there are some specialty schools that will advance someone, but that’s part of the rating conversation).  These grades are:

(E-4) Petty Officer Third Class
(E-5) Petty Officer Second Class
(E-6) Petty Officer First Class

These ranks indicate increasing responsibility.  A Second Class or First Class may serve as a Work Center Supervisor, or a Leading Petty Officer in their division.  

Basic Promotion Requirements:

E-3 to E-4:
Coast Guard: CO’s recommendation, at least 6 months time-in-rate (TIR), or automatic upon graduation from either “A” school or a formal Striker Program.
Navy: CO’s recommendation, 6 months TIR, 2 years time-in-service (TIS), or sometimes automatic upon graduation from “A” school.

E-4 to E-5:
Coast Guard: CO’s recommendation, at least 6 months time-in-rate (TIR) and passing the advancement exam.
Navy: CO’s recommendation, 12 months TIR, 3 years time-in-service (TIS) and passing the advancement exam.

E-4 to E-5:
Coast Guard: CO’s recommendation, at least 12 years TIR and passing the advancement exam.
Navy: CO’s recommendation, 36 months TIR, 7 years TIS , Completion of the Navy Leadership Training Continuum (LTC), and passing the advancement exam.

Keep in mind that although the Coast Guard’s requirements look easier, promotion quotas exist.  Only so many sailors can be promoted each cycle, so the top performers are the ones who are advanced more quickly.  

Petty Officers can be addressed as “Petty Officer Schmucketelly”, but they’re usually referred to by their rate, such as “BM2 Schmucketelly” (Boatswain’s Mate Second Class Schmucketelly) or just “BM2″.  More on that in another post.

E-7 thru E-9: Chief Petty Officers

Chiefs are the backbone of the enlisted ranks in the Navy and the Coast Guard.  They’re sometimes a law onto themselves, and serve as the enlisted leadership in any ship or unit.  In order to make Chief Petty Officer (E-7), a Sailor must pass an exam and then their record goes before a promotion board.

Requirements:
Coast Guard: CO’s recommendation, at least 2 years TIR and passing the advancement exam.
Navy: CO’s recommendation, 36 months TIR, and 11 years TIS. [The TIS requirement can be waived for stellar candidates; I worked with a 7 year Chief who was one of the best I ever served with.]

(E-7) Chief Petty Officer
(E-8) Senior Chief Petty Officer
(E-9) Master Chief Petty Officer

Advancement from CPO to SCPO to MCPO depends entirely on record review, completion of leadership requirements, and TIR.

E-7 to E-8
Coast Guard: 2 years TIR
Navy: 36 months TIR

E-9 to E-9
Coast Guard: 2 years TIR and completion of a Senior Enlisted Academy
Navy: 36 months TIR and completion of a Senior Enlisted Academy

Master Chief and Senior Chief Petty Officers often serve as Senior Enlisted Advisors (SEL - usually Senior Chiefs), Chief of the Boat (subs), and Command Master Chiefs.  They are the CO’s primary adviser on enlisted affairs.  Although the CMC/COB/SEL won’t set policies, they’re the “bellybutton” of the command for enlisted morale, training, and other issues.  This individual serves closely with the CO and usually has a very frank and open relationship with him/her.

The Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) is the senior enlisted member of the Navy.  Same with the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG).

Chief are addressed either as “Chief”, “Chief Schmucketelly”, or as “BMC” (Boatswain’s Mate Chief).

Senior Chiefs and Master Chiefs are generally just referred to as “Senior Chief” or “Master Chief”, with or without the addition of their name.

Other Enlisted Stuff:

Enlisted Sailors E-6 and below will often address one another with their last names, particularly ones that know one another well.  First names are very rarely used, particularly not on duty.  

No one will refer to a Chief as “sir” or “ma’am” - the immediate response from said Chief/Senior Chief/Master Chief will be that “I work for a living!”  

I’ve also referred to “Rates” a lot, and I do promise to work on another post for that one.  Basically, rates = specialties, and as is often said in the Navy, “Choose your rate, choose your fate”.  Once you’re rated, you’re in that rate for the rest of your career, unless you cross-rate to another one.

-LT Robin4

I’m so glad to have such a beautiful person to spend my life with. Through all the hardships and distance put between us we always overcome the obstacles together. Our strength and love is unshakeable and I know we can make it through anything. I’m walking into this with no doubt we will be Ok. I have such an amazing wife. I couldn’t be more thankful. I love you so much, baby. Thank you for living this life with me.
—  Words said by my husband right before he shipped off to Afghanistan