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Something neat I've been doing: military interest
Old 05-29-2010, 09:14 PM   #1
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Something neat I've been doing: military interest

A couple of months ago I read an article that said a young woman originally from our local town had been selected as Sailor of the Year (SOY) for the Navy Education and Training Command. (I did not originally come from this town; I just retired here.) Having been in the Navy and knowing something about this competition, I realized this was a big deal. So, also being a member of the local American Legion post (which runs our town's Memorial Day parade - the biggest one in our small state), I arranged to have her invited to be the Grand Marshall for our parade. I contacted her commanding officer and we put it all in place.

In the interim, she was selected at the next higher echelon as SOY and then was eventually picked as the CNO (Chief of Naval Operations) Shore Sailor of the Year for the whole Navy!

She arrived back in her home town the day before yesterday and yesterday we had her speak to the High School and Elementary School Memorial Day assemblies. We also got her an interview on a local radio station and there have been a few newspaper articles about her. She's a woman anyone reading this board would be proud and humbled to have serving in our military. On Memorial Day she'll be a big part of our parade. Then, she'll go back to reality training sailors at one of the Navy's technical schools.

But it's been a real kick for me to have had something to do with this and also, after being retired from the Navy for 14 years, to see what wonderful, enthusiastic and dedicated young men and women we have serving our country. I'm ready to go back on active duty!
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:21 PM   #2
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Nice story--sounds a great thing for her, for the town, for the kids who hear her during the assemblies, and for you. You made a good thing (SOY) even better!
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:25 PM   #3
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Nice story friar. Good on you for making this happen.
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:33 PM   #4
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I'm proud of the both of you.
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:34 PM   #5
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A big BZ to you both!
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by friar1610 View Post
A couple of months ago I read an article that said a young woman originally from our local town had been selected as Sailor of the Year (SOY) for the Navy Education and Training Command.

Then, she'll go back to reality training sailors at one of the Navy's technical schools.
You know what's really impressive about this sailor being picked for CNO SOY?

It's not that she has a bunch of warfare qualifications or rows of ribbons or that she's been promoted so fast. It's not even because she's a woman.

What's impressive is that she was able to beat out all the other shore SOY candidates despite being stationed at a training command.
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:56 AM   #7
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Nice story indeed. Thanks for your contribution to our country and to her career also. We do have some great people serving our country.
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Old 05-30-2010, 08:24 PM   #8
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You know what's really impressive about this sailor being picked for CNO SOY?

It's not that she has a bunch of warfare qualifications or rows of ribbons or that she's been promoted so fast. It's not even because she's a woman.

What's impressive is that she was able to beat out all the other shore SOY candidates despite being stationed at a training command.
But that after 2 consecutive sea tours and a IA deployment to Qatar. Assume it's the same in the sub community, but at least in her field the screening for instructor duty is rigorous. Don't really want to no-loads teaching the next generation.
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Old 05-30-2010, 08:31 PM   #9
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But that after 2 consecutive sea tours and a IA deployment to Qatar. Assume it's the same in the sub community, but at least in her field the screening for instructor duty is rigorous. Don't really want to no-loads teaching the next generation.
In rereading my previous post, I'm not sure I did a good job of making the point I meant to. What I meant to get across that if the screening is so rigorous for instructor duty, one would assume the best sailors (technically and militarily) would be chosen for it. Therefore, to me, it's not really surprising that a Shore SOY would come from a training command.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:55 AM   #10
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I spent eight years at training commands and got a little cynical about the alleged instructor-screening process. But then again, I suppose the trouble that instructors got into on liberty pales in comparison with the trouble that the sea-duty sailors could get into. For a few years we got into a real tussle with BUPERS over using the same screening form to divert potential instructors to recruiting duty. We couldn't train 'em once we persuaded 'em to sign up.

What really chaps my hide, however, is the attitude of the rest of the Navy toward training commands... "where careers go to die". You're absolutely right that the Navy's best should be at training commands, much as our combat pilots of WWII, Korea, & Vietnam rotated ashore to training commands after completing their quota of combat missions.

Instead the attitude of the flag officers was "Hey, the real Navy needs some of your budget money, so you schoolhouse types are going to have to do with a few less Dry-Erase markers for your leadership classes..."

One of my COs, Neil Byrne, taught at a battlegroup training command in the late 1990s. Neil earned a Legion of Merit as an O-3 and invented the 1980s Navy tactical computer game NAVTAG, so he felt that he had some street cred when it came to critiquing the performance of commodores and battlegroup commanders. However when Neil stood up at conferences to make a comment or to ask a question, he said that the other attendees usually put their hands over their nametags so that they wouldn't be mistaken for him. The only way that he felt he could really get money for the training mission was to piss off enough flag officers for them to buy the rope to be used at his hanging.

But, hey, maybe it's not just the Navy. If the rest of the world respected training then grade-school teachers would be riding in limos while NBA players gazed on with envy...

So I'm impressed that the SOY was chosen from a training command instead of from a logistics command or a shipyard or a recruiting region (no offense meant, FIREup2020) or a four-star's staff. She started with one foot in a bucket and still managed to outshine everyone else.
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Old 05-31-2010, 03:54 PM   #11
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I spent eight years at training commands and got a little cynical about the alleged instructor-screening process. But then again, I suppose the trouble that instructors got into on liberty pales in comparison with the trouble that the sea-duty sailors could get into. For a few years we got into a real tussle with BUPERS over using the same screening form to divert potential instructors to recruiting duty. We couldn't train 'em once we persuaded 'em to sign up.
Maybe time has partially dimmed my memories, but I was one of two directors of training at the same command the SOY is currently stationed at, although it had a different name and the mission has evolved and changed with the times and technology. My recollection is that the instructors were pretty great folks. Of course, there was the occasional instructor we would relieve for being overly friendly with students. (Normally male instructor, female student, but not always.) I went to my job there as a newly deep selected CDR and at least the Navy average of the CDRs in that job made CAPT. Of the CO's, several I can think of made flag and those that didn't were considered to be strong candidates. That might have been just our community that did things that way.


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What really chaps my hide, however, is the attitude of the rest of the Navy toward training commands... "where careers go to die". You're absolutely right that the Navy's best should be at training commands, much as our combat pilots of WWII, Korea, & Vietnam rotated ashore to training commands after completing their quota of combat missions.
Instead the attitude of the flag officers was "Hey, the real Navy needs some of your budget money, so you schoolhouse types are going to have to do with a few less Dry-Erase markers for your leadership classes..."
I certainly recall that syndrome. And, in fact, when one of my buddies was CO of the school in Pensacola while I had an operational command we used to rag on each other. He would talk about how big his command was (which it was). I would retort that he had a big command but it was "only" a training command whereas I was doing "real" stuff. But, of course, he had the bigger job and probably the more important one.

After my assignment as training director I subsequently alternated between operational jobs and staff jobs overseeing technical training. I probably took a risk doing so, but I really liked the training mission and things turned out OK.


Quote:
, hey, maybe it's not just the Navy. If the rest of the world respected training then grade-school teachers would be riding in limos while NBA players gazed on with envy...
My mother was a teacher, I sometimes regret I didn't become one either instead of or after the Navy and I can relate to what you say.

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I'm impressed that the SOY was chosen from a training command instead of from a logistics command or a shipyard or a recruiting region (no offense meant, FIREup2020) or a four-star's staff. She started with one foot in a bucket and still managed to outshine everyone else.
We're in agreement there. BTW, we had a great Memorial Day parade today and she was warmly received by her hometown and deservedly so.
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