33 Years Ago: First Day at Work

April 4th, 2010 by xformed

…in my chosen profession. It was a Monday and I had checked in the prior Saturday night while the USS MILWAUKEE (AOR-2) was moored on the southside of Pier 2 at Norfolk Naval Station. LTJG George Parrish, the Ship’s Navigator was the CDO that Saturday night. He ended up being the first one I carpooled with from the Virginia Beach area to our normal location at NOB.

But on Monday morning, I began real work, after many years of study and almost a year of directly related schooling.

My assignment was to be the Combat Information Center/Electronic Material Officer (CIC/EMO). I met CDR Dave Martin, the XO, LCDR Frank Mueller, the Operations Officer, LT Randy Rice, the Communications Officer, CAPT Richard Wright, the Commanding Officer, and, shortly after lunch, ET2s Mike Krutsch and Craig Johnson, when they needed a set of initials on a CASREP Update. The officer I was relieving was on leave, so I didn’t meet him for a few more days.

But the highlight of the day, was OSC Michael P. McCaffrey. USN, inviting me to the Chief’s Mess for a cup of coffee.

It was a day full of good sea stories, another one was about the schooling of mine being put to work.

It was not my choice to end up on MILWAUKEE, which, was the oldest ship I served abaord at 8 years when I stepped aboard, I got there by failing to make it through the Salvage Diving Course, but it was a blessing in disguise at about the 14 year point in my career.

Sometimes it takes that long to see what’s the right path in a career path, beyond what you thought was good at 22 years old.

My other shipmates I can recall off the top of my head at the moment were LCDR “Doc” Seibart, CDR Karl Kline, and Engineering Duty Officer who was pushing for EDOs to serve aboard ships as Engineers, ENS Harry Watkins, LTJG Cliff Barnes (DCA), LT Pat Wahl (2nd Div), LCDR Leo Pivonka (1st LT), OS3 Tom Mazzula,and many, many more in a crew of about 450 on a 653′ ship that carried 6M gallons of F76/DFM, 2.5M Gallons of AV GAS and later F44/JP-5, 600 tons of cargo ordnance, and then chow and spare parts.

That part of the Navy is now all in the hands of the Military Sealift Command (MSC), but I was lucky to have begun a career as a Naval Professional on a ship where the main mission was seamanship based.

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Category: "Sea Stories", History, Leadership, Maritime Matters, Military, Military History, Navy | 3 Comments »

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