Miscellaneous Thoughts on the Navy

I'm on leave right now for a week. I needed the break, even though I'm about to take a break anyway with my transfer coming up in a few weeks. We have some friends visiting this week, however, so it seemed like a good time to take vacation. I also have a lot going on in my Education Psychology class, with a 10-page rough draft and a virtual field trip report due this week. So it's still going to be busy, but I am on vacation...ish.

It's an interesting time in my Navy career. I just passed my 14 year mark and with one shore duty (Great Lakes) and one sea duty (unknown) left, I can really see the "light at the end of the tunnel." I'm up for a promotion this year to chief, which would really round out my career, and of course the US Navy is paying for my education right now, so I'm only paying for books. While that doesn't necessarily relate to the time period I'm in right now, it's still a great situation to be in, and I'm finally high enough in the management ladder to see how the concepts I'm learning in grad school relate to life in the Navy.

Leaving the USS ANTIETAM is both the most surreal thing for me and the most gratifying. Surreal because I've been on board for over 4.75 years, and when one spends that much time on a ship, he or she becomes a staple of the command. That doesn't mean I'm important, just that I'm there. It's going to be weird not to be there anymore. It's gratifying almost for the same reason. In short, it's time to go.

I'm looking forward to the next step in my career, both making chief (whenever that happens) and going to my shore duty command. While the Navy doesn't teach the same way it did when I was in Great Lakes, I do look forward to guiding young sailors, just like I have been doing on the ship. I also look forward to starting over. Each new command is a fresh start, a new chance to prove myself and grow. Should be fun, if not a little challenging. I heard some rough things about the command that I'm not particularly happy about, but we'll see how it goes.

8 comments:

Steve said...

Dan,

congrats (even if a little early) on making it into the khakis.
Your post made me think about ministry and church work. The challenges are similar and the rewards are also. It is hard on the kids and wife, uprooting and starting over, new jobs, new schools, new friends. When I was in the Navy I was single, and young. Moving duty stations or deployments only affected me and not by much. So we will pray for you guys.

Blessings,

Steve

Dan said...

Steve,
You know what? I totally agree! I would actually say that in some ways it's harder for a pastor's family than a military family. The military will send movers, help us find a new place to live, etc. So we have it good.
Thank you for the encouragement about making khaki, by the way. I appreciate your thoughts.

Dan

Steve said...

Do they still call them "peanutbutters"? Never did like that term. Blues, Whites, dungarees, but not peanutbutters. echhh.

Dan said...

The new uniform, which has a khaki top and black pants is now called the peanut butters, although I don't know why. It replaced the Johnny Cash uniform and working whites.

Steve said...

Ahhh. Johnny Cash, I suppose was our Gunslingers. That was my favorite!

Hated, can't say it enough, HATED Dress whites. 100% Polyest. I mean, I was in in the 80's! Not the 70's.

Hmmm. Khaki and black. Might not be too bad.
When you get 'em, you'll have to post a pic!

Dan said...

I do think I have a pic somewhere, and I'll make a post out of it. They are actually quite comfortable. Kind of the like the comfort of the working whites with the professional look of the Marine uniform (yes, that hurt me to say).

Steve said...

Oh I know it did hurt.


To all my Marine buddies out there, please forgive the many times I addressed you as Bell Hop while you were wearing your dress blues.

Semper Fi, boys!



Dan, it's kinda like talking to your red headed step-brother, you know?


By the way, are you on facebook? I saw your blue F, but it posted your link on my page. I am, self-admittedly, facebook challenged. However, I do emjoy reading peoples updates.

Dan said...

Dude, you rock! That explains why people in the south have suddenly decided to check out my blog! Thank you! I am on FB, by the way, under the name Dan Smith.