Archive for the 'In The Navy' Category

15 APRIL 1961: THE BILLY B TAKES HER FIRST DIP…

September 9th, 2017

We chased the Kitty Hawk’s sister ship, the USS Constellation CV 64, for many a sea mile in 1976. Because this first “Super Carrier Class” was armed with MK 10 Terrier Missile Systems, I could have opted for duty on the Kitty, or either of her two sister ships (USS Constellation CV 64 or USS […]

MY FIRST SKIPPER: RADM BYRON BRUCE NEWELL…

September 8th, 2017

From the 2017 USS Bainbridge DLGN/CGN 25 reunion in Lancaster, Penn., 4-8 June.

MEET THE BACKBONE OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY…

September 5th, 2017

On board the USS Bainbridge, CGN 25, we had a saying: The captain speaks to god, but the chief is god. There has been a spate of ignorant silliness of late as a result to the high-profile collisions of the USS Fitzgerald DDG 62 and the USS John S. McCain DDG 56 that make claims […]

A READER WRITES TO THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE…

March 2nd, 2017

Reader Response—From a midshipman at the Naval Academy who “thought you might be interested in hearing a reaction to the President’s speech from an officer in training” I was profoundly disturbed by the moment surrounding the exaltation of Senior Chief Owens and his widow. Most news analysis marked it as the highlight of the speech. […]

FAIR WINDS TO THE USNS HARVEY MILK (T-AO 206)…

July 29th, 2016

The United States Navy is poised to honor gay rights activist and the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk by naming the second ship in the John Lewis class, T-AO 206, the USNS Harvey Milk. According to Sam LaGrone, writing for the U.S. […]

BLUE BLOOD: DANNY REAGAN VS. JAMIE REAGAN…

July 23rd, 2016

As a young second-class petty officer stationed in San Diego (living in Chula Vista, which borders on Mexico) I went south more than a few times. One trip, riding in the back of Bugsy Boatright’s yellow Toyota pickup, took me to Hunan’s in Ensenada. We were celebrating someone’s birthday and in the course of the […]

SECOND BILLY B (DLGN 25) CAMEO ON NCIS…

February 24th, 2016

My ship, USS Bainbridge CGN 25 (DLGN 25 in the painting), made a second appearance on NCIS last night in Season 13, Episode 16. This is exactly two years since she first popped up in the hallway of NCIS headquarters in Season 11, Episode 16. Eerie.

WE’RE ALL FAKES AND WE’LL ALWAYS FALL SHORT…

February 7th, 2016

My government once trusted me around nuclear weapons. Granted, they were small, only a few kilotons, not the city busters we really worry about, but still, they were fully functional nuclear missiles. The U.S. Navy did so because of an interlocking web of safeguards any reasonable intelligent individual could have circumvented. Those safeguards ultimately depended […]

SEVENTY-FOUR YEARS LATER, FEWER REMEMBER…

December 7th, 2015

I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet […]

SERVING IN COMBAT DOESN’T TAKE BALLS…

September 23rd, 2015

My time in the Navy predated women on combat ships, but there was nothing in my job–NEC 0986—that required any physical or mental skill that would have prohibited a woman from doing the same work. I did serve in a non-combat unit—platform instructor for the Ohio Military Academy—for three years where women were part of […]

THE NEW PIRATES OF THE ARCTIC OCEAN…

May 18th, 2015

I never gained entrance to the Order of The Blue Nose, but some of my shipmates on board the USS Bainbridge did after I was discharged. The arctic is hostile place and sailors venture there at their peril. Drilling for oil that we cannot use without risking environmental collapse is madness. Corporations, like Royal Dutch […]

OUR MOST TERRIFYING WORD: OOPS…!

September 13th, 2014

As an enlisted man in the United States Navy I was directly responsible for the care of eight tactical nuclear missiles. I don’t know how the Air Force handles the mission, but I do know that any of the actions that Oliver mentions would have gotten me expelled from the program in a heart beat. […]

IN PRAISE OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION…

June 6th, 2014

Last week one of two weekly newspapers we receive here in North Royalton included a Publisher’s Notebook piece entitled Why not privatize the VA? Why not indeed. In my mind, privatization is a code-word for I want to suck at the public teat. More tax dollars have gone to corporate welfare over the past 50 […]

USS BAINBRIDGE DLGN 25 APPEARS ON NCIS…

March 5th, 2014

As Gibbs and Bishop make a left turn down the corridor towards the conference room at timemark 18:58 in Dressed To Kill (episode 16, season 11, aired last evening, 4 March 2014) a painting of my old ship–albeit in her earlier incarnation as DLGN 25–appears on the wall behind them. If you mouse over the […]

MY FINAL NAVY CRUISE…

September 13th, 2013

THEY WANT US TO WANT WHAT WE SAY WE WANT…

July 4th, 2012

0657: Anniversary of US shooting of Iranian civilian airliner

AN INSIDE VIEW OF MY DAYS AS A SEA DOG…

September 16th, 2011

This video is from 1990. The USS Horne CG 30 had the Mk 10 Mod 7 Terrier SAM system forward (58 rounds plus two dummies, TSAMS, in three, 20-round magazines. The EP2 main control station shown at the beginning of the video must be a result of an upgrade in the ’80s since it is […]

LIKE TOSSING A NUCLEAR HAND GRENADE…

September 15th, 2011

Gawd help you if the rocket motor misfires…

SO, WHO FIRED THE BULLET (IF ONE WAS FIRED)…?

September 5th, 2011

0640:THE MAN WHO NEVER DIED: The life, Times and Legacy of Joe Hill…

MINNESOTANS, SCHNAPPS AND SCHLITZ…

April 27th, 2011

One of the radio programs I like to listen to is Stuart McLean’s The Vinyl Café, broadcast in Cleveland at 3 p.m. Sundays on WCPN, 90.3 FM. Think of it as a Prairie Home Companion with much better music and stories. Each week he reads a story from listeners. The segment inspired me to write, […]

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