Actually located in Millington, TN, the “A” school was a bit of a setback.  This phase of training is usually the first stop out of boot camp for most but due to my NEC, Naval Enlisted Code, or job rating, I was required to pass Aircrew training first.  Well any who, the discipline code is a bit stricter in Millington than it was in Pensacola.

For most there was a “no civilian clothes” policy but not for us and we had a different curfew.  All other NEC’s had a 10PM curfew.  Our curfew was what we referred to as Cinderella liberty.  We had a midnight curfew.

Upon my arrival I was informed that my security clearance had not been completed so I could not start class until it was complete.  That meant I got to work around the barracks for the first 2 months I was there.  Once I started class things went smooth and I was out of there in about 4 months.

Millington is about 15-20 minutes outside of Memphis and Memphis was nice.  Unless you had a car or had a friend that had a car you were pretty much stuck on base and there was NOTHING close to the base unless you are into cow tipping.

So when you graduate “A” school there were several options that you were able to choose from on what platform you wanted to go to and apply the basic skills and knowledge you had just learned.

P-3 Orion, Multi-engine turbo prop, either Acoustic or Non-Acoustic

The Aviation Photo Company | P-3 Orion (Lockheed) | US Navy VP-10 Lockheed P-3C Orion 161125/LD ...

S-3 Viking turbo fan jet

S-3 Viking anti-submarine aircraft | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

SH-3 Seaking

Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King - Wikipedia

SH-2 Seasprite

SH-2G Super Seasprite Anti-Submarine Helicopter, Australia | Thai Military and Asian Region

And finally, where I wound up going…

Sh-60B Seahawk

An Sh-60b Seahawk Helicopter Performs Photograph by Stocktrek Images

Let’s go!

Chattanooga – It can happen anywhere

First let me say a prayer for our fallen Brothers in Arms.

Now down to business.  These acts of Terrorism can and should be avoided.  I am going to be clear about this.  WHY are we so willing to send our Brave men and women into combat in someone else’s country and so quick to disarm them when that same enemy comes to our shores?  Lone wolf or a whole pack makes no difference.  Let our troops defend themselves at home.  If you think for one second that the enemy does not have lists of who they want to target then you are naive.  It pains my soul to see the shepherds forced to become sheep.  The wolf does not change no matter where it is.  The heart of the Shepard does not change but the powers at be force these great warriors to sit idle with no defense.

It is time for change.  The enemy has changed and we MUST adjust, adapt, and be prepared.  These cowards that attack unarmed Heroes are exactly that, cowards, but that does not and cannot go unanswered.  It is time that ALL Active, Retired, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen are given the opportunity to defend themselves and their families if they so wish.  If they have not received the proper training then it should be offered to them.  If they have had the training and pass the normal background check, then carrying a valid Military ID should be enough to warrant a Federal concealed carry license without restrictions on where or when they can carry.


Let the enemy know that there are no more soft targets, let them know that we will not tolerate their cowardliness, and make sure they know that they are NOT welcome here!

Now is the time to contact your Local, State, and Federal Congress Representative and Senators.  Let your voice be heard because Lord knows the anti-gun folks will be screaming.

Hello Pensacola

So I arrive at NAS (Naval Air Station) Pensacola for Aircrew School on a Friday night with no guidance or instructions other than report to Such and Such command NLT ( No later than) this time and date.  I found the place well within the time frame given and check in.  Of coarse where I am is not where I ultimately need to be.  Come Monday morning I do find where I need to be and learn a lesson that sticks with me to this day.

“If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re late…don’t bother showing up”. – Vince Lombardi

I did find where I was supposed to be but I was, depending on your perspective, 5 minutes late for the start of this week’s class OR very early for next week’s class.  So I was treated to a week of cleaning the head (aka bathroom), passageways ( aka hallways), and the common areas until I was EARLY for the start of the following week’s class.

Just an FYI, I have paraphrased the quote for my everyday life to, If you are on time you are already late.  It is in my opinion more straight forward and to the point.

OK, back to Aircrew school.  Six weeks of physical training in addition to basic land and water survival/navigation tailored to the aviation community.  A few other training objectives were also covered in the training such as high altitude low pressure, parachute operations, rescue from sea and land, and survival equipment.  The Helo dunker, ’nuff said.

I was informed at this time that I would be going to another school right after NACS (Naval Aircrew Candidate School).  I would be headed straight to Rescue Swimmer School.  In preparation for the next step, those of us that had been SELECTED for the voluntary RSS, were treated to an extra hour of PT in the morning and an extra hour at the end of everyone else’s day.

Graduation day for NACS arrives and we are all elated to be done and looking forward to some down time.  As soon as the ceremony is over those selected few are greeted by a handful of instructors from RSS and we find out that our class has just started, IF we make the cut…TODAY.


RSS was 4 weeks of never being on time, it is designed that way.  I cannot remember one minute of it that did not suck.

Point of interest, the pool at RSS was named “Camp Crystal Lake”.  If you do not get the reference, look it up.  After a couple of unfortunate training accidents, the reference to Camp Crystal Lake was removed from the school.

Learned bunches of stuff, glad that I will never have to go back again.

Now on to AW “A” school

Boot Camp

Welcome to sunny Orlando, FL.

Boot camp was just that, boot camp.  Here they teach you that everything you do has to be done “the Navy way”.  Lace your boots this way, fold your clothes, this way, etc.  12 weeks of classes and physical exercise.  I still remember my class # and my Company Commanders.  Fine gentlemen I am sure but I do not exactly remember them that way.  One thing I remember as strange, at least to me, was standing in formation on Christmas day watching the sprinklers water the grass.

I am not a fan of doing things just to do them but in boot camp it seemed we did a lot of that sort of thing.  Enough of that, let us now move on to next phase.

Aircrew school in sunny Pensacola FL.

Moving On

With High School behind me and no real prospects, I started searching.  The movie Top Gun had come out about a year earlier so I had my eyes set on flying.  I showed up at the Navy recruiter’s office with visions of fighter jets and white uniforms.  The recruiter was quick to pop my balloon.  “Son, without a college degree, you ain’t flying no fighter jet.”  He did give me some alternatives.  He said that I could fly in helicopters, small jets(no fighters), or propeller airplanes.  I could also get money for and attend college while I serve and that it would put me in a good position to get to the fighter jets once I get my degree.

Houston, we have a plan!  Or so I thought…

Small town

I grew up in the Bible belt.  I was raised in a household with both parents who had a deep belief in GOD and our Savior Jesus Christ.  For that I am thankful because it was the foundation for who I am and what my values and beliefs are today.  I still long for that small town life that was home.  Of coarse that town has since grown out of the “small town” mentality so what I seek I will have to find elsewhere.

I had a job that dried up right after I graduated high school.  Not a big deal because I needed to do something bigger, I needed to be a part of something bigger than myself.  I needed to get out of this small town and I had neither the money or desire to attend college.  I did however have a scholarship, in music, to attend a university in a nearby state.  I did have the talent but not the drive to do so.  I wanted something more.

State of Mind

I have on many occasions wondered about my purpose.  From my youth I had thought that there had to be more than the 9-5 factory or desk job.  I kept telling myself that I had to find something else.

So, where am I today some 30 years later?  I currently find my present position posted behind not one but three computer screens monitoring a team of IT professionals working on keeping computers, networks, and systems running for a business that views our line of work as a necessary evil of the modern workplace.

The big question now is how did I get here?  Well, I have some answers.  Some of which I can explain, others, not so much.

Over the course of the next few weeks, maybe months, I will try and take you all along the historical path that led to my present day.