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Watching the baseball game on FOX, Padres at Giants from San Francisco.
Foul ball off to the right field stands, camera view of ball has in the background a U. S. Navy ship heading out of the harbor.
And for a few minutes, I once again wish I were a younger man, getting underway for another adventure with my Navy shipmates.
God, but there are times when I so miss the Navy, the work, the crew, the good and the bad.
Yes, given the chance, I would do it all again.
There's never been any doubt in my mind about that.

4 Comments On This Entry

Know what you mean. I never should have left.

cobalt-blue, on Aug 14 2010, 05:30 PM, said:

Know what you mean. I never should have left.

Well, even if I had stayed as long a 'normally' possible, I'd be in year 38 right now....long past when all but the very specially qualified are forced out.
Some people I know can't wait to put the Navy behind them.
I'm not one of em.
Mixed feelings here. Would I do it again ? Undoubtedly, without any second thought whatsoever. On both ends. If I was 17 again (Or, technically 16-1/2 when I sign on the dotted line with a parent's approval) I wouldn't hesitate to enlist again. But if I had it to do over again, I'd probably get out again after one term too.

I appreciate everything that the Navy experience taught me, and I trust that I repaid this by doing my level best at everything I did while I was in (I never skated on anything. It's just not my nature.) But, by about 4 years in, it was clear to me that I was no "lifer".

Best thing I got from the Navy was my skills at troubleshooting and problem solving. As I recall, the Navy called it the "Six Step Technique" back in the early '80s. I can't even count how many times that basic mindset has been invaluable, even in life situations well beyond the scope of my navy technical training. Even to this day, some 25+ years after the fact, I can tell by the way someone solves a problem whether they're ex-military or a lifelong civilian.

The downside? I hated the "compartmentalization". I understand it, but I hated it. I made one rating change in my Navy days, from ET to CTT at 24 months in, the bare minimum in time for such things at the time. Nearly took an act of congress to get it done and the whole process - which should have been a cakewalk as CTs at the time were more needed than ETs - took me almost 6 months. Gave me a SEVERE distaste for bureaucracy which persists to this day.

In my "civilian" career since then, I've done not only the equivalent of moving from ET to CTT, but I've also done the equivalent jobs of EM, MM, CE, EA, CM, SW, UT, CS, LN, LS, MA, NC, EN, GSE, GSM, and MR as well, most of which I've been at least modestly successful at, and loved every moment. Can't imagine having done all these things in the Navy.

Even right now, doing what I do as an engineer (U of Maryland '86, thanks to the Navy), I'm in an oil refinery one day, I'm in a "clean room" at a semiconductor plant another, and working on the computer network (CTN Territory) at a local police headquarters another. I wouldn't have it any other way. But this would never have fit a Navy career.
Adam, I noticed you missed the only real "fun" rate in the Navy, EO.
Heavy Equipment Operator.
Great big, honking, heavy as hell, loud as hell, powerful as hell Earth moving equipment.
And, of course, for a part of the career (three different deployments actually) i was on blasting crews.
Ain't nothing as much fun as working 18 hour days for a couple of weeks, then getting to push the plunger that blows up a big ole chunk of dirt/rock.
Heck of a lot of fun!
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