MLP Veterans Thread

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by Kris Ford, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,479
    Likes Received:
    3,501
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2011
    As not to clog up the firearms thread, I wanted to post a place where MLP vets could come and share stories, pics, memes, anecdotes, ANYTHING vet related.
    I'll start!
    [​IMG]
    I can be honest about my service...I was no SEAL, or EOD..or anything. Just a sailor.

    I went in with no A School (thanks recruiter!!), so was what they called an "undesignated" Airman (or fireman, or seaman)..meaning, once I got to the fleet, I could be "placed" wherever the need was..well, for me it was Weapons Dept on CVN-73.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    First was with W Division, which were the WT rate (that dealt with NUKES)..but were phasing out, so it was just cleaning magazines (the bomb/missile holding type, in the bowels of the ship) At this point, I saw what my Grampaw meant by sea going janitor LOL. Foxtails, swabs and GP were the tools of my trade then..

    Then W Div folded into Weapons Dept, the 1st classes took over W Div berthing, and I went to G-1 div..which is flight deck ordnance loading..manually humping missiles and bombs on skids..only for a bit, then was moved to G-4, which was Weapons elevators..we did the maintenance on and operated the elevators that would go 7 stories down into the ship, and the ones that went from hangar bay to flight deck..lots of grease!!
    [​IMG]
    All Weps guys would stand armed brow watch..(where the gangway is, how you board the ship) at enlisted brow and the the quarterdeck, where officer boarded..and you did not salute when armed! You'd have a Vietnam era flak jacket, a radio, a .45 with black leather US stamped holster, and M12 shotgun. Web belt with mag pouches for both. I also did Security Reaction Team, with the call of Johnny Quick meant you DROPPED what you were doing and RAN (and could run over people if you had to..Make a hole! was what we'd yell ripping through passageways) to the armory. Johnny Quick means intruder. Also stood an armed watch where you literally watched the anchor chain when the anchor was dropped..with orders to negate entry via anchor chain port.
    [​IMG]

    Then a few of us were sent to G-3 Bomb Assembly (I'd just gotten used to my new rack LOL) which were the crews that built bombs and missiles, and would store and transfer the 20mm to the FTs, who controlled the CWIS 20mm Vulcans on the ship. GBU, LBUs, 500, 1000, 200 pound bombs, Sidewinders, Shrikes, Tomahawks, Harpoons..I've seen and built 'em all. 20 hour build days were the norm..and did you know how comfortable a pallet of 2000 pound bombs could be? They'd be stacked 4 by 4..and you just lay in the groove between them.
    [​IMG]

    I was just a fin and tail man..no glamour..my job was to screw the fin tail on..I wasn't a fuse man or armer..

    My General Quarters battle station was aft mounted .50. (one like this:)
    [​IMG]
    When used in shipboard config, (deck mounted) perceived recoil was minimal..like a arm and shoulder shake, that was about it. Never fired in defense..However, in '94, we did stop Saddam's troops from moving into Kuwait.


    Well, the Weapons Dept had several douche bag Joe Navy types, that would expect you to be inspection ready, and yet still deep clean stuff..and my best buddy was in Engineering..so I was a "striker" for Hull Tech..you'd get quals and OJT, they'd sign you off, and I liked all the guys in the Shipfitter and Pipe shop, AND went to a vocational school in my 11th and 12th grade, plus my Gramps was a master pipefitter at FORD, so knew the basics of welding, brazing, proper tool usage..etc..(and even taught the A school guys a thing or 2)...so with that, I blew the Hull Maintenance Technician Third Class out of the water, and made rate first time up.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Funny story..I "ironed on my crow" meaning I was frocked..I could wear E4, but wasn't yet paid for it..and was still on Weapons watch bill..I moved to a temp berthing..(about 7 different racks total LOL)...Well one night I awoke to Master at Arms shining lights in my face yelling and screaming at me that I was later for armed brow watch and threatened deriction of duty and blah blah blah..I told them I wasn't even in weapons anymore..tuff shit was the answer, and was escorted to the armory to get dressed down for the watch..so I was probably the only Hull Tech to stand an armed brow watch.

    Life in Repair Dept was much more laid back. We did the welding and fabrication of the ship, and I was able to join the At Sea Fire Party..the "FLYING SQUAD", the fire dept of the ship..had a couple serious fires, NO one was hurt..but there was damage, lots of smoke alarms, floodings..my watches then were roving watch..just would keep an eye on machinery spaces, check voids, and look for fire hazards, then I got to be the Damage Control Central Watch Supervisor, who dispatched the rover...and would monitor alarms and tank levels and all that fun stuff. We had a list control watch as well, that by transferring water port to starboard via pumps, and had a clinometer, a level of sorts would keep the fight deck level..WAY down in the 7th deck. The last 9 or so months I was in was in the pipe shop..snaking shitters and basically all shipboard plumbing..also went to a valve and pump service school..which was very cool.
    upload_2017-9-22_8-16-45.jpeg
    Navy Damage Control is no joke..you can be the biggest bad ass, ultimate marksman/commando/tuff guy..but if you can't fight FIRE, you ain't shit..at least not aboard ship! That is your home! Fight deck smash and crash were a special bunch as well..to enter a flaming crash site to extract pilot or crew..trained on that on a simulator..but, in those scenarios..you just have to do it..
    [​IMG]
    upload_2017-9-22_8-18-22.jpeg
    Thanks for letting me share..I was a nobody, but had the best memories of my life doing so.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,479
    Likes Received:
    3,501
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2011
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest_Asia_Service_Medal
    I have the bronze star on mine (meaning times 2)
    Proud of this one as well.
    [​IMG]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navy_Unit_Commendation
    For when we were in the Adriatic supporting the Bosnia conflict:
    [​IMG]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armed_Forces_Expeditionary_Medal
    Navy and Marine Corps Sea Service Medal:
    [​IMG]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Service_Ribbon
    (a bronze star for that..salty!)
    The rest are geedunk LOL
    (though after receiving my DD214, seems i have a Good Conduct and Navy Battle E to add. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navy_E_Ribbon

    Proud of these, but mine are peanuts to what some had..
     
  3. TheX

    TheX Voice of Reason

    Messages:
    15,494
    Likes Received:
    22,354
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Tomcat Fixer from '76 to '83.
     
  4. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,479
    Likes Received:
    3,501
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2011
    Oh yeah!!
    upload_2017-9-22_8-41-26.jpeg
    upload_2017-9-22_8-41-41.jpeg
    Some SHIT hot ABHs here!
    upload_2017-9-22_8-42-6.jpeg
     
  5. DarrellV

    DarrellV Murry Chrirstmers to earl! Silver Supporter Premium Member

    Messages:
    9,469
    Likes Received:
    10,037
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    You 2 guys! :applause:

    Great story Kris! Thanks for sharing, and the pics! Helps us ground pounders relate.

    My family in laws are mostly Marines. You know the rest, LOL!
    [​IMG]
     
    El Pablo, Frogfur, SteveGangi and 5 others like this.
  6. DarrellV

    DarrellV Murry Chrirstmers to earl! Silver Supporter Premium Member

    Messages:
    9,469
    Likes Received:
    10,037
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Next 2 you 2 I got nothin'! Just an Army Mechanic and generator repair guy.
    I took it because they gave me rank and pay as an E-2 going in, and I skipped AIT (training school) after boot camp and went straight to my assignment.

    They called it Civilian Acquired Skills. In my case it was 2 years of VoTec training in auto mechanics, which I already pretty much knew, LOL!

    I wanted to get out of high school for a few hours a week, so it looked like a great way to do it, go to VoTec school!

    Wen I signed up I got to pick my duty station so I picked the closest one to home, naturally. Washington... I thought DC... I could come home on weekends!

    Found out at the end of boot camp when they handed me the plane ticket to Ft Lewis, Washington STATE that I was going across the country 3500 miles away!

    I literally stood there shaking at the news....I had never flown before and swore I never would, but he I was.... I had no choice.

    My nerves were so bad i had all I could do not to throw up on the airfield, but that wouldn't have looked so good, would it.

    It took around 6 hours to get there, across multiple time zones, and it was after dark when we finally reached Seattle.

    There were some good points too. If you have ever seen the lights of Puget Sound reflect on the ocean at night from a plane, you know it is very beautiful.

    Took a bus from the plane to the receiving depot pretty much alone, it was dark and raining.

    Once at the receiving depot I wandered about aimlessly for a bit as there was no one about at this hour of night.

    Suddenly I was greeted by a rather gruff voice of the NCO on watch. He demanded loudly to know who I was and why I was there.

    I explained I was reporting to my duty assignment out of basic. He demanded to see my orders.

    I handed the paper to him and he barked back something about wanting to see the rest of the papers.

    I explained i didn't know what he was talking about as that paper copy was all they gave me.

    He must have known i was a green recruit because the next thing he says to me, as I'm standing there already cold and wet and scared out of my mind after the plane trip and all is:

    'So you show up here without proper orders and missing half of your paperwork. Do you know what I am supposed to do now?'

    Me: 'No sir..' '

    'By rights I am supposed to throw you in jail for the night till we can get your story sorted out in the morning!'

    My jaw hits the floor and a look of desperation as big as all outdoors must have crossed my face and I'm reeling in disbelief and WTF did I get myself into!!!

    But he says he'll be a nice guy and let me sleep in the barracks tonight. Get out of his face!

    Welcome to the Army.....

    BTW, When I was assigned to my permanent duty station a week later I passed him on the way out, a little wiser now, and gave him a smile and a quip. He grinned from ear to ear and wished me well... Bast@rd! preying on new recruits like that! I could have died right there of a heart attack.
     
  7. DotStudio

    DotStudio Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    3,244
    Likes Received:
    4,969
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    13B

    I think this might have been during Ranger Challenge training in college though.

    full (1).jpg
     
  8. cmh6122

    cmh6122 Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,296
    Likes Received:
    31,554
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    user44599_pic55395_1361678136.jpg Was a gunbunny. When I found I was replacing my sections driver jumped at the gig. Had no clue how much extra work it was, but liked that I had my own private place to stick my head out into the breeze.
    2nd Section Alpha 2nd Bn 33rd Field Artillery 1st Infantry Forward. Golden Lions.
    Did 90 days at Benning's School for boy (and girl) wonders. Spent my active LT time with the 1st Bn 17th FA mostly as the FDO/XO of Bravo Battery (The guidon they had made for me when I ETS'd still hangs on my wall) Left active duty a 1LT and suspect I am the only man on the forum with orders as commander of a provisional battalion in their 201. Had 6 and a wakeup 15 April 86 when we bombed Tripoli.
    Commanded Bravo 1st Bn 127th FA 69th Bde 35th Inf (Mech) Kansas National Guard, and was a target analyst at the divisional fire support element when I decided I would rather be a private citizen after Desert Storm.
     
  9. DarrellV

    DarrellV Murry Chrirstmers to earl! Silver Supporter Premium Member

    Messages:
    9,469
    Likes Received:
    10,037
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    :rofl:
    Ahh the thrill of youth! :applause:

    No idea or concerns about the new job, just give me a hatch to stick my head out and I'm good! :rofl:
    By golly aren't we all like that to an extant. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017
    Frogfur and Kris Ford like this.
  10. Hanover Fist

    Hanover Fist Senior Member

    Messages:
    950
    Likes Received:
    1,314
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    I spent the first 5 years in my AF career doing Nondestructive Inspection and Oil Analysis on these:

    [​IMG]

    Working on Tankers meant I was in SAC:

    [​IMG]


    After that, I cross-trained into Precision Measurement, and did that until I retired from the military:

    [​IMG]

    And continue to do so, except as a civilian (not me pictured):

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017
  11. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,479
    Likes Received:
    3,501
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2011
    GREAT posts guys, keep 'em coming!!
    upload_2017-9-22_10-12-29.jpeg
     
  12. DarrellV

    DarrellV Murry Chrirstmers to earl! Silver Supporter Premium Member

    Messages:
    9,469
    Likes Received:
    10,037
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Kris Ford likes this.
  13. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,479
    Likes Received:
    3,501
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2011
  14. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,479
    Likes Received:
    3,501
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2011
  15. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,479
    Likes Received:
    3,501
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2011
  16. ramaglia375

    ramaglia375 Premium Member

    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    791
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    This is a great men.
    I think it may take some time to develop because many keep this stuff "close to the vest".
    That being said -what a good start.:thumb:
     
    Thumpalumpacus and Kris Ford like this.
  17. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,479
    Likes Received:
    3,501
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2011
    Roger that.
    Hoping to make it a sticky!
     
    ramaglia375 likes this.
  18. JonCanfield

    JonCanfield Platinum Supporter Premium Member

    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    731
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2017
    My son retired recently as an AO1. He was on the Nimitz and Lincoln as his last two ships. I was able to do a tiger cruise on the Nimitz.
    You're underestimating your contribution - I saw the guys working and they busted their asses. Thanks for your service!
     
  19. JonCanfield

    JonCanfield Platinum Supporter Premium Member

    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    731
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2017
    I spent my time in the Army in mid 70's. Was a tank driver (M60A1) in Germany with 3rd Bn. 64th Armored, 3rd Infantry division in Schweinfurt, near the East German border. I get the hatch thing! One of the reasons I wanted to drive. That, and being a loader was harder work and more likely to get pulled for details.
     
  20. redcoats1976

    redcoats1976 Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,644
    Likes Received:
    4,831
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    tank mechanic/driver in the late 70s.stationed at fort carson,colorado ,got to see germany on reforger and spent my last year in korea,about 4 months on the DMZ.had a drivers liscense for everything from the jeep up to the tank recovery vehicle but the 5 ton truck was my favorite.had a good 5 ton for a year at fort carson,that thing would laugh at the wannabe 4x4s i see around here.
     

Share This Page